Inside Sweden’s Ice Hotel

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

Amidst the gorgeous Narnia landscape of the Swedish Lapland stands Icehotel, the world’s first hotel built entirely of ice and snow. It’s hard to believe that everything here is made of ice, until you see it for yourself.

We recently visited the Icehotel on a daytrip from Abisko and were blown away by this work of art. Everything is made of ice: The ice chambers have rock solid ice beds and frosty ice chairs, and ice chandeliers hang from the ice ceiling. Even the glasses in the Icebar are made of ice. Thankfully, despite the all-ice philosophy, guests are snug under reindeer skins and thick sleeping bags.

Since it first opened its doors to guests, many ice hotels have popped up around the world, but few can compare to the original Icehotel in terms of size and artistic style. Each winter, the hotel is built afresh in Jukkasjärvi, right next to Tornio River where the ice is collected from.  Over 21,500 tonnes of snice (a mixture of snow and ice) are used to build the the 5,500-square-meter building each year. Once summer approaches, the ice all melts away and flows back into the river. To avoid pollution, the hotel never uses color or paint in the ice.

Each year, around 45 artists from around the world are invited to design the suites. These artists have been carefully selected by a panel of judges based on their artistic skills and ice sculpting experience. Each suite features its own unique design and story so before you book your stay at Icehotel be sure to find the story behind your suite.

Here’s a photographic tour of the Icehotel:

Main entrance of ICEHHOTEL

The main entrance of the Icehotel is simply constructed of rectangular blocks of ice and a reindeer hide door.


This year’s theme is ‘unfold’, thus the folding patterns in many of the ice sculptures around the hotel. The photo above shows the arches in the Icebar.

Whitewater Suite

My favorite suite in the Icehotel is the Whitewater Suite, which is designed to give the sensation of floating in the Tornio River.

Flower Suite

The Flower Room is designed by a Japanese couple who have been designed suites at the Icehotel seven times. This room represents the re-growth of Japan after the tsunami.

Northern Lights suite

The Northern Lights suite has gorgeous turquoise green lights fluttering overhead to resemble the auroral display.

Crazy and cool suite

The Cold and Crazy suite is at its name implies, wacky and icy!

Virgin in Space suite

 The Virgin of Space Suite was inspired by the movie, ‘The Moon’.

Iceberg Suite

This suite is designed by a Dutch artist who wanted to create “an iceberg in a soft environment”, which prompted him to design a single icy object lit from within, incorporating a bed, a sofa and a dining table with two seats.


A standard room is gorgeous on its own.


The Icebar is eclectic in design and features a huge collection of cocktails. There are also Icebar branches in London, Copenhagen and Oslo.

the bar counter

The entire bar counter is made of nothing but ice.

ice glasses from the ICEBAR

The ICEBAR produces more than one million ice glasses each year. All the cocktails in the ICEBAR are named after the suites.

Drinking from the ice glass

 Sipping from an ice glass can be quite an experience.


About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

19 Responses to “Inside Sweden’s Ice Hotel”

  1. Migration Expert January 22, 2013 7:33 pm #

    It looks unreal. I don't know that it is possible to build a hotel that is 100% made of ice. It is indeed a great experience for you!

  2. bethany January 23, 2013 11:20 am #

    Very cool! I have always wanted to stay in an ice hotel and this one looks really beautiful inside. :)

    • Nellie January 30, 2013 5:27 am #

      Thanks Bethany! We didn\’t get to stay here, but we did sleep in another snow hotel and it wasn\’t as cold as I imagined! We were warm and snuggly in the sleeping bag.

  3. Jam @icoSnap January 24, 2013 9:59 am #

    Amazing! One of my good friends actually stayed at an ice hotel before and I don't know how she managed to sleep (its probably too cold). How do you get to wash your face, etc. I'm thinking too much. But it looks so beautiful.

    • @panetes January 24, 2013 11:02 am #

      The hotel has warm areas where the toilets, showers, etc. are located. They told us that one year they decided to build an ice toilet as a joke but some people thought it was for real and they used it. Imagine cleaning that! I guess they learnt their lesson…

  4. Shipping January 31, 2013 9:00 am #

    These are in fact wonderful ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some good factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  5. Canyoning Wales April 23, 2013 6:55 am #

    Wow that's incredible. I doesn't even look real! You must have been cold sleeping there? Do you know what temperature the rooms are? Also don't you melt the beds with your body heat at night?

  6. NT@ Ice Hotel April 23, 2013 9:50 am #

    Eh eh, it looks like we have several destinations in common. I've been there at the ice hotel couple of years before, in my first trip to Lapland!

  7. Cheap 1300 Numbers June 1, 2013 8:28 am #

    This is amazing hotel no need of air-conditioner anymore:) This hotel looks impressive, I just wonder how they build it.

  8. Camaro June 4, 2013 2:22 pm #

    That a true masterpeace. Looks really nice, but i am curious what is the temperature inside this hotel, because sure it can't be positive, since all ice would melt down.

    • Nellie June 7, 2013 10:13 am #

      The temperature inside is around -2 degrees Celsius, but once you are inside the sleeping bag, you feel quite snug and warm.

  9. Chair Slipcovers October 12, 2013 11:20 am #

    I suffer from Bipolar very badly!! Any help in getting through the winter is awesome! I will try these tips and look forward to feeling better!!
    Thank you for a Fantastic article!!

  10. bobby February 11, 2014 1:10 am #

    Look good, I visit the one in quebec city Canada for me its more a stunning way to see ice sculpture to sleep im not sure :)


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