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“Get romantic at the Ice Hotel”
Review of Icehotel

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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Get romantic at the Ice Hotel”
Reviewed 6 July 2006

We recently returned from a trip to Sweden during which we stayed in the legendary Ice Hotel. I can confirm that almost every last inch of the place is carved out of ice (or Snice as they call it) from the reception desk to the chandeliers to the glasses you drink your vodka cocktails from. Even the beds sit on ice stilts although the mattress is thankfully made from insulated material draped in Reindeer skin.

Rooms are, you guessed it, made entirely of ice with the choice of standard rooms or individually designed ice suites. The suites are extra special. Atists from all over the world fly over and spend the season in sub-zero temerpatures sculpting out and maintaining their vision of your sleeping chamber. This year, rooms included sculptures of a family of Russian Dolls; a giant snowball avalanche; a four poster bed; and a replica of the frozen river from which all the ice is harvested to name but a few. Truly magical and utterly unique. And don't worry about keeping warm; the hotel provides you with thermal ski suits, gloves, boots, hats and sleeping bags that can survive the freezing temperatures (it got to -20 when we were there but it's not unusual to experience up to -40 or less).

The hotel also offers a range of 'warm' accommodation which are lodges with glass cielings through whihc you can watch Aurora Borealis (we didn't see them when we were there as it was cloudy but it didn't mar our experience one bit).

The rumours are true that the place melts every summer so no two years are the same. Activities include dog sledding (exhillirating but cold and very smelly), ice fishing, reindeer rides and Iniut camp visits. A hotel tour is free on arrival.

The staff are great but there are a few points to note. Places to eat are limited and the food is OK to average but presumably, you didn't come here for a gourmet experience so it's no big deal. You will be provided with all the gear above but it's important to still bring your own thermals. This place is seriously cold. Don't come expecting to get a sun tan either. We only saw sun for about 2 hours a day but if you ask me, that only adds to the experience. Rooms in the Ice Hotel don't have doors as such - only reindeer skins which are pulled aside by staff in the morning to give you a hot Ligonberry juice to wake you up. You can stay in bed as long as you like but the place turns into a tourist attraction after 11am so don't be surprised if some stranger pops their head in and takes your photo. To be honest, you're going to want to get up and explore, so that's no big deal either.

All in all we had the time of our lives up there. It's something you're only likely to do once as it's remote and expensive but please don't let that put you off! If the cost of the hotel is prohibitive, the town has other places to stay so you can enjoy the whole thing for a bit less. Getting there is also surprisingly easy - flights from Sweden to Kiruna airport fky every day and the hotel pick you up and drive you 15 minutes to the hotel

20 Thank mbamaung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2006

Well this is my 1st review so apologies if it reads crap!

I took my girlfriend there as a surprise present for her 22nd and as it was very late in their season did not know what to expect!

I did all my booking directly by myself and saved about £300 each over what friends have paid to go this season.

When we arrived which was early afternoon I have to say I was a little disapointed as there was very little snow the roads were clear and you could not even tell we was approaching the hotel itself, the taxi just pulled over in a car park and said we was there!

We had our 1st night in the warm accomodation which was roomy enough clean with a good shower all more important to me than grandieur when I am somewhere like that.

We decided to go and look at the actual Ice hotel itself straight after dumping the bags and followed the signs with trepidation, but was not disapointed, it was lovely 1st the snow appeared then the building came into view and it looked great with the Ice Church next to it.

We was lucky in the fact that a tour was just to begin and we were about the only guests in the hotel along with a party of 30 and a few other couples so we were well looked after and shown all the rooms and suites which were fantastic.

Next was the ice bar which again was fantastic pricey at @20 Euros for 2 cocktails but worth it in the end.

When we went to the restaurant that night which is a short walk over the road below the 'warm' bar we was told by the receptionist that the guide had upgraded us to the best suite in the hotel for the second night (Our only night in the cold accomodation)

The food whilst good in the restaurant is limited. You are basically stuffed if you do not like fish or reindeer as I do not eat fish I wa sick of reindeer by the 3rd day!

I di dthe extended snow mobile trip across the frozen lakes which was excellent with the guided speaking excellent english and paying attention to your needs.

The staff are brilliant, polite and friendly and overall a great place to go the once. I would have to go again to see the hotel in the middle of winter, not as it is melting as it was for me.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
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7 Thank Theboybrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent, England
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2006

My wife and I stayed during January and had a wonderful time. The Ice Hotel is spectacular with sculptures and designs which are stunning. We had the Africa suite which contained some amazing artwork and designs in ice as did all the suites. If you have a standard room, you can still visit all the suites and at the end of the day, it's the experience of sleeping in the Ice Hotel which counts. The rooms have a heavy curtain at the entrance which provided adequate privacy. The silence was also quite striking. The adjacent changing rooms and wash-rooms can be a bit awkward for your night in the Ice Hotel, but it was not a problem. Like many, we changed to nightware in the cubicles, donned the snow-suit and boots for walking through the Ice Hotel to the room, removed the snow suit and boots and then had the fight with the sleeping bags!. It's amazing how quicly you can move when it's -5 degrees.
The next two nights we had an Aurora cabin. Warm, clean and very comfortable. All the warm accomodation seems to be to the same good standard.
We had our evening meals at the Homestead Restaurant which is about a 10 minute walk from the main hotel and well worth it. Excellent food. It is linked to the Hotel and so charges are added to your room bill.
We had a dogsled trip which was great fun. Recommend a balaclava in addition to the warm clothing provided by the hotel - also those hand-warmers which can provide extra heat for several hours.
Also had a snowmobile trip. Although we didn't see the Northern Lights, it was well worth the experience. The snowmobiles are easy to ride. No gears - as you accelerate via the handlebar control, the machine moves forward and will come to a halt as you decelerate. There is also a brake on the other handlebar. Despite the darkness, the headlight is very powerful and as you are in a group, it is easy to follow in the trails. You have a crash-helmet and goggles which keep your head warm and ensure you have good visibilty.
Yes, it is an expensive holiday but we wouldn't have missed it for anything. It's quit sad to think the Ice Hotel we stayed in has now melted away - but how's that for unique?!

  • Stayed January 2006
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11 Thank comeonburnley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2006

My husband and I chose to marry in the Ice Chapel of the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lappland and it was absolutely magical - there is no other destination in our minds that could even come close. Unfortunately we booked through Discover the World who managed to quote an incorrect wedding time of 4pm instead of 5pm and they never arranged for us to see our wedding co-ordinator until only 2 hours before the wedding which was extremley stressful, but we made the most of our holiday despite their efforts to mess things up. The ceremony was conducted by a Swedish priest who had a voice like an angel and the ceremony was gorgeous. The photographer was fantastic and took some amazing shots of us in the Ice Chapel, Ice Hotel, some of the Suites and in the Ice Bar and we would thoroughly recommend him. The staff in the restaurant (which you need to request as the co-ordinator won't offer, you need to ask her) were brilliant and the food was gorgeous. We went on a few excursions to the Northern Lights, husky sledging and to a local Sami camp and all the guides made us feel so welcome and looked after us. Overall, this was a trip of a lifetime and we would thoroughly recommend anyone to try it, however maybe you should book yourselves or via another tour operator if you want to get things right!!

16 Thank FeetDoTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, Scotland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2006

We've just returned from a trip to Kiruna. We did the trip independently which we found to be a lot cheaper than booking a package. We flew out on the Saturday morning from Heathrow with SAS Airlines, first flight out and arriving at Kiruna mid-day. Unfortunately our luggage didnt appear but we were told to go and purchase goods to the value of approx £60 each. Only 1 store open that afternoon which was a supermarket named Co-op, cheaper than a city centre store though and we got what we needed. For our first night we booked into the Ripan Hotel, very good service and very helpful staff. They can arrange outings for you if you wish but we arranged our own with Kiruna Guide Tours but we did try out some cross country skiing - very hard if you haven't done it before but a good laugh. That night we booked to go on a dogsledge trip, very cold - 36'. I would suggest doing this trip in the daytime rather than evening as very very cold. The reason we chose nightime was because of the Northern Lights but the dogsledge trip is completed far too early for any chance of seeing the lights. The next day we travelled to the Ice Hotel, reception staff very helpful and they even managed to locate our luggage. It was a wonderful experience. You check in and you get kitted out with everything that you need apart from your thermals. I'm a pretty cold person but even I managed to stay warm at night. Compared to what we had experienced the night before, the -5' in the hotel was heaven. The only probs we had there was finding the actual showers and using them when they're not at communal times! Check this out when checking in. It would be more helpful if the showers were a bit closer on site but not a great hindrance. The next day we did a snowmobile trip where we drove over the frozen river Torne, saw the highest mountain point - Kebnekaise and saw moose aplenty. It was incredible, I was lost for words at 1 point and thats a first for me! The guys which took us on this trip were Sami people and really made you feel totally welcome, we booked it through Kiruna Guide Tours but you can book with them direct. Contact me if you require details. Totally awesome. That night we had booked into the Rallaren which is in the city centre, nice hotel. They have a hot tub which is located outside just opposite the train station but if you require use of then you have to give the staff at least 6 hours to allow them to warm it up. That night we decided to have a wander into the centre where we found a sports bar with a friendly atmosphere, nice food and cheaper than hotel restaurant prices. On the way home we couldn't believe it but we even managed to see the Northern Lights. What an end to our trip. The next day we flew home. The flights seem to always be on time so no need to worry about connections. We had a brill time and would def recommend it to anyone at any age. Go on have a go.

15 Thank Chubbah1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2006

This is the kind of place you see on TV and think...wow i would love to go there one day, and when you arrive its exactly how you imagine it to be! The staff are very helpful and go thru all the rules and get you prepared for a great night in the icehotel.

Though i must say, Kiruna is such a trek to get to for a weekend trip.

Must do's are definitely snowmobiling and dog sledding. The ice bar is fantastic, lots of tasty drinks and not much of a headache in the morning!!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
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5 Thank wtseng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
214 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 363 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2006

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend at the Ice Hotel and I would thoroughly recommend it.

The setting is amazing although not really as remote as I imagined, it is only 15 mins from the mining town of Kiruna and there is a small village just down the road.

In hindsight it seems obvious but we were not prepared for the logistics of actually staying in the Ice Hotel. If you arrive early afternoon as we did try to ensure you have some activity pre-booked as obviously you can not go into your room. Limit the amount of luggage you take, you are given a snow suit, boots, hat and gloves on arrival. Lockers are provided in a rather basic wooden hut with a spartan communal changing room and toilets. There are no showers, these are found in saunas away from the hotel, the opening times are limited and in the evening, communal. I personally found this to be a real pain as the facilities are basic to say the least and this is not reflected in the price of your stay.

The hotel is spectacular- a temporary structure that is graceful and elegant. Be aware that it is open to visitors from 10 till 6 and at weekends it can get really busy. Please try to explore when it is quiet as the solitude enhances the experience. There are a number of standard rooms and then suites that are individually designed by artists from all over the world. Try to take the time to read the info relating to each installation. Some of the rooms are amazing.

There are no doors in the hotel and little privacy although you only sleep in the room, it is -5 degrees. You are issued with a thermal sleeping bag which is not for the claustrophia- it seals you up like a cocoon so only your nose is exposed. Don't listen to the hotel staff who try to sell you expensive ice hotel thermal pyjamas-we slept in t-shirts and shorts and slept the whole night through.

To be honest it was a novelty and not one I would choose to repeat. I would also advise against paying the huge premiums for a suite as you can look around the suites anyway.

I was glad to have a cabin with ensuite bathroom for the second night.

The best thing was the activities. They are expensive but give you lifelong memories.We did husky rides, reindeer driving, snow-moblie safaris to see the Northern Lights. You also get to spend quality time with local Sami people.

This trip is a lifetime experiance and it costs but as a treat it is well worth it

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24 Thank hobbesmanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Icehotel

Property: Icehotel
Address: Marknadsvagen 63, Jukkasjarvi 981 91, Sweden
Region: Sweden > Norrbotten County > Jukkasjarvi
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Icehotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Icehotel Hotel Jukkasjarvi
Icehotel Sweden/Jukkasjarvi
Ice Hotel Sweden

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