Looking to chill out on your next vacation? If the answer is yes, then think about a visit to the village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, located in t he Arctic Circle. There you will find the world famous Ice Hotel. It all started with an art exhibition from French artist Jannot Derid that was held in a cylinder-shaped igloo. As hotels in the area were sold out, some of the visitors asked for permission to spend the night in the exhibition hall. They slept in sleeping bags on top of reindeer skin thus, beginning the tradition of the Ice Hotel.
When the temperature drops in mid-November, the building process begins. The snow is sprayed on huge steel forms and allowed to freeze. After a couple of days, the forms are removed, leaving a maze of free-standing corridors of snow. In the corridors, dividing walls are built in order to create rooms and suites. This year, the Ice Hotel will have seventy-four rooms and occupy an area of 5,500 square meters. Nearly 21,000 cubic meters of snow and 900 tons of ice will be used to complete it. The hotel is open from the 10th of December until the middle of April. When completed, the hotel features a bar, church, main hall, reception area and rooms and suites for over 100 guests to sit and sleep on blocks of sculpted ice in the form of chairs and beds.
The Ice Hotel never gets colder than –5° C (23 F), regardless of how cold it may be outside. Before you climb into bed, you dress in warm thermal underwear, pull the hat over your ears and slip down into a comfortable sleeping bag on a bed built of blocks of ice, a thick mattress and reindeer skins. During the daytime the Ice Hotel is open to the public and everyone who wants can join a guided tour through the pillar hall, the suites and the ice rooms. You won’t want to miss out on having a cold beverage in the Absolut Icebar, located on premises. Here, your drink is not served “on the rocks” but rather “in the rocks” with glasses molded and frozen from the purest river water.
When spring comes, the ice melts away and returns to the Torne River, so don’t miss out!