5 of the coolest ice hotels around the world to check in to
Coming from a region where it’s either always hot, wet, or both, the inhabitants of Southeast Asia would usually prefer to travel to countries with a more diverse climate. While the rest of the world will be flocking towards our shores come winter, we will be heading in the opposite direction. This is where the concept of ice hotels reign supreme at some of the coldest climates on earth.
Ice hotels are still an anomaly, even in the Baltics. They change all the time, as these ice hotels are redesigned and rebuilt each winter, incorporating tonnes of snow, ice blocks, and even intricately designed ice sculptures.
One of the ice hotels, in particular, has taken things to the next level by teaming up with HBO Nordic to bring the Seven Kingdoms to its premises. With the Game of Thrones premiering in a little over a month, the Lapland Hotels Snow Village has constructed a “Game of Thrones” themed hotel made out of just snow and ice.
Each room in the Lapland Hotels Snow Village was designed by professional sculptors from around the world with an ice figure related to the popular HBO TV drama-fantasy series. This includes a recreation of a giant White Walker with glowing blue eyes, a dragon-shaped ice slide, and even the Iron Throne, guarded by Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.
However, you don’t have to be a fan of the Game of Thrones to stay in an ice hotel. If you’re travelling anytime soon, here are five other ice hotels that will keep you cool at all times.
Hotel de Glace is one of the few ice hotels in Canada. The hotel is located on the grounds of the Village Vacances Valcartier resort, a stone’s throw away from downtown Quebec. Its rebuilt and redesigned every year, making it a one-of-a-kind marvel in North America. The hotel itself carries 42-uniquely themed rooms, which includes luxury suites with an en-suite fireplace and spa. There are also outdoor jacuzzis for you to relax under the stars. Its Grand Hall also houses a winter art gallery and there is also a behind-the-scenes tour on how the ice hotel is recreated each year.
Hotel de Glace
Icehotel in Sweden is considered one of the first ever resorts made out of ice and has been around the block for the past 30 years. The hotel itself is built from the frozen water of the Torne River. It’s as luxurious as it gets. The “art suite” rooms are carved by a different artist, giving each room a distinctive personality and look to it. If you’re looking to splurge, the Deluxe Suite comes with its own private sauna. One of the greatest advantages the Icehotel has is that its located nearby to Abisko, one of the best places to catch the Northen Lights.
If you’re looking to stay in authentic igloos made by hand, you can live in none other than the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland. It’s located at the edge of Finland’s largest national park, Urho Kekkonen and it has a wide variety of accommodations for one to pick from. Aside from its frost-resistant thermal glass roof igloos, the resort also offers different types of accommodations to suit one’s needs. For a truly Nordic experience, you can also look forward to a reindeer-drawn sled ride or even taking a dip in its negative temperature swimming pool.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
To get to the Bâlea Lac Hotel of Ice, you will have to take a cable car up as it’s perched atop the Carpathian Mountains. The resort itself is built above a frozen glacial lake so one can choose to stay in the hotel’s sub-zero degrees rooms or a private igloo nearby the hotel. To truly experience what Romania is like, be sure to dine at the Chalet Bâlea Lac’s restaurant, which serves authentic Romanian and Transylvanian cuisine. Even the plates used in the restaurant are made out of ice, which goes to show the originality of the resort. The neighbouring medieval towns like Brasov and Sibiu are also worth exploring for its resplendent architecture.
Bâlea Lac Hotel of Ice
Whoever said a snow fort is just for kids have obviously not been to the SnowCastle of Kemi in Finland. Although housing only 14 rooms, this magical frozen fort has been the ideal destination for many since 1996. Every year the castle is rebuilt in a completely new style, ensuring that its design remains original throughout the years. There is also a SnowChapel within the castle grounds, which is capable of performing wedding ceremonies as well as christenings for those who are planning to wed overseas.