By now, most of us have heard of or seen photos of an ice hotel. The very first one, which still exists, is located in a small town called Jukkasjärvi in Sweden. The Ice Hotel was first constructed in 1990 and has been serving travelers who like to experience the unusual for twenty-two years now. Nowadays there are several of these unique and beautiful structures in the world, and though I don’t think I’d ever want to stay in one, I find them fascinating.
Here are some facts about these intriguing edifices that I found while perusing the Internet:
- - Ice hotels are not year-round buildings. They are reconstructed each year at the start of winter and taken down in the spring.
- - Basically, ice hotels are giant, elaborate igloos, each made of huge blocks of ice drawn from nearby rivers. Some employ the use of metal framing.
- - Most of the furniture, fixtures, and artwork that adorn the hotels are also created from ice and compacted snow.
- - The Jukkasjärvi Ice Hotel boasts as its centerpiece the ABSOLUT ICEBAR, where the bar and the glasses are all made of ice.
- - Luggage areas and restrooms are pretty much the only places where you’ll find heat.
- - Fiber optics are used throughout the structure, giving it that cool, neon look.
- - Temperatures within the ice hotels run from about 15 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Many guests cannot make it through the night, though, as sleeping in “mummy bags” atop mattresses and reindeer skins does not quite offer them as much warmth as they’d like.
- - During the day, the Ice Hotel opens itself to day trippers who’d like to marvel at the beauty of the magnificent structure.
- - A night’s stay in the Ice Hotel in Sweden averages $169, with packages that include an ice sculpting class and airport transportation running around $800.
Ice hotels can be found in several places, usually within the Arctic Circle, and each one of them is unique not only compared to one another, but to itself year after year. Aside from the original Ice Hotel in Sweden, these frigid yet beautiful lodges can also be found in Finland, Norway, and Canada. There’s also an ice hotel in Romania. Again, though I don’t think I could ever make it through the night myself in one of these places, I’d love to see one in person!