Tucked in a small village named Jukkasjarvi, 200 km. north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden is the iconic and eclectic Ice Hotel. The hotel is rebuilt each year with snow and ice and is the world’s first ice hotel.
What started as an ice and snow sculpture art course in the village of Jukkasjarvi became a world-renowned and popular tourist destination. In the year 1989, a snow house had been built as the art course venue and they had a shortage of accommodation for the participants and that was how the Ice Hotel came to existence.
Every winter season, ice is cut from the frozen Torne River, one of Europe’s last wild rivers, after which artists, sculptors, and builders work on the mammoth-sized ice blocks. The hotel gets to have a new look and art installation each year.
The Ice Hotel’s mission is to create life enriching moments in the village of Jukkasjarvi and beyond. Travelers can see the captivating canvasses of talented designers from all creative disciplines on the walls, floors, and ceilings of the majestic hotel. The artists who participate in the art installation are of different sets each year with each version of the hotel offering eclectic collection.
Explorers are highly recommended to bring multiple pairs of thermals as they will be sleeping on ice mattresses carved with reindeer skins. They can also get a drink at the Ice Bar or even have their wedding ceremony at the chapel. Greet mornings with an aromatic, steaming hot cup of lingonberry juice followed by a hot sauna to get ready for the day.
Other activities you can enjoy include snow mobile or bus tours to witness the enchanting Northern Lights, reindeer-sledding, dog-sledding, and horseback riding and of course, ice sculpting.
Marvel at some of the chic suites available inside the Ice Hotel. The enchanting Dragon Residence is based on a Mongolian theme, adorned with intricate wall carvings. In the Blue Marine Suite, you can find reindeer skin rugs draped over an ice bed and leave a magical impression that guests have gone to bed inside a whale’s big belly.
The Elliptical Suite on the other hand has a phew. If you want to have a solar system-themed room, try the Cold and Crazy Suite which boasts of a queen size bed with lovely planet sculptures. The Beam Me up Suite features carved trees into the walls with a stunning forest vibe. The other striking room in the Ice Hotel is the Whitewater Suite.
The Rain of Memories Suite is adorned with gigantic raindrop shaped ice sculptures artistically decorated around the room.
The local parish of Jukkasjärvi which is part of the Swedish Church is the one who runs the Ice Church. Following cooperation with the Ice Hotel, the Swedish Church operates the Ice Church as a regular church. And each year, the church is consecrated at the Christmas Day service. During the winter period, around 140 couples get married there with about twenty children being baptized.