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Year-round Icehotel
Year-round Icehotel
The Icehotel 365 is an ice hotel open year-round. Just as its winter season counterpart the Icehotel, the year-round version is located in Jukkasjärvi 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, and offers suites, a bar and art exhibitions.
Photo credit: Asaf Kliger/imagebank.sweden.se

Icehotel – the coolest hotel in the world

Two hundred kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, you’ll find the world-famous Icehotel. Each icy room is an art installation showcasing the designs of some of the world’s most talented artists. For more than 30 years, the hotel – located in the village of Jukkasjärvi – has expanded to become a year-round hub for outdoor activities and inspired dining experiences.

With its breathtaking landscapes and proximity to the northern city of Kiruna, Jukkasjärvi has always been a popular summer destination. However, back in 1989, inspired by the Japanese tradition of ice sculpting, villager Yngve Bergqvist set out to create a wintertime attraction. His ice sculpting workshop on the banks of the Torne River was an instant success.

The following year saw the construction of Jukkasjärvi’s first ice structure, a 60 square metre igloo that served as an art gallery, cleverly dubbed ARTic Hall. Year after year, ARTic Hall was built anew, growing to an impressive 250 square metres. Then, one fateful night, a party armed with reindeer skins and sleeping bags asked if they might spend the night inside its icy walls. Thus, Icehotel – the first ice hotel in the world – was born.

Now, almost 35 years later, Icehotel is one of the world’s top attractions, drawing visitors from around the globe eager to tick this truly unique experience off their bucket lists.

Icehotel keeps sustainability at the forefront of its development as it continues to grow. The hotel is working towards becoming CO2-negative, utilising sustainable building materials, solar panels to regulate temperature and ice sourced directly from the Torne River – returning to its source as it thaws each spring.

Sub-zero craftsmanship and arctic artistry

Each year, as the river freezes over, the Icehotel is reborn. Starting in November, around 30 artists from varying countries and creative disciplines gather in Jukkasjärvi to bring their innovative designs to life. From water to ice to art, the transformation is complete six weeks later. By now, more than 500 artists have contributed to the various incarnations of Icehotel – chiselling, scraping and shaping the ice into works of art reflecting their extraordinary artistic visions.

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Building a hotel of ice

Ice is not the most practical construction material, but an art exhibition and hotel built entirely of natural ice and snow creates one of the most unique overnight experiences in the world. Every winter blocks of ice is harvested from nearby Torne River. The ice is the building material and also the basis for all the artworks.

Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel/imagebank.sweden.se

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Building a hotel of ice

Building a hotel of ice

Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel/imagebank.sweden.se

Building the ICEHOTEL

Building the ICEHOTEL

Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel/imagebank.sweden.se

ICEHOTEL

ICEHOTEL

Photo: Hans-Olof Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

Torne River

Torne River

Photo: Asaf Kliger/imagebank.sweden.se

Winter cabin

Winter cabin

Photo: Asaf Kliger/imagebank.sweden.se

A frosty night’s sleep

Icehotel has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a 60-square-metre igloo. Nowadays, it features around 120 rooms in total, divided into about 55 "cold rooms" and the rest of them are "warm rooms".

Icehotel 365 has 18 rooms where guests can sleep in a glacial masterpiece all year round, while the main hotel has 37 cold rooms, which melt back into the Torne River with the arrival of spring.

In Icehotel 365, you'll find the world-famous Icebar, with every detail down to the glasses carved entirely out of ice. Solar panels are used to keep the building perfectly chilled during the warmer months. Icehotel also features a "warm" section, offering all the amenities you’d expect from a four-star establishment.

To stay in one of the cold rooms is like sleeping the night inside an art installation. Each detail has been carefully designed and painstakingly crafted, respecting the individual character of the ice blocks and using the lighting to enhance the overall effect. Nevertheless, the design doesn’t trump comfort; guests sleep on high-quality beds topped with reindeer skins and thermal sleeping bags. The average temperature inside is between -5 and -8 degrees Celsius (17-23 ºF). Still, you’re greeted each morning with a warm cup of lingonberry juice and a complimentary sauna session to steam off the morning chill.

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Not your ordinary hotel room

Ice sculptures and other artwork made of ice is one of the most popular features at the ICEHOTEL in northern Sweden. Artists come from all over the world to help fill the walls, floors and ceilings of the hotel with unique and ephemeral designs. Even the rooms are works of art.

Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel/imagebank.sweden.se

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Not your ordinary hotel room

Not your ordinary hotel room

Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel/imagebank.sweden.se

Ice bar at ICEHOTEL

Ice bar at ICEHOTEL

Photo: Hans-Olof Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

Ice bar at ICEHOTEL

Ice bar at ICEHOTEL

Photo: Hans-Olof Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

There’s no better place than Icehotel to enjoy a warm meal

The Icehotel restaurant serves traditional dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Ice is, of course, front and centre in the form of table settings and even serving platters. For an experience even more unique, select the ice menu, which features frosty delights such as moose tartar, smoked egg yolk and spruce shoot, served on ice. Another option, if you’re looking to truly indulge, is to book a seat at the Chef’s Table on the Veranda, joining fellow diners at a long wooden table to savour a twelve-course tasting menu – where the chef is present to explain each dish. After dinner, you can choose to have a drink in the lounge or Icebar. They serve an inspired selection of house cocktails, such as the Dog Sled Sour and Sparkling Polar Night.

A short walk from the hotel, you’ll find the old, timber-clad Homestead. Inside this 1768 schoolhouse-turned-restaurant, which also includes a museum, you’ll find a crackling fire and homemade comfort food that will warm your body and soul. In the summertime, this lakeside log cabin is the perfect place for a fika.

Experience the north by dog-sled or create your own ice sculpture

While a stay at Icehotel is an experience in itself, there is also a wide range of tours and activities on offer all year long. Why not embark on a dogsled, horseback or snowmobile adventure or try your hand at ice sculpting under the guidance of a local expert.You can also experience the magic of the incredible natural phenomena on a Northern Lights Safari or take a fishing trip under the Midnight Sun.

How to get to Icehotel

Travelling to Icehotel is easy, with trains and flights running regularly from Stockholm to Kiruna. From there, it’s a short 30-50 minute bus ride to Jukkasjärvi, depending on conditions; the hotel has its own bus stop. In winter, direct charter flights run from London Heathrow Airport to Icehotel.

Make sure to reserve your stay well in advance. This unique hotel experience attracts many visitors from all over the world.