Ice Hotel – Embrace the Cold

Are you cold? We seem stuck in an unseasonably deep freeze.  And I’m writing from Canada.  Embrace the season, I’m told, and its wonderland potential.

No bigger or better a winter wonderland than an Ice Hotel.  These generally seasonal structures are part art installation, part vacation resort and a sight to behold.

The entrance to the Ice Hotel in Sweden

Grand entrance to Sweden's Ice Hotel. Image via

The first and most famous of these structures is built annually in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden 200km north of the Arctic Circle.  Opening in December and running till spring, visitors are urged to enjoy a mix of cold and warm accommodations and a plethora of wintery activities.  The ICEHOTEL is constructed each year from frozen water from the the Torne River. Artists from all over the world gather to create an exclusive hotel and art exhibition, only to have it melt away under the sun come springtime. By summer each year all that remains are the impressions from visitors. Oh, and happily for me, photographs.

Visit one of the artist designed cold suites, where the temperature hovers between -5 and -8 degrees Celsius (keep in mind this is an advertising point, as the temp is much colder outside).  Sleeping on a special bed of snow and ice, topped with reindeer skins and thermal sleeping bags, these spectacular rooms, of which there are 7, are full of ice sculpture and art, with a designer/artist designated to each room.

A suite at the Ice Hotel

This sensual art suite, entitled Twilight Night, from the 2010 ICEHOTEL was designed by Benny Ekman and Hanna Tonek Bonnett of Sweden. Ekman a painter, sculptor and illustrator has designed 5 suites over the years.  He teamed up with Bonnett, a ceramic artist, to create this ethereal space.  Image courtesy of ICEHOTEL.

An Ice Hotel suite depicting the iconic howling dogs in the Arctic Circle

Jenny Ackemar of Sweden and Salvador López Polo of Mexico teamed up to create “The Magical Life in the Far North”, a suite depicting the iconic howling dogs in the Arctic Circle. Image courtesy of ICEHOTEL.

An Art Deco suite at the Ice Hotel

Dennis Rolland and Andre Landeros Michel, from New York City designed “Gotham on Ice”, inspired by the Art Deco era of their native city.  Image courtesy of ICEHOTEL.

In addition to the spectacular art suites, The ICEHOTEL offers ice and snow rooms, as well as heated accommodations in onsite chalets.  Their range of activities and excursions include dog sledding, skiing, and ice sculpting, and if you’re lucky, you can take in the Nothern Lights.

Breathtaking auroraFrom everything I’ve heard, a night in an ice hotel makes for a magical once in a life night, a surreal experience that will stay with you a lifetime.  They’ll be releasing images of this year’s suites shortly.  Can’t wait!  For booking information, swing on by to ICEHOTEL’s website.

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