Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi Sweden
The first Ice Hotel that I know of is in near the arctic circle in the small village of Jukkasjärvi Sweden. In the winter they construct rooms from Ice sculptures and you get to stay in a hotel room basically made entirely of ice. It looks very exciting and evidently there's tons to do up there from snowmobiling to checking out the northern lights.
The rooms are made entirely of ice, as I mentioned before, which is exactly as it sounds... cold. the temperature hovers around 17 to 25 degrees fahrenheit, well below freezing! Which is good, considering the bed would melt otherwise. I suppose they have had some people in there who have attempted to melt the rooms, ha ha. Evidently you sleep in down mummy bags right on the blocks of ice which make up the bed.
I've never met anyone who's stayed there but I would love to hear about what the experience is like.
An ice hotel is basically a glorified igloo, with blocks of ice assembled into furniture ice sculptures. They put them together as winter comes, taking river water and making it into different shapes of ice blocks and then crafting hotel rooms made of ice. When winter wanes and the spring comes, the ice eventually melts so this hotel is truly seasonal.
This means that each year they have to build anew, and as such they build different theme rooms. The original ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi, has teamed up with several partners as of late-- the car maker Mini and Virgin to offer themed rooms and even space flights!
Here's a really great video, I believe from Discovery Channel, which shows documentary style, how they construct the ice hotel each year from scratch.
Hotel de Glace, Quebec Canada
It's been a couple of years since I've checked out the ice hotel but since then I guess a few others have popped up. There's one in Quebec Canada now called the Hotel de Glace.
The rooms and everything here seem much more artistic than the sweden hotel. Also apparently there's a fireplace in the rooms here, and in this video, the host mentions a spa of some sort which you can warm up in if you wake up cold in the middle of the night. This is a pretty good video tour of the hotel:
Like I said, the rooms in the Quebec City Ice Hotel seem a bit more artistic and I suppose for those in North america, they're a little easier to get to.
Even the outside of the hotel is pretty interesting.
Clearly each of these Ice hotels has a bar, because you have to keep yourself warm any way you can.
Have you been to the ice hotel, either in Sweden or Quebec? If so let us know below. We'd love to hear some stories. And if we get there anytime soon we'll be sure and write a follow up post for you to enjoy our experience too.