Jukkasjarvi Travel Guide
Hotels love to show off their suites and especially to point out what makes them unique. Sometimes it’s the famous designer who created it, sometimes it’s the view, and sometimes it’s the amenities. Well now you can have your own custom designed suite—made entirely of ice—that has none of these attributes, and a price tag that has us gasping for air. This unprecedented experience is being offered by Sweden’s ICEHOTEL, pioneers in ice art and now ‘haute couture’ on the rocks.
If anyone can pull this off constructively and creatively it is ICEHOTEL, who has been busy every winter for the last 25 years, giving new meaning to the term “walk in cooler.” Now let’s cut to the chase – the price for your ice fantasy is about $231,000. No, this is not a typo. Let’s see what you get for it.
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The original ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, 120 miles above the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden has just reopened (in -31F temperatures) for its 24th year. As happens every year, artists from around the world are invited to design the hotel's 13 suites. They each spent about a month on their suites and here's what they came up with.
Last year Christian Strömqvist and Karl-Johan Ekeroth of PINPIN Studios designed a room with a Star Trek theme; this year's creation is (what they describe as)
"a Frankenstein-esque art suite titled It’s Alive! They welcome you into the laboratory of a crazy scientist, complete with mysterious gadgets, huge tesla coils, a hatch in the ceiling and a bed where the monster can come alive...a visually exiting scenography and lets the visitors decide for themselves if they want to play the part of the monster or of the scientist. In this room, a quite scary story is turned into a humoristic and positive, yet thrilling, experience ... Just like Dr Frankenstein created life from dead materials with the help of lightning."
While we hate it when we walk into a hotel room and the A/C is blasting a below 72-degree temperature, we'll have to make an exception at The Icehotel, which is opening for the season early next month in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.
The hotel is actually an 80-room hostel which is rebuilt annually from snow and crystal-clear ice.
The Icehotel is a spot where half the fun is in staying there. It begins from the moment that you open the main, reindeer-skin-clad doors and are greeted by a grand, ice-pillared hallway illuminated by a spectacular ice chandelier. The interior temperature, hovering around 23 degrees Fahrenheit, actually feels almost balmy, especially when compared to the outside temperature which can drop to minus 34 Fahrenheit.
Balmy? We'll see about that. Guests do get special gear to wear during their stay such as a one-piece thermal suit, mittens, hat and thermal waterproof boots. At night, you'll snuggle down into your thermal sleeping bags.
The room categories at the Icehotel start at a standard Snow Room and work up to an Ice Room (complete with actual ice "furniture") and the Art Suite (individually themed with ice art). Looking for a special getaway for your honeymoon? The Art Suite has lockable doors and double sleeping bags available. We're guessing that candles are out of the question though. (Incredibly, the hotel has a very popular Ice Chapel where several weddings are held each season.)