The World's Coolest Ice Hotels
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) A hotel built entirely of ice may sound like something from the pages of a storybook, but these magnificent structures actually exist in some of the world's coldest regions. Within their frozen walls, ice hotels offer comfort and luxury to guests, not to mention a truly unforgettable travel experience.
Here are the details on six magnificent ice hotels to discover.
Hôtel de Glace in Québec, Canada
Located just ten minutes from downtown Québec City, Hôtel de Glace is a stunning work of art covering 32,000 square feet and boasting 44 rooms and theme suites. Open from January through March, it also features crystalline ice sculptures, huge snow vaults, a chapel, an ice slide, a bar made entirely of ice, and a Nordic relaxation area with outdoors spas and a sauna.
The regular rooms have one, two or three queen beds, while the theme suites offer a unique design with sculptures and artistic lighting. Among the hotel's promotions is the Nordic Escape, which starts at $180 per person, per night and includes a room with a sleeping bag, welcome cocktail served in an ice glass, access to the Nordic area's hot tubs and sauna, breakfast and all gratuities.
Concerned about the cold? Don't be. In addition to being a great windshield, the thick snow walls keep the Hôtel de Glace well insulated, with inside temperatures remaining in the 20s no matter what the temperature is outside. And while all beds have a solid ice base, they contain a wooden bedspring with a mattress on top. Mattresses are covered with blankets and guests sleep inside ultra-warm arctic sleeping bags.
ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
ICEHOTEL is fittingly situated in a small village in Northern Sweden about 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Created anew each year, the gorgeous structure made of ice and snow covers 5,500 square meters.
Although ICEHOTEL is only open from December through mid-April, its construction is a year-round process. Between March and April, 5,000 tons of ice is harvested from the Torne River and kept in cold storage during spring and summer. Construction then takes place in November and December.
Around 100 people are involved in the construction of ICEHOTEL, half of which are artists commissioned to design particular areas of the hotel.
Various accommodation types are available at ICEHOTEL, including the simple but spacious snow room (March rates start at $246 per person, per night); the ice room, which is furnished with furniture made of ice (March rates start at $308 per person, per night); and the deluxe suite, which features a large bed and seating area made of ice and snow, an en suite sauna and toilet ($1,155 per night).
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway