Northern Lights at the ICEHOTEL in Sweden
Image credits: Paulina Holmgren, The ICEHOTEL®
The world's coolest hotel
The ICEHOTEL® is one of those places where even if you are not knowledgeable about Swedish Lapland or indeed Lapland at all, you will likely have heard of it or perhaps even know someone who has slept there. It is an accommodation option that we get asked about frequently and remains a bucket list experience for many.
The hotel is constructed each season in the small village of Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden on the banks of the Torne River. It is from this river that the hundreds of blocks of ice are harvested to form this hotel. A truly breathtaking spectacle, the ICEHOTEL® develops each season, changing its scale and design but always boasting some truly amazing sights.
It usually covers around 5,500 square metres and utilises 1,000 tons of ice and 30,000 cubic metres of 'snice' (a combination of snow and ice).
The ICEHOTEL® is a large scale operation, yet still retains its magic through its incredible and ever more complex designs and by offering adventurous visitors a very special place to rest their head!
The minds behind The ICEHOTEL® also created a new year-round experience - the ICEHOTEL 365. Complete with 20 beautiful ice suites, an ice bar and ice gallery, this hotel has been created like the original ICEHOTEL®, with inner walls made from ice blocks, but has some extra help to keep it at a perfect -5°C throughout the warmer months, too! Combining exterior concrete walls, steel pipes drilled into the permafrost below, powered by solar panels, and then thoroughly isolated, this is the world’s first permanent Ice hotel.About Northern Lights at the ICEHOTEL in Sweden
The ICEHOTEL® at Jukkasjärvi has the impressive claim of being the world’s first ice hotel and was developed from a concept beginning in 1989. A local businessman by the name of Yngve Bergqvist who ran a thriving tourism business in the summer decided to attract tourists in the winter by offering ice carving workshops and creating a small ice igloo as a gallery to showcase these designs.
This igloo grew in scale each year until one night a group of guests, equipped with reindeer skins and sleeping bags asked to spend the night, creating the concept of the ice hotel in the process!
Although Ice and snow hotels can be found across Lapland, the ICEHOTEL® remains the original.
An artistic marvel of ice and snow
When planning the ICEHOTEL® the creative team receive over 100 applications each spring from artists, photographers, engineers, architects, sculptors and craftspeople who offer incredible designs and themes for the hotel’s suites, chapel and ice bar.
Themes vary from year to year – with past examples including spring, chess, a dragon’s nest, polar bears, the big bang, origami, the London Underground, forest fairies, time and renaissance.
The Torne River, from which the artists’ natural materials are sourced, originates from northern glaciers and Lake Torneträsk, one of Sweden’s largest bodies of freshwater. The water here flows at a steady pace and is free of pollutants ensuring that the ice is crystal clear and entirely natural.
The creative team here specialise in ephemeral art – installations that exist only for a limited period of time. Light design is also an important part of the finishing touches of the ICEHOTEL® with light designers working closely with the creators of each element to ensure their remarkable work is enhanced as much as possible.