This year as summer approaches and I’m doing what every girl dreads, finding a bikini or a tankini to a one piece and ending with I don’t need to go to the beach after all. I’m planning my next adventure which has nothing to do with a hot sun, sand and skinny people eating nothing but water for the summer. It includes ice, snow and lots of clothes, the kind of clothes that will hide anything. Needs for the beach: suntan oil and a towel. Needs for my trip to Sweden: gloves, earmuffs and thermal underwear.
In a place called Jukkasjärvi, Sweden there is a hotel made out of ice and snow. Architects from all over the world come once a year to construct this magnificent site. They will design a deluxe suite, art suites, group rooms and a bar area. In total there will be over forty rooms. Each will have its own art design on the walls, ice sculptures and ice chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
The beds are made of ice and snow with reindeer skins layering the top. Before you head to your suite, you will make a detour to the “warm” building connected to the ICE HOTEL to gather your sleeping bag and sheets. They will also store your personal belongings as they would freeze over-night if you brought them to your ice room. As you wake in the morning, hot lingonberry juice will be waiting by your bedside. It tastes like apples, cranberries and raspberries mixed together. All of the bathrooms are located in the “warm” building; remember not to drink too much coffee or wine right before bed. This will not be a pleasant experience having to get bundled up again and trudge through the cold. After drinking your lingonberry juice a warm sauna will be awaiting your arrival for a morning wake up.
Staying at the ICE HOTEL is not the only action in town. Depending when you decide to come, you can put on your snowshoes or cross-country skis and go for a day tour. For something a little more adventurous, hop on a snowmobile for the day. The main attraction I cannot wait to enjoy is dog sledding! There are many different tours you can choose from. A dogsled can pick up you up and transfer you from the ICE HOTEL to the airport or you can seat yourself on a sled and learn about the life of a husky. You can even choose to be a musher for a day. If you’re like me and really want the adventure you can book an over-night excursion in search of the Northern Lights. You will learn how to drive your own dog sled, stay at one of the wilderness camps and enjoy a visit to the kennel.
The ICE HOTEL is not only known for its beauty, it is also known for its food and ICEBAR. The ICEBAR is open until one a.m. and you can stay for as long as you like. It has all kinds of specialty drinks as well as champagne and wine served in ice glasses. The floors are made of ice and snow where you can dance the night away.
The restaurants are top notch and the food has been displayed in gourmet magazines. You can stay at the ICEHOTEL restaurant where your food will be served on plates and bowls made out of ice from the Thorne River or you can try the Old Homestead restaurant which has an a la carte menu. There is a dress code. It doesn’t have to be formal but it does have to be in good taste.
I love the cold and can imagine staying at the ICEHOTEL. Can I stay for more than one or two nights in the freezing cold? Probably not, but the luxury is: there is an option of staying at the ICEHOTEL for a night or two and staying at a warm hotel in the area. This is not for the person who is on a budget and looking for an inexpensive destination.
For me the only question is, when do I book my flight? When they first open and I can still see them designing and building the hotel in the beginning of December or wait until everything is done and enjoy what has been created. Either way, I will be there. If not next year, very soon in the future.