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Sweden's ICEHOTEL Opens for the 24th Year

December 18, 2013 at 8:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

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."

If you plan to spend a night at ICEHOTEL (rates for an art suite start at $275, depending on the season), you also have the option of sharing a suite with this pole dancing bear by Christine and Natalie Close:

Another highlight is the "Mind the Gap" suite by Marcus Dillistone & Magdalena Åkerström:"

And this here is the Narcissus suite by Nina and Magnus Hedman:

Besides the art suites, the 80-room ICEHOTEL has several other room categories. Rates for a simple Snow Room start at $195, while a Deluxe Suite by MINI with an in-room sauna and 20 tonnes of extra ice will set you back a spine shivering $2060. The hotel also has more normal "warm rooms" (rates start $175) on-site as well as a restaurant and an Absolut Ice Bar.

The ICEHOTEL is made from 1,000 tonnes of Torne River ice and 30,000 tonnes of “snice”, a mixture of snow and ice that strengthens the structure. Around 100 people are involved in the construction of the hotel, many of them working year round. Between March and April, 5,000 tons of ice is harvested from the river and kept in cold storage during spring and summer. Construction takes place in November and December and the hotel opens in December only to have to close in April when the ice slowly melts and returns to the Torne River -- and the whole process begins anew.

[Photos: Christian Strömqvist]

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