Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Unless you’re an Eskimo, you’ve probably never considered the idea of sleeping on a bed of ice – at least not seriously. Why would you? An ice bed is only inviting backache, and frostbite – I’ll take my warm, down filled nest of a bed any day.
Despite the perceived pitfalls of sleeping on an ice bed, many travelers (perhaps gluttons for self-punishment) trek to the northernmost regions of our world to experience exactly what mankind has worked so hard to remove ourselves from: the unloving cold. However, modern man enjoys the cold a bit more luxuriously. Allow me to introduce you to the world of ice hotels.
Starting in December, dozens of “ice hotels” around the world open their doors for business. Since these hotels melt during the warm summer months, they must be entirely rebuilt every year in what is described as “one of the world’s most extreme building projects.” While there are several ice hotels to choose from, the most famous, and largest, of these ice hotels is none other than ICEHOTEL located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (don’t ask me how to pronounce that).
The ICEHOTEL first opened in 1990, and has operated every year since from December to April. While sections of the hotel are open starting in December, it takes a full month before the hotel is complete. It’s built from over 9,000 tons of ice and can accommodate about 100 guests at full capacity. Each suite is a work of art of its own, as they are individually sculpted from renowned ice artists. If you watch the Discovery Channel or NatGeo, you may have already learned about the ICEHOTEL from one of several documentaries showcasing it.
While you do have to pack appropriately for your visit to the ICEHOTEL (think subzero temperatures), the stay can’t be too bad given that crowds of visitors wait patiently for the opportunity to stay at what has become one of the most extreme destination hotels on the planet. If you aren’t as eager to sleep on a blog of ice, but want to have an Iced Tea or other cold beverage at the ICEHOTEL’s ICEBAR there are “warm” accommodations available nearby.
Accommodations at the ICEHOTEL start at about $400/night (on top of getting there). So while it’s not exactly cheap (though it’s considerably less expensive than some of the Underwater Hotels), it’s one of those bedtime stories you’re sure to remember for the rest of your life.
Do you have any exotic destinations where you’d like to rest your head? Share your travel plans in the comments below.