7 Ice Hotels That Will Keep You Warm at Night
If you’re looking for an unusual hotel experience in countries where winter is king – Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland and even Romania – then perhaps an ice hotel might be something you’d like to stay in.
Here are seven ice hotels that will still keep you warm at night.
Canada is home to one ice hotel (at least at the time of this blog post) – The Hotel de Glace , located just 10 minutes from Quebec City. A journey to the center of winter is this year’s theme for the hotel. If you’re a beach lover those words likely cause you to recoil in horror. But apparently since opening 13 years ago, one million people have found reason to visit. Not only can you stay in the hotel, but you can take a guided tour on weekends and learn the secrets of construction. This year the hotel is open from January 5th until March 24th. Try and time a visit to coincide with the Quebec Winter Carnival taking place between January 31 and February 16th. The hotel offer 44 rooms and suites but they aren’t inexpensive. A quick online search for a regular room with taxes in March showed up as costing $572.58. I think I’ll have to stick with the tour and not the overnight stay!
The Sorris Igloo Hotel located near Alta, on the banks of the Alta River in northern Norway is going into its’ 15th season. Their season begins on January 6th and usually runs until mid-April. Reindeer hides, mattresses and sleeping bags, rated to -30 C, ensure that you will be comfortable. Rooms are generally in the -4 to -7 C range. Good news though; there is a sauna that opens by 7 am and a couple of hot tubs. In addition bathrooms and showers are in warm rooms. Rates are $380 per person and include breakfast and transfers from Alta. It’s going to be very dark out for most of the day but the Northern Lights are magnificent here.
The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is located in Bjornevatn, a town that is 650 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, close to the border with Finland. They are open from December 20th until April 20th but be prepared to fork out $433 per night per person. They offer some interesting excursions to go along with your stay. There’s dog-sledding and northern lights viewing but also ice fishing and an excursion to get king crabs.
Northern Lights seen at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel – Photo credit: Kirkenes Snow Hotel
Husky tour at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel Photo credit: Kirkenes Snow Hotel
Lainio Snow Village is located almost a thousand kilometers north of Helsinki, and 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. Starting soon, 1000 truckloads of snow and 300,000 kilograms of ice will be used to create the hotel now in its’ 13th year of operation. This year the hotel will be open from December 10th until April 6th. Not only can you spend the night, but you can drop in for a drink at the ice bar, get married in the ice chapel, and you can learn about the lives of traditional reindeer herders. A standard room is a more reasonable $173 per person. For that you get a tour of the Snow Village, a very warm sleeping bag, a room wake-up with hot berry juice and a buffet breakfast in a warm restaurant.
The Kemi Snowcastle, located on the Gulf of Bothnia is due to reopen on January 25, 2014. It’s made of packed snow rather than ice and is considered to be the largest snow fort in the world. Prices start at $223 per night per person and include the usual ultra-warm sleeping bag and breakfast buffet. The restaurant is open to all but dress warmly for it’s a cool -5 C. This place has lots of kid’s activities and in fact is the site of many a birthday party. There’s snow sliding, ice tubing and dog sledding.
The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi bills themselves as the world’s largest hotel made of ice. It is located 1200 kilometers north of Stockholm, 200 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. The hotel is open to the public between 10 am and 6 pm and then its guests only. The hotel began as an art project 23 years ago. Today they are known for rooms that have been sculpted by some of the world’s most talented ice carvers. Prices are in the range of $220 per person per night.
The Carpathian Mountains are home to the Hotel of Ice, sitting at 2000 meters above sea level and accessible only by cable car, smack in the middle of the Faragas Mountains. The hotel is built from chunks of ice hulled up from Lake Balea. Twelve double rooms are available beginning on December 25th. Nearby you can enjoy skiing and sledding. Rooms start at $129 per night but don’t include breakfast. The hotel is located 300 kilometers northwest of Bucharest.
The Hotel of Ice in Romania – Photo Credit:Hotel of Ice
A look at the hotel from the outside – Photo credit: Hotel of Ice
Have you ever stayed in an ice hotel? Would you recommend it?
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