About the Hotel
It is that time of the year when people can break free from their work and relax with their families and friends. Long sunny walks by the beach or a trek up the mountains, vacations are the best time to explore the wonders of nature and indulge in the simple pleasures of life. However, this holiday season, why not try something new? Everyone runs for the hills or the beaches! Chuck the five-star resorts and check out the IceHotel 365 set in Sweden. Made of snow and ice, the resort is the first of its kind and was built way back in 1989. Read on to know more about the place and reasons why it is the perfect place for your next holiday trip:
IceHotel 365 is a resort built out of snow and ice, a first of its kind that was opened to the public in 1989. Located 200 kilometers north of the Arctic circle in Jukkasjärvi, far up in Northern Sweden, the resort was built from the scratch every year using 5,000 tons of ice taken from the neighboring River Torne sometime in spring and stored over till summer. Yes, you read that right, the entire place (the suites, the bar the galleries) is made out of ice! Now, about three decades later, the hotel is among the first ice hotels that would remain open all year round. Travelers can now experience this frozen paradise anytime during the year. IceHotel 365 is a classic wintertime hangout that now offers travelers an opportunity to witness both the midnight sun and the Northern Lights.
Set in the quiet picturesque village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, about 17 kilometers from Kiruna, the IceHotel 365 is truly a magical place. It all started about 28 years earlier on 1989 when a group of Japanese artists visited the place to design and built an ice-art exhibition. In the spring of 1990, the French artist Jannot Derid also held an exhibition designed inside a cylindrical igloo in the same area. Due to the unavailability of rooms, one night some visitors requested for permission to sleep inside the igloo on their sleeping bags and reindeer skins. This marked the beginning of IceHotel and was henceforth converted into a luxury resort. In the initial years, the hotel was rebuilt every year from December to April. Everything from the beds to the chairs and the rooms itself was constructed from big chunks of ice- the entire structure remains under the freezing temperature at -5 degrees.
IceHotel 365 is located 200kms north of the Arctic Circle, the place is frozen all year round at sub-zero temperatures. The resort stretches over 1200 square kilometers and is situated in the northern part of Sweden on the banks of the River Torne. The river runs over 500kms starting from the mountains in the west to the eastern coast ultimately meeting the Bay of Bothnia. The wild river is among the four largest water bodies of Sweden and a major source of freshwater ice for the IceHotel 365.
The IceHotel 365 is at its heart, an art hotel that attracts artists and sculptors from all across the world to take part in the annual exhibition and experience the magnificent Arctic chill in all its glory. IceHotel 365 combines the best of an art symposium and a luxury resort, offering travelers a once in a lifetime experience of being surrounded by snow as far as the eye could see. The entire place is cloaked in fantasy, magic, and romance. Here, you can enjoy the various ice-sports, take trips to the nearby valleys, witness the famous Northern Lights and even take a boat trip on Torne under the midnight sun.
IceHotel is demolished and rebuilt every year right from the scratch. Each year there are some minor changes and additions in the architecture of the place that adds on to its appeal immensely. Currently, there are 20 luxury suites including a sauna, 11 art studios an ice gallery and a mini ice-bar that serves delicious cocktails and hot beverages to guests. The tables, chairs, sculptures, and even beds are made of big chunks of ice taken from the Torne River. The resort has recently introduced some sustainable electricity generation methods such as solar panels that reduce the dependence on conventional power sources considerably.
IceHotel 365 is among the most elegant and unique lodging spaces that are a known for its all-ice construction and beautiful interiors. There is a total of 20 suites and 137 guest rooms, each of them decorated with the most magnificent state-of-art furnishings built from ice and snow. The beds, the chairs the walls and tables are all made of transparent crystallized ice that gives the place a surreal glow. Tourists get a choice of wonderful rooms such as Snow Room, Art Suite, Ice Suite, Arctic Bungalow, Northern Lights Room, and Deluxe Suites that offer a panoramic view of the nearby mountain ranges and glaciers.
The rooms have been constructed by a team of 40 architects including Norwegian-Italian Luca Roncoroni who is known for her Victorian inspired designs. The resort uses only renewable energy sources and has partnered with Swedish solar power pioneers Solkompaniet.
IceHotel 365 is strategically placed in the most primitive corner of northern Sweden surrounded by glaciers, and majestic mountains. The resort falls in the Arctic Zone and features a beautiful and magical architecture with its winding staircases, crystal chandeliers, and a frozen art gallery. The neighboring tourist attractions include the Kiruna Church, the Town Hall, Kiruna Folkets Hus, and the Kiruna Mine. These places are about 20 kilometers away from the resort, an hour’s drive at the max.
There is no dearth of things to do here. You can explore the nearby areas and villages or simply enjoy the luxuries of indoor facilities. The place is especially ideal for artists and aspiring sculptors- mingle with other guests in the ice bar, hang out in the snow lounge, or visit the art exhibitions and galleries nearby, you can do it all here. The more adventurous travelers can explore the surrounding forests and hills. You can even go shopping and experience the local culture of Jukkasjärvi. The hotel arranges tours and group excursions to nearby villages. The resort is also known for conducting ice-sports such as skating, dog sledding, snowboarding, and trekking. IceHotel 365 also rents snowmobiles and bikes to guests who want to explore the surroundings a bit.
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The Swedish IceHotel 365, though a very old resort, has managed to make a mark on the tourism industry. The resort has inspired many hotel owners and entrepreneurs to build hotels and igloo-shaped lodgings in different parts of the world. However, nothing beats the authenticity and innovation of IceHotel 365. Covering an area of 1200 square kilometers, the resort includes over 20 suites and 120 fully furnished rooms along with ice galleries, art exhibitions, and an ice bar. For a structure made entirely of ice, the IceHotel 365 is a surprisingly warm and cozy place. The central temperature regulation system is powered by solar panels and other renewable sources of energy.
- The hotel is demolished and rebuilt every year using the water from the Torne River, come springtime the ice is melted and the water returns to its source.
- IceHotel features a different design and theme every year, even the suites are furnished and decorated innovatively. Some of the popular themes include a life-sized ice elephant, a recreation of a 1920s cult horror film, a Frankenstein themed room and a suite with a Parisian rooftop.
- The solar powered cooling technology sustains the resort all year round giving guests the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights and midnight sun.
- The place does not use artificial ice for constructing the structure or any furniture, the chandeliers along feature over a thousand hand-polished crystals!
- The resort was renovated and given a total makeover in 2016 as the designers introduced solar panels, year-round architecture designs and better temperature regulation methods to sustain the place.
- The IceHotel 365 is especially famous for its wine and champagne, do check out the ice bar and lounge when you visit the resort.
- The place does not entertain pets, also only people above 18 years are allowed to stay here.
Very few places around the world can truly claim to be a unique and authentic lodging space, the IceHotel 365 happens to be one of them. The ice hotel is a first of its kind; it was built in 1989 and is still a hit among solo travelers and couples. The very transient nature of the hotel is what makes it so special. Moreover, with the recent developments enable travelers to visit the place anytime during the year!