ICEHOTEL is the world’s first and largest hotel built of snow and ice. It’s located in Jukkasjärvi, a small village in Sweden about 200km north of the Arctic Circle. Last January I was there and as a lover of art and hotels, I was in (minus 8 degree) heaven.
During the daytime, ICEHOTEL is open to visitors as an art exhibition. The public are invited to stroll through the hotel, have a drink in the ICEBAR and wander into the guest rooms. People who stay at ICEHOTEL generally stay one night in the snow and ice before moving to the warmer accommodation for the remainder of their stay.
The hotel melts and is rebuilt from scratch each year. First time and returning artists are brought on board to create a new, one of a kind piece of art with some of the results of last season’s hotel shown below.
What I love about this hotel is the creativity of it all and the fact that they’ve managed to create a place where people from all over the world want to stay. This is a place where you sleep in a sleeping bag, in minus 8 degrees, where the toilet is outside and you can’t take your luggage into the room with you. There are no doors to the guest rooms (except the Luxury Suite) and each room is only closed off to the rest of the hotel population by a curtain, and not one that reaches the ground. ICEHOTEL is open to visitors throughout the winter season from 10am to 6pm so hotel guests only have access to their rooms outside of these hours. Normally just one of these aspects would be a traveller’s nightmare but the designers, owners and staff make it work and make it a place over 50,000 people stay each winter.
The words ‘unique’, ‘spectacular’, ‘incredible’, ‘magical’ all crop up time and time again on the hotel’s TripAdvisor page and that’s exactly what it is. ICEHOTEL will completely make you rethink what’s possible and how business and creativity are a perfect, award winning match.
For some of the new season’s designs check out the Guardian’s photos here.