For the past 25 years, the Ice Hotel of Sweden has captivated the world, giving the most surreal experience worth keeping for more than a lifetime. In a small town of Jukkasjärvi, in the Swedish Lapland, just 120 miles from the Arctic Circle, is the world-famous Ice Hotel.
Building Ice and Snow
While tropical destination offers solace to those who want to escape winter, there are some like Sweden that attracts tourists who love to spend fun-filled winter activities from sledding to enjoying chilly nights over a campfire. The town of Jukkasjärvi is one of them and a must-visit.
The history of the Ice Hotel is attributed to Japanese tourists who started making ice sculptures and other art works using snow. The northern province of Sapporo in Japan is equally famous for their ice sculptures and arts with their annual Sapporo Winter Festival. This started Ice Hotel’s past as an annual seasonal art exhibition event.
However, there came a time that some tourists do not have a place to stay and asked if they can sleep in a small igloo made in the area, finding warmth in reindeer skin. These events became the stimulus that gave the idea of building the world’s first hotel made completely of ice.
Since 1989, blocks of ice are harvested from the nearby Torne River as early as October. Stored in a nearby facilities, construction of the seasonal Ice Hotel starts and always ready to welcome eager tourists to experience some icy adventure.
The Ice Hotel is built from October – the construction of its chambers and overall structure and the sophisticated art made of ice – until December, just in time to welcome the seasonal guests.
The Ice Hotel is not just merely made of ice and snow but still continues to showcase various artworks. Artists apply to have a chance to showcase their ice art and indeed, the Ice Hotel is a magical accommodation in Sweden its hand-sculptured pieces like its ice pillared hallways.
Sleeping on Ice
The Ice Hotel has many chambers, typical of what the usual hotel has. Yes, they are still made of ice. The most famous is the Ice Church, which has become a favorite wedding venue for both locals and tourists. The Ice Hotel’s Ice Bar is another must-see area of the property, with everything is made from ice including the glasses.
The most anticipated part of booking the Ice Hotel is the chance to sleep on ice. There are two Cold Rooms in the hotel – Arts Suites and the Deluxe Suites.
It goes without saying that Cold Rooms is entirely made of ice and snow. A bed made of ice blocks and décor made from intricately sculptured ice arts. The doors are made of frosted ice.
To keep warm, reindeer skin is used as well as thermal beds and thick mattresses. The Deluxe Rooms include a sauna. Staying here not only let you experience sleeping on ice but to give you an idea of what it is like to become the Ice Queen or King.
However, not all rooms at the hotel are made of ice. In fact, most tourists stay overnight at the Cold Rooms and spend the rest of their holiday at the Warm Rooms. Ice Hotel offers Arctic and Nordic Chalets (has 2 bedrooms), and the Kaamus Rooms (typical hotel-style room with Scandinavian twist).
Guided tours are also offered for interested visitors to know more about this big igloo in Sweden’s Lapland.
Things to Do at the Ice Hotel
Spending the night at any of the Cold Rooms is just the tip of the iceberg. The whole fascination of the Ice Hotel is the total package of experience. With its location, memorable activities are waiting for guests.
This part of Sweden is best for various winter sports like ice fishing while enjoying Scandinavian cuisine. The best part is the see the Northern Lights. Ice Hotel is the perfect spot to see one of nature’s most splendid creations.
Likewise, marvel at the midnight sun while you are here. Spend the day hiking, horseback riding, dog sledding or how about learning ice sculpting?
Its lovely location attracts thousands of outdoor lovers. Surrounded by lush pine forests and snow glittering like diamonds, there is no other place to spend your winter break than at Jukkasjärvi’s Ice Hotel.
There are hotels like that of Quebec who followed this unique concept but Sweden’s Ice Hotel remains one of the world’s best from the structure to its magical environment. And starting 2016, the Ice Hotel will no longer be a seasonal accommodation for it will soon be open to guests all year-round. Now, isn’t it amazing?