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.

When other hotels talked about the importance of recycling, ICEHOTEL always took it a step further by recycling the entire hotel. When spring arrived in Swedish Lapland, ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi melted and poured itself back into the Torne River, the origin of the ice used to build the hotel. And it still does. But ICEHOTEL 365 makes it possible to sleep in the cold even in summer.

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

A year-round ice experience

ICEHOTEL 365 is a year-round ice experience with 20 Art Suites, an Icebar and an Ice gallery – all created out of snow and crystal clear ice from Torne River. 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.

ICEHOTEL 365 is cooled with help from the sun, as the 600 square meters of solar panels harvest the almost constant daylight over the summer months. Above the Arctic Circle, the sun stays up from the middle of April until the middle of August – and amid winter the need for cooling is minimal.

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

No mistakes

— It’s a different experience for the artists and designers making the suites to be kept throughout the year. Previously all art had a limited lifespan; the ice melts in spring, says Arne Bergh at ICEHOTEL and continues:

— The sun, which would normally break down and melt all art back to nature, does instead maintain it through summer with the help of solar cells. But we still 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.

ICEHOTEL, an icon

The entrepreneur Yngve Bergquist used to run the inn in the village of Jukkasjärvi. 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.

“Let’s build a hotel made out of ice”

— 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.
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 has the same shape and look like the adjacent winter structure, and in summer, the arched roof is be covered in grass. See for more information.

Bucket list

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 ICEHOTEL 365 is an obvious choice.

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 in summer, everything takes place under the light of the midnight sun of course. Something to gossip about around the campfire.

Also read
  • It’s ice harvest time!

    It’s mid-March and people are gathering on the frozen Torne River in Jukkasjärvi. Behind us, the world-famed ICEHOTEL. But our eyes are fixated on the tractors hoisting up giant blocks of ice from the river. We’re looking at the next year’s hotel, yet to be carved out from the crystal clear ice. It’s harvest time.

    Maria Sirviö
  • A night in -5 °C – how does it work?

    It takes no little amount of courage to commit to spending a night on ice. Some have already planned a spot on the mantelpiece for the diploma that says you survived a night in minus five before boarding the plane to Kiruna. Others are more hesitant about the idea to sleep in a hotel made of ice and snow.

  • A year-round hotel of ice

    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. When other hotels talked about the importance of recycling,...

    Håkan Stenlund