A beautiful winter landscape and a cosy little accommodation – sounds like a great winter holiday, doesn’t it? I’m not talking about a typical ski trip though, I am talking about a very special winter holiday. There’s a very trending type of holiday coming up: many places in the world offer you to stay in beautiful Ice Hotels! You’ll be able to enjoy a very special and especially “cool” atmosphere :) Therefore your Holidayguru has searched for the most impressive ice hotels of the world. And I can already tell you this much: It’s going to be really cool! :)
Unforgettable winter holidays in unique Ice Hotels
It’s that time of the year: From the middle of December to the beginning of January, Ice Hotels all around the world start to open their doors to their visitors. So, finally, it is time for a fascinating, icy winter adventure. The good thing is you can find these unique accommodations not only in the far north, like many of you might have assumed. Some of these hotels are located quite close to you!
I’m sure that some of you will think about spending your next holiday in one of these hotels after you have read my article! Actually I prefer laying on a warm beach, but I definitely want to see one of these hotels with my own eyes. I’m excited what you think about these Ice Hotels. So don’t hesitate and leave me a comment with your opinion! :)
Sweden: Home to the first Ice Hotel
Of course, a huge number of ice hotels are located in Scandinavia, close to the Arctic circle. You can find the biggest and oldest ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi in Sweden. But Norway as well as Finland attract people from all over the world every year with their impressive ice hotels. The oldest of them all is an ice hotel in Sweden’s Lapland, about 124 miles north of the Arctic circle. In order to create something special for tourists, the community of Lapland organised an exhibition of ice sculptures in 1989. This exhibition featured sculptures from a Japanese artist and became extremely successful. So the organisers decided to repeat the event in the following year – this time with an igloo, the “Arctic Hall”. And that’s how the first “ice hotel” was created and the idea to host guests in it was born!
Today you can admire not only one igloo there, but a whole ice hotel complex with around 60 rooms for up to 140 people. Besides the hotel itself, you can also find a church made of ice and a replica of London’s Globe Theatre. Another impressive highlight is the ice bar where you can drink your vodka out of spectacular ice glasses! Amazing idea to serve a vodka :)
Cosy Nights despite minus 7 degrees
A little smaller but just as impressive is the ice hotel you find in Alta, Norway. This is where the Sorrisnava Igloo Hotel is located. You can stay here from the end of January to the beginning of April. Besides their “normal” rooms they offer special igloo suites as well as a chapel made of ice and a private ice bar. Those of you who love wellness treats can enjoy a special bath in one of the outdoor whirlpools. A great feeling, when the air around you is icy cold and the water in the pool is hot!
Another very popular Ice Hotel is the Snow Hotel Kirkenes in the little town of Kirkenes, 10 minutes away from the Russian border. This ice hotel was built in 2006 and consists of 20 snow suites. Every suite is furnished in a unique style so all suites look completely different from each other. The beds are not completely made of ice, though. There are comfortable mattresses that are covered with special warming overlays to keep the guests warm at night. So need to fear the cold :) During your stay at this ice hotel you should take a closer look at the fascinating ice sculptures and if you want to, you can get a wake-up call by an Aurora Borealis wake-up-service. And if you need a little more action, then ask for the husky-tour that the hotel is offering to its guests. It’s definitely worth to discover the beautiful surroundings.
How about a cool marriage… in a church made of ice?
Since we are already talking about Ice Hotels in Scandinavia, we can now take a closer look at Finland. Here, we can find some more spectacular ice hotels, such as the Arctic SnowHotel, located approximately 18 miles from the Arctic circle. This hotel welcomes its guests from December until the end of April and also offers cool igloos made of glass to stay in. Their most popular attractions are the impressive church only made of ice, an ice restaurant and a sauna made of ice. Hard to believe, isn’t it? It is the only snow sauna in whole Scandinavia. Here you can see a picture of the glass igloos:
You want to see more ice hotels? Tervetuloa (finnish: Welcome), to another two Ice Hotels. One of them is the very fascinating Snow Village in Finland’s Kittilä. This ice hotel that is located the farthest north and it is not only open for guests but also for visitors to take a quick sightseeing tour. Every year, around 1.5 million tons of snow are used to build this hotel, along with around 300,000 kilos of ice.
The last ice hotel Scandinavia has to offer is the Lumi Linna Snow Castle, right at the northern point of the Gulf of Bothnia. It is the biggest snow castle in the world and has a beautiful suite specially designed for honeymooners. Every year students create it differently. Speaking of weddings, there is also a chapel made of ice for wedding ceremonies. Up to 100 visitors can fit into the chapel. Wouldn’t this be a nice way to get married?
Canada is attracting with a fairytale castle made of ice
Well, Scandinavia is not the only place in the world to find impressive ice hotels. In the Franco-Canadian province of Québec, a very special ice hotel welcomes its guests. The Hôtel de Glace is the only ice hotel in the whole continent of North America. After almost five weeks of construction, the hotel is ready for its first guests who can spend their nights in a room with spectacular designs, an ice bar and a fireplace. The more comfortable option is the suite that enchants you with great adornments carved into the snow walls and a marvellous private sauna area. To stay in one of these rooms depends of course on how much you want to spend for them (a night at the Hôtel de Glace costs around £154 and more).
The outdoor temperature can easily drop to minus 15 degrees, that’s why guests have to attend a crash course on how to survive in the cold before they can check into their rooms. The course teaches everyone how to warm up quickly in a sleeping bag and how to prevent your glasses from freezing to the night table, things that we probably never thought about before! Those who love the idea of adventures and want to feel like an explorer at the North Pole should definitely bring a thick coat!
Igloo villages in Germany, Andorra and Switzerland
Even Germany offers one of these very special accommodations. At Germany’s highest point, on the Zugspitze in the south of the country, you can not only find a stunning view but also a small igloo village right in the heart of the most popular ski area in Germany. The igloo village became super popular in a very short time. You can choose between a standard room, a romantic room or even a romantic suite or family suite. Each of the ice hotel rooms offers a unique, impressive design.
Similar accommodations from the same owner “Iglu Dorf” can be found in Switzerland, in Davos, Engelsberg, Gstaad and in Grandvalira, Andorra. By the way, the small igloo village in Andorra is located only two hours away from Barcelona, an interesting combination with high potential! ;) In the city of Davos-Klosters the accommodations provide a whirlpool and a sauna. Here you can see another example of an splendid hot tub area in the igloo village in Zermatt which opened its doors already on 5th of December:
Which of these fascinating ice hotels is your favourite? Hard to say, if you’d ask me, I can’t even decide where I want to spend my first night. But I’m really intrigued by the hot tub in the snow :) Maybe I can find a nice bargain for one of these hotels? I’ll have a look right now! ;)
Your Holidayguru :)