As another reveiewer said, one for the bucket list!
It looks glorious - like nothing you will ever see again. Every room has wonderful ice carvings and an other-wordly feel as it's lit by ropes of blue LED lights. It's also quite a lot bigger than I expected, with 20+ rooms - each totally unique. The ice bar is quite small but, when we there, it had the most extraordinary ice carvings; including a chandelier made from hand carved flat wavy icicles. It is a constant 5% below freezing, which means you'll be in your padded suit all the time apart from changing for bed (fast!). A fellow travellor left a glass of water on the floor overnight, and the water in it froze solid and the glass froze to the floor! Don;'t leave clothes loose on the floor either, as they will also freeze. An overnight bag was fine though. They provide warm storage for suitcases and all the warm gear you need, apart from thermals.
Sleeping here is a very strange experience. Your bed frame is made from ice with a rather hard (foam?) mattress inside. You sleep in your thermals inside an artic sleeping bag wearing mittens and a balaclava. Very weird. And the lights stay on all night, so it won't be the most comfortable nights sleep you've ever had. Take an eye mask if you can.
The facilities are about 100 yards down a path to the 'warm room'. So use them before retiring, or you will have to unzip your sleeping bag, get into your padded suit, put on boots and a woolyl hat, grab a torch and leg it across a wooden bridge! And back! About 20 % of visitors don't make it bac.k, but they do provide a couple of sofas in the warm room, also tea and coffee. This also where the shared showers and saunas are.
The restaurant is in another building, so you'll get some practice getting in and out of your padded suit etc. The room is WARM, as it's lit by an open fire. Food is good, if pretty basic.
People very rarely stay 2 nights. There was a rumour that the 2nd night is free! And you leave with a survivors certificate.
We also did the dog sledding in the afternoon, which was incredible. The dogs are very friendly and very enthusiastic.
Strange, expensive and uncomfortable it may be, but it is an enjoyable, out of this world experience and I wouldn't have missed it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Snow is a gift from the sky. Cold, still, pure and beautiful. Welcome to Kirkenes Snowhotel. To a world where you sleep in snow, walk on snow and may drive a scooter or a dogsled on snow. We even serve snow in the restaurant! Our romantic Snowhotel opens December 20th., and is open until April 20th. Kirkenes Snowhotel lies secluded in the wilderness 8 km outside Kirkenes. Here 180 huskies await you. Reindeer are grazing behind our unique chalets. Under the fjord ice, the giant King crabs dwell. When the northern lights are dancing, they illuminate the surroundings with their green and yellow colors. If you come - we change you. ... more less
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