Most of the world’s ice and snow hotels will be opening their doors this month to reveal their freshly-sculpted works of art for the 2017 winter season. The hotels are rebuilt and reinvented every year by ice artists who travel all over the world to create unique winter wonderlands for us to stay in.
Winter finally descended on Europe this week, and instead of hiding under the duvet with a hot water bottle, we decided to embrace the cold and check out 5 of the world’s best frozen hotels:
ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
The world’s first ice and snow hotel has just become the world’s first permanent ice and snow hotel. The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland has been rebuilt every winter for 27 years, but now the ICEHOTEL 365 will be open for business all year round.
The hotel and art exhibition offers cold rooms and warm rooms, deluxe suites and art suites. Some parts of the ICEHOTEL will still be rebuilt every year, but innovative insulation and solar panels soaking up the Arctic summer sun will mean temperatures can be kept a fresh -5C throughout the year. Its sustainability makes the ICEHOTEL 365 extra cool in our book!
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Even when temperatures plunge all the way down to -40C, the real snow igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland stay a relatively toasty -3 to -6C inside. Fluffy down sleeping bags make for a snug, super-quiet night’s sleep in the snow. But if it’s a view of the Northern Lights you’re after, then the Kakslauttanen’s Glass Igloos are the perfect alternative.
The two- or four-person igloos let you look up at the night sky without even getting out of bed. Log chalets complete with a fireplace and sauna are another cosy option; or for a chalet-igloo combo, the new Kelo-Glass Igloos offer log-cabin comfort with amazing sky views.
Kirkenes Snow Hotel, Norway
Far above the Arctic Circle in the wilds of northern Norway lies the Kirkenes SnowHotel. The hotel first opened in 2006, but to give visitors an even better view of the Northern Lights away from the lights of the town, the SnowHotel moved to its current location in 2013. Resident reindeer and huskies are ready to give guests a true arctic welcome – the hotel even offers the world’s first-ever Husky Taxi from the airport!
Each of its 20 rooms is decorated with ice carvings and sculptures in a different theme inspired by the local wildlife or culture. If the constant -4C temperatures inside the hotel sound a bit nippy, there’s underfloor heating to be had instead in the cosy hunting-and-fishing-inspired Gamme cabins.
Hotel de Glace, Quebec, Canada
“Frozen natural beauty meets hot urban style” at North America’s first true ice hotel. Now in its seventeenth season, Quebec’s Hotel de Glace has just had a complete overhaul and has been added to the Valcartier Vacation Village just outside Quebec City.
The theme for 2017 is ‘Northern Perspectives’, letting guests in on the mysteries of the Far North. Regulars at Canada’s Hotel de Glace will be hoping for the ever-popular ice slide and chandelier, while the Ice Bar looks set to be one of the hottest venues in town.
The SnowCastle of Kemi, Finland
Back to Finland for the last but certainly not least of our Top 5 ice and snow hotels. Finland is home of the world’s biggest snow fort – the SnowCastle of Kemi. Freshly built every winter since 1996, the castle’s architecture and artworks vary every year. But the frozen fortress is always sure to have a chapel, a restaurant and a hotel.
Previous SnowCastles have had a 1km long wall, a 20-metre-high tower and up to three floors. Couples who marry in the SnowChapel can retire straight to the SnowHotel’s honeymoon suite, and if an overnight stay sounds a bit too chilly, a visit to the SnowRestaurant with ice bar is still well worth a visit if you happen to be up this way!
Picture source: Pinterest.com