Ever imagined sleeping on a block of ice? It’s not as uncomfortable as you might think. You really can fall asleep under the Northern Lights in an ice palace if you check into to any of these 6 amazing hotels.
1. See The Northern Lights From Kirkenes Snowhotel
Set beneath the magical blues and greens spread across the sky by the Aurora Borealis, the Kirkenes Snowhotel of Sor-Varanger, Norway is less a hotel than a winter wonderland. Guests have the option of staying in a frosted fortress or a “gamme.” Those accommodations, modeled after traditional fishing and hunting huts, resemble luxury cabins, frozen in ice. During your stay, arctic activities abound, and you’ll also get to know some of the friendly resident reindeer.
You can reach the hotel in a variety of ways, but the husky bobsleigh is easily the most popular. Huskies, being one of Norway’s most beloved dog breeds, are ubiquitous here, and are more than happy to help you get around.
Visitors also often enjoy going out on a boat to catch some king crab – or to see where they come from, at least!
2. Sleep In A Snowglobe At Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village
The choice of accommodations set the Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village apart from other ice hotels. Located in Saariselka, Finland, the Igloo Village allows guests to stay in igloos made of glass or snow. The glass igloos, composed of thermal glass that resists the frost, resemble snow globes to such an extent that you may feel like you’re momentarily living in a fairy tale. The traditional snow igloos are cozy cocoons that help you to hide away from the rest of the world – and you won’t ever feel a draft.
Regardless of which you pick, you’ll enjoy breath-stealing views of the Northern Lights. A gallery of ice sculptures brings charm to the hotel grounds, and you can learn how to sculpt a frosty figurine of your own. It’s even possible to get a personal sculpture for your igloo. Plenty of local restaurants provide Finnish delights, as well as international cuisine. This is the home of Santa’s Resort, too, which is a must-see for adults and children alike.
3. Live Like A Transylvanian At Hotel Of Ice
In Balea Lac, Romania, the countryside resembles a scene from a Gothic novel – except at Hotel of Ice, which huddles down in the valley of a mountain, picturesque and pristine. The fact that it sits atop a frozen lake is just one tempting bit of trivia. The hotel has a scattering of private igloos, at a distance from the main structure for extra privacy, along with sub-zero accommodations. You’ll never sleep better than in the cold weather, with a warm fire to greet you each morning.
The restaurant at the chalet is a favorite among locals as well as guests. The décor is properly frosty, and the dishes encompass the best of traditional Romanian and Transylvanian cuisine. Naturally, all the common snow sports are on offer, but there are less traditional winter activities to try, as well. Snowball fights are surprisingly invigorating, while snowman-building awakens your creativity. Of all the ahem cool things to do here, however, ice bowling tops the list.
4. Art And Leisure At ICEHOTEL
Sweden’s ICEHOTEL, located close to Kiruna, is one of the most renowned such structures in the world. It’s more like a frosty palace of mythic proportions, given that its foundations come straight from the frozen Torne River. To get to the hotel, you can hop on a snowmobile or take a dogsled. Although the beds are just blocks of ice, they’re entirely covered up with reindeer skins, which make remarkably cozy bedding.
The hotel hosts an exhibit of light and photography based on its construction process, but the trick is that guests see it via a “ski in, ski out” system. If skiing isn’t your thing, climb on horseback to wander through the wilderness and observe the Northern Lights.
5. Stay In Slovenia’s Eskimo Village
Eskimas Vas beckons the active, adventurous traveler, as the nonstop adventures begin upon your arrival. To get to the village, you first ride in a cable car, which offers stunning views of the mountainside. From there, you have to hike to the hotel on snowshoes. At that point, however, you can relax to your heart’s content. There’s an igloo bar and a restaurant to complement the accommodations.
Slovenian cuisine is the specialty of the house, and snow sports are the go-to activities. Explore the area on a snowbike, which has skis rather than wheels, or go sledding.
If you’re looking for an alternative to beaches and palm trees on your next vacation, go all the way to the polar opposite for a trip you’ll never forget, and stay in an ice hotel!