Chill Out at One of the World’s Best Ice Hotels
Winter lovers, we’ve got a real treat for you! If you’ve never stayed in an ice hotel before, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to embrace these chilly, glittering months. Structured with ice and covered by snow, these wintertime hotels contain furnished bedrooms, full service restaurants, and a myriad of other attractions. They’re also beautifully decorated by local artists, who work tirelessly to carve the interiors, build the exteriors, and create majestic ice sculptures. All in all, every hotel is mesmerizing to see!
Ice hotels have been a common attraction in Scandinavian countries for years. But recently, these snowy fortresses were founded in other daring countries like Canada, Slovenia, and Romania. Most of these destinations are located in Europe. For your Schengen visa, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 month. For destinations in Canada, Europeans need to have their Canada eTa in place.
Below, we’ll show you around the world’s best ice hotels to visit. If there’s a hotel that catches your fancy, be sure to book fast! Their rooms often fill up before the first snowfall every year.
Hôtel de Glace – Québec City, Canada
Located outside of Québec City, Hôtel de Glace is North America’s first ice hotel. Surrounded by ice sculptures, it’s a shimmering facility that hosts 44 guest rooms with high, arching ceilings. Each room is outfitted with a double bed made from ice and wood, topped by a soft, downy mattress. The hotel also contains a grand hall, a chapel, and even a long ice slide for kids. There’s also an intricately decorated bar, which serves its beverages in ice glasses! Visitors are welcome to take guided tours of the site, go dogsledding, and try making their own icy creations in the Ice Workshop.
ICEHOTEL 365 – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Source: IceHotel.com, Sweden
Sweden’s ICEHOTEL 365 is now open all year long! First built in 1989, this breathtaking structure is officially a permanent feature on Jukkasjärvi’s skyline. November 2016 marked the beginning of this exciting era, as organizers opened the new ice hotel, which includes luxury rooms, an ice bar, and even an ice gallery filled with exhibits. Indeed, art is a huge priority at ICEHOTEL 365. Each year, artists compete for those coveted 40 spots, which allow them to help design and construct this gorgeous hotel. For guests at ICEHOTEL 365, many fun activities are provided like skiing, ice fishing, dogsledding, and a snowmobile journey beneath the Northern Lights.
Hotel of Ice – Sibiu, Romania
Visiting the Hotel of Ice is a real treat, thanks to the hotel’s surrounding landscape. Built atop a glacial lake called Balea Lac, these snowy buildings are encircled by Fagaras mountain ranges. It’s very picture perfect! The hotel itself contains 15 rooms with king-sized beds, an ice church, and the usual restaurant and bar combo, which serves rustic drinks and Transylvanian cuisine to hungry diners. For wintertime amusement, Sibiu’s Hotel of Ice grants access to Winterpark, where guests can raft, tube, and ride snowmobiles around this snow-filled oasis.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – Alta, Norway
With its 30 guest rooms, Alta’s Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel offers luxurious accommodations, such as morning saunas, a breakfast buffet, and even free Wifi. Each year, the hotel changes theme and its ice rooms are decorated anew with ornate carvings. If visitors prefer a more rustic experience, they can camp outside in a lavvo, the traditional tent of Norway’s Sampo people. The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel also provides an exotic snowmobile safari, which shows visitors impressive views from the mountains. To warm up after their snowy fun, guests can grab a meal at Restaurant Laksestua, a gourmet restaurant that sources its ingredients from local farmers and hunters.
The SnowCastle of Kemi – Kemi, Finland
The SnowCastle of Kemi isn’t just an ice hotel, it’s a castle! Designed in a new style every year, this stunning attraction is carved and constructed from the sea water’s ice and snow. With its ornate architecture and towering sculptures, this 21-room hotel is a wonder to behold. Their SnowRestaurant is also the world’s largest ice restaurant, holding up to 200 guests, who are invited to enjoy traditional Finnish cuisine and drink from ice goblets. Inside Kemi’s SnowCastle itself, visitors will find an arch-filled chapel for wintertime weddings, alongside a stage where many concerts are preformed. Guided tours of this majestic facility are also available.
Kirkenes Snowhotel – Kirkenes, Norway
Despite the raging, arctic weather, it’s always a toasty -4°C inside Kirkenes Snowhotel! All jokes aside, this Norwegian ice hotel is one of the country’s premier attractions. Opened officially in 2006, it hosts a plethora of whimsical snow statues and contains 20 guest rooms, which can sleep between 2 to 5 people. These rooms are splendidly decorated with a unique theme based on the country’s culture or outdoor beauty. Guests are also invited to partake in winter activities, like snowshoeing the wilderness, fishing for king crabs, and riding a husky taxi across a frozen lake.
Eskimska Vas – Ljubljana, Slovenia
Situated outside of Slovenia’s capital city, Eskimska Vas is small, picturesque igloo village. It holds four igloos in total, two 8-person igloos and two romance-themed igloos for couples. These adorable winter homes are built from snow, then furnished with comfortable beds, kept warm by sheep’s skin and extra insulated sleeping bags. At Eskimska Vas, there’s also an igloo restaurant that serves Slovenia comfort food, like carniolian sausage, homemade bread, and fresh horseradish. Many special events are organized for visitors too, including igloo building, sledding for all ages, and amateur biathlon challenges. These snowy facilities are also delightfully close to nearby ski resorts.
Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village – Saariselka, Finland
Another igloo-based hotel on our list is Hotel Kakslauttanen in Saariselka, Finland. The cool thing about this place is guests can choose whether they want a traditional snow igloo–or one built from glass! The glass igloo is a great choice if you want the full experience of staying at an ice hotel, but prefer to keep some creature comforts. These living facilities also have their own toilets, which is a welcome feature. Saunas and showers are available in a separate, nearby building. A final perk of the glass igloo is being able to see the Aurora Borealis all night! Hotel Kakslauttanen also provides a Santa’s Resort for kids, who want to visit with Santa, his elves, and a fleet of real life reindeer. Meanwhile, adults will enjoy the ice gallery and sculpture workshops.