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“Amazing experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Icehotel

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Icehotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Marknadsvagen 63, Jukkasjarvi 981 91, Sweden   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Glossop UK
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Took my mum to the ice hotel from 9th-12th Feb. Staying in an ice suite the first night (cold accomodation) and the warm accomodation the following 2 nights. We were in the 'blue marine' room, which was like being inside the Whlale! It was awesome. I was warm as toast and slept like a log. If you follow the hotel instructions you have no need to be concerned about being cold, although, be warned, the toilets are back in the main changing rooms so if you need the loo in the night you have to dash across the outside court yard in your thermals!! We went to the ice bar and stayed up late so were werent sleeping in the cold for too long....and we were full of vodka which also helped! Be careful with you ice glass, I know that sounds silly, but if you hold it in your bare hand it will slip out and you £12 coctail will end up on the floor :(

The main advantage of booking and ice suite as opposed to a snow or ice room is the private cubicle you get to store your clothes and luggage. I think it would have been difficult otherwise because you continually need your alternative clothes, toiletries etc and without a cubicle you are just in an open changing room like being at the swimming pool.

The warm accomodation is basic but very clean and sufficient and the beds are really comfortable. The staff (and people generally) and warm and friendly, the staff were efficent and pleasant and the hotel really is worth all the hype, although trip are a must really cos theres only so many snow angles you can make!

We ate at the Homestead restaurant both evenings which is a 900m walk from the ice hotel (10 mins in snow gear). In -30 temperatures you really need to wear your thermals etc. The dress code on the website says smart / casual for the restaurant dress code, but this was a bit difficult under a pair of ski pants and a snow suite. I took a small ruck sack for a couple of pairs of smart, flat shoes. We ended up putting thermals under loose trousers and a nice jumper and just putting the ski clothes and snow suite in the cloak room. This isnt very big and theres no-where to get changed and all the suits blend into one once they're hung up because they all belong to the ice hotel, so dont leave anything important in the pocket like room keys etc because someone may well go home in your suite!! Also, if the lights appear when your eating there will be a stamped to get out to see them.....leave your suit nearest the end pegs so you can grab it quick! You can't stand outside without it even for a few seconds to see the lights......believe me i tried!!

There is a very old church near the homestead restraunt, the oldest in Sweden i think, which is worth looking at (open 9-3) and a little cafe and sami museum with reindeer you can feed. You can get a nice cheap cup of tea and coffee and the gifts are cheaper than the ice hotel. You have to pay £15 entry to go into the Sami museum if you want to feed the reindeer, but its interesting and feeding the reindeer is great fun (open 10-5). This would be a much better and cheaper way to do it than going on the sami / reindeer trip from the ice hotel. I didnt do this trip, but the comments other people have made seemed to suggest it wasnt worth the money and this is walking distance from the hotel.

Trip wise, I booked all our trips with Kiruna guidetur before we set off. They are half the price of the ice hotel and twice the duration. We booked a huskey sled from the airport and were then shown around where the huskey are kept...we saw all the 3 and 4 month old pups.....very cute. You get to drive your own 2 person sled this way. If you have a 4 person sled, people were complaining it was uncomfortable to sit on. With a 2 person one of you drive and the other sits. The dogs sort their selves out, you just have to hold on and press the break if need be, so no commands or stearing to learn, very easy. We couldnt go into our cold accomodation until 7pm as the hotel is open for visitors anyway, so this was a great way to kill some time prior to the room being ready. Much better than being in the initial crush for snow suites and checking in.

The following day we went to the Moose park in Vitangi in the morning and to the aurora sky station in the evening. Again, both booked through Kiruna guideturs. The moose park was lovely, we had homemade salmon soup for lunch and got to feed the Moose bannanas!
The aurora sky station was amazing. We booked a 3 course dinner and a trip to the station. The ski chairs are quite high up and the down ward journey is a bit hair raising but well worth it. Make sure you are WELL wrapped up because you'll want to lie in the snow to look at the ski.

When booking this trip there 3 options, just the sky station, the sky station with 3 courses in the bottom restaurant and the 3 courses in the ski station. If you can afford the extra, go to the top to have the food. On all 3 night we were there, the northern lights were visable while people were eating the 3 course meal at the top. This also mean you are taken up to the viewing station earlier so have more time up there. We didnt get to the sky station until nearly 9pm.

The following day we did the high mountain snow mobile tour. This was an hour- hour and a half drive in to Swedens highest mountain where we were given our snow mobiles. The scenery en route was breathtaking and we saw wild reindeer and wild mouse while we were driving to the snow mobiles. The guides who took us on this tour (Andreas and his father neils) have owned the land for generations and were really proud of their land and family. The snow mobiles were immaculate and we felt really safe. There was only 4 of us on the tour, so like a private tour really....much better than 50+ people with the ice hotel. We did ice fishing - dont be put off by this, it was 10 mins of holding a rod through a hole drilled in the ice.....and a fish was caught! We were given tea and cake on the way out and reindeer burgers from LapDanalds on the way back. Best burger ive EVER had and no horse meat in sight! We had a little quiz to do while we waited for lunch, which included a prize for the winner. Brilliant tour, would definately recommend it.

Finally we went on a horse draw sleigh (again Kiruna guideturs). We were driven across the frozen River Torne river to a little stables were a native bred pony towed us round the local forrest and back across the frozen river during dusk and into the darkness. It was breath taking, just like narnia and a lovely peaceful way to see the scenery local to the hotel.

So to summarise, book the tours through Kiruna much cheaper and really grate standards. They meet all the requirement for the Discover the World insurance (I checked) and you just book on line, absolutely painless. The only think you need to be aware of is you can't wear ice hotel snow suites outside the hotel with other companies, but they provide you with these anyway..in fact they insisted when we went snowmobiling so we werent cold.

Clothes wise...You need to wear- 2 pairs of ski socks, 2 sets of therma base layer (trousers and tops), 2 mid layer (couple of fleece jumpers) and then an outedr layer (ski suit) and then the snow suite over the top. You need 3 pairs of gloves,(silk base pair, warm mid pair and then a pair of mittens....these are a pain). Make sure your boots are too big so you have space for air once your socks are on, otherwise your toes will be cold. Hand and feet warmers and cheaper on amazon or ebay if you buy more than 10 pairs. All the base equiment we used was from Aldi or decathlon and is adequate quality, you dont need to sent £300 on a goose down coat! We took some vaseline and put this around our mouth and nose, it stopped our nostril and lips freezing through the ballaclavas. They freze with your breath, so a spare is a good idea and hat with ear flaps is a MUST.

Take lots of batteries, keep these warm otherwise you'll have no photos, we put a hand warmer in the camera case which worked a treat. If they batteries die, warm them in your hands and they'll work again. Incidentally, my i-phone was amazing, it didnt stop working once.

If your servious about the northern lights and photos and things, the aurora viewing platform at the ice hotel looks straight out onto the frozen river and is pitch black. I was told the bast time to see them is on a new moon (as its really dark) and obviously when its clear. The lights are mean to peak in 10 year cycles and this year is currently a peak. We saw the lights all 3 nights we were there.

Wrap up warm....layers, layers, layers...There's so much more to this place than the hotel.

Room Tip: Ice suite worth the extra
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (194)
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English first
York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

It was my husband who had for many years wanted to visit the Ice Hotel and I went along fairly reluctantly it has to be said but I am a convert! The whole experience was great fun, we did the Ice Room on the first night which I think was a good choice, managed to get through to breakfast time without having to do a sprint to the loos!! The warm room we had was lovely, looking out onto the snow covered trees and contrary to many reviewers we didn't find it too warm to sleep, in fact I was hotter in the sleeping bag in the Ice Room:-) We tried dinner at both The Old Homestead and the main restaurant, both were excellent, food and service top class. Dinner in the wilderness lodge during the snowmobile excursion was a complete contrast, great fun with the guide preparing it all on the camping stove beside a log fire which he'd lit for us, whilst he'd left us outside gazing at the breathtaking spectacle of the dancing green lights in the starry sky:-) We were so lucky as we had the perfect night for viewing but it was minus 30!!
We found that all the staff were extremely friendly, helpful and spoke perfect English and can only praise the whole set up as very professional but great fun, try it.......!

Room Tip: Do the cold room first and book an Art Suite if possible...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

We caught the bus from Kiruna instead of prebooking a tour which was excellent value and you can pay by credit card on the bus. We didn't realise that the entry fee to look around was about £33 each!! I couldn't see that on the website. But as we were there now we paid and went to look around.

The art rooms are amazing to look at and we spent some time in each taking photos. The other rooms were a bit samey after a while. There is a great viewing platform out across the wilderness which must have been great to see the aurora from. The church was a little disappointing after the art rooms and there is a small gallery type room showing how it's made which was a bit pointless. We didn't drink in the ice bar as the prices seemed extortionate after the entry price but went to the bar next to reception for a warming drink and lunch. We ordered smoked reindeer ciabatta (which was cold and mixed with lots of mayonaise unfortunately) but I did have a lovely cocktail made with hot apple juice and cognac. We couldn't see the ice restaurant on the map (where we originally wanted to have lunch). We felt we had seen it all in 1.5 hours, we were quite cold (it was -30) and I had slipped over on the path on my way in (something I saw a few people do) so we headed back to Kiruna on the bus. Very expensive but worth seeing. Probably different if you stay the night.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
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Berkshire
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We spent one night in an art suite at the Icehotel. The art suites have a private cubicle for each suite in the warm reception which gives you a private area for your clothes etc. great that we could unpack what we needed and leave clothes hung up in a secure place.

We were in Bedtime Story suite which seemed very different from most of the others. Very cosy even at -5c! We slept very well and had to be woken at 8 am.

Unfortunately is was cloudy that night but we saw the NL on other nights.

Room Tip: Go for an art suite or Northern Lights Suite
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We went to the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi for our honeymoon, a bit of an unusual (and expensive!) destination but it was worth every penny. The hotel itself is beautiful. You can walk around it like a museum during the day and enjoy the 'Art Suites' so there's no need to pay out extra to sleep in one if you don't want to. I couldn't believe the detail and beauty of the rooms. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful with impeccable English and a lot of knowledge. Our guided snowmobile tour was fantastic - David (I think that was his name!) was so full of facts and stories about his travels and the Arctic, truly amazing.

We stayed in an Ice Room for our first night which was certainly an experience. Make sure you go to the little talk about 'how to survive a night in the ice room' - they will tell you everything you need to know. You just need to wear thermals, socks and a hat and you store your luggage and everything else in the Dressing Room which is very nice and the lockers were big enough for two large suitcases and two rucksacks. I slept fairly well considering - I certainly wasn't cold as the sleeping bag was very effective. The only thing I was not prepared for was that the showers were communal and the changing room was open, although female only, so that was a surprise! The warm rooms are luxurious and very warm with plenty of tea and coffee and a lovely shower. We only went to the Ice Hotel Restaurant which was really quite amazing; we had the rather expensive 6 course set menu, as it was such a special occasion, and it was worth every penny; dishes were clearly prepared with a great deal of skill and care and gave a real flavour of the region. Budget carefully though: dinner there every night could get a bit expensive. We got food from the local shop other nights which was fine.

Breakfasts were very good - everything you could possibly want was out there to choose from and the buffet lunch was also well-stocked and delicious.

We saw the Northern Lights on our first night, but sadly not again after that. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend the Ice Hotel to anyone and everyone. Just buy the right thermals and you'll be fine. The Ice Hotel lend out snowsuits, mittens, hats, balaclavas and big boots whenever you need them. THe Ice Bar was fantastic as well although, again, needs to be budgeted for as a drink is about £10-11 a time!

Save up and go for it - amazing.

Room Tip: - You can look around the hotel in the day time, so if you don't want to pay to sleep in an Art...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Essex
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

It's tricky to write a review for this because there really isn't anything else like it, either in character or price.

I'll address the cost first - It's expensive. work out if you can afford it first, then factor in the cost for the food and drinks as well as a couple of excursions as this isn't somewhere that you can easily go to on a budget. you have to remember that you're paying for a unique experience and environment and not 5* luxury. Once you have got over this the rest of the trip is amazing.

The ice hotel itself is an art exhibition during the day and only becomes a hotel after 6pm so if you're staying in a cold room you can't get to your room until after that. You will have a locker in a communal area called the dressing room if you're in a snow or ice room, with a small individual changing room if you have booked an art suite. There are separate mens/womens changing/shower/toilet/sauna areas on top of this for all residents.

The hotel will provide you with a warm over suit, boots and balaclava if you haven't got them. You will need to bring you're own hat & gloves and you will need them.

The night we stayed it was -31C outside and a constant -5C inside so it seemed quite warm in there. You have the option of a single or double sleeping bag, we took the double and slept well in socks, thermal base layer and hat. If you have a partner who is more restless you might be better off with the single bags, you also have to option of zipping them right up round your head so just your face sticks out. As others have pointed out the toilets are in the warm block, so if you do need to go in the middle of the night it's a bit of a walk in the cold!

Once you have looked around the ice hotel there's not much else to do in the area which is why you need to either sit in the warm reception area (they do have free wi-fi for residents) or go out on one of the many excursions that are offered. We went on a horseback moose safari that we booked through the ice hotel. It was with these guys www.ofelas.se and was a fairly simple pony trek so no need to worry if you're not used to horses like me. The lunch was simple but tasty and there was plenty of it to warm you up after the riding.

The food in the restaurant is very good, they had copies of menus for both of the restaurants at the reception. We never made it to the Old Homestead as the menu was more limited and because we didn't book a table until we got there the times were limited.

Breakfast is a very comprehensive buffet, my recommendation if you're in a cold room is to ask them to wake you up early - this way you'll avoid the rush for the showers, dressing room and breakfast

Go on the tour where they tell you how they construct the ice hotel and also don't miss the 'how to survive the night' presentation for all the hints and tips of sleeping in the hotel.

Warm rooms are simple but comfortable with all the amenities of a 'normal' hotel and it is most importantly warm.

It's an amazing experience and very few people get to do this. If you're lucky you'll also get a show of the northern lights, we saw them briefly and they are worth the visit just on their own. There are many people who have written guides on how to photograph the northern lights who are far more knowledgeable than I am but the two key things that I would recommend are 1. Bring a tripod if you want good photos and 2. Going from outside the hotel at -20C to inside at -5C will cause condensation to form on the camera. Put it back in the case before you come in.

This is a fantastic and unforgettable experience.

Room Tip: Paying extra for the Art Suites gets you a small changing room as well rather than a locker as well...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Hotel very clinical and not very personable. Great experience though staff generally friendly. Unfortunately my husband was ill during our stay. We were left to sit in reception for 6 hours until a room was available. Not one member of staff came to ask us if we were ok. very disappointing as it was a fabulous part of the world to go and see. If everything goes well great place but if something goes wrong can be a miserable experience.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Icehotel

Address: Marknadsvagen 63, Jukkasjarvi 981 91, Sweden
Location: Sweden > Norrbotten County > Jukkasjarvi
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Icehotel 3*
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Also Known As:
Icehotel Hotel Jukkasjarvi
Icehotel Sweden/Jukkasjarvi
Ice Hotel Sweden

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