Scandinavian Ice Hotels: Extraordinary Accommodation to Stay In
Scandinavian ice hotels offer to the guests something that cannot be substituted: the unique feeling of comfort in the place that can barely be associated with comfort or convenience at all. They provide tourists with a feeling of something extraordinary, which is a guarantee that their trips will be remembered for long. And that is a thing that can be found, among others, in Scandinavian, Nordic countries, and it has become a specialty of those lands for tourists.
Ice hotels are typically built of blocks of ice and snow, allowing the tourists to feel as if they were in some fairy tale. Such hotels can be especially interesting to adventurous people, who wish to experience something new on their next journey. Thankfully, Scandinavia is a region that abounds with such ice edifices, and you can easily experience it how it feels to sleep in a room with a temperature lower than 0 Celsius degrees (don’t worry, the ice beds come with reindeer fur covers).
Scandinavian Ice Hotels: The Finnish Pioneers
Pioneering of ice hotels is often credited to the Finnish people, even though it is known exactly that the first to realize such an idea were not the Finnish. But the thing the Finnish people deserve credit for is the popularization of ice hotels. Without the SnowCastle of Kemi – the one that appears to be the world’s largest snow fort – many people would have been unaware of the ice hotel concept at all.
The SnowCastle of Kemi has attracted more than 300,000 visitors every year since 1996, when it was constructed for the first time. Since then, the castle has been rebuilt every year, though the theme of the palace’s design has changed every time. It covers the area as huge as 13,000-20,000 square meters. Even though the themes vary, there are 3 elements that are always present in this palace: a hotel, a restaurant, and a chapel. The latter one is often used for weddings, and a few couples from the countries like Hong Kong and Japan have married there.
The other notable place in Finland is Laioni Snow Village, which is located in the renowned region of Lapland, some 150 kilometers to the north of the Arctic Circle. There, an ice hotel was erected on the top of a wooden building for the first time in 2007 and featured a sauna, a restaurant, and restrooms. Visitors are able to rejoice at a large number of snow and ice sculptures, placed not only in the hall but also in the rooms.
Scandinavian Ice Hotels in Sweden
Icehotel Jukkasjärvi is usually credited for being the world’s first ice hotel, given that it was opened back in 1990s. Every year, the hotel gets rebuilt in the village of Jukkasjärvi, located in the north of Sweden (17 kilometers away from Kiruna). This hotel also features a chapel and an ice bar, the name of the latter is Absolut Icebar.
The hotel’s management invites artists to design it every year, even though only a handful out of those who have sent applications are accepted in the end. In order to build this hotel, more than 30,000 tons of snow and 100,000 tons of ice are used. At the present time, this ice hotel appears to be one of the most popular hotels in Scandinavia. The temperature within the hotel is –5 Celsius degrees and lower, while the number of rooms does not exceed 55.
Scandinavian Ice Hotels in Norway
When it comes to the matter of the Scandinavian ice hotels, Norway is a country that can boast, perhaps, the highest number of them. There are five particular bars and hotels that are surely worth your attention: Oslo Ice Bar, Isle Lodge at the Bjorligard Hotel, Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Kirkenes Snow Hotel, and the Tromsø Ice Hotel (you can read about the latter hotel in the next section).
Oslo Ice Bar, which is located at the heart of the Norwegian capital, serves all its drinks in the environment of extreme cold, and, unlike many other “frozen establishments,” it functions the entire year round. On the other hand, the Bjorligard Hotel is located on a mountain at a height of 1,250 meters, which allows this hotel to function longer than the majority of ice hotels.
The other two hotels that have been mentioned above are located farer to the north. Kirkines Snow Hotel was opened first time in 2006 in Finnmark, a county of Norway that is located some 15 kilometers from the border with Russia. The hotel includes a farm of huskies, a reindeer park, and an ice bar. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, on the other hand, is an ice hotel that is located closest to the North Cape. It was opened back in 1999 and features different themes every year (Norwegian fairy tales in 2005 or the Vikings in 2004).
The New Ice Hotel in Tromsø
Kirsten Marie Holmen, an entrepreneur who developed the idea of ice bars in Norway, has opened a new ice hotel in Tromsø, the capital of Norway’s north. Tromsø draws hundreds of thousands of tourists every winter, who come to this Norwegian city to rejoice at having a dog sledding ride, reindeer raids, or snowmobiling tour. Now, all those visitors will be able to rest in a newly opened ice hotel (during the 2017-2018 winter season).
The photos presented in this article shows how the hotel looks like, and that hotel provides enough guest rooms for all its visitors. Besides, all the tourists will be able to take up an excursion or a tour right from this frozen hotel! Isn’t that a reason to start planning your next winter trip?
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