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Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Arrival At The ICEHOTEL In Lapland, Sweden


by Corine Heinz



Welcome to the enchanting world of Lapland, Sweden – a winter wonderland that captures the hearts of travelers with its breathtaking landscapes and unique experiences. Nestled within this snowy paradise lies the iconic ICEHOTEL, a marvel of creativity and innovation.


For adventurous souls seeking a truly unforgettable winter getaway, the ICEHOTEL offers an extraordinary experience like no other. This hotel stands out from the rest, not only for its stunning location but also for its intriguing concept. Every year, a team of talented artists and designers collaborates to recreate the hotel entirely from ice and snow, making it a true masterpiece of icy architecture.


As you step foot into this frozen oasis, you can’t help but be awestruck by the intricate ice sculptures, the ethereal lighting, and the delicate artwork that adorns every corner. The ICEHOTEL is a testament to human creativity and resilience, showcasing the boundless possibilities of ice as a unique building material.


But the ICEHOTEL experience is not just about admiring the beautiful artistry around you. It’s about immersing yourself in a truly immersive and immersive environment, where you can sleep in rooms made entirely of ice, savor exquisite local cuisine, and embark on thrilling Arctic adventures.


Whether you are a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking an out-of-the-ordinary travel experience, the ICEHOTEL in Lapland promises to be an unforgettable journey into the heart of winter magic. So bundle up, grab your warmest gear, and prepare for an adventure like no other as we delve into the icy wonders of the ICEHOTEL in Lapland, Sweden.


Traveling to Lapland

Getting to Lapland is part of the adventure itself. The region is located in the northernmost part of Sweden, bordering Norway, Finland, and Russia. The easiest way to reach Lapland is by flying into Kiruna Airport, which offers regular domestic and international flights. From there, you can arrange transportation to the ICEHOTEL, which is located just a short distance away.


Alternatively, if you prefer a more scenic journey, you can opt for a train ride to Kiruna. The overnight journey from Stockholm to Kiruna allows you to admire the picturesque landscapes of the Swedish countryside before arriving in the midst of Lapland’s pristine wilderness.


Once you’ve arrived in Lapland, transportation options vary depending on the season. During the winter, when the ICEHOTEL is open, there are regular shuttle buses available to transport guests to and from the hotel. These shuttles provide a convenient way to travel between the airport, the ICEHOTEL, and other nearby attractions.


If you prefer a more independent means of transportation, you can also rent a car and explore the region at your own pace. This option gives you the freedom to venture further into the wilderness and discover hidden gems along the way.


It’s important to note that Lapland experiences extreme weather conditions during the winter months, so be sure to pack appropriate winter clothing and gear. This includes warm layers, insulated boots, hats, gloves, and scarves to protect yourself from the sub-zero temperatures.


With your travel arrangements in order, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to the magical land of Lapland. Prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the region and the enchantment that awaits you at the ICEHOTEL.


Discovering the ICEHOTEL

Stepping into the ICEHOTEL is like entering a frozen fairy tale. The moment you set foot inside, you are greeted by a world of ice and snow that seems straight out of a dream. The main hall, known as the Icehotel 365, is the heart of the hotel and serves as a stunning showcase of ice artistry.


As you explore the halls, you’ll find yourself surrounded by unique ice sculptures, each one meticulously crafted by talented artists. These intricate works of frozen art range from delicate ice flowers to towering ice structures, all illuminated by soft, ethereal lighting that casts a magical glow across the room.


One of the most impressive aspects of the ICEHOTEL is that it changes every year. The entire hotel is completely rebuilt using fresh ice from the nearby Torne River at the start of each winter season. This means that no two visits to the ICEHOTEL are ever the same, offering a truly unique experience every time.


Aside from the Icehotel 365, there are also several additional ice rooms and ice suites that guests can choose to stay in. These rooms are meticulously designed and furnished with ice beds topped with reindeer hides, ensuring a cozy and comfortable night’s sleep in sub-zero temperatures.


Another notable feature of the ICEHOTEL is the Ice Chapel, a breathtaking place of worship crafted entirely out of ice. This enchanting venue offers a truly unique setting for couples looking to exchange their vows in an ethereal winter wonderland.


Whether you’re staying overnight or just visiting for the day, the ICEHOTEL offers a myriad of activities and experiences to captivate your senses. From ice sculpting workshops to guided tours of the hotel, there’s always something exciting to discover and explore.


As you wander through the corridors of the ICEHOTEL, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder and amazement at the creative mastery that surrounds you. It’s a true testament to the human imagination and the endless possibilities of ice as a medium for artistic expression.


Next, we’ll delve deeper into the mesmerizing ice rooms that await you at the ICEHOTEL, offering a truly one-of-a-kind accommodation experience that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.


Checking into the ICEHOTEL

Checking into the ICEHOTEL is an experience like no other. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff who will guide you through the process of settling in and preparing for your icy adventure.


First and foremost, you’ll be given a brief orientation about the hotel and its unique features. The staff will explain the necessary precautions and guidelines for staying in an icy environment. Safety is a top priority at the ICEHOTEL, and they ensure that guests are provided with the proper equipment and knowledge to stay warm and comfortable during their stay.


Next, you’ll be escorted to your ice room or suite. Each room is a masterpiece, featuring intricate ice sculptures, unique designs, and a bed made entirely of ice. Don’t worry – you won’t be sleeping directly on the ice. The beds are carefully crafted with a layer of reindeer hides and thermal sleeping bags, ensuring a cozy and comfortable night’s sleep.


One thing to keep in mind is that the temperature inside the ICEHOTEL is constantly maintained at around -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) to preserve the integrity of the ice structures. However, there are warm dressing rooms and hot saunas available for guests to use before and after their stay in the ice rooms.


Before settling in for the night, take a moment to admire the craftsmanship and artistry that surrounds you. Each room has its own unique theme and design, ranging from whimsical fairytale motifs to modern and abstract concepts. The attention to detail is truly remarkable, with every surface adorned with beautiful ice sculptures and carvings.


After marveling at the icy wonders, it’s time to cozy up and relax in your ice bed. The combination of the peaceful surroundings and the gentle flickering of candlelight creates an ambiance that is both serene and magical. Curl up in your sleeping bag, snuggle into the reindeer hides, and drift off to sleep in the embrace of the icy world.


Waking up in the ICEHOTEL is a surreal experience. As the morning light filters through the ice-cold walls, you’ll be greeted by a stunning view of the frozen landscape. After a restful night’s sleep, make your way to the warm dressing room where you can freshen up and enjoy a hot breakfast in the cozy lounge area.


Checking into the ICEHOTEL is not just about finding a place to rest your head; it’s an immersive experience that allows you to become a part of a frozen masterpiece. So embrace the novelty, embrace the adventure, and prepare to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Exploring the Ice Rooms

One of the highlights of staying at the ICEHOTEL is the opportunity to explore the mesmerizing ice rooms and suites. Each room is a unique work of art, meticulously crafted by talented artists and designers, showcasing their creativity and imagination.


As you venture through the corridors adorned with intricate ice sculptures, it’s impossible not to be captivated by the beauty and attention to detail in every room. From the moment you step inside, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of ice and snow, a true winter paradise.


Each ice room has its own distinct theme, ranging from nature-inspired designs like Arctic flora and fauna to fantastical concepts that transport you to mythical realms. The use of lighting adds an ethereal touch, illuminating the ice sculptures and creating a magical ambiance.


While the rooms may be made entirely of ice, they are designed with comfort in mind. The beds are adorned with warm reindeer hides and cozy sleeping bags that keep you snug and comfortable throughout the night. It’s an extraordinary feeling to drift off to sleep surrounded by ice, knowing that you are part of a truly unique experience.


As you explore the different rooms, take the time to appreciate the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. Marvel at the delicate ice carvings, the intricate patterns, and the fluidity of the frozen art. Each room tells a story, offering a glimpse into the imagination and passion of the artists behind them.


While the ice rooms provide a remarkable accommodation experience, it’s important to note that staying in them is not mandatory. The ICEHOTEL also offers warm accommodations known as their “Kaamos Rooms” for those who prefer a cozier setting. These rooms provide a comfortable and cozy escape, allowing guests to experience the ICEHOTEL without staying in the ice rooms.


Whether you choose to stay in an ice room or opt for a warm room, exploring the ice rooms at the ICEHOTEL is a must. It’s an opportunity to witness the incredible fusion of art and nature, and to appreciate the sheer creativity that goes into transforming frozen water into a breathtaking masterpiece.


Next, we’ll delve into another fascinating aspect of the ICEHOTEL experience – the magnificent ice sculptures that grace the halls of this extraordinary hotel.


Experiencing the Ice Sculptures

One of the most captivating aspects of the ICEHOTEL experience is the breathtaking ice sculptures that adorn the halls and rooms. These magnificent frozen artworks invite you into a world that blends beauty, imagination, and the natural splendor of ice.


As you navigate through the corridors, you’ll encounter a myriad of ice sculptures in various shapes and sizes. From intricate animals to intricate human figures, each sculpture tells its own story and captivates the imagination. The translucent quality of the ice adds an ethereal touch, creating a mesmerizing interplay of light and ice.


The artists behind the ice sculptures are masters of their craft, skillfully transforming blocks of ice into works of art. Each sculpture is painstakingly carved and chiseled, with every detail meticulously crafted by hand. The level of skill and precision that goes into creating these ice masterpieces is awe-inspiring.


One of the unique aspects of the ice sculptures at the ICEHOTEL is that they change over time. As the ice slowly melts and reforms, the sculptures evolve, giving them a sense of impermanence and fleeting beauty. This ephemeral quality adds to the allure and sense of wonder surrounding the ice sculptures.


While admiring the ice sculptures is a remarkable experience in itself, the ICEHOTEL also offers interactive ice sculpting workshops. These workshops allow you to try your hand at carving ice under the guidance of experienced artists. It’s a chance to tap into your own creative spirit and leave your mark in the world of ice artistry.


Immersing yourself in the world of ice sculptures at the ICEHOTEL is a sensory experience that will leave you in awe. The combination of the cold, the dazzling ice, and the intricate artistry is truly captivating. It’s an opportunity to witness the beauty and versatility of ice as a medium, and to appreciate the talent and skill of the artists who bring it to life.


Next, we’ll dive into the thrilling Arctic adventures that await you during your stay at the ICEHOTEL, offering a chance to explore the stunning surroundings and embrace the wonders of Lapland.


Enjoying Arctic Adventures

At the ICEHOTEL in Lapland, the adventure doesn’t end with the breathtaking ice art and enchanting accommodations. The surrounding Arctic wilderness offers a myriad of exhilarating activities and experiences for you to enjoy during your stay.


One of the most popular activities is dog sledding, where you can harness your own team of huskies and glide through the snowy landscapes. Feel the rush of the cold wind against your face as the eager dogs pull you through the pristine wilderness, creating a truly unforgettable experience.


For those seeking a thrilling winter sport, ice driving is a must-try. Hop behind the wheel of a specially modified car and test your skills on the icy tracks. Learn how to control the vehicle in slippery conditions and feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate through the challenging terrain.


If you prefer a more leisurely adventure, snowshoeing allows you to explore the snowy landscapes at your own pace. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture out into the wilderness, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the untouched nature. Enjoy the serenity as you walk through forests blanketed in snow, with only the sound of your footsteps breaking the silence.


No trip to Lapland would be complete without experiencing the thrill of ice fishing. Drill a hole in the frozen lake, drop your line, and wait for the excitement of a nibble. It’s a peaceful and meditative activity that allows you to connect with nature and perhaps even catch your own dinner.


For those seeking an adrenaline-pumping activity, ice climbing offers a unique challenge. Put on your crampons and scale the icy walls of frozen waterfalls. With experienced guides to ensure your safety, you can push your limits and experience the rush of conquering the ice.


These are just a few of the many Arctic adventures that await you during your stay at the ICEHOTEL. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled experiences or serene moments in nature, Lapland offers something for everyone. It’s a chance to embrace the winter wonderland and create lifelong memories in the breathtaking surroundings of the Arctic.


After a day filled with Arctic adventures, it’s time to indulge in the delectable flavors of the local cuisine, which we will explore next.


Indulging in Local Cuisine

When it comes to culinary delights, Lapland offers a unique and enticing array of flavors that reflect the region’s rich cultural heritage and pristine natural surroundings. From traditional Sami dishes to modern interpretations of local ingredients, indulging in the local cuisine at the ICEHOTEL is a treat for the taste buds.


A signature ingredient in Lapland cuisine is reindeer meat, which is lean, tender, and incredibly flavorful. Try dishes like reindeer stew or sautéed reindeer served with lingonberry sauce for a taste of the region’s culinary heritage. The meat is often cooked slow and low, resulting in succulent, melt-in-your-mouth flavors that are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Another Lappish delicacy is Arctic char, a fish found in the region’s pristine lakes and rivers. Known for its delicate flavor and firm flesh, Arctic char can be enjoyed in various dishes, from pan-seared fillets to smoked char served on rye bread. The fish is often prepared simply to allow its natural flavor to shine through.


For a hearty and warming meal, try the traditional Sami dish called suovas. This hearty, smoked reindeer meat is thinly sliced and served with a side of traditional flatbread. The combination of the smoky, savory flavors with the crispy flatbread creates a delicious and satisfying meal that is deeply rooted in Sami culture.


When it comes to traditional sweets and desserts, don’t miss out on trying gáhkku. This traditional Sami bread is made from wheat or barley flour and can be sweet or savory. Enjoy a slice of gáhkku drizzled with butter and sprinkled with sugar for a delightful treat that showcases the simplicity and rustic charm of Lappish cuisine.


To complement your meal, sip on a hot cup of lingonberry juice, a refreshing and tangy beverage made from the region’s beloved lingonberries. These small, tart berries grow wild in the forests of Lapland and are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.


The ICEHOTEL embraces local and sustainable food practices, sourcing ingredients from local producers and incorporating traditional flavors into their menus. The talented chefs at the ICEHOTEL take pride in crafting dishes that celebrate the bountiful offerings of Lapland’s nature and showcase the culinary treasures of the region.


Indulging in the local cuisine at the ICEHOTEL is not just a culinary experience; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the flavors and traditions of Lapland, creating a deeper connection to the rich cultural heritage of the region.


After savoring the delectable flavors of Lappish cuisine, it’s time to treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation at the ICEHOTEL Spa, which we will delve into next.


Relaxing in the ICEHOTEL Spa

After a day filled with Arctic adventures and indulging in local cuisine, it’s time to unwind and rejuvenate at the ICEHOTEL Spa. Nestled within the icy confines of the hotel, this serene oasis offers a range of treatments and experiences designed to relax both the body and mind.


As you enter the spa, you’re greeted by a tranquil ambiance and a gentle scent of essential oils. The spa features a combination of warm and cold areas, allowing you to experience the contrast between the icy surroundings and the cozy warmth inside.


One of the unique experiences at the ICEHOTEL Spa is the opportunity to indulge in a traditional Swedish sauna. Step into the sauna and feel the dry heat enveloping your body, easing muscle tension and releasing toxins through perspiration. This ritual is deeply rooted in Swedish culture and offers a truly authentic and invigorating experience.


For a truly unforgettable experience, why not try a relaxing ice bath? Immerse yourself in a pool filled with ice-cold water, allowing the icy temperature to refresh and revitalize your senses. The contrast between the extreme cold and the warmth that follows creates a stimulating and rejuvenating effect.


The ICEHOTEL Spa also offers a variety of massage and body treatments that combine traditional techniques with elements of the Arctic environment. Indulge in a soothing hot stone massage, where heated stones are placed on key points of the body to promote deep relaxation and release muscle tension.


To further enhance your spa experience, take advantage of the unique facilities such as the ice shower and the snow room. These invigorating features provide a refreshing and cooling effect on the body, helping to improve circulation and leaving you feeling re-energized.


Immersing yourself in the ICEHOTEL Spa is not just about physical relaxation; it’s a holistic experience that nourishes both the body and soul. The combination of Arctic-inspired treatments, the serene environment, and the interplay between ice and warmth creates a truly rejuvenating experience.


After a blissful spa session, it’s time to venture out into the night sky in search of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring displays – the mesmerizing Northern Lights, which we will explore next.


Witnessing the Northern Lights

One of the most captivating and sought-after natural phenomena in Lapland is the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. The ICEHOTEL provides the perfect setting to witness this mesmerizing light show, as you find yourself surrounded by pristine wilderness and optimal viewing conditions.


The Northern Lights are caused by solar particles colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere, creating vibrant and ethereal displays of light. The result is a dance of colorful ribbons, arcs, and swirls that illuminate the night sky.


The ICEHOTEL offers various opportunities to witness this enchanting spectacle. From cozying up in warm, outdoor jacuzzis to embarking on guided tours, you can find the perfect vantage point to marvel at the dancing lights.


During your stay, keep an eye on the weather forecast and the activity level of the Northern Lights, as both factors play a significant role in your chances of witnessing this breathtaking phenomenon. Clear skies and increased solar activity increase the likelihood of a vibrant display.


Whether you choose to venture out on a guided tour or simply step outside the ICEHOTEL, the anticipation and thrill of waiting for the Northern Lights to appear create an electric atmosphere. As the sky darkens and the lights begin their ethereal dance, you’ll be transfixed by the natural beauty unfolding above you.


Photography enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to capture the Northern Lights in all their glory. The ICEHOTEL provides photography workshops specifically tailored to capturing the intricate details and colors of this celestial spectacle.


Witnessing the Northern Lights is an experience that will leave you in awe of the natural world. The sheer scale and beauty of this phenomenon make it a bucket-list-worthy adventure, and staying at the ICEHOTEL offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of the Northern Lights’ playground.


As your journey at the ICEHOTEL comes to an end, you’ll carry with you memories of icy wonders, Arctic adventures, and the ethereal magic of the Northern Lights. This enchanting destination in Lapland, Sweden, truly embodies the beauty and mystique of winter, leaving a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of experiencing it.



Visiting the ICEHOTEL in Lapland, Sweden is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that plunges you into a world of icy wonders and magical adventures. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be transported into a realm of ethereal beauty and extraordinary craftsmanship.


Exploring the ICEHOTEL is like stepping into a frozen fairy tale, with intricate ice sculptures, mesmerizing ice rooms, and a sense of wonder around every corner. Witnessing the artistry and creativity that goes into building this icy masterpiece is truly awe-inspiring.


Immersing yourself in the local cuisine allows you to savor the unique flavors of Lapland, from reindeer meat to Arctic char, in traditional and modern dishes that celebrate the region’s culinary heritage. Indulge in the local flavors and embrace the richness of Lappish cuisine.


Relaxation awaits at the ICEHOTEL Spa, where you can unwind in a serene environment and experience the contrast of warmth and cold within the icy setting. The spa treatments, saunas, and ice bath rejuvenate both the body and mind, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.


As night falls, venture out into the wilderness to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The ICEHOTEL’s prime location and optimal viewing conditions offer a front-row seat to this celestial spectacle, creating a lifetime memory of nature’s most dazzling light show.


When your journey at the ICEHOTEL comes to an end, you’ll carry with you a sense of awe, wonder, and fascination. The magic of Lapland, the icy wonders of the ICEHOTEL, and the unforgettable experiences will stay with you long after you leave.


So, embark on a winter adventure like no other, and let the ICEHOTEL in Lapland, Sweden capture your imagination, forge memories, and take you on a journey through the enchanting world of ice and snow.