Unusual Place of the Month: The Swedish Ice Hotel

By Nomadic Matt | Published May 14th, 2008

The Ice Hotel in SwedenThe Swedish Ice Hotel is located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. It has over 80 rooms and is built annually using ice from the nearby Torne River. Construction begins each year in October using 10,000 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow. The 30,000-square-foot hotel is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and features an Absolut Vodka ice bar, an ice cinema, an ice chapel, ice family rooms, and ice suites. The whole structure uses 4,000 tons of ice.

The hotel began in 1990, when French artist Jannot Derid held an exhibition in a cylinder-shaped igloo in the area. One night, there were no rooms available in the town, so some visitors slept in sleeping bags on top of reindeer skin, beginning the world’s first “ice hotel.”

The Ice Hotel gives you a different way to holiday. It’s an interesting place to stay for those that love the snow. Rooms start around $300 a night, and the hotel is open from December through April. Temperatures range from -8 C to -5 C (17.6 F to 23 F). That’s pretty cold, but considering temperatures can get -37 C (-34.6 F) out, it’s not too bad. Guests sleep on reindeer skin and sleeping bags, making for a comfortable and cozy sleep.

Since the hotel melts and has to be rebuilt each year, no two years feature the same design. Every year they reshape and redesign the whole hotel, giving returning visitors a new place to return to. Last year’s theme was “the Milky Way.”

Sweden Ice Hotel Bedroom with covers
Sweden Ice Hotel outside entrance
Sweden Ice Hotel's entrance
Sweden Ice Hotel's ice musical instruments

The popularity of this hotel has inspired imitators in other Arctic areas like Norway and Canada. For more information on the original, go to their home page at The Ice Hotel. If you are considering going, make sure you book well in advance, as the hotel’s increasing popularity means it is often booked up.

comments 14 Comments

Anil

looks amazing! Ice bars are becoming pretty popular these days. I haven’t made it to the one in London, but can tell you from first hand experience that you are better off giving the one in Benalmadena, Malaga a miss. In fact, you are better off giving Benalmadena a miss.

Christine Gilbert

Wow this looks seriously amazing.

travelphilippines

i wonder when can i go there… sigh looks soo amazing i wanna sleep in one of the room…

backpakker

im shivering just looking at the pics..wow !thanks Matt
Lakshmi

Maryam in Marrakesh

I have always found the concept of this hotel just so fascinating. It is sublime.

PS Thank you for your visit to my blog and your sweet comment:)

Sofia - As We Travel

Oh I am in love with this place – Nathan and I will be joining them next winter to help build it! oh i soooo can’t wait!!!! :)

looks incredible but i prefer to be a bit warmer. i think i’d like to visit and then go sleep at a regular hotel! :)

I’d never sleep in one… but visiting would be a fun experience. I get cold far too easily.

I would love to go to an ice bar, but I would not want to stay in an ice hotel! Way too cold for me…

NomadicMatt

You get fur sheets! I’d stay for a night!

Ah… One of my dream destinations and strange I haven’t been there already when I’m in the same country! Somehow, every winter other things comes in between…

I’m glad that you mention that this is the original Ice Hotel, the first that was built, because there have been so many others popping up lately and somehow I don’t think people know that this one is the original. I love the story of how it all started!

It’s a really creative hotel or I call it pure art. Even though I hate winter and snow, I’d looooove to go there!!!

The question is only: what year? *giggles*

I would most definitely stay here!

Bash

I would most likely try to see the hotel with own two eyes. Not sure sleeping in an ICE COLD ROOM @ -5c or -8c, INTERESTING idea……

These Ice hotels are really an amazing and awesome. After read this great stuff about Ice hotels, i would definitely like to visit and stay in it for few times.

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