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This Is What It’s Like To Stay At The ICEHOTEL, Sweden


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Marilee Vinson



Welcome to the ICEHOTEL, a unique and enchanting destination nestled in the heart of Sweden. Imagine a place where the walls, ceilings, and even the beds are made entirely of ice and snow. This is the extraordinary experience that awaits you at the ICEHOTEL.


The ICEHOTEL is not just a hotel, it is a testament to human creativity and ingenuity. It was first created in 1989 and has since become a world-renowned masterpiece of artistry and design. Every year, a team of talented artists and architects come together to transform the ICEHOTEL into a stunning work of art, using nothing but blocks of ice sourced from the nearby Torne River.


As you step inside the ICEHOTEL, you will be transported into a surreal world of ice sculptures, intricate ice carvings, and ethereal lighting. The hotel is reimagined and reconstructed every winter, ensuring that each stay is a truly unique and memorable experience.


Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a one-of-a-kind getaway, the ICEHOTEL has something for everyone. From the architectural marvels to the exhilarating activities and the exquisite cuisine, this place offers a captivating experience that will stay with you long after you leave.


In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey through the ICEHOTEL, exploring its history, design, accommodations, and the array of activities and experiences it offers. So bundle up and prepare to be amazed as we delve into the magical world of the ICEHOTEL.


History of the ICEHOTEL

The story of the ICEHOTEL began in 1989 when a group of artists from Japan visited the small Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi. Inspired by the arctic landscape and the natural ice formations, they decided to create an exhibition of ice sculptures in a nearby igloo-like structure. This humble beginning laid the foundation for what would eventually become the world’s first ice hotel.


Due to the immense popularity of the exhibition, the creators decided to build a larger ice structure the following year. Thus, the ICEHOTEL was born. The first ICEHOTEL was constructed using traditional building techniques, with the walls and ceilings made of snow and the rooms furnished with ice sculptures.


Over the years, the ICEHOTEL continued to evolve and expand, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. In 1994, the decision was made to rebuild the ICEHOTEL every year, allowing for new designs and artistic expressions to grace its icy halls.


Today, the ICEHOTEL is a prestigious international art project and has garnered numerous awards for its unique concept and design. It has become a renowned platform for artists, designers, and architects to showcase their talents and push the boundaries of ice and snow artistry.


Each year, the ICEHOTEL collaborates with artists and designers from around the world to create a new vision for the hotel. The resulting structure is a testament to their creativity and craftsmanship, making a visit to the ICEHOTEL a truly immersive and awe-inspiring experience.


Throughout its history, the ICEHOTEL has also played a pivotal role in promoting sustainability. The construction materials, including the ice and snow, are sourced from the nearby Torne River, ensuring minimal impact on the environment. Once the winter season comes to an end, the ICEHOTEL melts back into the river, leaving no trace behind.


From its humble beginnings as an art exhibition in an igloo to its current status as a world-renowned ice hotel, the ICEHOTEL has captivated the hearts and imaginations of countless visitors. Its rich history and commitment to artistic innovation continue to make it a truly extraordinary destination.


Design and Construction

The design and construction of the ICEHOTEL is a true feat of artistic skill and engineering ingenuity. Each year, a team of architects, designers, and craftsmen come together to transform the raw materials of ice and snow into a breathtaking work of art.


The ICEHOTEL’s design combines functionality and aesthetics, creating a harmonious balance between structural stability and artistic expression. The architects carefully consider the layout, ensuring that it provides a seamless and comfortable experience for guests while showcasing the beauty of the ice and snow.


The construction process begins in November when blocks of ice are harvested from the nearby Torne River. These massive ice blocks, weighing several tons each, are carefully selected for their clarity and purity. The ice is then stored until it is time for construction to begin.


To create the ICEHOTEL, a framework of metal beams is first assembled to provide structural support. The ice blocks are then sculpted and shaped, fitting them together like puzzle pieces to form the walls and ceilings of the hotel rooms and common areas. Once the ice walls are in place, a layer of snow is applied to create insulation and add a soft glow to the interior.


The rooms within the ICEHOTEL are designed to be unique and captivating. Each room has its own theme and is individually crafted by a team of artists. Intricate ice sculptures adorn the walls, and the beds are made entirely of ice, but don’t worry, comfortable mattresses and thermal sleeping bags are provided to keep guests warm during their stay.


One of the most remarkable aspects of the ICEHOTEL’s design is its lighting. Various colored lights are strategically placed throughout the corridors and rooms, creating a magical and ethereal ambiance. The combination of ice, snow, and vibrant lighting brings the structure to life, making it a truly immersive and extraordinary experience.


It is worth noting that the ICEHOTEL is not limited to just the main building. In recent years, they have expanded to include additional structures such as an ice chapel, ice bar, and even ice suites for those seeking the ultimate luxury experience.


Throughout the construction process, sustainability is a top priority. The ICEHOTEL strives to minimize its environmental impact by using natural and renewable materials. Once the season comes to an end, the ICEHOTEL is left to melt back into the Torne River, allowing nature to reclaim its elements.


The design and construction of the ICEHOTEL is truly a testament to human creativity and innovation. It stands as a remarkable example of how art and architecture can harmoniously coexist with nature, creating a surreal and unforgettable experience for all who visit.


Accommodations at the ICEHOTEL

Staying at the ICEHOTEL is unlike any other hotel experience in the world. The accommodations are unique, captivating, and unforgettable. From intricately carved rooms to cozy ice suites, the ICEHOTEL offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s preferences.


The ICEHOTEL features a variety of room types, each with its own distinctive design and theme. The Ice Rooms are the standard accommodations, offering a peaceful and minimalist setting. These rooms feature ice beds adorned with reindeer hides and are kept at a constant temperature of around -5 degrees Celsius.


For those looking for a bit more luxury, the ICEHOTEL also offers Art Suites. These meticulously crafted rooms are individual works of art, each uniquely designed and furnished by handpicked artists. Sleeping in an Art Suite is like spending the night in a frozen art gallery, surrounded by intricate ice sculptures and exquisite details.


If you’re seeking the ultimate luxury experience, the ICEHOTEL’s Deluxe Suites are sure to impress. These spacious and opulent suites offer a separate living area, private sauna, and even a heated bathroom. Despite the icy surroundings, the Deluxe Suites provide a cozy and comfortable retreat.


While the accommodations at the ICEHOTEL are made entirely of ice and snow, there is no need to worry about staying warm. The hotel provides warm thermal sleeping bags that are designed to keep you comfortable even in the chilly temperatures. Additionally, there are heated communal areas where guests can relax and warm up whenever they please.


For those who prefer a more traditional hotel experience, the ICEHOTEL also offers warm accommodations in the form of chalets and cabins. These cozy wooden lodges are located adjacent to the ice hotel and provide a comfortable retreat, complete with modern amenities and private bathrooms.


Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, a stay at the ICEHOTEL promises a truly magical experience. Falling asleep surrounded by glistening ice, waking up to the soft glow of snow-covered walls, and stepping outside to a winter wonderland are just some of the surreal moments that await you.


It is worth noting that as the ICEHOTEL is a seasonal construction, the availability of rooms may vary. It is recommended to plan your visit in advance and make your reservations accordingly to secure the accommodations of your choice.


Whether you choose to stay in an Ice Room, an Art Suite, or a cozy chalet, spending the night at the ICEHOTEL is an extraordinary adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Activities and Experiences

At the ICEHOTEL, the adventure doesn’t stop at simply staying in a room made of ice. There is a wide range of activities and experiences that allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the magical surroundings and make the most of their stay.


One of the most popular activities at the ICEHOTEL is dog sledding. Embark on a thrilling ride through the snow-covered wilderness, led by a team of well-trained and friendly huskies. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you glide through the silent white landscape.


If you’re more inclined towards adrenaline-fueled adventures, ice climbing might be just the activity for you. Strap on your crampons and ascend frozen ice walls, guided by experienced instructors. It’s an exhilarating experience that offers a unique perspective of the Arctic nature.


For those seeking a slower pace, snowshoeing is a serene and peaceful way to explore the surrounding area. Follow a guide through enchanting forests and across frozen lakes, immersing yourself in the tranquility and beauty of the winter landscape.


Additionally, guests can try their hand at ice sculpting, guided by professional artists. Learn the art of shaping and carving ice and create your own masterpiece to take home as a memento of your time at the ICEHOTEL.


Another must-try experience is the chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The ICEHOTEL’s remote location, far from light pollution, provides an optimal viewing spot for this natural phenomenon. Marvel at the dancing lights as they illuminate the night sky in a breathtaking display.


To further indulge your senses, take a traditional sauna experience, followed by a refreshing dip in an ice hole. The contrast of the hot steam and the icy waters is sure to invigorate and rejuvenate both body and mind.


Of course, no visit to the ICEHOTEL would be complete without a visit to the Ice Bar. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails served in glasses made of ice as you mingle with fellow guests. The bar’s unique ambiance and the stunning ice sculptures lining its walls create an unforgettable drinking experience.


These are just a few examples of the many activities and experiences available at the ICEHOTEL. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or simply seeking a serene retreat, there is something for everyone to enjoy during their stay.


It is advisable to check the availability and schedule of activities in advance, as some may be weather dependent or subject to seasonal variations.


Immerse yourself in the Arctic beauty, embrace the adventure, and create memories that will last a lifetime at the ICEHOTEL.


Dining and Cuisine

The dining experience at the ICEHOTEL is a culinary journey that showcases the finest flavors of Sweden, combining traditional ingredients with innovative techniques. From hearty meals to gourmet offerings, the ICEHOTEL’s dining options are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.


For a truly unique and immersive experience, start your day with a delicious breakfast served on ice tables. Indulge in a selection of freshly baked bread, local cheeses, smoked salmon, and other delectable treats, all presented amidst the frozen beauty of the ICEHOTEL.


During the day, guests can recharge and warm up with a variety of light snacks and hot beverages at the ICEHOTEL’s cozy café. Savor a cup of hot chocolate or unwind with a steaming bowl of soup, providing comfort and nourishment against the winter backdrop.


In the evening, head to the ICEHOTEL’s renowned restaurant, where talented chefs bring their culinary prowess to the table. The menu highlights locally sourced ingredients, including Arctic fish, reindeer, and other seasonal delicacies. Each dish is beautifully presented, showcasing a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.


From masterfully prepared reindeer fillets to reindeer gravlax, the restaurant offers a true taste of Swedish Lapland. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available, ensuring that every guest is catered to.


One of the unique experiences offered at the ICEHOTEL is the Chef’s Table. This exclusive dining experience takes place in a private setting, where guests can witness firsthand the culinary masterpieces being prepared. Interact with the chefs, learn about their inspirations, and savor a custom-made menu crafted specifically for your party.


Additionally, the ICEHOTEL organizes special dining events, such as the Ice Menu and the Ice Dining Experience. These extraordinary dinners take place inside a specially designed ice dining room, complete with ice sculptures and a magical atmosphere. Delight in a multi-course meal served on ice plates, truly embracing the enchantment of the ICEHOTEL.


After dinner, relax and unwind at the ICEHOTEL’s Ice Bar, where you can enjoy handcrafted cocktails served in glasses made entirely of ice. Admire the intricate ice carvings that adorn the walls, creating a unique and memorable drinking experience.


It is important to note that as the ICEHOTEL is a seasonal establishment, the dining options may vary throughout the year. It is advisable to check the availability and make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.


Whether you’re seeking gourmet delights or simply craving a warm cup of hot chocolate, the ICEHOTEL’s dining options are sure to tantalize your taste buds and provide a culinary adventure like no other.


Services and Amenities

The ICEHOTEL goes above and beyond to ensure that every guest’s stay is comfortable, enjoyable, and filled with unforgettable experiences. Along with its unique accommodations and incredible dining options, the hotel offers a range of services and amenities that cater to the needs and desires of its guests.


One of the standout amenities of the ICEHOTEL is the warm relaxation area. After a day of exploring the icy surroundings, guests can unwind and rejuvenate in the sauna, which provides a soothing heat and a tranquil atmosphere. The sauna experience is complemented by the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in a nearby ice hole, an invigorating and traditional Nordic practice.


To ensure a blissful night’s sleep, each guest is provided with warm thermal sleeping bags and a cozy reindeer hide. These essential items offer comfort and insulation, allowing guests to sleep soundly in the icy surroundings.


The ICEHOTEL also offers a number of practical amenities to enhance the overall experience. These include locker rooms for storing personal belongings, showers for freshening up, and heated dressing rooms for changing into warm clothing before venturing outdoors.


For those looking to capture their extraordinary moments at the ICEHOTEL, there is a dedicated photography service. Professional photographers are available to document your stay, capturing the magical moments and creating lasting memories.


The ICEHOTEL’s helpful and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to assist guests with any inquiries or requests. Whether you need assistance with arranging activities, making dinner reservations, or simply seeking recommendations for nearby attractions, the staff are dedicated to ensuring that your stay is seamless and enjoyable.


Additionally, the ICEHOTEL offers transportation services to and from the airport, making it convenient for guests to reach the hotel. Whether you choose to arrive by plane or train, the hotel can arrange transfers to ensure a smooth journey to and from the ICEHOTEL.


In terms of connectivity, the ICEHOTEL provides internet access in designated areas, allowing guests to stay connected with loved ones or share their incredible experiences on social media.


When it comes to safety, the ICEHOTEL takes all necessary precautions to provide a secure environment for its guests. The hotel has a well-trained staff that is knowledgeable in safety procedures, ensuring that guests are in good hands at all times.


Whether it’s the cozy sauna, the convenience of transportation services, or the attentive staff, the ICEHOTEL’s services and amenities are designed to enhance the overall experience and provide guests with a truly unforgettable stay.


Location and Accessibility

The ICEHOTEL is located in the small village of Jukkasjärvi, in the Swedish province of Lapland. Situated just 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, the hotel is surrounded by pristine wilderness, offering guests an authentic and breathtaking Arctic experience.


Despite its remote location, the ICEHOTEL is surprisingly accessible. The nearest airport is Kiruna Airport, which is approximately 17 kilometers away. Several airlines offer direct flights to Kiruna from major cities in Sweden and neighboring countries, making it convenient for international travelers to reach the ICEHOTEL.


Upon arrival at the airport, guests can take a pre-arranged transfer to the ICEHOTEL. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes and ensures a seamless transition from the airport to the hotel.


For those who prefer to travel by train, Kiruna also has a train station that connects with other cities in Sweden. From the train station, the ICEHOTEL can be reached by a short taxi or shuttle ride.


It is worth noting that during the winter months, the journey to the ICEHOTEL can be quite picturesque. Guests have the opportunity to witness the stunning snowy landscapes and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights along the way.


Once at the ICEHOTEL, guests can enjoy the convenience of on-site parking if they choose to drive to the hotel. However, due to the remote location and the seasonal nature of the hotel, it is recommended to plan transportation arrangements in advance.


The ICEHOTEL’s location provides a range of outdoor activities and adventures for guests to explore. The surrounding wilderness offers opportunities for dog sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and even reindeer sleigh rides. Guests can also venture out in search of the mesmerizing Northern Lights, which are often visible in the clear Arctic skies.


For those who wish to explore further, the ICEHOTEL is located within driving distance of popular landmarks such as the Icehotel AB Church, the Sami Village of Jukkasjärvi, and the famous Icebreaker ship tours on the nearby Baltic Sea.


In terms of accessibility within the hotel itself, the ICEHOTEL accommodates guests with various mobility needs. The main areas of the hotel are wheelchair accessible, and there are designated accessible rooms available for guests with disabilities.


From its unique location in the heart of Swedish Lapland to its accessibility options, the ICEHOTEL provides a seamless and remarkable experience for all who venture to this winter wonderland.


Sustainability Initiatives

The ICEHOTEL is not only a stunning work of art and a luxurious retreat, but it is also committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Throughout its history, the ICEHOTEL has implemented various initiatives to minimize its impact on the environment and promote sustainable practices.


One of the key sustainability initiatives of the ICEHOTEL is its use of natural and renewable materials. Each year, the hotel is built using ice and snow harvested from the nearby Torne River. This not only reduces the need for synthetic building materials but also ensures that the hotel seamlessly blends into its natural surroundings.


Additionally, the ICEHOTEL takes great care in sourcing its other materials, such as wood and textiles, from sustainable suppliers. The hotel strives to support local businesses and artisans, promoting the use of eco-friendly and responsibly sourced materials in the construction and furnishing of the hotel.


Energy efficiency is also a major focus for the ICEHOTEL. The hotel utilizes energy-efficient lighting, including LED technology, throughout its premises. This helps to minimize energy consumption while providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests.


The ICEHOTEL also prioritizes waste reduction and recycling. Disposable items are minimized, and efforts are made to recycle and compost as much waste as possible. The hotel prioritizes selecting environmentally friendly and biodegradable products, further reducing its ecological footprint.


Water conservation is another important aspect of the ICEHOTEL’s sustainability efforts. The hotel implements water-saving measures, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, to minimize water usage. Guests are also encouraged to be mindful of their water consumption during their stay.


Furthermore, the ICEHOTEL is actively involved in educating both guests and the local community about sustainability and environmental awareness. Visitors to the hotel have the opportunity to learn about the hotel’s initiatives and gain insight into sustainable living practices.


As part of its commitment to sustainability, the ICEHOTEL is involved in ongoing research and innovation projects. This includes collaborating with scientists and artists to explore new ways of utilizing renewable energy, improving efficiency, and minimizing waste.


The ICEHOTEL’s dedication to sustainability has not gone unnoticed. It has received numerous awards and certifications for its eco-friendly practices and commitment to the environment.


By prioritizing sustainability in its operations and encouraging guests to embrace environmental responsibility, the ICEHOTEL is a shining example of how luxury and sustainability can coexist harmoniously.



The ICEHOTEL in Sweden is a truly extraordinary destination that offers a unique and enchanting experience. From its humble beginnings as an art exhibition in an igloo, it has evolved into a world-renowned masterpiece of ice and snow artistry.


Staying at the ICEHOTEL is a one-of-a-kind adventure where guests can immerse themselves in a magical world of ice sculptures, ethereal lighting, and breathtaking design. The accommodations, made entirely of ice and snow, provide a cozy and unforgettable sleeping experience, complemented by the warm thermal sleeping bags.


But the ICEHOTEL is not just about the accommodations. It offers a wide range of activities and experiences that allow guests to fully embrace the Arctic environment. From dog sledding and ice climbing to snowshoeing and ice sculpting, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


The dining at the ICEHOTEL is a culinary journey that highlights the flavors of Sweden, with gourmet offerings and unique experiences like dining on ice plates. The ICEHOTEL also provides various services and amenities that ensure a comfortable and memorable stay, from the relaxing sauna to the photography service capturing your magical moments.


What sets the ICEHOTEL apart is its commitment to sustainability. Using natural materials, promoting energy efficiency, minimizing waste, and supporting local suppliers are just a few of the initiatives taken to minimize its environmental impact.


Located in the captivating landscape of Swedish Lapland, the ICEHOTEL is easily accessible and offers opportunities to explore the surrounding wilderness. Whether it’s witnessing the Northern Lights, visiting the Icehotel AB Church, or taking part in traditional Arctic activities, there is no shortage of experiences to be had.


As you leave the ICEHOTEL, you’ll take with you lasting memories of a truly extraordinary and awe-inspiring journey. The ICEHOTEL is not just an accommodation; it is a destination that captures the imagination and creates moments that will be cherished for a lifetime.


So embrace the adventure, indulge in the artistry, and surrender to the enchantment of the ICEHOTEL in Sweden. You will truly be transported to a world unlike any other.