Icehotel opens in Swedish Lapland 21/12/2017
The iconic Icehotel in Swedish Lapland has just opened for the winter season, after it was completed in time to welcome guests this weekend. As well as 35 uniquely designed art and deluxe suites, the hotel features an ice bar, an ice ceremony hall, a creative frozen playground for kids to enjoy, an exciting new chef’s table experience and a new programme of wellbeing activities.
This weekend (16 December) also saw the launch of Discover the World’s Icehotel holiday programme and exclusive #IceFlight, operating 10 direct flights from London Heathrow to Kiruna throughout the winter season from now until 03 March 2018, making the Icehotel accessible in just over three hours from the UK.
A total of 30,000 cubic metres of snice (snow and ice) have been used in the seasonal building, as well as 500 tons of crystal clear natural ice to create the art, ice glasses and the ice bar itself this year. That’s not forgetting the 1,000 hand-polished ice crystals used for the impressive chandeliers that adorn the Main Hall.
In fact, the Main Hall, reception and the ice ceremony hall in the seasonal part of Icehotel which is the 28th rendition of the hotel, have a ‘Flower Power’ theme and are decorated with 200 hand-sculpted ‘snice’ flowers forming a frozen ‘flowerfall’.
New Designs and British Artists
A total of 36 artists from 17 different countries around the world were chosen to help design and build this year’s hotel including two British teams, both of which were involved last year.
Liverpool based design duo Hugh and Howard Miller have created an art suite named ‘A Rich Seam’ where guests clamber into an ice seam adorned with crystal clear ice. Then there’s Dorset based sculptor and taxidermist Lisa Lindqvist who has created a suite called ‘A Wandering Cloud’ which features a huge ice-carved cloud hanging over the frozen bed.
Other designs include a delicate Faberge egg, a space room and a suite inspired by boat refugees’ journeys across the Mediterranean Sea called ‘Daily Travellers’.
There are also three new designs in the year-round Icehotel 365** which include a frozen sea landscape called ‘Danger’ (where a delicate ice bridge offers the only way to reach the bed), an ‘invisible’ army of ice-carved women inspired by the infamous Terracotta Army and a room called ’34 Metres’ which is a labyrinth made of 34m of walls.
This year, the Icehotel is offering a much larger schedule of events and activities, from an authentic Christmas market to a big focus on wellbeing with the introduction of weekly Arctic Yoga, winter running, Nordic skiing, Aufguss saunas (where essential oils are mixed with water to produce an aromatic steam) and workshops on how to best exercise in an Arctic climate.
The hotel has also introduced a new ‘Chef’s Table’ dining experience at the Icehotel Restaurant, run by Michelin award-winner Alexander Meier. This will offer guests an impressive twelve-course tasting menu focused on local produce with a modern twist such as flavours including fir sprouts, cloudberry and sea buckthorn.
Finally, the hotel will be offering much more for its younger guests, including a creative snow park sectioned off from the rest of the hotel, where little ones can make snow angels, build mini ice hotels and even carve their own designs into a special snow fortress.
Discover the World’s travel collection offers the opportunity to combine a stay at the iconic Icehotel with various aurora adventures and thrilling Arctic activities including dog sledding, snowshoeing, ice sculpting, horse riding, wilderness survival courses and snowmobiling (amongst others).
Both single and twin-centre breaks are available, allowing guests to combine the Icehotel with adventures across Swedish Lapland, Norway and further afield to Iceland.