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IceHotel of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden: A Livable Ice Sculpture

Updated on June 8, 2016

A Magical Fantastical Hotel of Ice

If you are looking for a truly unique and romantic hotel for a fantasy honeymoon or vacation, look no further than the IceHotel of Sweden. Of course you will have to reserve your room well in advance and travel during the snowy months...but it will be totally worth it--guaranteed. In fact if you pay a visit the following year, the hotel will be different.

Totally different. That's because this hotel made of ice is built from the ground (or, well, ice) up each and every year. So when they say you'll have a once in a lifetime stay, they truly mean it!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons by Laplandish

Swedish Ice Hotel
Swedish Ice Hotel

IceHotel History

How the Magic Began

In the spring of 1990, Jannot Derid (a French ice artist) created an exhibition housed within an igloo. It so happened that one night all of the local hotels were booked, so some of the guests to the exhibition asked if they could stay in the igloo hall of art. They slept in their sleeping bags which were placed on top of some reindeer skins.

These guest's quarters were very primitive compared to the IceHotel of today, but technically they can be considered the "hotel's" very first guests. Since that time every spring the IceHotel melts away into the Torne River, and late every autumn it is rebuilt.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons by user Stephan Herz

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together."

Verna M. Kelly

IceHotel Entrance
IceHotel Entrance

IceHotel's Yearly Build

Every Year Brings to Life a New Vision

Once the temperature drops down far enough (generally around the middle of November), the process of building starts. And the race against the elements is on once more. Huge steel forms are set up first. Then snow is sprayed directly onto those forms. Once the snow has frozen solid, the steel frame is removed. The result is a magical ice-bound structure of snowy hallways. Then the magic truly begins as the ice artists begin their creations.

The hotel of ice opens in stages. The very first stage opens around the beginning of December. Another stage opens at the rate of one per week until the beginning of the year, when the IceHotel is complete.

Once complete, the hotel's amenities include a church, reception hall, bar, main hall, and enough rooms and suites to house over 100 guests. Each room and/or suite is different, too. No one size fits all thinking here. And everything in the hotel, right down to the furniture and the glasses in the bar, is made of ice.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons by Laplandish

The IceHotel Church

Hotel Made of Ice: The Church
Hotel Made of Ice: The Church

The IceHotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden has the distinction of being the world's first hotel made of ice. Others have followed, but this one remains the largest. And just to show how wonderful it truly's made the list of Sweden's Seven Wonders.

But just only exists from December to April.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons byAnghy

Create Your Own Ice Sculptures - For Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays and More!

Do you love the look of the incredibly awesome ice sculptures? Are you looking for an extra special centerpiece for your extra special event?

Now (in a very small way) you can bring the beauty of ice to your very special occassion. You don't even have to hire an expensive ice sculptor! Simply purchase a pre-made--and reusable!--mold and create your very own masterpiece of ice!

The IceBar

The IceBar
The IceBar

In 1994, the IceHotel partnered with Absolut Vodka to open the first Absolut IceBar. To my knowledge this is the only place that serves Vodka in the rocks versus on the rocks. Yup, the glasses are crafted from blocks of ice...

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons by user MRB

"Winter dies into the spring, to be born again in the autumn."

Marche Blumenberg

Each Year (and Every Room) Holds a Different Vision

Snowball Room
Snowball Room

The IceHotel's architecture changes with each year, and every room and suite is different. Ice Artists submit their creative ideas ahead of time and each year around 50 artists are selected to carve their dreams into ice.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons by user Stephan Herz

Hotels Made of Ice - Canada and the United States!

If Sweden is too far away for your fantasy hotel stay, maybe one of these hotels will work better for you. They are all made of ice...and all simply magical!

Sweden's Ice Hotel On Youtube

The second video is long...about 45 minutes and gives a really good overview of exactly how the hotel is built each year.

Beat the Heat: Bring a Little Ice Into Your Living Space - Icy Murals to Cool Any Room!

When it's hot outside, and a hotel made entirely of ice starts sounding like a really good idea, why not bring some cool artwork into your home? These murals and pictures of ice and snow will lend a chill to the hottest summer air.

Central Park in Winter - 72"W x 48"H - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys
Central Park in Winter - 72"W x 48"H - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys

Looks like you just walk right through the wall, doesn't it?


The Banished Dragon Art Suite

Ice Dragon Room
Ice Dragon Room

I saved my very favorite room for last. The banished dragon art suite. I love the image of the curled dragon!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons by Laplandish

Where was Your Most Unforgettable Vacation? - Please share!

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    • profile image

      gaser983 5 years ago

      Beautiful Hotel of Ice! Squidlike

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      Well I've never been to any ice hotels! Looks absolutely spectacular.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      This is incredible, it is a work of art or really function as a hotel, i m just thinking how I can sleep in a ice bed... sorry about my ignorance... Great lens and unique in its way.

    • alex89 lm profile image

      alex89 lm 5 years ago

      I think I would have to say Zanzibar, I loved it so much that I have seriously considered moving there a few times.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      Wow- so cool! My most unforgettable vacation was traveling through Croatia!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens.. :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      I've had several vacations that were unforgettable for differents reasons. Watched the videos; really something.

    • Onlinemum3 profile image

      Onlinemum3 5 years ago

      I would so love to stay there. One day, hopefully!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      It looks a truly wonderful place but I feel the cold so much that I really can't imagine staying there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this is so awesome!! i hope one day i am able to visit this place! great lense

    • SueMarchant profile image

      SueMarchant 5 years ago

      We spent a weekend at Jukkasjarvi celebrating a wedding anniversary and it was truly outstanding. Not used to such cold temperatures, we were a bit apprehensive, but everyone was very welcoming and happy to explain and help. We went on a skidoo safari, tried to find moose and reindeer, drove husky sledges and - finally - spent a night in an iceroom. It was glorious and just what I would recommend for a very special holiday.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      This is amazing. I wish I can stay at least one night there.

    • profile image

      reeferplanet 5 years ago

      This looks really nice! I like this lens on hot days!

    • Rossouw Coetzee profile image

      Anonymous 5 years ago from Stellenbosch, South Africa

      Very amazing lens. I never even knew about this amazing hotel!

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 5 years ago

      Thanks for doing a lens on a topic from my country! The Icehotel is pretty awesome, well worth a visit for anyone in the neighborhood.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'd love to visit sometime! But I'd be concerned that it would be a tad bit cold for me!

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      For some reason all this ice looks great to me. Blessings for cooling us off.

    • ITCoach LM profile image

      ITCoach LM 5 years ago

      You made me crazy after mentioning this cool place. visiting Sweden and Switzerland is always my dream. You made a hilarious jerk to me writing on these topics. I have no words to praise you at all.

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 5 years ago from USA

      Beautiful, but too cold for me!

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image

      thememorybooksh1 5 years ago

      wow a stay in 5 degree, amazing .

    • profile image

      ansruthi 5 years ago

      ice hotel ! making a cool feel in me.

      very interested to visit

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      I am amazed at the beauty of the ice hotel of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. Thank you for sharing such glorious art with us.

      Congratulations on being on the front page! Awesome job!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      Must be a sight to see and visit. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kae Yo profile image

      Kae Yo 5 years ago

      I think that would be an absolutely fun place to visit! Congratulations on making the front page!

    • profile image

      leonasharon 5 years ago

      Well I am yet to go to my unforgettable vacation

      But I would definitely like to visit the Ice Hotel once in my lifetime

    • Snowsprite profile image

      Fay 5 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Wow I'd love to visit and stay in an ice hotel.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Wow .. what a magical place! I really enjoyed these pictures of the ice hotel of Jukkasjarvi.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I definitely want to do this and so appreciated your excellent history and explanation. It is difficult to choose one vacation ahead of another, but possibly Africa - sleeping in safari tents with lions outside and taking armed-guide walking safaris as well as the traditional Landrover safari is hard to beat. Blessings.

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 5 years ago

      New Zealand. Was fantastic.

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      It's amazing what they can do with ice. Part of me would like to stay in one of them but I think it may be to cold. Wonderful what can be done.

    • profile image

      anooptu 5 years ago

      ice hotel! i never saw and heard about this kind of hotels in india. Interesting and sounds beautiful !

    • MrInfopreneur profile image

      MrInfopreneur 5 years ago

      no where cold, but in Bali, Indonesia

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      South Africa was one of our best.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Congratulations on being featured on the Frontpage of Squidoo!

    • profile image

      vaigavenugopal 5 years ago

      really interesting stuff..nic pics on ice church , bar, art suite etc...looking for more..:)

    • moanaparker lm profile image

      moanaparker lm 5 years ago

      An Amazing Place, would love to stay here :)

    • profile image

      davecurrtis 5 years ago

      This is truly amazing! Going here would be an unforgettable vacation.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      Visiting an ice hotel is on my bucket list. Hopefully I'll get there one day!

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico


    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 5 years ago from Sydney Australia

      I would LOVE to stay in one of these

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Wow, your pictures are awesome. I would love to visit one day.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      would love to holiday here, truly amazing

    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      Wow! I want to go visit the hotel of ice! Fabulous!!

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      What an amazing place!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      That is the coolest place! Literally! I've heard it before but learned much more from your lens. Great idea for the "melting" quest.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      This is spectacular! Wow. I couldn't imagine they could ever do something like this. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I visited China but this is so different! Wouldn't you freeze? I mean, brrrr! I'd love to see it, but I'm just not sure if I'd want to sleep there!

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      This is so incredibly beautiful. I keep thinking it would be could to sleep there but my husband says no. People are so creative. Just think if everyone would put their energies toward creating things of beauty instead of fighting.