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ICEHOTEL
Photograph: Asaf Kliger / Discover The World

Sweden’s real-life ice palace is back – and it’s more spectacular than ever

The Icehotel in Swedish Lapland this year features rooms themed around Charles Dickens and ‘The Great Gatsby’

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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The OG ice hotel is back for winter 2021/22, and it’s looking pretty damn cool (too cool for some, we’d imagine). The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, one of Sweden’s northernmost settlements, is the oldest of its kind in the world. This year it’s celebrating its 32nd incarnation – as everyone says, you’re at your finest in your thirties – and we’re getting goosebumps just looking at it.

As you’d expect from a hotel that fully melts (and is thus destroyed) every year, this version of the Icehotel is unlike any before. As well as featuring an ice bar (durr, everywhere’s got an ice bar these days), it also has a cinema and ceremony hall, both entirely made of ice.

What else is new this year? Well, the Icehotel has brought in 27 artists to design the rooms. The results vary from Dickensian cobbled streets to ‘The Great Gatsby’-style palaces, decked out with ice chandeliers and sculptures. The entire thing took just over six weeks to build, and required a freakin’ massive 600 tonnes of ice – all from the nearby River Torne.

ICEHOTEL
Photograph: Asaf Kliger / Discover The World

Not to mention the hotel rooms that guests can can actually stay in (also entirely made, as you might have guessed, out of ice). They’re pretty chilly, to put it lightly. Room temperatures are kept as low as -5C, so guests are advised to wrap up warm in sleeping bags and blankets.

If you don’t want to stay in one of those sub-zero rooms, you can also simply visit the Icehotel. Plus, the site does have some heated rooms that, obviously, aren’t built out of ice. The permanent, non-ice bit is called Icehotel 365, which also runs hiking, rafting and fishing tours of the surrounding area.

If all that tickles your fancy, travel company Discover the World has put together some pretty fab packages. Starting at just £359 ($478) for a three-night stay, you can bag one night chilled to your core in an ice room before spending two nights in a heated room to warm back up again. And as for when you’re bored of being absolutely fucking frozen? There are also plenty of other activities on offer, like snowmobiling and dogsledding. Check out Discover the World’s Icehotel page for more details.

Our one tip? Don’t put it off for too long. This version of the Icehotel is only open until April 2022, when the entire thing will melt back into the river from whence it came.

Did you see that you can sleep under the Northern Lights in these ‘warm igloos’ in Alaska?

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