Looking for a Wintry Getaway? Sweden's Icehotel Will Reopen Next Month
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.)
In case you are wondering who the heck would ever spend a night in an ice hotel, let alone a vacation, the hotel actually only recommends spending one night in the hotel's "cold accommodations." The other nights can be spent in the warm accommodations also on-site. Here you can take warm showers, relax in sauna facilities, indulge in Laplandic gourmet food at the restaurant, and drink at the Absolut Bar which despite having ice-block seating covered in reindeer skins, should warm you up with shots of vodka.
You can book a stay at the Icehotel through the Great Canadian Travel company who is offering a joint London trip that includes two or three nights stay in London, roundtrip flight to Kiruna, Sweden and a three or four night stay in the Icehotel. Prices range from $2,600 to $3,200.
Otherwise if you book through the hotel snow rooms, which accommodate four people, start around $450 a night. But hurry, the Icehotel melts down, er closes down in April.