The popularity of Game of Thrones, one of the most successful series in the world, just isn’t letting up any time soon! Although fans have a very long wait ahead of them until the launch of the next season (which isn’t coming out until 2019!), the hype and the tourism generated by it knows no bounds. There’s even a Game of Thrones hotel that’s just opened up! I’ve taken it upon myself to have a closer look behind the scenes at this mind-blowing place…
Waking up the glowing eyes of a White Walker might sound like a nightmare Jon Snow would have, but in actual fact there is a place in the world where it becomes reality! Welcome to the Game of Thrones Hotel in Finnish Lapland, a place that will have every Game of Thrones fan booking their next flight to Scandinavia no doubt! ;)
The Game of Thrones Hotel – Behind the scenes
The sculptures are sometimes so realistic that things can almost get a bit eerie! But there’s no denying the workmanship that went into creating this incredible ice hotel. Rooms really are one-of-a-kind works of art and the sculptures and statues were all crafted by artists from Russia, Poland, Latvia and Ukraine, countries that are no strangers to bitterly cold winters (much like the far north of Westeros!).
Welcome to the north of Westeros…
The Game of Thrones Hotel has been a collaboration with HBO Nordic inspired by the winter cold and the massive popularity of the cult series. It’s the first of its kind. You’ll be able to admire life-sized versions of the Hall of Faces from Braavos, dragons fierce enough to make any Targaryen proud, and even the Iron Throne itself. And it’s all carved from pure ice, which definitely adds an other-worldly atmosphere…
The cool thing is that even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still have a look around and admire the artworks. The hotel is part of the Snow Village hotel complex, where you’ll pay a €15 entrance fee to look around the Game of Thrones hotel and maybe even stop off for a quick drink at the bar. If you want to experience the real deal, then you should book yourselves in for a 3-course meal at the Ice Restaurant where you’ll be eating in -5°C temperatures or – even better still – actually book yourself a night at the Game of Thrones Hotel! A night in one of the snow suites costs anywhere between €294 – €539 depending on what time of year you travel and how many people are going. Up to five Game of Thrones fans can spend the night in a suite under the watchful eyes of White Walkers, wolves and bears.
Where is the Game of Thrones Hotel?
Now you’re probably asking yourselves where the Game of Thrones Hotel actually is. Well, unfortunately, it’s not necessarily somewhere you can just easily pop over to for the weekend. The Snow Village is situated in a village in Finnish Lapland called Kittilä, situated 1,000 kilometres from Helsinki. When you’re this far up north, you’ll realise that this place truly is a winter wonderland – there’s no other place that’s quite as magical as Lapland! The perfect place for a Game of Thrones Hotel, no? You can either reach Kittilä by car or by taking a 1½-hour domestic flight from Helsinki. In the area you’ll also find Rovaniemi, also more widely known as being the true Santa Claus village. A fantastic opportunity to see two bucket-list destinations on the same trip!
The Snow Village itself has also been turning heads for years now. Artists from all over the world have been coming here to the north of Finland to carve and create unique hotel rooms and artworks. The hotel is open every year from October to April when the weather’s at its coldest.
Venture to the Lands of (almost) Always Winter!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore Game of Thrones fan or not – Lapland is still an unmissable destination in its own right and the Snow Village is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make the most of the long wait until the next season and get exploring Game of Thrones shooting locations or head on an adventure to Lapland to see the Game of Thrones hotel. I’ve picked out some extra Travel Magazine articles as some extra inspiration for good measure. :)
Photo credit: Lapland Hotels SnowVillage, Tomi Kurttila
Some articles while you’re waiting for the next series…