The world-famous ICEHOTEL outside Kiruna was initially just a crazy idea for the winter. These days it’s just as crazy – but all year round.

Normally at this time of year in Swedish Lapland, something sad happens. ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi melts to the ground and pours itself back into the Torne River, the origin of the ice used to build the hotel. Other hotels talk about the importance of recycling, but ICEHOTEL has always taken it a step further, recycling the entire hotel. But not this year.

ICEHOTEL Art Suite 365 Mermaid Fitness. Design Nina Hedman and Magnus Hedman. Photo Asaf Kliger.

For the first time in 27 years parts of ICEHOTEL will remain frozen, as ICEHOTEL 365 takes shape. It’s a kind of landmark for those wanting a new hotel experience to tell about. Sleeping in a designer hotel suite made of ice while the midnight sun illuminates the landscape.

Deluxe Suite - heated, designed relaxation. Design Marjolein Vonk & Pia Sandgren. Photo Asaf Kliger

— It’s going to be a different experience for the artists and designers making the suites to be kept throughout the year. Previously all art has had a limited lifespan; the ice melts in spring. But now some of the rooms will prolong the winter and cold on a permanent basis, says Arne Bergh at ICEHOTEL and continues:
— The sun, which would normally break down and melt all art back to nature, will instead maintain it through summer with the help of solar cells. But we will continue to think in terms of cycles: we will continuously redecorate the art rooms, one at the time, and return the ice to the Torne River. This means you have to think differently as an artist. You won’t accept mistakes as easily, since they don’t disappear. Then Arne smiles.

September-October is an excellent time to catch the northern lights. Photo: Tomas Jönsson.

The entrepreneur Yngve Bergquist used to run the inn in Jukkasjärvi village. They had a sauna where they rented out towels and sold beers to the mining company directors flying in for conferences. This was in the late 1980s, and Yngve figured it had to be possible to make more of it. These days, ICEHOTEL is an icon among travel destinations around the world. A steady stream of curious explorers find their way to Jukkasjärvi every year, and now they can sleep on ice all year round.

There are excellent fishing waters in the Jukkasjärvi area. Photo: Tomas Jönsson.

— It was actually artists who started the whole thing. We built an art gallery and they used the Torne River ice to make ice sculptures that people would come to look at.
— Then someone said “imagine living like that”, and the idea stuck: “let’s build a hotel out of ice”. Ever since then we’ve dreamt about keeping it all year round.

A sauna and plunge in the Torne River is relaxing for both body and mind. Photo: Paulina Holmgren.

A theory of how man – homo sapiens – came to dominate the world is based on our unique ability to gossip. In a group of people it was more important to know who slept with whom, who was to trust and who could not be trusted, than being able to cry wolf. When it comes to our new way of travelling this ability is definitely reflected: we want something to talk about around the campfire. We want to fill our bucket lists and the new ICEHOTEL 365 is an obvious choice.

Learn more
The concept Icehotel 365 makes the sleeping-on-ice experience available to combine with fall and summer adventures as well as the classic winter excursions. The interior hold the same standard and visual design as the winter structure. The exterior in winter will have the same shape and look as the adjacent winter structure, and in summer, the arched roof will be covered in grass. See icehotel.com for more information.

In winter you can go snowmobiling, dog sledding, see reindeer, eat well and visit the mine and the mining town Kiruna. In summer you can go boating on the river, fish in the excellent grayling fishing waters found here in the Torne River, take a wander in the woods, eat well and visit the mining town Kiruna.

In autumn and winter the northern lights are a constant attraction. But now, in summer, everything takes place under the light of the midnight sun of course. Something to gossip about around the campfire.

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