The original ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland has just opened its reindeer clad doors to guests for the upcoming winter season and we are over the moon here at House of Coco and cannot wait to visit. At the same time, the iconic hotel has released the first images of this year’s unique designs following an intensive few weeks of building by designers that have travelled from all over the world to help in its construction.
This year, the amount of snow used to create the ICEHOTEL’s 55 rooms, church and bar would be enough to make a staggering 700 million snowballs, with the hotel’s chandeliers alone being made from 1000 hand cut ice crystals. Highlights of the 19individually designed ice suites include a life-sized three metre high elephant, a 1970s love capsule, a herd of jumping sheep and an undulating cairn forest by a British-based design duo.
As well as the ICEHOTEL’s famous artist-designed suites, guests can expect two new experiences including a traditional Swedish sauna with invigorating ice plunge and romantic heated starlit bath and an adventurous winter wilderness survival course, which ICEHOTEL specialist Discover the World has combined to create the ultimate Arctic Living package.
Also new for this season is ICEHOTEL’s first ever ice beer (Torne Islager) made with melted ice from the nearby Torne River – renowned for its purity – as well as a new locally-inspired winter menu from Michelin trained head chef Alexander Meier, including dishes such as sashimi served on ice and reindeer with chocolate sauce. There’s even a new smartphone app- Aurora Skycam- which gives guests access to live northern lights data, as well as sounding an alarm when the aurora appears nearby.
Exclusive direct flights between Heathrow and ICEHOTEL (landing in Kiruna after a 3.5 hour flight) are operated by Discover the World and begin on the 19th December, running until late March 2016, with 3 night breaks priced from £988pp*. For more information, visit www.discover-the-world.co.uk/icehotel.
26th ICEHOTEL Design Highlights
This year sees British-based designers (architect) Matt Chan and (choreographer) Annie Hanauer team up to create a Cairn Forest suite; a woodland scene featuring piles of rough ice blocks to make up towers and arches in an undulating icy landscape- based on the idea that cairns serve as a method of communication between travellers and mark out points of interest, such as the ICEHOTEL. In addition, guests can expect a three-metre high African elephant, a room full of flying sheep, an ancient country manor draped in ice-carved fabric, an imperial-inspired theatre set and a 1970s love suite- complete with its very own love barometer.
New Northern Lights App
This winter sees the launch of a northern lights app named Aurora Skycam that guests can easily download to their phone. The app, which is a collaboration between Canon and Aurora Skycam, will be available from SEK 75 (around £5.80) and gives guests instant access to live northern lights data in their selected location for up to 30 days. The app also features an aurora alarm, which alerts when the northern lights appear. One of the cameras collating the data for the app is mounted overlooking ICEHOTEL.
New for this season is Discover the World’s Arctic Living package which includes a traditional ‘clean’ Arctic feast, an exhilarating cross country skiing excursion as well as the new Swedish sauna experience (learning about authentic rituals and experiencing a tar soap cleanse) and taking an invigorating 50m dash to the Torne River for a plunge into the icy waters. The package also includes the new winter survival introduction; learning the basics of fire making, shelter building and navigation. The 3 night package is priced from £1,533pp based on two sharing on a B&B basis, including all Arctic Living activities, return direct flights, airport transfers, 1 night in an Ice Room and 2 nights in a warm Kaamos Room. Departure dates include 19 December 2015; 23, 30 January 2016; 06, 13, 20, 27 February 2016 and 05 March 2016.
Five Fun ICEHOTEL Facts:
- The ICEHOTEL uses 1000 ice blocks– that’s 1,800 tonnes of ice and around 30,000 cubic metres of snice
- 10 secondsof Torne River water flow yields the entire building of ICEHOTEL
- The temperature of ICEHOTEL can drop to -5°C but guests are kept warm with reindeer skins
- When the ICEHOTEL melts, it would fill 21Olympic sized swimming pools
- The ICEBAR serves 26,550drinks IN the rocks from ice cocktail glasses
For more information, visit www.discover-the-world.co.uk/icehotel or call 01737 214 291
Discover the World operates exclusive direct flights between Heathrow and the ICEHOTEL as well as a range of exciting breaks priced from just £988pp. To find out more, please visit www.discover-the-world.co.uk/icehotel