Sleeping in sub-zero temperatures is not generally what comes to mind when checking into a luxury stay – unless that hotel is called Icehotel and happens to be based in little Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Built from 5,000 tons of snow and ice blocks harvested from the Torne River, artisans meticulously bring a new structure to life each year.
Part hotel, part art gallery, and always entirely individual, the upcoming edition will include 55 guest rooms, but it’s the 19 art suites that are Icehotel’s most impressive flights of fancy. Hand carved by talented sculptors, each showcases a unique theme: doze as an African elephant watches over your ice-framed bed; turn up the drama in an Imperial Russia-inspired theatre set; or warm up in a Mediterranean interpretation of Arctic life. Plush cushions and furry throws ensure a sound night’s sleep, but should the aurora borealis make an appearance – you’re just 200 kilometres from Arctic Circle, after all – a wake-up service will ensure the otherworldly phenomenon isn’t missed.
Exploring the grand igloo, guests can hit up the sauna for a toasty steam, see chandeliers made of 1,000 cut-ice crystals, say “I do” in the Ice Church and visit the Ice Bar for a drink “in the rocks” – bear in mind you’ll be sipping cocktails from a handcrafted glass of ice. An ephemeral wonderland materialising from December to April, when the hotel and everything in it melts into the Torne at spring, Icehotel’s guests will have had the luxury of experiencing of a one-off winter wonderland that will never be seen again.
Stays in Icehotel start from SEK2,500 (US$300) per night based on double occupancy.
Don't forget your down jacket an scarf, this hotel is sans fireplace.