The village of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden - home to a mere 548 inhabitants, has announced the annual re-opening of its primary attraction: the Icehotel. The Icehotel, as the name suggests, is made entirely of ice, open from December to April, at which point the hotel begins to melt away completely before being re-designed and built again the next year. This year celebrates the 25th iteration of the seasonal hotel, and as such, special preparations are underway to commemorate the anniversary.
Hundreds of artists from all over the world apply every year in hopes of being chosen to design an "art-suite" at Icehotel. A jury selects a handful of the applicants and the creation process begins during November, with the hotel being completed near the end of December. No entry requirements exist for artists, as Icehotel believes that entrants representing any and all art disciplines help to keep design ideas fresh and innovative. This year's applicants have been selected, but Icehotel has yet to reveal their selections.
The physical building of the hotel takes around 8 weeks, and upon its conclusion, guests will find 61 rooms (including the special, "art-suites"), an ice-bar and restaurant, as well as a theatre - all entirely made from ice.
Each room's interior, aside from the few provided creature comfort accoutrements, is also made entirely from ice. The bed, made from ice blocks, features a thick pillow-top mattress, an all-weather sleeping bag, and an abundance of reindeer skin blankets to keep guests warm in the sub-zero temperatures necessary to keep the structures from melting early.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, Icehotel will be introducing an event space, lined by ice-walls, sure to create excellent acoustics for live music performances, and theatre productions. Outside of the hotel, a number of activities are provided as well. Guests can enjoy snowmobile tours, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and dog sled trips just to name a few.
Jukkasjarvi, located near the tip of northern Sweden, is just a short drive from Kiruna, providing the perfect jump-off point for your next winter vacation. There is no better time to take a journey to the Icehotel, than this winter, when they celebrate 25 years of accommodation innovation.