Sunday, October 16, 2011

Destination Spotlight: Ice Hotel, Sweden

Breaking free from my usual trend towards tropical and sunny destinations, this week we're traveling to a tiny village 124 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The village of Jukkasjarvi is home to an absolutely incredible piece of art also known as the Ice Hotel. Built completely out of ice and snow, the hotel is "rebuilt" each winter, inspired and sourced by the Torne River on which it is built from!

Each winter, a highly skilled team of architects, snow builders, designers, and artists from all over the world come together in Jukkasjarvi to create and plan the new version of the Ice Hotel. (To learn more about the intense building process, click here)

If you're planning on gathering up your snow gear and heading for the icy suites, the first round of guests are greeted in the beginning of December while phases of the hotel are still in the process of being built. This is also the darkest time of year but one of the best chances to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky. The Ice Hotel closes by the end of April, so be sure to plan your little getaway before the hotel melts away into the river!

The hotel recommends that you stay in a "cold suite" for one night and several nights in a "warm suite". Basically, the cold suites are approximately 15 degrees Fahrenheit equipped with ice beds, thermal sleeping bags, and ice furniture. The other nights, you are free to stay in one of their partner hotels in a "warm suite", also known as a normal hotel room.

There is a whole list of tips and procedures for this entire "ice experience" which may sound like a bit of a hassle but I feel would definitely be worth it for one night. Some examples of tips given on their website are not wearing cream or moisturizer to avoid frost bite and leaving your luggage in a personal locker so it doesn't freeze!

Hmmm....maybe a trip to the Absolut Ice Bar will also be in order?

Happy Travels!

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