The Ice Hotel of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden - Unique Places around the World

Jukkasjärvi's ICEHOTEL, near Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden. Editorial credit: karenfoleyphotography /
Jukkasjärvi's ICEHOTEL, near Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden. Editorial credit: karenfoleyphotography /

5. Description

The Ice Hotel (or ICEHOTEL) is to be found in Jukkasjärvi, a small town in Sweden 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The town is around 15 kilometers from the nearest airport in the town Kiruna in the Swedish province of Lapland. Every winter, the Ice Hotel is built with a fresh design. The chairs, chandeliers, beds, suites, and hotel bar are each carved from ice. Nonetheless, there are still warm areas for dressing, showering, and even enjoying saunas. The Ice Hotel looks like it was built from huge pieces of contoured glass. It is allowed for by the ice found in the Swedish Lapland, which during winter has temperatures reaching down to -40 degrees centigrade (-40 Fahrenheit).

4. Tourism

Built in 1989, the Ice Hotel of Jukkasjärvi was the world’s first ice hotel, with many imitators to follow. The ICEHOTEL attracts tourists from over 80 countries, and there are various flights from the US to Sweden. United Airlines operates flights to Stockholm, Sweden from Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver, Boston, New York, Chicago, Houston, Fort Lauderdale and Washington. From Stockholm, according to Routes North Travel Guide, during winter months there are daily flights to Kiruna Airport. There also are night trains from Stockholm Central Station that take 16 hours to reach Kiruna. From Kiruna, there are buses that travel directly to the Ice Hotel, a trip that takes approximately 30 minutes.

3. Uniqueness

The main pull of the Ice Hotel of Jukkasjärvi to tourists arises from its unique way of construction, and the wining and dining experience it proffers. The hotel is built from 5,000 tons of ice harvested during winter from the frozen, Swedish River Torne. Each and every artistic piece that adorns its interiors have been carved from ice. The winter environment ensures rooms are maintained at temperatures of 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degree Celsius). It has an ice bar dubbed the "World’s Coolest Bar", a lobby, church, and main hall, all made of ice. There are around 60 artistically different ice-themed rooms. Tourists get to experience sleeping on an icy bed within the construction of the Ice Hotel. Wines and meals prepared from native elk, reindeer, and grouse are also served therein.

2. Habitat

Some of the animals that live in the Swedish Lapland wilderness include the golden eagle, arctic fox, moose, brown bear, wolf and wolverine. The vegetation present there includes cranberries, blueberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, glacier buttercups, moss bell heather, lichens, alpine and dwarf birch, and pine trees. 10 minutes away from the Ice hotel of of Jukkasjärvi is the Homestead Restaurant, which serves delicious a la carte meals. Its log cabin theme, complete with wooden tables and checkered tablecloths, offers a warm, rustic atmosphere. The Ice Hotel season also provides opportune views, form which one can watch the addictive, natural Northern Lights as they illuminate the clear Swedish night sky.

1. Threats

A wining and dining experience at the Ice Hotel of Jukkasjärvi is only dangerous to tourists visiting if they don’t carry proper snow attire to avoid freezing. Also, failure to follow instructions from the management of the Ice Hotel when preparing to sleep on the ice beds can expose them to the cold as well. Hence, the management advises tourists to have a bathroom break before sleeping, to avoid doing it at night once tucked in. Another real danger may also come in the form of a brown bear attacks on visitors hunting in the woods. Between 1977 and 2012, the Scandinavian Brown Bear Project reported 31 such attacks on humans.


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