Icehotel is the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow. Founded in 1989, it is reborn in a new guise every winter, in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle.
This winter season there is, alongside the classic Icehotel experience. ICEHOTEL 365. This hotel was built to be a permanent structure that includes luxury suites, each with private relax and bathroom, and art suites, all sculptured by selected artists. There is a large ice bar that serves champagne, and an ice gallery. This ice experience can be visited year-round and is cooled by solar panels during the summer months.
Let us first go inside the ordinary hotel and enjoy its cold beauty – 5 degrees C below zero.
As we walk down the aisle there are corridors on our left, all leading into rooms – the hotel has got 55 rooms and suites. I admire the grand chandeliers, all handmade in ice…
We approach the ice chapel, and the light is amazing. I have to walk slowly to take it all in.
The ice benches are all covered in reindeer skins, and we sit rather comfortably here. Artists made the altar and the decorations, as well as the baptismal font to the left.
The very white material making up the chapel is called snis – probably a merge of snow and ice, as that is what it really is.
The Torne river stretches 520 kilometers, and is the largest of Sweden’s four national rivers -in fact also one of the last untouched rivers in Europe.
It’s the Torne River that provides Icehotel with its ice in winter – and in the summer when the hotel melts, the water returns to its source. Natural ice requires a lot of work – before it is harvested in March, when it has grown its thickest. Months are devoted to maintaining the “ice field” and keeping it clear of snow for the ice to have the best possible conditions to grow.
Each harvested block weighs about two tons. The picture shows one of them standing.
In next post we will enter the new hotel and the cool bar…with drinks served in ice glasses. I will walk you through some of the spectacular art suites as well. I wonder if you would like to check in…? Hope to see you then!