Jukkasjäarvi: Ice Hotel

Bucket List dream come true! Ever since I read about the Arctic Ice Hotel being hand sculpted out of massive blocks of ice taken from the adjacent Torne Tiver in 1989 it has been a dream to visit Jukkasjäarvi to experience this famous Swedish landmark. It did not disappoint! We were also treated to the magnificent Northern Lights in their full glory whilst overnighting in a log cabin in -30C during our self drive dog sledding adventure. Other activities on offer that we took advantage of was the skidoo adventure and a wildlife photography trip where we spotted moose and reindeer - Amazing! MUST DO!

Our lovely Swedish friends had kindly invited us to the Ice Hotel back in 2019 but unfortunately due to Covid we had to cancel so we were super excited for the trip to finally materialise! Our other good friends from the UK were also joining us and we met up with them at the lounge at T5 Heathrow to kick off our adventure with bubbles! After a quick flight to Stockholm we settled into our comfortable room at Arlanda airport. We were up bright and early for the 1hr30min flight to Kiruna, the northern most airport in Sweden.

🙂 Truly magical and utterly unique bucket list!

🙁 No en-suite – but if I had selected the en-suite option, this would not be a complaint! 🙂

Kiruna has one of the world’s largest iron ore mining operations. It is really quite a remarkable town as it is on the move – building by building – literally! The entire town and its 18,000 inhabitants are shifting two miles east to prevent it slowly being swallowed by the underground mines!More than twenty buildings of historical value will be moved in their entirety to a new district set for completion in 2035.

Our luggage arrived swiftly and we were transferred by coach to the Ice Hotel. We checked in and were told that we could go to our ice rooms at 6pm as all rooms are open so that you can stroll around and view all the different varieties of ice sculptures. We were provided with lockers where we could store our belongings and there are communal bathrooms and showers for the overnight stay. In winter there are 53 ice rooms, Art Suites and Deluxe Suites. We were provided with a warm jump suit to wear whilst in the ice rooms area and headed off to explore the art which was very impressive.

Chicken Room!

It was then time for a quick glass of bubbles in the Ice Bar before our Ice Sculpting session!

It really was quite hilarious in the different approaches to ice sculpting taken by Paul and I – the instructor thought it was highly amusing but was slightly concerned that I may injure myself or someone else! I was rather pleased with my piece called ‘ The Heart of the Matter’ – It was a heart which hole in it, one side was a true heart and the other was a broken heart …. We proudly displayed our pieces at the base of our bed and were pleased to see that they remained there for the next guests to enjoy!

Compare and contrast our techniques!!

We caught up with our friends and enjoyed a drink at the bar until our Swedish friends arrived (Beware the airline changes flight times at very short notice hence why they were delayed and why we stayed on longer than everyone else).

We enjoyed a fantastic mean which included reindeer and was delicious. Lingonberries are small bright red and grow wild in Swedish forests and accompany most meals – they are high in antioxidants and are eaten raw.

We had a great evening and enjoyed a few glasses of wine which made us a bit giddy! We decided that it would be a good idea to lie on the road – until we saw a truck coming!

It was time for bed in our ice rooms! We went back to our lockers to get changed. The temperature inside the hotel hovers between -5 to – 7C. The hotel provides reindeer rugs over the beds and n expedition style sleeping bag. We all. wore thermals and warm socks and beanies to bed.

Bed time in the Ice Room!

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