Ice hotels have really made a name for themselves over the past few years thanks to networks such as the Travel Channel, but most people are unfamiliar with all except Jukkasjärvi, Sweden’s famed ice hotel, which also claims to be the first one in the world. But Sweden is not the only place that is home to some spectacular ice hotels…
So what exactly is an ice hotel?
It is a hotel that is made up of snow and ice and exists only temporarily throughout the winter. The construction of ice hotels typically begins when temperatures are right (or subzero) and it is taken down when temperatures are wrong (aka…the hotel melts!) Three ice hotels happen to be right here in lovely ‘ol Norway.
The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is located in the tip-top northern part of Norway, very close to the Russian border. This hotel opened first in the 2006/2007 season and has been going strong throughout the winter months ever since. There are 20 individually decorated rooms at the hotel, as well as Gabba Restaurant, a restaurant located next door to the hotel that specializes in region specific dishes, particularly with salmon, cod, and arctic charr. Also located in close proximity is Gabba Reindeer park, a reserve with friendly, domesticated reindeer and Sami guides who you can sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with. The hotel opens officially on December 20 and closes on April 20.
To find out more about the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, you can check out their website or contact them:
Radius Kirkenes AS
PO BOX 200
Tlf: (+47) 78 97 05 40
The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel celebrated its first year in 2000 and has been opened yearly since. It is Europe’s northernmost ice hotel and is situated around 20km from Alta, Norway. What makes this ice hotel so unique from the others is that it recreates its theme each year it is built. It has boasted such themes as Vikings, Norwegian fairytales, and regional food. Thirty rooms can be found at Sorrisniva, as well as an ice bar, ice gallery, and ice chapel. And you know what an ice chapel means….ice weddingsssss!
To find out more about the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, you can check out their website or contact them:
Tlf (+47) 78 43 33 78
To find out more about the Bjorli Ice Lodge, you can check out Venture Norway’s website or contact them:
Tlf: (+47) 61 24 44 00
I have not had the opportunity to visit an ice hotel just yet, but it is definitely something I want to do while residing in Norway. If you’re interested in visiting one but can’t quite make it to Norway or Sweden, there are some in Finland, one in Canada, and even one in Romania that I am sure are worth the experience.