Absolutely great. Picked up promptly at city hotel, our guide Michael was so entertaining and informative - great sense of humour. By the time we reached Snow Hotel we had laughed and learnt a lot. I’m so glad I toured the hotel, but not sure I feel comfortable about sleeping inside but many would love it. Each room has its own ice carved themes - really incredible. And I’m glad the “guy” at the reception desk was carved out of ice!!
We also saw the huskies - holding one of the adorable 12 week old puppies was a high-light. The naughty reindeer didn’t show up, probably asleep - it is clear the animals here are much loved. If in Kirkenes definitely visit, or stay, in the Snow Hotel.
I was very glad to disembark my Hurtigruten cruise and very happy to come to the Snowhotel. It is sensational. A huge igloo full of ice carvings and multiple bedrooms. Even an ice sleigh bed! I opted for the Gamme cabin which was divine with a beautiful sitting room to look out onto the snow. It even had the northern lights in the bathroom. I did a 2 hour dog sled ride on a frozen fjord which was brilliant and also met some reindeers. I wasn't happy when after meeting the reindeers we were all encouraged to then cook our reindeer sausage. So passed on that. Nevertheless, this is a fabulous place with lots of activities and I only wished I'd spent less time on the cruise and more time in this glorious place. The restaurant cooked a lovely dinner and buffet breakfast. It was extremely cold here -16C. In the evening, we went hunting the Northern Lights. We spent ages watching this incredible light show. This was the 4th time on this trip that I'd seen the lights and this was by far the best. An experience of a life time and can't recommend it enough.
This hotel is not to be missed if you are doing the Hurtigruten cruise (or otherwise in the Kirkenes area). We are so happy we spent the night at the hotel - and not just a short excursion from the cruise. Yes, the experience is expensive, but you are paying for a once-in-a-lifetime (for most of us!) overnight in a hotel made of snow. And the service is outstanding; even at the end of the season (late March), all the staff were full of energy, helpful, and friendly.
Don't let the idea of sleeping in a snow igloo put you off trying a night in the snow hotel. The rooms are simply quite magical. Each room is decorated with a different 'snow art carving', some even included an ice sleigh bed and a flickering LED fireplace! They prepare you well and the beds are comfortable (proper mattresses on wooden beds) with incredibly warm sleeping bags. The communal bathroom is in a heated section of the hotel, complete with a sauna and heated floors! You store your luggage in the heated communal area so you don't have to worry about your clothes and belongings freezing.
The food was top-class, with excellent flavors and beautiful presentation. They easily catered to our vegetarian and no-fish family members. Breakfast is a large buffet, with an international spread of full English breakfast to sliced cheese and meats, yogurt and fresh fruit. They are committed to serving local food wherever they can, and we appreciated the creativity is takes to serve delicious, local food in the middle of winter in the Arctic.
Our family with two teens (ages 12 and 14) couldn't have been happier with the activities offered. The friendly 180 sled dogs were the highlight, and the 2-hour dog sledding across the frozen fjords and through the forest was thrilling. (We recommend the mid-day slot to maximize the day light.) They also offer *free* snow activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, kick sledding, and feeding the resident 3 caribou. They provide all the gear, including snow suits, boots, warm mittens, and balaclavas, so don't worry about not having good gear.
We enjoyed the camaraderie with the other guests, with whom you mingle at the dining table and during the introduction to the hotel. You feel you have the place to yourselves once the cruise guests leave, and you have ample time to explore the snow hotel to see each of the rooms or relax in the cozy lounge reserved exclusively for hotel guests.
My only wish was that we stayed 2 nights - you can spend the second night in the wooden cabins and this would have allowed us more time to enjoy all the snow activities.
Take the plunge and spend a night. You won't regret it!
Came from the Hurtigruten cruise to spend 3 nights on full board in this wonderful hotel in winter - 2 nights in a Gamme Cabin and 1 night in an ice room.
The check-in was delayed as we arrived soon after the previous guests checked out, but this gave us time to roam the resort and meet the beautiful Alaskan Huskies. While waiting for rooms we were given a guided tour of the resort by Renee and time to gear-up with coveralls, gloves, helmets, etc and then try our abilities with snow shoes and cross country skis. Even time to visit the captive deer and pet the huskies.
Dinner provided was a rare treat (see menu in photos) of whale meat entree, halibuts main and cloudberries for desert. Second and third nights dinner were of the same high quality. Wine and beers were no dearer than anywhere else in Norway. Breakfasts were typical buffet.
The activities at the Snow Hotel, while expensive, were not to be missed. Dog sledding at night was designed to ‘chase the Aurora’ but cloud cover prevented that but I was even more delighted to drive the sled myself.
The crab ‘fishing’ and crab lunch was excellent and our first trip out onto the frozen fjords.Do not expect to be ‘fishing’ as the crabs have been pre-caught but do expect to be eating the crabs after a warm up crab chowder or coffee.
The Snow Mobile activity with Dirk was the highlight of our whole trip. To come all the way from Australia and actually be driving a snow mobile across several frozen fjords while it is snowing was unbelievable.
The Gamme cabins are truly beautiful. Expertly built, well maintained and cleverly designed. Look at the photos - what you see is what you get!
The Ice room was for me a disappointment. I don’t do sleeping bags well, especially at minus 4 degrees C. Fortunately there is a lounge room set aside for those like me, who bailed out in the early hours of the morning. Lots of logistic problems with staying in the Ice rooms. The ice bar was only open for a brief period each day and the resort did not have too many people staying while we were there. I would not stay in the Ice room if I visited again but have a 3rd night in the Gamme cabins.
Overall, the Snow Hotel is an excellent resort. The staff at this resort were brilliant and willing to chat and help at all times. A great mix of people and cultures from across Europe.
I don’t think this resort would suit anyone with limited mobility in winter.
We spent one night here on our transition from Inari, Samiland to the Hurtigruten cruise boat at Kirkenes, and I would suggest that anyone making the transition to the cruise at Kirkenes should try to spend at least one night here. You don't have to stay in the Snow Hotel itself; there are plenty of cabins on the property, which are very nice and convenient. There are plenty of things to do and they have an agenda of activities every day, some are free and you can also sign up for some paid activities. We just walked around, mainly petted the dogs and took pictures of the carvings and statues inside the Snow Hotel, which was fantastic. This place is a slight bit pricey, but well worth it; consider that you are buying visits to an art museum, dinner and breakfast, and an several outdoor activities with your room. You can use the skis and snow shoes for free. The staff was extremely helpful and easy to converse with. You also get the bus to or from the port.