Warm Hospitality in Sweden’s Ice Hotel
Located near the village of Jukkasjärvi alongside the Torne River in Lapland, Sweden, the Ice Hotel is built out of ice and snow each year at the beginning of winter, and melts at the arrival of spring. The hotel offers visitors a unique experience to explore this spectacular Land of the Midnight Sun and the iconic Northern Lights, and stay in a hotel that was built especially for them. The creators of the ice hotel look upon it as an annual art project and each year the Ice Hotel is different from the year before, but the warm hospitality and attention to detail remains a top priority.
Each year as the winter begins, in around mid-November, a team of designers, architects, artists and builders gather in the picturesque little town of Jukkasjärvi to create the Ice Hotel. Snow is sprayed from snow guns onto large steel forms and given time to freeze. When the forms are removed, a maze of free-sanding corridors of snow remains and within these corridors walls are built to create rooms and suites for the guests who will soon start arriving. Huge blocks of ice carved out from the nearby Torne River are carved by artists from around the world.
Construction of the Ice Hotel is carried out in stages, with guests moving into parts of the hotel as they are completed. This also gives guests the opportunity to view artists at work as they create the unique ice sculptures that will melt when the spring arrives. In the winter of 2011/2012, the Ice Hotel #22 had 47 rooms in total, with one of them being a Deluxe suite, and the others catering for various budgets and requirements of guests. In the current 2012/2013 season, artists will be traveling from fifteen countries, including Estonia, Spain, Norway, The Netherlands, Italy, and as far south as Argentina. Using energy that is certified 100% renewable, the Ice Hotel is committed to avoid placing a burden on the environment. When the hotel melts in the spring and returns to the Torne River, it will be free from pollutants.
Activities in the area include dog sledding, snowmobiling, visiting the indigenous Sámi people and ice sculpting. The Ice Hotel is a popular wedding venue and couples travel from all over the world to pledge their vows to one another in the ice chapel in this magical ice kingdom in Sweden.