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“Once in a life time 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
Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Once in a life time experience…”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

My partner and I have just returned from a stay at the Ice Hotel for three nights. One of these was spent in a Snow Room in the cold accommodation. This is the most basic type of room you can get within the cold part of the hotel and has a bed frame made of ice. The Art Suites are absolutely amazing and if you can afford to upgrade it would definitely add to the experience. However, as you are able to walk around these and take pictures during the day and you spend very little time in your room in the cold accommodation we didn’t feel it worth the extra cost.
In our experience the hotel worked like a well-oiled machine (apart from initially being told to get on the wrong bus when we were collected from the airport). Our luggage was dropped off in the cold accommodation reception, which enabled us the chance to walk around and familiarise ourselves with the hotel and grounds. We were then able to check-in in and collect our snow suites etc. at our leisure, without having to stand in a long queue.
In the cold accommodation you use communal changing rooms and have a locker to store your luggage. One benefit of upgrading to one of the other suites is that you get a private changing room within the communal ones.
It was -30 outside the night we stayed in the cold accommodation but -5 inside. We did not have any problems with sleeping in the Snow Room wearing the right clothing; using both the sheet and the sleeping bag and having a few cocktails in the Ice Bar before we went to bed, which did the trick!
We arranged a wakeup call for 7am with hot lingonberry juice (which is always available in the cold reception if you need to warm up) as we had a husky sled tour booked for 9.30am. As check out was scheduled before our tour finished we were able to leave our luggage in a locked room which was then dropped off at our warm accommodation later that afternoon.
After our trip we visited the warm accommodation reception and were able to check in to our Kaamos Room straight away. These rooms are located in the separate lodges within the grounds. It was very clean, spacious and had everything you could possibly need, separate hanging room for the snow suites and boots, a flip down seat where you could sit to take off your boots (without getting reindeer fur all over the bed), fridge, hot drink making facilities and most importantly great views.
As well as the husky sled tour we went on a Northern Light’s snowmobiling trip and a reindeer sledging trip. All three included some form of hot drink and food and every trip was fantastic!
We ate at the Ice Hotel and Old Homestead restaurants both were amazing if a little on the expensive side, but you are in Sweden which is expensive in itself and staying at the Ice Hotel for which you are obviously paying a premium. The only thing I was a little disappointed with was that the Ice Hotel restaurant was also where you had the buffet style breakfast which meant the atmosphere was a little lacking.
There is too much to include in a trip advisor review so if you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll do my very best to answer them. Overall an amazing once in a life time opportunity/experience and would definitely go back.

  • 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 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
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Redditch, Worcs
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 via mobile

We got married at the Icehotel in January, wow what an amazing place to get married. Eva the Wedding coordinator organised everything for us and gave us plenty of advise on what to wear on the day. It was -22 outside and -5 inside but with good thermals on under my dress I felt warm enough.
The priest was lovely, he took time to meet us the day before and chatted to all our guests before the ceremony.
Our photographer, Kent took photos in several areas of the ice hotel - letting us go into the warm reception area inbetween shots to warm up. Our photos look amazing and everyone who joined us for our special day said it was the best wedding they had been to.
We ate in the Icehotel restaurant and the staff did a wonderful job of decorating the table for us - although expensive the food was excellent and beautifully presented. On our last night we all walked to the Homestead Restaurant up the road, the food is good but the 20min walk is not good if its blowing a blizzard and -25!! Make sure you book the restaurant before you arrive at the Icehotel as its not that big and does get booked up very quick, we booked 3 weeks before we departed for the Icehotel and could only get in at 5.30pm or 9.30pm (that was on a Saturday night though).
We spent a total of 3 nights at the Icehotel, the warm accommodation is very good, spacious and very warm!! We spent our Wedding night in an ice suite, we were allocated "the nest" which was a nice suite. The thermal sleeping bag keeps you very warm and we both slept fine on the ice bed, an experience not to be missed if you're splashing out to stay at the Icehotel then book an ice suite for the night.
We all went on a snow mobile trip (booked with Icehotel) the night before the wedding and had a great night, our guide was excellent, we stopped off at a wooden cabin in the forest and had hot food and drinks prepared by our guide, which was tasty and very filling. On our last day we booked a dog sled / snowmobile combo trip with a local company (http://www.sleddog.se) and they were brilliant, really nice guys who answered all our questions and made sure we had a great time. They work out cheaper than booking through the Icehotel and have all the thermal gear if you need it.
Overall i can recommend a stay at the icehotel, yes its expensive but it's definitely one of those things that should be on everyone's bucket list - the ice suites are works of art. Drinks are expensive anyway in Sweden so just make sure you budget for the fact you are in a remote place so everything is going to be expensive. Our Wedding was a truely memorable day, if you're looking to get married somewhere a bit different then i can recommend it. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the accommodation was excellent and so was the whole experience. We even got to see a glimpse of the northern lights which made our holiday complete.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Essex
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We stayed 2 nights, the first in a warm (Kaamos) room and the second in an ice room (Art Suite). Advice - put your pillow in your sleeping bag!
In hindsight we should have stayed in the ice room on the first night, as we were in the room from 8.30pm - I woke up at 5.30am but my husband woke up at 1.30am and then he slept on the cushioned bench in the private dressing room (note - take an eye mask and ear plugs, as the lights are always on in the dressing room and some users are noisy!). Others said that they had hardly slept at all, whilst some were woken after 8am by the staff with a nice warm drink! With going to work on our return home, we were lacking in sleep! You do not need to take towels or a hairdryer. There is a kettle with supplies in the warm room.
We did the Ice driving in Mini's, and both drivers and passengers had a wonderful time. The instructor gave us a good balance of driving knowledge and advice whilst making it fun - thank you!
We also did the Northern Lights night time dog sledging. It would be better if there were handles or some rope to hold on to, as you might not know the person sitting behind you and you might not want to lean against them. This then causes you backache and takes away the sense of occasion. I think a day time excursion would have been better and not so bitterly cold. I was siting at the front and had hand warmers in my gloves and my fingers still froze. Remember to take and use ski goggles, along with hand warners (eg gel warmers).
As previous visitors have commented, there is not enough seating in the lounge, reception and dressing room areas combined. This is especially noticeable when there are 40+ arrivals with 40+ departures around the same time, along with any day visitiors.
I would advise getting a taxi to the airport rather than the coach, as our party had 2 coaches and we ended up queueing outside the airport doors - luckily it was not snowing. It would be a good idea for the trip planner to arrange for one coach to leave 15 minutes befor the other.
I would totally recommend staying at the Ice Hotel; the staff are friendly and the food is very good. Just remember that day visitors arrive by the coachloads and also eat in the restaurant. Although we were staying at the Hotel, we were going to have to wait an hour for a table (due to a coach load of visitors going in before us). We walked 1/2 an hour to the Homestead to find that it was closed, so we had nothing to eat until 9pm (having arrived around 1pm). The bar food is very limited. Surely hotel guests should take priority?
If the few negative points can be addressed, this would have been a perfect experience and Discover The World had organised everything so well - thank you!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glossop UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 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
63 reviews 63 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
40 helpful votes 40 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
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 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*
Number of rooms: 60
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Icehotel Hotel Jukkasjarvi
Icehotel Sweden/Jukkasjarvi
Ice Hotel Sweden

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