ICEHOTEL, Marknadsvägen, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
ICEHOTEL number 26 opened its frozen doors two weeks ago! ICEHOTEL is the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow and is reborn each year in the village of Jukkasjärvi, just north of the Arctic Circle. The spectacular frozen monolith is made entirely of ice from the free-flowing river Torne, and is open from mid-December to mid-April every year. This #BirthdayBucketListof the week is devoted to this spectacularly sparkling experience.
Each year the rooms are completely different as new artisans come to the area to carve art sculptures out of the ice. The artists vary from year to year, so that each rendition of the hotel is unique every season that it reopens. Not only is this #BirthdayBucketList devoted to sleeping in this temporary hotel, but it also serves as the setting where you can host the COOLEST (pun intended) birthday dinner party on the planet.
Photo: Scandinavian Photoadventures
Northern Lights, Star-gazing & Cocktails
Imagine walking up to ICEHOTEL for the first time. It looks like a mirage set in the middle of a white blanketed snowy landscape. The kind of setting that looks other-worldly as it shimmers and sparkles under the moonlight. You have entered your very own Disney's Frozen adventure, but for adults.
You meet up with your gathered guests in the lobby where you greet them with a cocktail, hop into a mini bus and head off on your icy escapade.
Next, you arrive to a secluded spot and enter a tipi-style Sàmi tent where you are offered a warming pre-dinner drink. The guide tells you and your crew about the Aurora Borealis and the wild animals of the Arctic region. You lay down on the reindeer skins that are spread out on the fluffy snow and stare up at the sky as you drift off into a dream like state. Your guide whispers fun facts and myths about the northern lights and points out star-studded constellations glittering across the Northern Hemisphere.
The Wilderness Dinner Party
After your exciting tipi adventure, you hop back into the comfort of the mini bus and head to the secluded wilderness camp where a charming, warm cabin awaits you and your guests.
You enter the rustic cabin and sit down at a long table laden with an an elegant three-course dinner that has been prepared by your wilderness chef. Simultaneously, your guide serves up another round of warming welcome drinks. You dine on delectable local flavors with hand-picked beverages to match, creating the ultimate secluded, starry-sky dinner party.
Far away from light pollution, noise and smog, you wine and dine around the sparkling fire of the cabin as the Polar sky shows off all of her star-studded glory. After a long night of fireside chats and laughter, you wind down with desserts and coffee, then slowly make your way back to ICEHOTEL.
2015-2016 Art Suite: The Flying Buttress | Design: AnnaKatrin Kraus (US\DE) & Hans Aescht (Gremany) | Photo: Asaf Kliger
A Sparkling Slumber
You enter the frosted glass door of the brand new ice suites that have just debuted at ICEHOTEL 26 and are bundled up with cozy attire and blankets. If you are too chilly you can opt to sleep in the sleek Scandinavian warm rooms, but to truly complete this wilderness experience we recommend braving the night within the walls of these glorious and glittering ice sculptures!
2015-2016 Art Suite: The Power of Love | Design: Sebastian Scheller (Germany) & Kristina Möckel (Germany) | Photo: Asaf Kliger
The next morning you opt to use the hotel's northern lights wake-up service, so you can be sure not to miss out in case the Aurora makes an appearance. The hotel serves up a complimentary morning drink of hot, sweet lingonberry juice before you even have to leave the comfort of your warm sleeping bag and head for the sauna, breakfast and nature's light show.
Photo: Emma Charlina Graméus
If you are lucky enough to be at the ICEHOTEL with your guests over the Christmas holiday, you will see the spectacular lighting of the advent candles as they flicker on the freshly fallen snow. In the northern hemisphere it is the darkest time of the year, and many homes accommodate Advent candles, where a candle is lit for each Sunday in Advent. When winter is at its darkest the light refracts through in the most magical way.
The perfect end to a perfect #BirthdayBucketList adventure with friends and family.