Sweden's Icehotel opens for business with amazing new ice sculptures
It's that time of year again: the Swedish town of Jukkasjärvi is playing host to the annual Icehotel. Now in its 29th iteration, the frozen accommodation features amazing all-new handmade ice sculptures, including a classic VW bus, a candy store, and an underwater scene.
As was the case in previous years, the 29th Icehotel's construction was a significant undertaking involving the harvesting of thousands of ice blocks from a nearby frozen river and the use of "snice."
"To be able to cast the building, snice is produced – a mixture of snow and ice made of water from the river," explains the hotel's website. "The snice is sprayed onto molds, which are removed once the structure has consolidated. The rooms are constructed in a classic, catenary arch shape, which is self-supporting and incredibly strong. Room after room is filled with snow and ice in the right amounts, so when the artists arrive they can get started and immediately turn their sketches into reality."
The Icehotel includes warm rooms, a restaurant and bar, and a ceremony hall, as well as another adjacent solar-powered hotel that's open year-round, but obviously it's the new sub-zero art suites that everyone is keen to see. A total of 13 artists from 34 different countries were involved in creating the unique sculptures.
Notwithstanding the VW bus sculpture, there's a strong nature theme this year, with oak trees, underwater scenes, and fantastical animals, like Haven, shown above, which envisions the bedroom as a mythical portal protected by a "Clever Fox" and "Fiery Fenix." Also of note are the hotel's ice chandeliers, which hold 1,000 ice crystals sculpted by hand.
The 29th Icehotel is now running until April 13, 2019, after which time it will close and begin to melt away. For those interested, a night in an art suite starts from 2,752 SEK (roughly US$306) – just remember to pack some warm socks as temperatures in the rooms are kept at -5° C (23 degrees Fahrenheit).
Head to the gallery to see a selection of the stunning sculptures available at the Icehotel.