Are you tired of going to the same old destinations for a holiday? Do you tend to get tired of visiting the beach for the summer vacations? Then how about going for a complete change of holiday atmosphere?
Instead of spending your vacation under the hot sun, bask in the snow covered landscapes and spend your days in one of the most naturally made hotels on earth. Too good to be true? Well, that’s exactly what the icy land of Sweden has in store for you.
The Ice Hotel in Sweden is touted to be the first hotel of its kind in the world. Made completely of nothing but ice and snow, the hotel is situated in the small village of Jukkasjärvi.
The highlight of the hotel is the fact that the it stands only for a few months in winter. Come summer and the hotel melts away to feed the Torne River which is the original source of ice blocks for the hotel in the first place.
The Jukkasjärvi village can be reached by flights that stop at Kiruna or Stockholm. Cabs transport the passengers the rest of the journey with the last few miles being traveled on husky sledges.
Receiving an astounding 35000 guests every year, the entire hotel is open to the public only byJanuary (autumn) while the earlier months see different phases of the hotel being opened one after the other (between December and April).
The ice blocks and snow that are removed from the frozen Torne River for construction are stored till they are needed.
Everything from the pillars on which the hotel stands, the walls, rooms and the roof to even the furniture and the cutlery used for dining are made of ice. In addition to all the ice that goes into building the hotel and its interiors, an extra amount of ice and snow are kept preserved for the construction of the next ice hotel.
The hotel has a provision to house more than 100 guests and offer standard snow rooms and Ice Rooms as well as spacious ice suites for the visitors. Each of the hotel’s suites is designed with a different perspective and the theme of the hotel itself changes every year so the next time you visit this icy marvel, it is bound to look different.
The architectural challenge of the hotel promotes both budding artists and experts from around the world who submit their design ideas every year. The prize winning entry gets to be the underlying layout of the hotel and its interiors.
The beds in the rooms are needless to say, built of ice blocks as well and thick reindeer hides are used as bedspreads along with double sleeping bags which provide comfort from the sub zero temperatures (-5C to -8C) inside the hotel.
If you are averse to spending the night surrounded by ice, you can opt for a warmer accommodation which is situated right beside the ice hotel.
Apart from suites, the hotel also consists of a reception area, a main hall, an ice bar (called the Absolute Icebar) and a church.
Various ice sculptures and ice arts line the different pathways and the front hallway is an impressive space which boasts of a humongous ice chandelier.
The bar itself is a fantastic display of skilled craftsmanship complete with a vaulted roof, plenty of sculptured seats, and a dazzling see through display of hot and soft drinks.
The Icehotel restaurant consists of a dining room in addition to a Champagne Bar and a secluded bar down at the basement. Breakfasts and lunches are served in buffet style while the dinner may alternate between a buffet or a set meal.
Activities are aplenty in and outside the hotel. If the wonder of wandering through the hotel tends to bore you out, opt for a number of activities ranging from sledging, cross country skiing and snowmobiling to ice driving, sculpting and reindeer safaris which give you the feeling of being Santa Claus.
Well there you are. All you need to know about one of the most magnificent hotels on earth. Can’t wait to get there? Well you would have to wait till December to travel to this winter wonderland.
It is best advised to book accommodation prior to your visit, because you don’t want to make the entire trip and come back without getting a chance to spend a night or two in this fairytale castle.