Sweden's winter wonderland returns with opening of 31st Icehotel
Each December, Sweden's chilly Icehotel hosts frozen bedrooms filled with amazing ice sculptures for a few months, before it all melts away into a puddle again as arctic winter turns to spring. This year's iteration is no exception and contains a selection of icy artworks ranging from the abstract to the sublime.
This year is the 31st year of the Icehotel. As always, its creation involved the harvesting of thousands of ice blocks from a nearby frozen river in Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lapland that were then painstakingly carved into the sculptures by a team of 24 skilled artists.
Icehotel 31 contains 12 new frozen art suites, plus there's another six in the permanent hotel that's established nearby. Additionally, there's an ice bar, ceremony hall for weddings, ice furniture and even ice light fittings.
The frozen bedrooms are kept at a chilly -5 °C (23 °F), and guests must sleep on a thick mattress and reindeer hides, though standard warm hotel rooms are also available too for those who prefer to sleep in toasty comfort. The collection of themed rooms this year is quite abstract and includes the depiction of children's toys, a frozen woodland, fantastical creatures, and a frozen sauna.
"Step into a frozen forest in the Ceremony Hall Skogen, a world full of toys in the suite Toybox, or enter what’s probably the coldest sauna in the world in the art suite Sauna," says the press release. "If the temperature doesn't meet expectations there, cold can quickly be replaced by a hot sauna experience in a private relaxation room for everyone who stays the night in one of the deluxe suites in Icehotel 365."
Icehotel 31 is now running until April 11th 2021, after which it will close its chilled doors and begin to melt away. A night in one of the eye-catching cold art suites will set you back from 2595 SEK per night (roughly US$310). Those who can't make the trip can head to the gallery to see a selection of the suites from this this year's collection and Icehotel is also promoting its Instagram page as an AR experience this year (though that link only works on mobile devices).