ICEHOTEL - the worlds first hotel completely made of snow and ice

Entrance to ICEHOTEL 365. ICEHOTEL is located in swedish Lapland in Jukkasjärvi, just outside Kiruna in Sweden and is the first hotel ever in the world built completely in ice and snow. This is a comprehensive Guide to ICEHOTEL in Sweden. in

Circle of Ice: the History of ICEHOTEL

On a frosty day in 1989, several artists gathered in a workshop led by two Japanese artists and learned to sculpt on ice. The ice was fetched from the Torne River; the largest National River we have in Sweden. The intention was to make a joint art exhibition and little could be imagined of what this little workshop would lead to.

Already the year after, in 1990, the Arctic Hall was built; an art exhibition of 60 sqm. The ideas for more and larger projects were born. In 1992, the ICEHOTEL team made it possible to open the very first hotel in the world built entirely out of snow and ice.

The first ICEHOTEL had an ice bar, an ice chapel, and an ice cinema. In 2016 the new Ice Concept ICEHOTEL 365 was launched; a 2100 sqm big Art Gallery containing 20 luxurious ice suites, an ice bar, and an experience room with both art and history. ICEHOTEL 365 is open; as the name hints, all year.

Today, 31 years later, artists' never-ending creativity and the ICEHOTEL team have resulted in one of the world's most unique hotel experiences, in Jukkasjärvi 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and only 17 km from Kiruna in Swedish Lapland.

Table of Content "Circle of Ice: The History of ICEHOTEL"

Ice Business - This is ICEHOTEL and ICEHOTEL 365

The hotel's operations are privately owned and have two focus areas; ICEHOTEL and ICEHOTEL CREATIVE EXPERIENCE. ICEHOTEL; which is the main business area and Master Brand, will “based on the Torne River and Jukkasjärvi creatively develop and offer sensual, inspiring and world-unique art, nature, accommodation and meal experiences” as it is called in the business concept.

The concept of ICEHOTEL CREATIVE EXPERIENCE includes all business areas related to ice and art, such as the actual construction of ICEHOTEL, ice events with world-leading brands, and ice production where the latter accounts for no less than 1000 tonnes of Torne ice per year that is exported to supply the International Franchise Concept ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL!

Through the years you've been able to get ice-cold cocktails and drinks in ICEBAR's by ICEHOTEL on world destinations like Stockholm, London, Tokyo, Qingdao, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Istanbul, and Milano, to name a few.

Planning for a new season at ICEHOTEL begins with selecting the artists from around the world who will be part of the creative team from the approximately 150 applications they receive each year. A jury hand-picks the artists according to their design ideas before previous experiences of working in ice or sculpting.

The unique design of each ICEHOTEL is an important and creative part of the whole experience for a visitor so the Artists are quite naturally ICEHOTEL's biggest asset when it comes to recruiting a strong team. There are usually about 50% new artists and 50% experienced artists every year who come to the ICEHOTEL to create a new and unique hotel.

Apply to become an Artist at ICEHOTEL

The hotel size in its entirety is about 5,500 sqm and consists of 40,000 cubic meters of snow and ice. This requires careful planning.

During the summer, details about the new hotel construction are being refined and in mid-November, construction will begin on the first part, which will be completed in the first week of December, when ICEHOTEL's high season begins. Every week until the turn of the year, a new part is opened and the hotel is finished about 6 weeks after construction starts.

To build between 60-80 rooms, an ice bar, ice chapel, and an art gallery, it takes about 3000 tons of snow - or "snis" (sneeze) which is a combination of snow and ice - and 1500 tons of pure Torne ice.

The ICEHOTEL has 50 permanent employees and during a high season this is expanded to nearly 250 employees to take care of the approx 70,000 visitors ICEHOTEL has per year, where half are overnight guests and the rest are day visitors.

This is the ICEHOTEL visitors

Travelers that come to ICEHOTEL do so for various reasons but mainly to experience a unique destination. It is often "Global Travelers" who place great value on nature experiences, art, and design. The wilderness, the silence, and the northern lights attract travelers from Sweden but also international travelers from Great Britain, the USA, Norway, Australia, and Germany who are nationalities highly represented among ICEHOTEL's guests.

It is a well-traveled group of people who strive for destinations with great storytelling value but who also make high demands and have experience as a driving force when they choose their destinations with care. For many of these travelers, ICEHOTEL is high on their "Bucket List" and is a dream destination, which places great demands on ICEHOTEL's co-creators to be original and creative to meet expectations.

ICEHOTEL also has fully equipped conference rooms at guests' disposal, so many visitors are business travelers, ie conference and incentive travelers.

ICEHOTEL - what to expect from the experience

In addition to ICEHOTEL offering a unique environment filled with art and design, a visit to the hotel is filled with beauty and admiration. Consistent with the ICEHOTEL experience is that all the senses must be present. This includes the hotel, art, design, and dining experiences according to FAMM, in the activities ICEHOTEL organizes and offers to their guests.

One of the beautiful Ice Art Suites at ICEHOTEL:ICEHOTEL 365 Art Suite Vila vid denna källa | Design Tjåsa Gusfors & Ulrika Tallving | Photo  Asaf Kliger

ICEHOTEL 365 Art Suite Vila vid denna källa | Design Tjåsa Gusfors & Ulrika Tallving | Photo Asaf Kliger | © ICEHOTEL

Staying at ICEHOTEL means that you're constantly moving at a temperature of -5 to -8 degrees, but there are also "warm" options for overnight stays. The experience of ice is inevitable and it's a natural part of the attraction of this unique destination. Central to the stay at the hotel is sleeping in one of the luxuriously designed Ice Art Suites and this is being considered by many visitors as the highlight of the visit at ICEHOTEL.

Together with its subcontractors, ICEHOTEL creates a large number of life-affirming, close-to-nature activities and culinary experiences for its guests that visit Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, and Lapland unique. The encounter with ice from the Torne River should always be unexpected and inspiring for ICEHOTEL's visitors.

At ICEHOTEL you have a a lot of Activities and Tours. Northern Lights on snowmobile excursion | Photo: Asaf Kliger

Northern Lights on snowmobile excursion | Photo: Asaf Kliger | © ICEHOTEL

Some of the activities are carried out in-house, but above all the activities in nature are often a collaboration with subcontractors to be able to offer something that can not be found anywhere else in the world and that will provide lifetime memories.