Looking for something cool to do the next time the winters of the Northern Hemisphere roll around? Shacking up for a night or two in an ice hotel is an excitingly chilly experience that you’ll never forget.
Part hotel, part exhibition, you’ll be coolly dazzled at the things that can be done with ice and snow at Icehotel. Constructed each year in the small town of Jukkasjärvi, the hotel sports around 65 rooms, with the most expensive – the Deluxe Suite – coming in at around A$1,300 a night. Thinking of getting married? There’s also an Ice Church next door!
Kemi SnowCastle, Finland
Finland boasts a big choice of ice and snow hotels, but one of the best is the Kemi SnowCastle. This huge snow complex features incredible icy sculptures, an IceBar and restaurant, and rooms set at a cosy -5ºC. If you’re in need of some warmth, head to the public spa and sauna close by, though bear in mind there’s a ‘no clothes allowed’ rule!
Hotel of Ice, Romania
Ice rooms, an ice bar, ice church and an ice restaurant – it doesn’t get much icier than this! Romania’s famous Hotel of Ice springs up in the Fagaras Mountains every year using huge blocks of glacial ice from Lake Balea. Vistas of the lake and surrounding snow-capped mountains, as well as the opportunity for nearby winter sports, are two big reasons you should stay here.
Hotel de Glace, Canada
The Hotel de Glace, which sits just a stone’s throw from downtown Quebec City, will take your ice hotel stay to a whole new luxury level. We recommend going for one of the themed suites (there is a different theme each year) – most notably the Premium Suite, which has a fireplace, or the Premium Deluxe Suite, which comes with a private spa!
Schneedorf Igloo, Austria
Ever wanted to do it like real Eskimos do? In the Austrian Alps, this awesome hotel offers a series of 4-person igloos, as well as a welcome drink of tea or mulled wine, a cheese fondue dinner and a continental buffet breakfast. The best thing about this place, however, is that you can learn what it really takes to build your own igloo by enrolling yourself in the igloo construction workshop!
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Norway
Yep, the Norwegians are doing it, too! Sorrisniva is set on the serene banks of the Alta River and it’ll have you feeling like you’re a million snowy miles away. The iciest perks include mattresses made from reindeer hide, snowmobile safaris and an outdoor Jacuzzi and sauna. Tours to see the Northern Lights are recommended as well.
At the base of Matterhorn Mountain, Iglu-Dorf is a fantastical world of snow, ice and art, with a bar, restaurant, hot tub and sauna to boot. Ski slopes are nearby and adventure packages (that include things like bungee jumping) are available too. If you’re really special (or just stocked up on cash), you can even get your very own ‘Star Igloo’ custom-built just for you!