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“A lot of skill.. But could be so much more” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kirkenes Snowhotel

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Kirkenes Snowhotel
1.0 of 5 Specialty Hotel   |   Radius Kirkenes AS | Gabba Reindeer and Husky Park, Kirkenes 9915, Norway   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bovey Tracey, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“A lot of skill.. But could be so much more”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

We visited here ( didn't stay)

A lot of time and skill must go into the snow hotel, but it didn't inspire me or even make me go 'wow'. I think the first reason is that it isn't in the middle of nowhere but very close to Kirkenes ( half hour walk from centre up hill). It didn't feel like a romantic location, and for a building so special , and the price, the location needs to match!
The carvings are very cutesy - I would have liked to see some more elegant snow/ice art. I didn't really find it as beautiful as I thought I would.
The smoke alarms stuck on the snow made us giggle.
We watched the dog sledding.. I would recommend people look elsewhere - Sollia up the road would be a better choice. The dog sledding is round a frozen lake, but next to a busy road and coach park. Again, for the prices you pay I think you would expect more of a wilderness experience!
Interesting to see ( there is an entry charge), as there is the reindeer and huskies there too. But I was SO glad I hadn't paid the HUGE prices to stay here as I would have been disappointed!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

or do I? We were brought out to the Snow Hotel in the afternoon as we'd booked a dog sledging excursion i think run by the same company that runs the hotel. The excursion was fantastic. the guides are friendly and fun, the dogs are beautiful and obviously loved and cared for. We went for what seemed like miles out over two lakes and had a toasted cheese and reindeer meat sandwich and hot fruit juice in a Sami tent whilst the guides told us stories and the dogs rested. Even though our excursion finished around 5pm we were taken back to the Rica Arctic hotel (where we'd stored our main luggage) as the Snow Hotel didn't want you until 6pm. We were collected from the Rica Arctic wihin half an hour of being dropped off. We were ushered into the Ice Bar just inside the entrance to the Snow Hotel for a drink and encouraged to look at the rooms and pick the one we liked the most to sleep in. We had a quick drink and were then taken to where all the sleeping bags and other kit is kept to show us what was what and have a demo of how to insert the sheet into the sleeping bag and advised what to wear to have a warm and comfy night.
Other reviews have complained about the facilities being inadequate so we must have been lucky to be in a group of just nine people staying on the 28th February 2013. The Gabba restaurant is how I imagined Norweigan restaurants would be with a roaring log fire. We enjoyed the sausage,then fish followed by icecream and berries. We avoided drinking too much in anticipation of our night in the snow room and the distance between our room and the toilets. We saw the Northern lights briefly outside the restaurant so decided to join the 'Hunt the Northern Lights' tour as it was a clear night and the last chance for us to see the lights before we left for home in the morning. Our driver took us up near the Russian border and pulled into a layby for the most spectacular sighting lasting a good 40 minutes.
On arrival back at the Snow Hotel we collected our sleeping bags, sheets, woolen socks, etc. I wore thermals and a light sweater and my own socks plus the woolen socks provided. Getting into the sheet and then the sleeping bag in the snow room is not easy and you have to be careful zipping up the sleeping bag so the zip doesn't jam but once you're inside it's really snug. I slept soundly until about 6:30am and didn't wake because I was cold. I've never done the back packing or camping thing so have no point of reference for the facilities. However there were only two others in the warm room when I got there in the morning. I had an unhurried shower before breakfast. There were plenty of clean towels and if I'd not brought my own toiletries they were provided along with a hairdryer. Even with all nine of us around it didn't feel crowded (I can understand though that double that would have been crowded in the space) and we'd all become friendly during the previous evening and so being altogether was companionable. Breakfast was warm bread and the usual selection of cheese and cold meats and good coffee. We may have been lucky because there were a small number of guests that were good company, the sighting of Northern lights following a great day with the dogs but I had the best time. Would I do it again? No, because it was just perfect and anything less would be a dissapointment.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

I was peer pressured into sleeping in the Snowhotel; but it was brilliant. Beautifully crafted, and very well run - a great time, but probably not something I'll do every year :)

You can go dog sledding, which was super fun. And the organized a Aurora borealis trip for us.

The food provided is excellent, and the sleeping bags keep you toasty warm.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the hotel on 22 February 2013. The hotel is in a beautiful location and arriving at night was magical with all the little lights. The rooms were decorated with beautiful snow carvings but the washrooms were completely inadequate and substandard - really unacceptable given what we paid. Dinner in the restaurant was good with a good atmosphere. We were however enticed to go on a 'hunt for the northern lights' at 500NOK per person. The trip is advertised as something they do when the sky is clear. Unbeknownst to us the weather forecast was for a snow storm all night. We set off at 9pm and shortly afterwards it started snowing. We spent the next two hours driving around in a snow storm with a driver constantly apologising in his very broken English. Eventually he showed us on his mobile phone the weather forecast was for snow until the next morning. Needless to say those that encouraged us to part with 1000NOK for nothing was nowhere to be seen when we arrived back at the hotel or indeed the next morning. So fellow travellers you have been warned. This hotel is completely over priced and we would NOT recommend it.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincolnshire
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Visited here on 12th February 2013 just for an hour or so.
Yes the sculptures are good, yes you're in a snow hotel, but did they miss a trick!!
The tour consisted of a self guided visit into each of the bedrooms and a general 'chat' in the bar.
We were unable to buy a drink at the bar and isn't that what its all about....a drink from an ice glass.
We then got to 'look' at the reindeer and give them some food, then back to our proper hotel.
Not sure it was worth the 400 NOK per person, but hey, at least we saw it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melrose, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

As part of an excellent coastal voyage by Hurtigruten, we spent our last night here. So beautifully done, but very cold. We managed to sleep all night in our sleeping bags ( Norwegian army issue!), but some of the party gave up and had to sleep in the (small) Warm room where there were sofas, hot showers and saunas. In The morning we fed the reindeer and the huskies, and went husky -sledding. A great experience to do once in your life. The Hurtigruten voyage was great. Would recommend it to anyone who loves ships and wonderful scenery and great food,

Room Tip: All rooms on the same model but with different ice sculptures.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed at the snow hotel 18th February for 1 night.Arrived 6pm from Kirkenes.It lived up to everything we expected.Taken straight into hotel,amazing bar with great ice sculptures.You can view all 24 rooms,we had the Marilyn Monroe room,others were fairy tales and troll theme.Great meal in restaurant,around a central wood burning fire,this room is open all night.You are given sleeping instructions about your sleeping bag etc.There is another room for seating and toilets,shower,sauna etc,although some people slept the night there.We were lucky to have an amazing,beautiful lights show over snow hotel for about 45 minutes,the sky was alight with the patterns of the northern lights.I had to go across to use the loo in the night,about 50yards,it was so special to be in such scenery.They open sauna at 6am,breakfast is 7am,then we walked around reindeer and husky dogs before we left.It is hard to decide how to get into your sleeping bag quickly,you obviously don`t want to stand on the ice,most of the undressing and dressing you do on the bed.Was i cold?Yes.Was i glad i stayed?Yes.Would i stay again?No!ha!An experience i loved,but,didn`t get alot of sleep.The staff were all very friendly,Thomas was there all night just incase a guest needed anything.Once in a life time experience.......

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kirkenes Snowhotel

Address: Radius Kirkenes AS | Gabba Reindeer and Husky Park, Kirkenes 9915, Norway
Location: Norway > Northern Norway > Nordland > Kirkenes
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Kirkenes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:1 star — Kirkenes Snowhotel 1*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to an incredible overnight stay in Kirkenes Snow Hotel. In Decemeber 2011 we open for the sixth season. The hotel has 20 rooms beautiful decorated with snow and ice. It may sound cold, but warm and thick sleeping bags will keep you well and make the overnight stay to an incredible experience. Our pleasant crew will take good care of you and the silence during the night will help you to sleep really good. Before you go to bed, you will be served a tree course arctic dinner, made of local raw materials, at our restaurant Gabba. After the dinner you my go watching out for Northern Lights. At this snow and ice hotel you may order several types of activities trip with a husky dog team, snowmobile trip, walk by snowshoes, go crosscountry skiing, ice-fishing and also the King Crab Safari. At Kirkenes Snow hotel you can get all winter activities. Welcome to a world of arctic experiencies. ... more   less 
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