Many might think that inside a structure made of ice, the cold would be unbearable. However, those who have visited IceHotel 365, in Lapland, Sweden, know better. Located only 125 miles from the Arctic Circle, this particular ice hotel offers its guests the luxury version of living in an igloo, where, as odd as it sounds, it is not so cold: the body’s warmth is trapped between heavy layers of ice and compacted snow.
The surroundings of this hotel are as amazing as the design of its rooms. IceHotel 365 is located on the outskirts of a town circled by hundreds of lakes and six major rivers, called Jukkasjärvi.
IceHotel 365 was built in 2016 with ice extracted from the Torne River. Artisans, designers, sculptors and artists devotedly collaborated to create this great work of art.
Travelers from all over the world can stay in ice and snow rooms here at any time of the year: the hotel features nine deluxe accommodations and eleven exclusive art suites with private saunas and luxury bathrooms. What sets IceHotel 365 apart from other hotels of its kind is the tranquility of the nature that surrounds it. The hotel also offers activities such as ice fishing, dog sledding, cycling and rafting, among other adventures.
There are few places where travelers can appreciate the beauty of life on – and in – the ice, which can be as intense and dazzling as any other landscape on the planet.
The IceHotel 365 has an Icebar, an ice gallery exhibiting ephemeral works of art, and an events space.
“The hotel has really lived up to our expectations,” says a tourist from Columbia, South Carolina, on social media. “We were not sure what to expect, since the website is a bit more artistic than informative, but we enjoyed it a lot.”
ICEHOTEL 365 is open all year round, thanks to the use of sustainable energy supplied by solar panels. These allow a constant indoor temperature, in both winter and summer, of -5 ° C (44 ° F). In this area near the Arctic, the sun shines for 100 consecutive days in the summer, providing a surplus of energy used to power other buildings, such as restaurants, offices and warm rooms.
Intrepid travelers from over eighty countries travel to the ICEHOTEL 365 in the dead of winter to get married. The ceremony is planned entirely by the hotel, and includes, among several possibilities, the option to arrive by sleigh, or tents set up al fresco for a wedding banquet. If the bride and groom are lucky enough, they’ll catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis, a show that will outshine any other gift the couple receives. ■