World’s Coolest Hotels – Igloo and Ice Hotels
If the mere thought of having to suffer through another long hot Australian summer brings a sweat to your brow, you may want to start packing your bags. Every year over winter in the Northern Hemisphere a number of hotels are built for those that want to experience what life is like living in a freezer. You have to get in quick though as availability like the rooms tend to melt away.
Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
Approximately 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, and a little over 1000 kilometres from the capital, Helsinki, the Hotel Kakslauttanen and Igloo Village offer a number of different accommodation options for the hardy traveller. One night in a snow igloo is recommended, the hotel provides extreme rated sleeping bags with hoods and woollen socks to help ward off the cold. The rooms stay between -2°C and -6°C and are built entirely out of snow.
Once you have done your one night imitation of an eskimo, the hotel has a number of cabins available complete with cosy fire place. The queen suite cabins also come with an outdoor hot tub, while the honeymoon suite has a Finnish sauna.
The big attraction however are the unique glass igloos, the thermal glass keeps the rooms at a nice normal temperature. It is also designed to resist fogging up enabling guests to have a clear uninterrupted view of the Lapland sky including the Northern Lights. For the ultimate in white weddings the hotel has a chapel built out of snow and a large Kota (Lapp teepee) made of glass for an amazing cocktail or post wedding party. The Glass Igloos go for around AUD$399.00 p/night.
If the kids are coming along, there is a Santa’s Resort onsite and you can go panning for gold in the nearby creek where the local ‘elves’ guarantee everyone will find at least one gold nugget. You can check out the details of Santa’s resort at his very own website here
If all that snow hasn’t frozen your enthusiasm enough, the hotel also has a restaurant they build every year made of snow, with crystal clear ice tables and full three course meals. Finnair can fly you to Ivalo, where you will be picked up by the hotel from around AUD$1860 return during January, check out the prices via the Zuji link at the side of the page.
For more pictures and details about this hotel check out the website here.
Hôtel de Glace
About 12 kilometres north of Québec City in Canada is North America’s only ice hotel. The Hôtel de Glace has 36 rooms and theme suites as well as an Ice bar capable of holding 400 people and an Ice Cafe/Chapel that holds 150 people. The Ice Chapel is popular with couples and last year helped celebrate 28 weddings.
The Hôtel de Glace rooms are pretty standard as far as igloo hotels go, with queen beds resting on top of carved ice, complete with winter sleeping bags. The hotel specialises in themed suites with artistic sculptures and lighting. There are also rooms with fire places to help ward off the cold winter air. The premium deluxe suite comes complete with fire place and private spa. Package deals give guests a room at the nearby Four Points by Sheraton on the same night in case the cold gets to much for them as well as a nice dry place to store luggage.
Basic rooms start from CAD$249.00/night. The hotel is runs promotions throughout October in preparation for the 2013 season, and with occupancy rates last year reaching 92%, we do suggest getting in early.
You can visit the website via the link here.
The 2012/2013 season marks the 23rd year the ICEHotel in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden has opened the doors to thrill seekers and nature lovers. The hotel starts construction in December using the ice from the nearby Torne River. Ice sculptors are brought in to create these unique and amazing rooms.
The location of the hotel 200 kilometres north of the Arctic circle makes it a perfect location to see the Aurora Borealis. The hotel itself is approximately 15 kilometres from Kiruna, which is served with daily flights and trains from the capital Stockholm. There are also chartered flights direct from London.
The Hotel has a number of cultural experiences available for its guests with the local Sami people, as well as dog sledding, reindeer and moose tours and for those that want something a little more modern, ice driving, where you are put in a BMW 3 series, and under supervision test the limits of the ABS and stabilization systems.
You can see the rest of the rooms from last years collection at the website here.