Sleeping in Ice Hotel. How cold and comfortable is it really?
Sweden

Sleeping in Ice Hotel. How cold and comfortable is it really?

The thing that makes travelling exhilarating and unforgettable is new experiences. These can include unconventional ways of travelling, authentic food, strange activities or unique accommodation, such as the Ice Hotel. There are quite a few of them in the Arctic and during our crazy one-week stay in the north of Sweden, we decided to stop by Jukkasjärvi Icehotel in the vicinity of Kiruna.

ice hotel sweden
Area in fornt of hotel

Jukkasjärvi is the first and largest ice hotel in the world. The hotel has existed for 17 years, i.e. it has been rebuilt for 17 years, because it opens in December and receives visitors and guests until April, only to melt and disappear altogether in the sun. Each year in March, 990 tons of ice is harvested from the Torne river and then, along with 27.000 tons of snow, transported to a warehouse or studio where artists will be working till November on the new design for the next season. This year for the first time, the hotel will be open during the summer. We haven’t got the foggiest idea how they’re gonna make this happen!

Almost all adventure tourists that end up in this part of Sweden don’t miss the chance to spend at least one day at the ice hotel and the Sami village. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

 

Snowmobile ride

The distance of 30 kilometers was an ideal opportunity to start the snowmobiles. If you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle, you’ll have no trouble at all, but even if you haven’t, you’ll catch the drift if you carefully listen to a ten-minute training. Hold the handlebar, hit the gas pedal and off you go! When braking, release the gas and then hit the brake, but never do it simultaneously. Keep the distance. Be a bit more careful in the beginning, and when you start to relax and get the hang of it, just step on the gas! However, these machines are and they can easily reach the speed of 100, or even 120 km/h. The feeling is absolutely amazing! The tracks crush the snow and the adrenaline just courses through your heart and brain.

ice hotel sweden
Snowmobile ride through thundras

It took us about 40 minutes or so to get to the hotel on bank of the frozen lake. We drove through the tundra and the snow-bound clearings. The nature is absolutely stunning and the ride itself is definitely something to talk about. We parked on the bank and moved on.

 

Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi Sweden

The hotel comprises two ice complexes and a row of small log cabins. Each guest of the hotel gets two rooms – a designer ice chamber and a small homely log cabin. After sleeping on the block of ice until your nose starts to leak, get your stuff, make a note in your journal ‘been there, done that’ and go sleep like a log in the warm cabin. The ice complex is a sort of gallery or museum and is open to visitors until 5 pm. The guests of the hotel cannot get into their rooms before 6 pm and the wake-up call is at 7.30 am.

ice hotel sweden
Church in Ice Hotel

The hotel features a sauna, restaurant, an Ice bar and a church, which is immensely popular with future brides and grooms. The hotel organizes guided tours that begin at 12 and 2 pm. Since we prefer to explore on our own rather than cling to tour groups, we bought the tickets in the form of jacket stickers and started off. The ticket allows you to visit all the designer rooms, the church and the Icebar.

ice hotel sweden
Designed room in the hotel

Each room has a separate theme accompanied by appropriate music and light effects and each was designed by one of the ice sculptors. The variety is endless – from abstract shapes, oversized heads, jellyfish, moustaches and monocles to antic heroes and muses. A myriad of different ideas!

ice hotel sweden
Chilling in the living room

One of the most ingenious museum exhibitions we’ve ever seen! We tried the armchairs, sofas and beds, of course – everything we could rest our butts on. We can say without a shadow of a doubt that those who enjoy a hard mattress would be more that pleased. Joking aside, if you decide to spend the night here, you won’t be literally sleeping on ice. The frame of the bed is actually an ice box covered with a normal mattress, reindeer hide and perfectly normal linen. The temperature in the hotel ranges from -5 to -7̊C, so it is recommended that you wear a hat and thermal underwear while sleeping. You can get a sleeping bag at the hotel and they swear this will make you spend a perfectly comfortable night.

ice hotel sweden
Attempt number 13! Catching the sleep.

If you want to take a peek in every room, visit the church with an amazing ice chandelier and finally have a drink at the Icebar, be ready to allocate at least two hours for such a tour.

The Icebar is really cool – the music, the sound of people chatting, the bar, stools and glasses made of ice. The glasses are treated with a special polishing substance, so there is no need to worry that your mouth will stick to them. They are completely safe, both for your tongue and your lips. They’re a bit thicker, which increases the chance of spilling, but let’s not be such nitpickers. Overall, it’s a unique place to have a beer or some colourful cocktail which looks great served in an ice glass.

 

The only warm place in the hotel is the toilet of this bar, so you shouldn’t worry if you have more than one drink. The visit to the toilet won’t be a traumatic experience.

 

Sami Hut

As an addition to Ice hotel in the vicinity of it you can find Sami hut and museum. The Sami are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sapmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. They are hunters and live mostly in the wild where they herd reindeer and moose. From the hotel’s reception, you should go along the main street and after about 15 minutes of walking you will see a wooden church and a hut. There is also a small farm of reindeer. You can buy the hay they like, feed them and give them a gentle stroke.

ice hotel sweden
Reindeer farm in Jukkasjarvi

Wonderful creatures with large eyes! There are adult males with marvelous antlers, but also young calves which are rather timid. In the large wooden hut near the farm, there is a Sami restaurant and a small souvenir shop. It’s a bit morbid to be stroking a reindeer at one moment and admiring its magnificence and then get into the hut with a splendid large hearth in the middle where reindeer is prepared in six traditional ways. We’re not gonna lie to you, we tasted it… and it’s fucking good! The meat itself cannot be compared with anything we’ve tried before. It has a special flavor and a bright deep red colour.

The atmosphere in the hut is totally relaxed. There is a pack of cards on each table. Warm hides for sitting are everywhere and the irresistible smell of food is wafting on every side. This is an ideal place to make yourself warm and have a nice chatter. The prices are by no means low, but they’re not extortionate either. All in all, we heartily recommend that you visit this place.

ice hotel sweden
Sami hut and reindeer hamburger

If you ever end up in this part of the world, make sure you set aside one day and visit the hotel and the Sami people. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. So many crazy stuff and extraordinary events in the course of only one day – from the snowmobile chase, a truly artistic tour of the hotel and reindeer fondling to messing around by the fire in a wooden hut while enjoying a perfect meal. A truly memorable experience!

37 Comments

  1. Jatin Chhabra

    -5 degrees in the rooms. WOW… Reindeer looks amazing. kinda reminds me of Christmas, though we only see the one made up of cardboard :). in which month did you visit Sweden?

    25/03/2017 Reply
    • mozeci

      February! They say that hotel melting is a great time to visit 😀

      25/03/2017
  2. SpendLifeTraveling

    This is incredible! I have been thinking about staying in an ice hotel (and riding a snowmobile by the way) for so long and this definitely convinces me I should go!

    26/03/2017 Reply
  3. Halef

    Sounds like something that I would like to try! I always dream of visiting land far north, and the ice hotel is definitely what I had in mind. Thank you for sharing, and I really enjoy seeing your pictures. Although I think it is a bit morbid to admire reindeer outside, and go inside to have their meat in forms of hamburger. Nobody wants to eat Sven the reindeer!

    Travel safe!

    26/03/2017 Reply
    • mozeci

      We totally agree when it comes to reindeer food. It was one bitter bite.

      27/03/2017
  4. Fillia Barden (@thereforewego)

    I really want to try to stay in an ice hotel. Been reading some post about ice hotels and I’m convinced! Will plan it for the future trip xx

    26/03/2017 Reply
    • mozeci

      You must 🙂

      27/03/2017
  5. Khansa

    Woah that must have been like an incredible experience. Never heard of an ice hotel before

    27/03/2017 Reply
  6. finaciofotografia

    So, so fun. I would love sleep there for sure. Also ride a snowmobile should be awesome. Even I am a guy of warm weather I love have these kind of experiences. Also know more about the Sami people, it is a tribe that I am following their history. Recently I saw this movie about a Sami girl!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o2FkppwDoU

    27/03/2017 Reply
    • mozeci

      Haha…awesome. I gonna share this link.

      27/03/2017
    • mozeci

      I’m gonna add you to this post as additional info about Sami people. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      27/03/2017
  7. effcaa

    Oh this looks amazing, i bet it must have been super cold though! It’s so calming somehow to know that there are still people living in the wild north while I work in front of a computer in London all day long. What special world we live in!
    xx finja | http://www.effcaa.com

    27/03/2017 Reply
  8. Only By Land

    I think you chose the best ice hotel, first and largest! Did you guys see the northern lights? I’d be scared waiting outside for them to appear with those reindeer out there!

    27/03/2017 Reply
    • mozeci

      Yes we did. I little bit 🙁 It was a bad timing when it comes to Aurora. To much clouds for 5 days. But first day we had it 🙂

      27/03/2017
  9. promisemaxwell

    I can’t imagine how much fun you guys had staying in an ice hotel and being the first and largest in the world must have been quite an experience! Snowmobile riding is a must do for any.

    27/03/2017 Reply
  10. Tony (tonyandkimoutdooradventures)

    Been on the cards for a while to head to a country to photograph snow and houses. I’m in a city that doesn’t get to experience snow. I did a tour of a ice bar and loved it. A whole ice hotel would be allsome. I think sleep would be hard. Wearing all the clothing just to sleep would be uncomfortable. Thanks for the read, something I have saved to look into a little more.

    28/03/2017 Reply
  11. robin masshole mommy

    I don’t know if I will ever get there, so I am glad you shared your photos. It sounds like such an interesting place to stay.

    28/03/2017 Reply
  12. Jessica Taylor

    That is absolutely amazing! Such a great experience!

    28/03/2017 Reply
  13. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I WOULD LOVE THIS PLACE. I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE sleeping in the coldddd! My husband hates it and gets mad when I wanna turn on the AC at night, but ugh, lets just say, I haven’t been sleeping very well these past few days – and I know why! ha!

    28/03/2017 Reply
  14. alpluslex

    OMG how cool is this! Not sure if I could do it though…

    <3 https://alpluslex.com/

    28/03/2017 Reply
  15. Author Brandi Kennedy

    This looks like an amazing time! I’ve always wanted to stay in an ice hotel – but I can’t imagine eating reindeer.

    Then again, I’m the type of person who looks at a cow and thinks, “I bet that one would be delicious with cheese,” so who knows.

    28/03/2017 Reply
  16. Jessica Hughes

    This looks like such an amazing experience! I would love to see this hotel and look at all of the designer rooms, the church and the ice bar. However, I’m not sure I would make it sleeping in one of the rooms, I would probably have to sleep in the warm cabin!

    28/03/2017 Reply
  17. Amber

    This would be an experience, that’s for sure! I’d try it out!

    28/03/2017 Reply
  18. The Trophy WifeStyle

    Omg now this had to be one neat experience!!! I have been to a few ice bars but never a hotel!!! So neat!

    28/03/2017 Reply
  19. Sondra Barker

    What an experience I am sure it is to sleep in an ice hotel! That is pretty incredible that it is actually comfortable, I feel like I’m always cold. Looks like an amazing time!

    http://prettyfitfoodie.com/2017/03/28/recap-ultimate-newport-beach-brunch-event-fresh-toast-oc-weekly/

    28/03/2017 Reply
  20. Esse D

    This is so cool! I’d never heard the details of construction until reading this. This would definitely make for a cool trip (pun intended).

    29/03/2017 Reply
  21. Carol Cassara

    It’s amazing and stunning but I can imagine not having the time of my life sleeping on that cold bed. I wouldn’t mind experiencing it though. This is really nice.

    29/03/2017 Reply
  22. Elizbeth O.

    I’ve always been curious about​ this place. And I really appreciate you getting real and talking about what it’s really like sleeping on that bed. I would still love to explore the place though.

    29/03/2017 Reply
  23. Phaytea

    No way!!!!!! Looks like fun too….the memories will last a long time

    29/03/2017 Reply
  24. Blair Villanueva

    I could imagine myseld like a frozen fish in this place. Ohh uts crazy but a 25degree celcious temperature ia already cold for me 🙂 I’ve enjoyed feeling jealous of your adventure.

    29/03/2017 Reply
  25. Ana De-Jesus

    I have never been one for the cold but even I think this is a pretty darn cool hotel . I like that you can actually sleep in warmer rooms if given the choice and the ice church is so beautiful x

    29/03/2017 Reply
  26. Karina

    I want to go!!! Like now! My kids have been learning about the Inuits and would looooove an adventure like this. Definitely when they’re a bit older though. I would probably freeze my butt off though… because I’m always cold! Your pictures are great… so cool you got to experience this!

    29/03/2017 Reply
  27. alittlechinwag

    This looks amazing. I certainly want to check out this ice hotel in Sweden, it is on my bucket list! 🙂

    29/03/2017 Reply
  28. MyYellowApron

    My husband lived in Sweden for a year (for work) and really loved it. He has promised me that, he would take me there sometime.

    29/03/2017 Reply
  29. BriannePatrice

    This looks like so much fun! Im torn between wanting to go and hating the cold. Lol!

    29/03/2017 Reply
  30. Wanderlust Vegans

    Sleeping in an ice hotel looks like such a unique experience. It looks like it would be a little cold going snowmobiling out to the ice hotel but I guess as long as you dress the part then it is fine. What an awesome idea for a cold weather holiday.

    30/03/2017 Reply
  31. Riely

    The ice hotel would be high on my list to visit or stay while in Kiruna, Sweden. It’s amazing how they redesign and build year after year. I wonder how they will manage having it available during the summer. The bed looks pretty cozy from the pictures even though the temperatures are freezing! Thanks for sharing.

    30/03/2017 Reply

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