Sara Thopson - May 27, 2008

Out of all the luxury possibilities of staying in hotels around the world, few would probably think of staying in a block of ice. However, many consider this experience to be worthwhile as it is so unique and is becoming a real trend in Scandinavia. Now, Finland, Sweden and Norway can be proud of their ice hotels. The hotels are rebuilt every year after melting around spring time. Once reconstruction begins, architects and special artists are invited to design the interior and exterior of each hotel. Indeed, it is like living in frozen art.


For obvious reasons, guests need to use facilities such as showers and saunas in nearby regular hotel surroundings. In order to survive the temperatures, the beds are layered with reindeer skin and most guests sleep in thermal sleeping bags. Similarly if the conditions become too much to bear, then they are offered the opportunity to move to a normal hotel. After all, it is supposed to be a luxury tourism experience, not a prison sentence.


The ice hotels are not cheap and prices can reach up to EUR 177 per night. This is why most guests stay just for the one night. Apart from the expensive, there is the comfort factor and many just want to be able to say they have survived the ice hotel and stayed there without actually feeling the need to make themselves comfortable while there. There are other specialties offered by the ice hotels of Scandinavia: Firstly, the food is mostly served on, unsurprisingly, ice and consists of a wide range of Scandinavian specialties. Seafood and special kinds of shellfish are extremely common. The ice hotels also offer special events, such as weddings for their guests who wish to make staying there an extremely unique experience. Indeed, saying that you got married in an ice hotel can be deemed very impressive.


Ice hotels are becoming more and more common in Scandinavian countries. Perhaps the most famous is in northern Sweden, precisely in Jukkasjarvi. The Finnish representative is in Kemi and the most southern of all is in Hunderfossen in Norway. However, due to the fact that the hotels are constantly being built and rebuilt, location is not really an issue.


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