As cool as it is, all that ice doesn’t come cheap — rooms start from £220 a night and an executive suite, each individually designed by an artist, will set you back a cool £550 a night. As crazy as it sounds, the Icehotel is so famous that it gets booked out months in advance. Luckily, budget travellers can also check out the engineering marvel by buying an £8 day ticket.
Last winter, the highlights included a room with a giant dragon curving around the walls and a bed nestled in its jaws; a Japanese themed suite with ice bamboo screens and frosty bonsai trees; and a romantic heart-shaped ice bed with soft mood lighting, among others.

What’s more, the Icehotel now has an ice chapel anyone can book for weddings, and an ice bar serving tasty vodka cocktails in ice glasses that slowly melt as you sip them. Both are open to day trippers as well as guests.

If you still can’t get used to the idea of staying in a sub-zero hotel, consider the fact that outside after dark the mercury can plummet to -30˚C. When you walk into the Icehotel, you’re greeted with what feels like a warm rush of air in the -5˚C interior.

If you stay overnight, you’re given a full thermal suit to wear over your clothes. When it’s time to hit the sack, staff cover your snow and ice bed with reindeer furs and hand you a sub-zero sleeping bag (warmest if you sleep naked or in thermal undies) and a furry cap to keep your head from freezing. In the morning, you’re served hot lingonberry juice before jumping in the sauna to thaw out.

The hotel melts every spring and is rebuilt from November,to a different model every year. Snow is sprayed on a framework and allowed to set. The steel forms are then removed, leaving free standing ice walls. Solid blocks of ice are also hewn from the banks of the nearby Torne River and used by a small army of artists to create sculptures and ice features.

It’s all very impressive — and the bonus is, if you’re short on ice for a late-night mojito you won’t have to ring room service. Just chip a chunk off your windowsill, dining table, or lampshade.

» Trevor Paddenburg visited Icehotel ( during a 10-day tour with Lapland specialists Scanbalt Experience (+46 708 544898;

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