Winter wonderland: Sweden's 28th Icehotel opens its doors
The town of Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden is home to an annual hotel made from snow and ice. Now in its 28th edition, the Icehotel features 15 rooms boasting impressive frozen sculptures. Highlights include a space-themed room and another dominated by a strange ice queen.
Constructing the Icehotel involved harvesting thousands of ice blocks from a nearby frozen river. A 30,000 cubic meter (1,059,440 cubic ft) mixture of snow and ice was used to create the hotel. It includes warm rooms, sub-zero ice rooms, an ice bar, as well as a ceremony hall suitable for weddings and the like.
That said, it's the 15 rooms with the ice carvings that are naturally the main draw. These are kept at a temperature of -5° C (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and guests sleep atop reindeer skins in sleeping bags. The sculptures were created by 36 artists hailing from 17 different countries, and range from abstract scenes to lifelike animals.
The artists are very skilled and the rooms are worth checking out in full, in the gallery.
Guests who opt to brave the cold are woken with a hot drink, plus a sauna, hot shower and roaring fire are available too. Activities include a northern lights tour on snowmobile, a half-day tour with dog sled, ice sculpting, and yoga.
The Icehotel opened its doors December 15 and is running until April 15, after which time it will begin to melt away. Pricing starts at 2,250 SEK (around US$267) for a single night in a warm hotel room, but the ice sculpture suites cost considerably more. The solar-powered Icehotel 365 is also installed on the same site and is open year-round.