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15 December 2016

Year-Round Ice Hotel Opens in Sweden

Sweden is known for its dramatically cold winters. A tradition in the frosty country, ICEHOTEL is a pop-up hotel created each year since 1989, and used solely during the winter season. Built out of 5,000 tonnes of frozen water sourced from the Torne River, the majestic hotel is but a temporary addition to the landscape, melting away as temperatures increase and harsh winter memories become ringed in nostalgia.

For those who must trek halfway around the world to visit the hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, the cost of the journey plus accommodation can be quite hefty. Well worth the experience, this once-in-lifetime trip was previously only possible for a portion of the year. Offered from December to April, Sweden’s tourism trade was vastly limited. People voiced their complaints, ideas were formed, and the owners have figured a way around the seasons.

Introducing ICEHOTEL 365, a new building open year-round and offering the same cold experience as the original ICEHOTEL. The 20-suite complex has exterior walls constructed from concrete and covered with river ice and snow, kept frosty by sustainable energy. The hotel is located 124 miles above the Arctic Circle, according to The Week, bathing it in perpetual sunshine during the summer. Solar-powered cooling technology keeps ICEHOTEL 365 comfortably cool, converting the sun’s plentiful energy to preserve the ice. Last year, solar panels produced 130,000kWh of energy, enough to power Icehotel 365 along with other buildings.

Guests have their choice of several cold rooms: Art Suite 365, Deluxe Suite 365, Art Suite, and Ice Room. Regardless of the room, all guests are treated to a cup of hot lingonberry juice upon waking, a morning sauna session, and a hot shower before breakfast. ICEHOTEL recommends supplementing a stay in the cold room with a couple nights in one of their warm rooms.
  • Deluxe suites are individually-themed with hand carved features done by commissioned artists. No two rooms have the same artistic style/flair/ornamentation, nor will a room ever be replicated. These rooms feature a personal sauna, heated relaxation area, en-suite bathroom, and reindeer-hide covered bed.
  • Art suites are just as aesthetically-pleasing as deluxe suites, providing guests ambience in addition to a reindeer-hide topped bed.
  • Ice rooms, the most economical option, come equipped simply with minimal ice d├ęcor and a reindeer-hide topped bed.
Though the structure for ICEHOTEL 365 is built to last, the artistic renditions carved into the ice will continue to change with each season. Supplementing stays with a good dose of class, the hotel itself has an art gallery full of ice sculptures.

Sweden’s ICEHOTEL was the first of its kind, inspiring a number of similar hotel experiences.

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).