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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Can you imagine that there are actually people who pay to sleep in a room made out of ice?! Brr… the idea has caught on and is becoming more and more popular. From Scandinavia to Canada, even Romania, check out these incredible hotels… made of ice.

Jukkasjärvi – Sweden

Ice hotel

This is the grandfather of ice hotels. Each year, artists are commissioned to create the most original and beautiful rooms according to a theme which is chosen every year. 30,000 tonnes of snow and 4,000 tonnes of ice are used every year! Bedrooms, bar, cinema, theatre… they’ve thought of everything! You may sleep on a bed of ice, but you’ll keep warm all night thanks to the animal furs and skins. It’s total luxury!

  • Location: northern Sweden, 200km south of the Arctic Circle
  • How to get there: From London, grab a direct flight to Kiruna with SAS, Scandinavian Airlines System. Kiruna is just a dozen or so kilometres from the hotel.

Quebec – Canada

Ice Hotel

This is the only ice hotel in all of North America. Since its opening in 2001, more than 500,000 people have come to stay! This is a considerable success, a worthy one, considering it’s short season. Vaults of snow and crystal ice sculptures are just the beginning of the magic this place possesses. It’s not just a hotel, but a place where art and culture come together. Every year a different theme is chosen and this year there is an emphasis on Canada’s First Nation cultures, their values and their histories. The Ice Bar hosts DJs and other musical performances, cocktails… you can even get married here!

  • Opening dates: January 6th – March 25th, 2012
  • Location: 10 minutes drive from Quebec City, easy to reach if you rent a car in Quebec.

Balea Lake – Romania

Romanian mountain

It’s obvious that Scandinavia has the monopoly of ice hotels in Europe, but who would have thought you could find one in Romania too? It’s the first ice hotel in all of south-east Europe and can be found just near Balea Lake in the Carpathian Mountains between Brasov and Sibiu. It’s only possible for a hotel like this one to exist four months of the year in this part of Europe because the surroundings are particularly cold at more than 2,000m altitude.

There are 16 rooms with two beds each. Like other ice hotels, the tables, chair and all the furniture is made out of ice. The beds are covered in lamb skins.

  • Location: around 150km north-west from Bucharest

It’s no surprise that ice hotels have been popping up all over the place (at least in the cold places) since the success of the Swedish one in Jukkasjärvi. You can also find ice hotels in Lainiotie in Finland, Brixental in Austria and in Zugspitze in Germany.

Have you ever dreamt of sleeping in an ice hotel?

Imgs: sky#walker, Allen’s VISION, loloieg, Ruben Laguna, cod_gabriel / Flickr cc.

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