Sleeping on blocks of ice in a room where the temperature is as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit may not be everyone’s idea of a holiday, but it’s certainly something to write home about.
The ICEHOTEL, located 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle in a village in northern Sweden, claims to be the world’s first hotel made from ice and snow. When the mercury plummets in November, a team of workers starts building and decorating the 60,000-square-foot structure using more than 30,000 tons of ice and snow from a nearby river.
Some of the world’s best ice sculptors descend upon the hotel to build beautiful creations that decorate rooms and the lobby. Arriving guests are put through a crash “survival course” on how to stay warm in their frigid rooms and are given sleeping bags designed for temperatures as low as minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit. If paying up to $750 a night to sleep on ice sounds crazy, guests can opt for a room in one of the hotel’s more permanent and warmer chalets.
Either way, there are plenty of activities: visitors can see the Northern Lights nearly every night, learn ice sculpting and experience a dogsled. While, the hotel recently opened its reindeer skin-covered doors for its 24th season, prospective guests better hurry. By mid-April, the hotel will literally start melting away.
JENS ERIK GOULD
Jens Erik Gould is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News.