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“Impressive building and carving - not sure I would sleep there!” 4 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
uk
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Impressive building and carving - not sure I would sleep there!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

The hotel is really a big igloo built of snow each year. It is divided into 'bedrooms' which are carved out rooms off one of two corridors with a curtain for privacy (not that you need privacy in a one piece sleeping bag and ballaclava in a constant temperature of -4 degrees! Toilets are in a separate building so if you have bladder problems this experience may not be for you.

We had a tour of the rooms and a meal by an open fire in a nearby wood constructed restaurant which was good fun. We were pleased to get back to our hotel and snuggle up in a proper bed and did not envy those hardy souls who chose to sleep in the snow hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (23)
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English first
Fleet
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for one night in March 2013. It isn't an ordinary hotel, of course - made entirely of snow (except for the blocks of sculpted ice) and an internal temperature maintained at -4C (however the external temperature was -25C, so it was a relief to get inside).

There's a separate heated restaurant where we could warm up and be served delicious food cooked over a wood fire. And also a heated shower, and sauna block. Bedrooms, though, were in the snow building. We were provided with warm clothes and a sleeping bag, which I found to be not quite warm enough although my wife kept warm in hers. The big downside for a bloke in his late 60s who needs to get up in the middle of the night is that the toilet block was 50 metres away - that's a walk of 50 metres through -25C open air! But I managed - nowhere near as bad as I feared.

Spectacular views of the northern lights, friendly young staff and excellent food made up for the slight discomfort. A experience not to be missed (or repeated!).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We stayed one night. It was brilliant. On arrival we were given a talk on what to expect and then told to take our time and look around in all the bedrooms and see the amazing ice carvings on the walls. They were incredible and we took photographs of many of them. We were allocated our room for the night and met in the dining room. An octagonal looking hut about 50 yards from the hotel with a central open fire used for cooking. We sat on tables of eight and met other travellers and exchanged stories and experiences. The meal was excellent with red and white wine thrown in. My wife is a vegetarian and she was well catered for. Over the course of the meal, we were given instructions as to how to stay warm in bed with the sleeping bags and sleeves we were given. We had booked an excursion and after dinner we were taken to see the Northern Lights which luckily played ball as they were spectacular. We also paid a short visit to the Russian Border. Breakfast was included. All the staff were brilliant, very helpful and extremely friendly. Buses took us back into Kirkenes where we had the morning to look around before heading onto our boat and back to Tromso.

Room Tip: Don't drink to much the night before as it is a lengthy process getting up to go to the loo whic...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

We have just stayed at the snow hotel a couple night ago. It was run by the same people we did ice fishing with and king crabbing. We had so much fun on these two excursions with our tour guide michael we were very excited to head to the snow hotel. We got given our room number and then got to have a look at all the other rooms at our leisure and take photos. We went into a woodern hut for dinner. Met some new people and had great food. We then wandered around and saw the northern lights in the distance. They taught us how to stay warm so had a comfy night sleep. After breakfast we patted the reindeer and played with the huskys before heading back. Everything was so well organised and such lovely staff.i highly recomend you doing all of your activities with the snow hotel staff. Best service we have had on our 2 month scandinavia trip.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bovey Tracey, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
17 helpful votes 17 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
133 helpful votes 133 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.
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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 #2 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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