If you’re thinking of a way to spend some of your cold cash, then checking in an Ice Hotel is the coolest experience that can knock you out cold.
An ice hotel is a temporary hotel built using sculpted blocks of ice, and some steel framing. Ice hotels have special features for travelers who are fascinated by novelties and unusual environments. Ice hotels fall in the class of destination hotels.
All of the ice hotels are reconstructed yearly (thanks to global warming). They are dependent upon consistent sub-freezing temperatures throughout construction and operation. Comparing it to a traditional brick-built hotel, it uses a substance known as snice in place of mortar to hold the walls, fixtures, and fittings (which are entirely made of ice) together. Ice hotel lobbies are often decorated with ice sculptures.
So where can one go to experience living inside a crystal castle?
Sweden: Icehotel (Jukkasjärvi)
About 17 km from Kiruna, Sweden, the village of Jukkasjärvi is the place where the first ice hotel started. It was in the spring of 1990 when Jannot Derid, a French artist, held an ice art exhibit in a cylinder-shaped igloo in the area. There was a night when there were no available rooms in the town area, some of the visitors heeded for permission to stay in the exhibition hall instead. They were the first guests of the “coolest hotel” and slept in sleeping bags on top of reindeer skin (a secret they kept from Santa).
Canada: Hôtel de Glace
Hôtel de Glace celebrated its 11th year anniversary in 2011. Located on the shores of Lac-Saint-Joseph, Quebec, just 30 minutes north of Quebec City. The Ice Hotel’s operation starts from the the first week of January and ends in the last week of March. It is the first ice hotel to make a bed and everthing else out of ice. So if you need anything ask their concierge named Frosty!
Norway: Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta
Started in the year 2000, this ice hotel is being rebuilt yearly. Located in the Finnmark region and is about 250 km from North Cape. The 2000 square meter ice hotel boasts of 30 rooms including 2 suites. Heavily decorated with ice sculptures and furnishings, it also features lighting systems which intensify the various types of crystalline formations. The hotel also includes an ice chapel, ice gallery, and ice bar where one can experience drinking their favorite beverage in glasses made of ice. This ice hotel also has a yearly theme – from Viking theme, to Norwegian fairytales, to wild animals seen within the region. Cosplayers will definitely love this one.
Romania: Bâlea Lake Ice Hotel
This ice hotel is only accessible via cable car (not made from ice) in the winter. This is due to its altitude (2034 m) and remote location (deep in the Făgăraş Mountains). The 14 room ice hotel and its adjacent Ice Church is built next to Bâlea Lake (which is frozen solid, of course).
So there you have it, the coolest hotels you can go to. Just don’t expect one to be erected soon in Africa. Unless, of course, the Mayans were right!