Surviving a night in ‘The Ice-Hotel’ Kiruna Sweden

Ice-Hotel

Surviving a night in ‘The Ice-Hotel’

When the opportunity came up, and when we could fit it into our travel budget; we jumped at the chance to head to the Ice-Hotel for an extended weekend.

After a day of travelling through Scandinavia; across the Arctic Circle via the night train, we finally arrived in Kiruna (Sweden). Upon stepping off the train, the cold temperature hit me straight away & I was already wondering how I was going to make it through the night in a room made of ice. A 10min bus ride from the station, we arrived at the ‘Ice Hotel’, which was situated next to the Torne River.

We were given our room number and organised our activities: dog sledding and chasing the Northern lights on skidoo were on my agenda. We then headed over to the “Warm House” (adjoined to the ice-hotel) to be given our locker (for your belongings during your stay in an ice room) and change into our purposely made ski clothes, gloves & shoes (optional but it is highly recommend).

Melbtravel in front of the ice hotel

Once we were in our suits, we were given a small talk about the hotel, the facilities, the history and the artists who sculpted the rooms. Then it was our time to explore the hotel and surrounding area in the limited day light. Apart from it being -20c, it was one of the most beautiful places that I had seen; everything was pure white covered in snow and very still. It was just so peaceful and for a moment I forgot where I was.

First stop was to visit the themed rooms and check out the amazing ice sculptures in some of the rooms. It was such a surreal experience, all the artists rooms where different, there was everything from Dragons to giant chessboards (I felt like a kid again playing chess & pretending to ride a dragon). All iced bedrooms are open to the public until 6pm every day, and then guests are allowed to retire to their chosen room.

Entrance to the ice chapel with reindeer skin doors

After the rooms, we visited the church (you can organise to get married here) and then the ice-bar for a drink before heading off to do our activities that we had booked (review to come).

Once our activities were over, it was time to do what we came here to do, and spend the night in our ice room on an ice bed. So we headed over to the warm house to collect our sleeping bags and to change into our thermals/Pjs.

Once changed, it was time to head to our room. Whilst walking there, it was the first time I had felt the cold apart from when we first arrived, and realised just how good those purposely made suits were during the day. As I got comfortable in my sleeping bag (tucked up with my Beanie over my head) a hundred things started running through my mind while I drifted off to sleep – will my water freeze in the middle of the night; what would I do if I need to get up for the loo – will I freeze; how will I go sleeping on a bed of ice. The next thing I knew it was morning and I was being woken up by one of the hotel staff bringing me warm berry juice. I had made it, and all that worry was for nothing: instead I had one of the best night’s sleep in a while and was nicely surprised about how warm and comfortable it was to sleep on deer skins.

ice sculptures and reindeer covered pews inside the ice church

As we prepared for our departure back home & checked out of our room, we were given a certificate to congratulate and remind us that we had just spent the night in a -9c temperature room.

About the Room:

 All the beds are made of Ice with Reindeer skins on top of them. You sleep in a specially made sleeping bag (you can choose from single or a double).

There are 3 main types of ice rooms that you can choose from depending on your budget & what suits you. Art Suites (themed rooms created by artists) are the most expensive, Ice Rooms (Standard ice bed but with furniture in the room) is the middle range option, or Snow Rooms (standard double bed – the one that I stayed in) the cheapest option available.

bed sculpted out of ice in one of the many artist sculpted rooms

How to get there & Location:

There were only two main options of getting to Kiruna at the time of writing this:

Option 1: You could fly to Stockholm, and then take a direct flight to Kiruna

Option 2: you could fly to Stockholm then take the overnight train to Kiruna (this is the option that I took).

However, I understand now that there is a daily direct flight from London to Kiruna (I am unsure of the price) during the peak season.

two workers carving out ice for a bulding

Tips:

 There is a main office where you can book various excursions like dog sledding, chasing the Northern lights, horse sledding, etc. As there is usually a limited number of spaces on the activities and there is only a couple of restaurants in the town, you are best to book these in advance to save disappointment, especially if there is something particularly you really want to do.

You are given a medium sized locker, which will not fit a large suitcase. It would fit a medium backpack, ski coat, thermals and personal belongings. You don’t need much anyway as you are provided with the suits/shoes/gloves and hats when you arrive.

If you are stopping in Stockholm and you would like to downsize your bag, there are large lockers at the main train station (also where you take the night train from) that are available and safe to use.

devil themed room with menacing devil shaped ice bed

If it gets too cold for you, or if you want to relax in the warmth, there is a warm house (where your belongings are kept) available that also has a sauna and showers for you to use during your stay.

You can take the option of staying in one of the heated rooms that is situated next to the hotel. I have never stayed in one of these but they looked very warm and comfortable.

During the winter months, there is only a couple of hours of daylight per day.

Have a drink at the Ice-bar as it is such a cool novelty, drinking out of a glass made of ice, while sitting on the ice furniture. If you are not keen on drinking out of ice cups there are warm drinks available and soft drinks for the children.

Unless you have a large budget, definitely make sure that you plan accordingly otherwise you will end up spending a small fortune on the additional extras

horse sculpture made of ice

If you are unable to make it to the Ice-Hotel but would like to have a similar experience, you can visit the many Vodka Ice-Bars that are around the world.

Would I recommend it?

I would highly recommend staying at the Ice-Hotel, as it is a once in a life time trip and an experience that you will never forget. However be aware that it is not cheap, but if you have the chance and can afford it, then start planning your trip!

 

reindeer skin doors of the ice hotel

 

Price Range; – Expensive but worth it

Wifi; – Free in all areas

Breakfast; – Buffet breakfast included

For any additional information or booking inquiries, please go to the attached link http://www.icehotel.com/

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20 Comments

    1. Thank you very much, Natasha I am glad you like it so much. Next time you will have come along with me 🙂

  1. Fantastic pictures of the rooms! I really like the bed that looks like it has glowing eyes! It’s nice that the Ice Hotel offers you the alternative to warm you up if you get too cold. The furs add a nice touch.

    1. Thank you Tamie, I appreciate it. Those furs you can seen are deer skins and they were on the bed to protect you from the cold ice. They were super comfy

  2. Love this post!! We married in the Ice Hotel Church and it’s wonderful to read other people’s encounters! You are only the 2nd person we have “met” who have been here so this is wonderful and brings back lovely memories. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

    1. FeetDoTravel, glad to have met you today and looking forward to sharing stories with each other. A very big congratulations again on your wedding at the ice-hotel.

    1. I promise the next time I go, I will take you along and show you how warm it is 🙂 As long as you take me to Iceland

    1. There was a few kids when I was there, so I think they may do family rooms. If they don’t, they have adjoining warm cabins which I sure would do. I would love to go back again

    1. Ah thanks very much, it was so much fun and I still rank it up there as a favourite. Let me know if you ever go and I will be happy to share my tips. 🙂

    1. lol…very good 🙂 Definitely add this to your bucketlist, it is such an amazing experience. You better make sure you save your pennies though as it is super expensive 🙂

    1. It is in the Arctic circle and very cool place to go very. It looks surreal when you are there. Let me know when you go and i will be happy to share any tips with you.

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