Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Ice Hotel of Sweden

The Ice Hotel of Sweden is an ultimate place to chill. The Hotel is situated in the Swedish Lapland town of Jukkasjarvi. It opens every year in early December and closes at the end of April. Every year in October the artists and local villagers, most from the Sami tribe in the area, begin to build the new ice hotel, which opens in mid-December. Snow canons and front loaders start by forming the snow over the steel sections that are the main structure of the Ice hotel. Sections are moved around and replaced by ice pillars put in place to give support to the snow arches. blocks of ice taken from the frozen Torne River each winter and frozen for use the following year, the Hotel at the moment is in its twentieth re-incarnation and is as impressive as ever. It began meagerly 14 years ago - one room. The 2004 season boasted 50-rooms with 5,000 square metres built of 30,000 tons of snow and 4,000 tons of ice.

Inside the Ice hotel, there is a reception area, hall of pillars, Iceart exhibition, Absolut Icebar, Ice hotel cinema and an Icechurch and of course there is a warmer option. The hotel also has cabin accommodation, a warm bar where the staff take great enjoyment in asking if you'd like ice with your drink with wry smiles all round.All water that is used in taps and bathrooms coming straight from the river Torne. Each person is given an ultra-warm sleeping bag and most people remark how "warm" they felt during the night even though the temperature is usually a steady five degrees below zero.

The Hotel also has a range of activities provided throughout the day while guests eagerly await night-fall in the hopes of catching a glimpse of those all too elusive Northern Lights. A trip by Snow Mobile is one option. After being taught to drive the equivalent of a jet-ski for on land use, the excursion follows tracks through the fir trees and along-side the frozen river before stopping for hot lingen berry juice (a local specialty), bread, cheese and smoked reindeer heart. Other activities include Hunting, Fishing, Snow driving, Horse Riding and Skiing. Most people stay at the Ice hotel for two or three nights, but you will only spend one night in the actual Ice hotel and the additional nights in the Scandinavian bungalows also on the property.

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