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“Amazing experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Icehotel

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Icehotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
119 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

We have just had three brilliant days at the Ice Hotel. We spent one night in the cold accommodation and two nights an Arctic Chalet and have thoroughly enjoyed everything.
For anyone worried about the cold itself I should say that I hate the cold and am prone to moaning at anything approaching freezing - but I have really enjoyed my experience. You will be provided with a warm polar suit, snowboots, a balaclava and gloves. Wear loads of layers underneath (we did invest in some thermal base layers before we went and were glad we had) and make sure you have a good hat. After three days I was getting quite blase about temperatures of -10.
The Ice Hotel itself is a beautiful work of art. Sleeping in its -5 degree accommodation is quite an experience - you will feel a sense of achievement the next morning. It is a very well thought out operation. Anyone who spends a night in the cold accommodation will have access to the warm dressing room which has lockers, toilets, showers and a sauna - all very nicely maintained. There is also a cosy sitting area where you can read or make use of the free wi-fi. I would strongly advise splashing out on an art suite a) because you will get a unique room created by an artist and b) because you will get a small changing cubicle in which you can keep your luggage and have enough space for a couple of you to change clothing. It affords a little extra level of privacy which we appreciated. Staff give you good advice about sleeping in the cold and you are provided with sleeping bags. (You can choose single or double sleeping bags - there are advantages and disadvantages to both - I appreciated my husband's warmth in our double - but every time one of us turned over it generated a cold blast of air!). You will be woken around 7.30 with a welcome warm fruit juice. Plenty of time then for a sauna or straight to the buffet breakfast which has a reasonable amount of choice including yoghurt, cereal, cooked breakfast, cheese, meats, bread.
Our Arctic Chalet was a relatively basic wooden hut but had two bedrooms, a little kitchenette/main room with table and chairs and bathroom/shower. It isn't luxurious but it is fine. I didn't mind the shower which was a bit basic but my husband happily wandered off to the warm dressing room to get a sauna and shower. The key thing is that the chalet was very warm and the bed very cosy and comfortable. You hardly need to spend any time in it anyway. There is a lovely bar area and lounge in the main building where you can read, play games (some chess sets and scrabble are available) or have a drink.
There are two restaurants. The Old Homestead is about 10 minutes walk and serves slightly more rustic food than the Ice Hotel restaurant which is just across the road from main reception. Both are not cheap options - in fact the Ice Hotel restaurant is extremely expensive for dinner - you will be paying close to London top end prices. Food is very good but not quite worthy of the prices. If you are vegetarian prepare for a relatively limited choice but it's fine if you are only here for a few days. The Ice Hotel restaurant also provides a buffet lunch for about £13 which we thought was pretty good value. There is a small convenience store a short walk away.
You won't be short of activities while here. We chose a visit to a Sami camp to learn about reindeer and have a go at reindeer sledding, a short husky sled and an evening snowmobile trip with a three course dinner in a wilderness camp. We thoroughly enjoyed everything. Really exhilarating stuff in a landscape that is breathtakingly beautiful. Some of the excursions provide food. I let them know that I was vegetarian when we booked the trips as part of our package. I re-checked at the hotel and was glad I had - one of trips hadn't got the message that I was vegetarian, but it was all easily sorted out and I enjoyed my wilderness dinner.
We thought service everywhere was very efficient and pleasant, most staff seem genuinely cheerful and all were very helpful.
There is no doubt that this is a very expensive holiday. Most people seemed to be there for significant birthdays or weddings. It is one of those holidays where you do have to accept that it is difficult to shave costs and just grit your teeth about the expense. It is probably a once in a lifetime experience so worth doing it well (although nearly everyone we spoke to, ourselves included, were already talking about the "next time").
Go with the right expectations and you could quite honestly have the experience of a lifetime - I certainly have.

Room Tip: Definitely upgrade to an art suite if you can. The extra detail and excitement of seeing what your...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Pixie_dot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
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  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2012

We arrived by 23rd Dec and stayed two nights at the warm accommodation (double Kaamos)and our final night at one of the art suites with butterfly theme. The warm accommodation is more or less of a hotel room or suite with great scenary outside our window (basically trees and ground covered with thick white snow). We eventually built a snowman just right outside our window! We went on snowmobile drive in the wild forest, it was of great fun! And the surroundings in the wild is just so beautiful! That is the activity that we like best! It is a must-try activity!!! We also went on northern light excursion at esrange space center and also on the horseback. Frankly speakly, the esrange space center tour was not worth the money. We were brought to tour the research center rather than waiting for the northern light. And in fact, that is the most expensive activity! I guess because we were served moose tenderloin and wine for our dinner. But honestly, I would not recommend this activity. The northern light tour on horseback was fine and we got the chance to ride horses and groom them and feed them etc. The dinner was however disappointing. Our last night in the ice hotel in our art suite was a great experience. I would recommend getting two individual single sleeping beds rather than a double sleeping bag. The room is kept at -5deg, but with thermal and long john and a layer of wool, the temperature was just fine. I did have a good sleep until a staff wake us up at 7:30am with their local hot lingonberry juice. It tasted great! Please avoid drinking too much water the night before, as there is no washroom inside the ice suite or the ice building. If you would like to go to washroom in the middle of the night, you would need to get to the warm building through an open-air walkway. Overall, it was an extraordinary experience! We love it! And we also got our diploma for surviving in the icesuite for a night :)

Room Tip: It's worth to experience an art suite!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JY521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2012

We slept in a cold room. It was a fantastic experience for one night (and a rather good night, even with a big couple duvet).
The hotel is very modern with a sauna, warm showers and hot drinks available at any time.
The art rooms visit (every morning from 10am) is great and the whole design changes every year.
Overall, the only caveat would be the price but everything is quite pricey in Sweden/Norway.
We would recommend to go for dinner in the Old Homestead restaurant (10 min walk from the Icehotel main restaurant) which is nicer and less expensive.

Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Bertrand X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

Overall, disappointing.

Service: definitely not special. In fact, when we arrived at the airport, we checked in for the Ice Hotel transportation to the hotel (which we booked in advance), we proceeded to pick up our bags only to find out that, after a quick restroom stop, they had left without us! The Ice Hotel had to send a cab to pick us up which took over 20 minutes during which we were basically stranded at the airport (there were no cabs there). Not really a very welcoming experience. But we tend to be on the forgiving side, so we had all hopes up when we arrived...

The Ice Hotel itself: very nice! However, because it's -5 celcius inside, you won't really be staying inside the hotel for too much time.

The warm areas in contrast, where you'll be spending more time, feel like Ikea. It's such a shame that there's no charming surroundings. It's not cosy at all. I don't see why they can't invest in having at least a somewhat nice check in area, lounge, etc. Even a basic firewood place would improve things!

Next, for a hotel in the North of Sweden, you'd at least expect a decent sauna or maybe some hot tubs. Well, even most Hilton hotels (in locations where it's never cold, like Hilton Malta) have a better sauna compared to the Ice Hotel which is of course completely ridiculous! Also, do note that if you're here with just your wife or girlfriend, plan to sit in the sauna alone because they do not have a mixed sauna. I understand some people prefer to have same-gender only saunas, but considering there are so many honeymooners and other couples visiting this place, this would have been a nice extra. No hot tubs, pools or stuff like that either.

The problem with the hotel is that it's very much no-frills, yet you're paying a Four Seasons price. We've stayed at many Four Seasons and St Regis hotels and while I'm ok with settling for less at the same price, you'd at least expect some comfort, service or whatever…. But you don't: the only attraction really is the ice hotel. Expect nothing more besides whatever excursions you have booked.

Now I have to say the night in the Ice Hotel was short, but great! You do get woken up at 7.30 AM. You can, in theory, stay in your room but they will open the Ice Hotel to outside guests shortly after, so no more privacy. Still, I thought the night was a very nice experience. But the guest experience surrounding the night in this hotel was pretty poor.

With regards to activities, we did snow mobile, which was a lot of fun.

We did a 1 night Northern Light excursion with dog sleigh booked via the Ice Hotel. The dog sleigh was a lot of fun and a nice experience, but the accommodation where we slept was pretty poor. Especially for the price we had to pay and considering the manner the tour was marketed and described on the Ice Hotel website, we'd at least expected some kind of luxury, but really, there was none. We even had to sleep in bunk beds!! Not romantic at all...

We also wanted to go skiing in Kiruna, but apparently they do not rent any downhill ski's or snowboards anywhere in the city (even though you find many skiing pics on Kiruna's website... Very strange!).

We had 2 dinners at the Ice Hotel restaurants, we tried each restaurant once. We had the 6 course meal + wine pairing at the main Ice Hotel restaurant. Pretty good. Although the restaurant doesn't look that nice in real life, the food was pretty good! Do note that the price you're paying is similar, or perhaps even higher, compared to most 1-2 star Michelin restaurants... We also had a 3 course a la cart dinner at the other restaurant (Homestead), which is more charming but the food was better in the main restaurant.

Also, note that the chances are pretty high you do not actually get to see the Northern Lights. If it's cloudy or snowing: no chance!

Finally, make sure to not book your transportation with Ice Hotel. For 300 kroner each way, you have to go in a big Ice Hotel bus. I felt like going on the type of holidays I went on when I was 16... The ones where you all sit on the bus... Obviously, I've long passed that stage. In our email communication with the hotel, they told us a cab would be "much more" expensive, but we found out on location a cab was only 380 kroner in comparison. An upgrade worth having.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank Heere-Reviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

ICEHOTEL 2012 - We originally looked into booking this experience through discover the world, however were quoted a large price, so proceeded to book each area individually which worked out 50% cheaper. I would consider doing this, if you have the time.

We arrived on 03/01/12 for our one night stay and were checked into an art suite numbered 338 'sleep span'. They then showed us to our own private changing room with seating and plugs etc, which are allocated solely to art suite users. I believe anyone booking into a ice/snow room, will only get a locker to store bags, and have to get changed in communal changing facilities, with the option of male/female shower rooms.

We immediately made reservations at the homestead restaurant. Having compared the menu (that can be found at reception) to that of the ice hotel restuarant, we found the food to sound much more appetising and to be considerably cheaper. I would suggest making reservations early, as these two restaurants are the only food places within walking distance and they seem to get full, fast! We ended up ordering 1 starter (bruschetta), 2 mains (fillet beef & sides), and 2 drinks (coke) and paid 780.00kr including tip (roughly £75).

After our meal we initially started looking around by locating our room, number mentioned above. I have to say that I was slightly disappointed with the room we were allocated, it didn't look to be finished to the standard we had expected from photos from previous years. However it is worth noting that the snow didn't start to fall until late on in the Winter, so building was a bit behind. There also seemed to be a MASSIVE difference in the design standard and size of the art suites, despite them all being the same price. This was due to there being different artists, still disheartening to compare to some rooms which were clearly more extensive.

We also had a look around the ice/snow rooms which are all designed the same, but are nice and spacious.The church wasn't finished and apparently the icebar wasn't yet completed, but they seemed to be nearly there and you were still able to have a look around them and take photos.

Once all the visitors leave at 6pm the hotel is taken over solely by guests, you can go on the 'how to sleep in -5 degrees tour', but we skipped this and just asked for recommendations on sleeping clothes at reception later on. To go to sleep you can choose between sole or double sleeping bags. I struggled to sleep, but my partner slept right through. The only thing worth mentioning is that the rooms do not have doors, just a retractable curtain which was slightly worrying. We were woken with the option of a cup of hot ligonberry juice in the morning and we also signed up to receive a diploma to say we had survived the night.

In our final few hours there we visited the shop, which had a wise range of gifts and souvenirs, all very costly. Took a walk arouhd the resort, sat in reception and drank hot chocolate, until we were dropped back to the airport by the 3 hourly icehotel shuttle bus, chargeable at 150.00kr pp (£14pp).


Note-
We did tours through kiruna guideturs which we will review separately.

Overall this was a once in a lifetime experience, unfortunately we didn't get to see the northern lights, but we had a spectacular trip, and are the envy of all of our friends.
We created some wonderful memories, but will not be returning, as unfortunately we feel we have seen everything Kiruna/ICEHOTEL has to offer. Thankyou though for a wonderful stay!

Room Tip: Art suites, more pricey but individually designed and much larger.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2012

Just back from a very enjoyable three day visit between Christmas & New Year.

The Ice Hotel is a magical place to stay and contrary to what I expected it is not dark all day this time of year - between about 9.30 and 14.30 it is quite light.
We had one night in a very comfortable warm chalet and one night in an ice room ( also one night at Abisko Sky Station - basic clean accommodation but great food, helpful staff, stunning scenery)
The art suites are amazing but we did not feel the need to upgrade as you can view them all anyway. The night in the ice room was not especially comfortable, but it was great as a one-off experience and the changing rooms/lockers are all well organised and very clean.

We also found the food to be excellent.

We did two trips - a Dog Sled Tour and a Cross Country Ski expedition. Both of these were very enjoyable & efficiently organised by Kiruna Guidetur - much better prices than booking through Discover the World or the Ice Hotel.

Sady we did not see the Northern Lights. This did not spoil our visit & I would definitely go back to Lapland & try again . My one criticism of the Ice Hotel is that they do not really help with Northern Light viewing - I am sure a lot of their guests come for that reason.
It would be good if they had an information desk with a local guide to give you information on forecasts etc. Also some sort of warning system to let you know if the Lights have been spotted so you can enjoy your dinner /drink in the bar without continually going out to check the sky or wondering if you are missing something

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank jchUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ledbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2012

Very touristy, not real Lapland. Food good though and ice room amazing. Once is enough

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WiltshireLuxury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Icehotel

Property: Icehotel
Address: Marknadsvagen 63, Jukkasjarvi 981 91, Sweden
Location: Sweden > Norrbotten County > Jukkasjarvi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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
Also Known As:
Icehotel Hotel Jukkasjarvi
Icehotel Sweden/Jukkasjarvi
Ice Hotel Sweden

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