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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com and Evoline ltd so you can book your Icehotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Icehotel Hotel Jukkasjarvi
- Icehotel Sweden/Jukkasjarvi
- Ice Hotel Sweden