There are many incredible places to stay in Sweden. Whether you want a high class modern hotel with all the conveniences, room service and a coffee machine at your bedside – or – if you want a place closer to nature you can hold up in a cabin deep in the woods amongst the moss and wildlife. Though you may have dipped your toe in one or both of these types of accommodation not many people can declare that they spent time in a hotel made of ice. Though it may seem like something out of a fairy tale (something which many things in Sweden manage to do) this is an actual place you can visit. The great minds of Swedish design and architecture have come together here to take advantage of both the cold climate and the unlimited sculpture possibilities that come with ice. Inspired by the techniques of Japanese artists the long cold winters of northern Sweden allow for a creation that unless you are Inuit, you aren’t going to come across very often.
How they Make It Happen
When the winter comes, the flow of the Torne river becomes steadier until the area becomes quiet and coated in a white blanket. Using nature to their advantage the creators here take water from the river and mix it with the arriving snow to create a combination they call ‘snice’. This mix of snow and ice becomes their medium as they spray liters of the stuff into molds that go to create the detailed sculptures and functional components of the hotel. The igloo like dome becomes a strong foundation as an enclosure and they blast more snice into the rooms for the artists to get busy, after a couple months the hotel is ready for visitors.
You can Really Sleep on Ice
The Ice hotel isn’t an elaborate prank and it definitely has ice rooms, but it also has warm hotel rooms for those who aren’t quite brave enough to sleep at subzero temperatures. The ice rooms are exactly that, enclosures made of ice with a bed made from ice. Your bedding is made from reindeer skin and sleeping bags made for extreme temperatures are also provided but you will need to bring your own thermal clothing for your stay. Its definitely a one of a kind experience, but you don’t have to bear the cold for the entire duration, in fact they recommend you stay in their warm rooms after you’ve had the initial experience.
What Else Is There to Do?
Other than the spectacular ice designs and of course the option to stay in an oversized igloo, there are a series of events that occur around the town that you can get stuck into. Walks and expeditions, sleigh rides or tours on snowmobiles are all viable options. There are plenty of natural sites here as well as breathtaking phenomena like the northern lights. Whether you want to try your hand at sculpting yourself or simply relax with a good meal amongst the Swedish trees, Ice hotel now offers an experience all year round, so you don’t have to wait a moment longer.