Have you heard of the Swedish Icehotel before? You might think there’s not a whole lot going on in a small village 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, but Jukkasjärvi (jock-as-yer-vih) has become world famous for a hotel made entirely from ice and snow. ❄
Every spring the whole thing melts away and every winter they rebuild it. Every season they invite different artists to come work on it, so it never looks the same from one year to the next. And it’s fully functional too – you can rent and sleep in the rooms like at any other hotel!
There are other ice hotels and places with a similar concept around the world, but the one in Sweden is the original.
Despite being born and raised only 4 hours south of the Icehotel I’ve never actually been there – until now. At the end of January, the husband and I got in the car and drove up to see it for the first time. And oh my god, what an experience!
There will be many pictures with Markus in them because the whole time I was the one taking photos. 😅
January days are short, so even though it was only around 4 in the afternoon it was dark outside. The road from the lobby (a separate building not made of ice) was lit with glowing pillars of ice.
The entrance to the actual Icehotel is somewhat understated. From the outside, it just looks like a low snowy hill. But there is a door clad in reindeer fur, with antlers as handles, and you can see light seeping out from behind an ice-wall.
Stepping through the door is like entering another world. Everything, even the chandeliers in the ceiling, is made from ice!
Inside was one main hall with corridors leading down to where the individual rooms are. That main hall looked almost like a church with its high ceiling and pillars while the corridors were lower and darker. There are no doors to the rooms either, just a curtain to pull across the doorway if a guest wants privacy. The only real doors were the main entrance and a few emergency exits.
The hotel counts as a real hotel and as such is required to have the same security measures as any other building. Like the very important fire extinguishers. 😂
(I realise that someone could maybe light a match and set the bed or their own clothes on fire, but it seems unlikely. It just looks funny to have fire extinguishers in a building literally made of water.)
As you can see, the rooms are absolutely beautiful. I’m in complete awe of the work and talent put into this place. From what I understand every artist or team of artists get their own room to do what they want with. So no two rooms are the same, and they all have their own unique themes going on.
It was pretty cold that weekend, around -25°C, but the inside of the hotel keeps a steady –5°C to –8°C temperature. And the beds have reindeer hides and sleeping bags, so I don’t think sleeping in there would be uncomfortable. But the rooms only have a bed, nothing else. Toilets are outside and there are no TV or anything like that. It’s like going camping.
I was tempted to book a cold room but chickened out and got us a regular room in a regular building instead. I honestly don’t regret that. We ended up spending the whole day outside so it was VERY nice to come inside and have a hot shower and a real bed. But it would be cool (haha) to go back and try one of the cold rooms some time.
The Icebar is where you go to party. They serve most things any regular bar would, except you get to drink from ice glasses. Ours were the regular square model, but I saw someone holding one shaped like a wine glass.
It’s not every day you get a drink IN the rocks! 😃
So, now I’ve finally seen the Icehotel, and can say that it was definitely worth the drive! Even though there are pictures of it all over the Internet it’s nowhere near the same as being there IRL. It is so beautiful and so strange. Since everything is made of ice and snow there’s a softness to everything. The light gets diffused against the snow walls, and even the sounds are muffled. After a while, everything starts to feel surreal. Like a cold white dream.
If you want to know more just google “icehotel sweden” or go to icehotel.com
FYI: I’m not sponsored or anything, I just want to show you this remarkable place.