Sweden's ICEHOTEL opens for 2018/2019

The wintriest of winter getaways is back. As the annual Arctic deep freeze gets underway, Sweden's ...

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 2:51 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 2:51 PM

The wintriest of winter getaways is back. As the annual Arctic deep freeze gets underway, Sweden's ICEHOTEL is opening its frosty doors.

And its icy rooms are as beautiful as ever.

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The famous hotel regenerates every year -- and for 2018/19, some 15 new have been suites created by a 34 artists and designers from across 13 countries.

Since 2016, part of the hotel has been permanent thanks to solar-powered cooling technology, allowing guests to test the cold temperatures all year round.

But in a tradition spanning almost 30 years, part of the hotel remains transitory -- each year when the old ice melts, new applications come forward and a panel of artists and ice experts choose the best of the best.

The winners travel to Sweden to help make their frozen visions a reality, aided by experienced ice artists.

Nature theme

Many of this year's suites are inspired by the natural world.

This seems appropriate. ICEHOTEL's DNA is intertwined with its picturesque surroundings -- the ice is sourced from the nearby Torne River, Sweden's northernmost and the biggest national river.

Among this year's creations is "The Living Ocean Suite," by Jonathan Green and his daughter Marnie from England. It's an icy underwater haven complete with coral and fish.

"The suite is inspired by the climate changes and the overfishing that affects our oceans," says Green. "I also thought the idea of using frozen water from a river in northern Sweden to create an ocean with shells, fish, and corals is exciting."

Other designs are more mythical. A team from Sweden, Spain and Slovakia designed "Haven," a supposed magical ice portal attended by imposing creatures.

"We are inspired by the meeting of people and want to create an experience that invites curiosity, creativity, and collaboration," says one of Haven's designers, Jonas Johannson.

The sparkly ice in the hotel is illuminated by specifically curated light design, adding an otherworldly air to the hotel's cool interiors.

Get creative

Roughly 70,000 guests a year visit ICEHOTEL, where a survival course is offered to help guests adapt to their frozen surroundings.

Plus there are warm cabins on offer -- so guests can switch between staying in the cold rooms and sleeping in the warmth they might be more accustomed to.

The current edition of ICEHOTEL is open now until April 13 2019. Prices for two adults start at SEK 1,549 ($170) for a warm room and SEK 2,354 ($260) for an ice room.

Next year will see ICEHOTEL celebrating three decades of icy artistic creations. Submissions are already open, so if you're feeling inspired you can get creative now.

ICEHOTEL: Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden; +46 980 668 00

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