Entrance of Icehotel Sweden 2006 with adjacent Ice Church in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna.

Sweden's Ice Hotel

The famous ICEHOTEL (it has become to be known by that word) of Sweden is located in the northern regions, in Jukkasjärvi (a village about 17km from the city of Kiruna). The hotel is constructed every year, since 1990, from ice and exists between the months of December and April. The whole ice hotel has a temperature of below freezing, at -5 degrees Celsius.

All the structures are made of ice and snow, including the chairs, beds and the glasses used to drink from at the iced made bar. The guests are served vodka in their ice made glasses. The ice blocks and snow used to build the hotel are sourced from the close-by Torne River. The Torne River is a river that flows between Norway and Sweden, about half its length acts as a border between the two countries.

The idea of the ICEHOTEL at this site in Sweden can be traced back to 1989.

It was in that year that Japanese visitors made an ice exhibit. A year later a French artist created an igloo shaped as a cylinder. Then on a night when the village had run out of rooms, some visitors requested the right to sleep in the latest exhibit. By sleeping above reindeer skins and snuggled within sleeping bags, the visitors were able to spend the night in the ice exhibit and became known as the first guests of the ‘ice hotel’.

All guests sleep in thermal sleeping bags above reindeer skins, situated on ice beds with wooden frames and a mattress. Visitors can sleep in the ICEHOTEL from mid-December to mid-April. Cold accommodation is the term used for sleeping in the ICEHOTEL and warm accommodation for sleeping in a nearby building with heated rooms.

The hotel has evolved to be equipped with a bar, reception, rooms and suits for a 100 guests, hall and church. The hotel is laid over 6000 square meters. The village of Jukkasjärvi is famous for not only having the first ice hotel but also for being the site of the largest one in the world.

The Swedish Ice Hotel has guests from various countries. The hotel has become famous and documentaries have been made based on it. It is also recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of Sweden.

As spring develops, after April, the ICEHOTEL begins to melt. The water then flows back into Thorne River. The architecture of the hotel is altered every year, when it is constructed anew.

Various fun filled activates can be participated in through the ICEHOTEL.
Winter activities:
•Dog sledding (whereby a team of huskies pulls you across the snowy landscapes
•Snowmobile tours (utilizing environmentally friendly snowmobile machines)
•Northern Lights sight seeing
•Horse ridding
•Ice driving (utilizing Mini Coopers with spiked tyres to drive on an ice track)
Summer activities:
•White river rafting on the Thorne River
•Cycling along the wilderness of the Jukkasjärvi
Bookings at ICEHOTEL can be done through the website www.icehotel.com online. There is also the ICEHOTEL shop and restaurant.
Other countries have since the Swedish design, begun to build ice hotels. Ice hotels now also exist in Norway, Japan, Romania and Canada.