BBC Two's Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby television series took hosts Monica Galetti and Giles Coren into some of the world's most intriguing properties, and it was no surprise that Episode 6 featured one of our all-time favourites: the ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland. Want to visit for yourself? Take a look at our most popular ICEHOTEL holiday for a 3-night getaway.
Each winter, more than 30,000 litres of water are taken from the nearby River Torne to construct the ice and snow-based structure anew, and since its inaugural season in 1989, the hotel has attracted some of the world's finest ice sculptors and artistic talents. Other hotels have taken on the idea of staying in an igloo, but the ICEHOTEL is the original. It sells out months in advance every year, and it's easy to understand why.
The core of the experience is an overnight stay in one of the ice suites, where the dazzling ice sculptures are dramatically lit and the beds come with sleeping bags and reindeer skins to keep you warm through the night. Smaller Ice and Snow rooms are also available for guests seeking a less extravagant, but equally memorable, experience.
The ICEBAR is another key highlight of an ICEHOTEL visit, as it makes for a congenial central gathering place with plenty of artistic merit of its own. Cocktails are served in ice glasses, and the menu includes bespoke options if you're feeling inspired by the creativity around you. The restaurant on-site also offers an array of gourmet options, often served on plates of – you guessed it – ice.
To explore the nearby landscape, the hotel offers a number of excursions and activities, such as dogsledding with a team of eager huskies, as well as snowmobiling trips into the untouched snowy hills, and skiing options nearby. The local culture is deeply felt, and we highly recommend taking some time to visit a nearby village of the Sámi people, to get to know more about the people who have long called this frosty landscape home.
In very exciting news, 2017 marks the first year of ICEHOTEL 365, a year-round incarnation of the ICEHOTEL. Rather than waiting for winter and racing to get a room at the original hotel, guests can stay in this temperature-controlled nearby building and experience the same wonder as they would at the original pop-up. Art Suites, meticulously designed and constructed by some of the same artists as the original ICEHOTEL, will be available and the entire building is powered by solar energy – plentiful when you have such a long stretch of the Midnight Sun as can be found in Swedish Lapland.
One of the Deluxe Suites at the ICEHOTEL 365