For 25 years, different artists and designers have created the Ice Hotel. The hotel is located in Jukkasjarvi, a small town in northeastern Norway with 1,000 people and 1,100 dogs. It is constructed in November and part of December and open between December and mid-April, when the ice begins melting back into the Torne River. Although the room count varies from year to year, it is generally in the neighborhood of 65 rooms and suites and between 50,000 and 60,000 people visit each year. And each year, 100 couples (give or take) get married next door in the Ice Church! And truth be told, you can visit this magnificent art hotel and stay in a standard room if you choose, they offer both “cold” and “warm” accommodations (or stay in each for part of your trip). The deluxe suite boasts a sauna, which is pretty bizarre if you think about it, but the art suites are the real reason for this hotel. Intricately carved by hand, these suites are created by handpicked artists from around the world. Above is “Frozen Love” by Benny Eckman for last year’s hotel (2011/2012). And this year, Mathieu Brison and Luc Voison (founders of Les Ateliers Germaine) have recreated Paris rooftops – in ice (below). And in their own words, “You are part of the city, you are the city.” Indeed.
You could almost be in Paris itself, if it weren’t for one small detail: the ice.
Doesn’t that bedspread look nice and warm?
One of the designers, Luc Voisin, describes the Rooftop theme: “Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, walking on the Champs Elysées, visiting the Musée du Louvre, shopping in Le Marais, wandering along the River Seine or simply sipping coffee at a café, everyone can live and explore the city as they see fit, like adventurers.”
The Arktikos Room by Anna Sofia Maag (again from 2011/2012) is a realistic placement in the Arctic – with polar bears watching over you while you sleep. The hotel itself is 200 miles north of the Arctic circle, so this scenario isn’t as far fetched as it might look! Snow and ice are mixed to create “snice” , the medium used to sculpt the bears.
The Blue Marine room (1012/2013) is by William Bloomstrand, Andrew Winch & Alex Hutchison. Each room is so different — and so intricately carved. It’s very hard to believe that they let this all melt. They actually have to start harvesting ice and snow for these projects early – keeping tons of it in refrigerated storage until the building begins.
The car is very cool. It’s the Retro Drive suite, by Natalia Chistyakova & Karlis Ile (2010/2011 season). We love the details and the use of light in the sculptures (and ice furniture). Everything is so realistic.
The deluxe suite has an ensuite sauna and toilet. Can you imagine having a sauna inside an ice room in the ice hotel? Truly a one-of-a-kind experience! The chandeliers are glorious. The ice bucket is a bit redundant but perhaps meant to amuse.
The Dragon Nest suite is by Bazarsad Bayarsaikhan and makes liberal use of “Snice” – the snow-ice combination for sculpting. It takes 100 people almost two months to complete these rooms!
The Flower suite by Natsuki Saito & Shingo Saito (2012) is work so delicate, it almost looks like cut paper art.
This room is simply called “The Snow Room” and the hotel information urges you to have a comfortable night at -5 degrees. We’re not 100% sold – but it would be a story to tell at parties!
Some rooms have incredible furniture made from ice.
The ice bar – now you’re talking. No need to put the vodka in the freezer!
All the glasses in this bar are made from ice!
Dance on a floor made of snow. Sashay up to a bar made of ice. This bar is surely one-of-a-kind.
The Northern Lights provide a spectacular show.