For a night in the Arctic Circle, underneath the breathtaking Northern Lights, head over to the Icehotel in Lapland. Carved entirely out of impacted snow, this stunning hotel houses a total of 55 rooms, including 19 unkquely-designed suites, a church and also a fully-stocked bar. Each of these suites is adorned with a variety of incredibly artistic snow sculptures, like a giant African elephant, a life-sized peacock or even flying sheep, and also contains a expansive ice bed and other furniture.
Situated close to Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland’s Norrbotten County, the Icehotel is an art exhibition-cum-hotel that is built every year since 1989, using snow and ice sourced from the neighboring river Torne. Come spring, the hotel naturally melts, leaving behind nothing but water. Artists from different parts of the world came together to erect this year’s hotel, which began accepting guests from December 11. Each of the 19 suites has a specific theme, such as the ‘Cesare’s Wake’ suite that is inspired from the 1920s horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and crafted by Petros Dermatas and Ellie Souti.
Aptly dubbed ‘Elephant in the Room’, the suite designed by AnnaSofia Mååg, a local sculptor who created a beautiful unicorn for the hotel’s main lobby last year, features a 9.8-foot (around 3 m) tall African elephant towering over the bed. Artist duo Tjåsa Gusfors and David Andrén, who constructed the ice church in 2014, have come back to design the ‘Show Me What You Got’ suite, which centers around an opulent ice peacock. Britain-based Annie Hanauer and Matt Chan’s wooland-theme room houses several ice blocks that resemble cairns, basically piles of rocks that are used to mark hiking trails.
The ‘Power of Love’ suite, by Sebastian Scheller and Kristina Möckel, is a two-person room, with enormous ice-carved pipes and a giant love barometer lining its walls. Spanish designers, Rob and Timsam Harding, have erected the ‘Under the Arctic Skin’, while Marjolein Vonk and Maurizio Perron are the brains behind the ‘Great Escape’ deluxe suite. Developed by artists Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison, 1970s-inspired ‘Love Capsule’ room houses a separate seating area, carved entirely out of hardened snow. The spacious Eye Suite, conceived by Nicolas Triboulot and CÈdric Alizard, features a massive ice bed as well as a divider wall.
Jose Carlos Cabello Millán and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa’s ‘Live Your Time’ suite boasts a charming abstract interior decor, which represents the concepts of love and life. Fashioned into an ice cave, the Flying Buttress, by AnnaKatrin Kraus and Hans Aescht, contains giant Gothic-like pillars. Designed by German duo Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A. Luchow, the shape of the Fractus Skin room is based on physics and geometry, and is lined by sharply-angled walls. Among the 19 suites is one that is modelled after the set of a Russian play, called Labyrinth Saga.
According to the developers, the hotel was constructed using materials that could make as many as 700 million snowballs. The chandeliers alone contain nearly 1,000 hand-carved pieces of ice crystal. Those looking for the full Arctic experience can opt for Nordic skiing as well as beginners’ wilderness survival courses. Guests can also relax in the hotel’s spa, which includes an ice plunge and also a thermal starlit bath. What is more, a new app, named Aurora Skycam, ensures that the visitors wake up in time to watch the stunning Northern Lights, outdoors. The Icehotel is also home to a restaurant and a bar that serves up to 26,500 drinks and 11,000 cups of hot lingonberry juice.
To book a stay at the enchanting Icehotel, click here.