Chill out in the world’s coolest ice hotels

Stepping into an ice hotel is like entering Arendelle from “Frozen.” Ice is underfoot, it lines the walls and even hangs from the ceilings. All the furniture, decorations and even the beds are made of blocks of ice and snow. Even before Queen Elsa made everyone sing the praises of the cold, ice hotels were cool—literally—and each year, they keep getting better.

Have you always wanted to check into an ice hotel? There’s one for just about every kind of traveler, and The Travel Channel compiled a list of the coolest ice hotels in the world. Here are six of our favorites.

1. For Art Lovers

The Icehotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, started the arctic-accommodation phenomenon. Icehotel began as a seasonal art exhibit in 1980 and has been rebuilt every year since. In 1989, it added overnight rooms. Each year, the property invites different artists to build inspired suites using ice from the Torne River.

“Icehotel is an art symposium in a class of its own,” partner and sculptor Arne Bergh shared on the hotel’s website. “The energy release here when creative people from a wide variety of backgrounds and places meet the ice is almost tangible.”

New this winter season is the Icehotel 365. This permanent structure includes luxurious suites for guests all year round.

2. For History Buffs

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway, began in 1999 as six frigid bedrooms. Since then, it has expanded to a whopping 26 bedrooms, four suites, a chapel, an ice bar and more. Following a different theme each year, a team of local artists and craftsmen rebuild the Igloo Hotel with water from the valley. Themes like the Vikings, Nordic legends and Arctic life educate guests about the history and culture of the area.

3. For Families

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is located more than 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Finland, but only 30 minutes from the nearest international airport, making it a little easier to get to than many ice hotels. While not technically made of ice, glass igloos give the illusion of sleeping in the wilderness. On clear nights, guests have unobstructed views of constellations across the sky and the Northern Lights.

For more adventurous visitors, the property offers authentic snow igloos with a down sleeping bag to stay warm. Also new to the property is Santa’s Home, where kids can visit Saint Nick by appointment.

4. For Foodies

SnowCastle in Kemi, Finland, takes chilly hospitality to the next level with SnowRestaurant. While sitting at ice tables, you can sip local berry juices from handmade ice cups. Then, warm up with a three-course lunch or dinner featuring regional specialities. Some of the dishes include cheesy reindeer soup, sautéed lamb and cranberry mousse cake.

5. For Adventure Seekers

Hotel of Ice in Balea Lac, Romania, is built on top of a frozen glacial lake. Every winter, skilled craftsmen rebuild the completely snow-covered hotel with massive blocks of ice from the nearby lake.

The hotel is just the beginning. The grounds also include Winterpark, an attraction on top of the Fargas Mountains where guests can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowball fights, snowman-building competitions and ice bowling.

6. For People Who Are Always Cold

Inspired by Icehotel, Hotel de Glace in Quebec City, Canada, offers a range of packages and amenities to give everyone a warm welcome. Ice is the building block for the accommodations and everything in them, with one key exception: The bed includes a comfortable mattress surrounded by blocks of ice.

Some of the fancier rooms also include working fireplaces. Guests can warm up with hot tubs and saunas in the Nordic relaxation area. It’s conveniently open overnight to keep guests cozy.

What do you think of these icy accommodations? I, for one, would love to spend the night in an ice hotel? The cold never bothered me anyway!

Still looking for your perfect match? Check out the rest of the Travel Channel’s list.

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About the Author
Jennifer Nied
Jennifer Nied is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She focuses on beauty, wellness, and travel stories with a background covering the spa industry.

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