Featured image: icehotel.com/art-suite-acanthus
The Icehotel (styled as ICEHOTEL) is a hotel rebuilt each year with snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, about 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Kiruna. It is the world’s first ice hotel.
The entire hotel is made out of snow and ice blocks from the Torne River, even the glasses in the bar are made of ice. Each spring, around March, Icehotel harvests tons of ice from the frozen Torne River and stores it in a nearby production hall with room for over 900 t (990 short tons) of ice and 27,000 t (30,000 short tons) of snow.
The ice is used for creating Icebar designs and ice glasses, which are used for ice sculpting classes, events and product launches all over the world while the snow is used for building a strong structure for the building. About 900 t (990 short tons) of what is left is used in the construction of the next Icehotel.
When completed, the hotel features a bar, church, main hall, reception area, plus about 100 rooms for guests.
 The room rate starts at 1500 kr. The hotel hosts also an ice restaurant. The furniture is sculpted blocks of ice in the form of chairs and beds. The thick walls, floor and ceiling are made of ice. Even the beds, the fittings and decoration are carved from ice. No two rooms are the same; the rooms are unique works of art. At the Icehotel the beds are bedded with reindeer furs and people are given special equipment to use while sleeping in the hotel. The guests sleep in polar-tested sleeping bags. There is no heating and the bedroom temperatures are constantly around −5 °C (23 °F). There’s no plumbing at the hotel, but there’s a sauna that is run on the premises of the Icehotel with hot tub outdoors.
The ice suites do not have any bathroom facilities but bathrooms for guests are found in a warm building close by. There is also warm accommodation available next to the hotel. The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi is known to be the biggest hotel of ice and snow in the world, spanning over some 6,000 square metres (64,600 sq ft). Each suite is unique and the architecture of the hotel is changed each year, as it is rebuilt from scratch. Each year, artists submit their ideas for suites, and a jury selects about 50 artists to create the church, Absolut Icebar, reception, main hall and suites. When spring comes, everything melts away and returns to the Torne River. The Icehotel only exists between December and April, and has been listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Sweden. The northern hemisphere’s aurora borealis can be seen during the winter month in the location.
Documentaries that focus on this hotel can be seen from time to time on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. The hotel appeared in a sketch about Sweden in one of the shows of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013, courtesy of Lynda Woodruff. The Icehotel has guests from many countries. There are many charter flights to the nearby Kiruna Airport, directly from London.
Swedish coffee – better than Irish coffee? You decide! You make the coffee drink simple with punsch, coffee, cream and cocoa. Excellent to serve after dinner or when you want to warm up with something more luxurious than usual coffee!
PORTIONS: 1 glass
2 tablespoons punsch
About 1 1/2 dl freshly brewed coffee
2 1/2 tablespoons light whipped cream
Cocoa or coffee beans for garnishing
Pour the punch into a heat-resistant glass (for 1 glass).
Fill with hot coffee and spice with cream.
Sprinkle some cocoa or garnish with a few coffee beans and serve.