In 1989 up in the village of Jukkasjarvi Sweden, the first known ice hotel was born. Guests flocked to this Arctic Circle hotel and paid top dollar to stay in high-class ice brick structures, sleep on ice beds, and party in ice bars. In order to stay warm guests cover themselves in reindeer blankets, and sub zero sleeping bags (you just can't make this stuff up). Amazingly, the hotel works like an igloo, using the power of ice and snow to keep the wind out and insulate the guest rooms. The rooms are kept at around 26 degrees, and come equipped with the hard to find feature of complete silence. However, these igloos are not just simple dome like structures (check out the photos), but instead, the ice hotel uses advanced ice architecture to make the hotels really come to life. Arches and other shapes allow for the builders of these ice hotels to create amazing rooms, clubs, cinemas, and even giant ice cathedrals where guests can tie the knot, Eskimo style.
Apparently, ice hotels are all the rage in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and Sweden. Hoteliers at the Ice Hotel in Quebec charge over $300 Canadian a night! The seasonal nature of these ice hotels may add to the heavy price. The ice hotels literally melt away every spring and have to be rebuilt at the beginning of the following winter.
Ice hotel proprietors bill their hotels as a once in a lifetime experience. The hotel owners talk about the experience, the architectural accomplishments, and the Absolut-sponsored bars, and note that this is not a hotel experience you can have anywhere else. But are these hotels truly once in a lifetime experiences, or just an incredibly ingenious way to market freezing your giblets off?