The 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.”
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.