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“Experience of a lifetime?”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Icehotel

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Icehotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
Reading
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Experience of a lifetime?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2007

We stayed in the IceHotel in middle February for my 40th Birthday. I wanted to see the Northern Lights and this resort seemed to offer a good combination of activities. We booked through a speciality travel agent. We had one night in a Northern Lights cabin and one night in an Ice Suite.
Ok. Let's not mess around. Jukkasjärvi is in the Arctic. You will be cold. Down to -35 degs outside. Take lots of layers and accept the hotel's offer of arctic outer-wear. You can always peel off a layer if you get too hot (and you will be surprised how quickly you get used to it) but if you get cold then it will make you miserable. Really miserable.
Luxury is after all a relative thing. When you travel to another country / culture their perceptions and needs differ from ours. Swedish Lapland was after all until relatively recently inhabited only by the indigenous Sami people and their existence is considerably more basic than typical Western standards. The IceHotel offers two types of accommodation: Cold and Warm. Take no more expectation than that with you and you will be happy.
The Northern Lights Cabin was Warm. It was also considerably more basic than we had expected. But it was warm, and it has an indoor toilet and shower! A trivial observation? Read on…
The IceHotel is Cold. Of course. Everything is made out of ice or compacted snow. It is made up of 50 or so smaller rooms, 22 suites and 2 deluxe suites. All of the suites are fantastically sculptured, each one unique until it melts away into the lake come Summer. Truly they have to be seen to be believed.
Sleeping in -5 degs requires a certain routine. You prepare your self for the night in a warm changing room. Space is at a premium and toilets far too few in number. Wrap your arctic sleeping bag around you and make a dash for the room. You can’t take any luggage or clothes with you as they will freeze so you leave them in a locker! Once you get your head around this it is OK. What isn’t Ok is the rigmarole of going to the toilet at night and showering in the morning. The toilet presents expected problems, but the shower blocks are communal and quite a hike away from the hotel. They need to sort that out.
Other points of note:
- The Ice Bar is awesome and truly an incredible experience, whether you like vodka or not.
- Yes the stay is expensive but it is unique. They have to rebuild the hotel every year at the cost of £1m and they have a captive audience.
- The IceHotel excursions are rammed. I would seriously recommend booking through a specialist travel agent who has local connections. We had one-on-one snow mobiling and drove our own dog sled. We passed an IceHotel snow mobile outing that had 20 people on it!

Were we cold? Yes.
Were we uncomfortable? Yes.
Could our stay have been made better? Yes.
Was it an experience of a lifetime? Absolutely!

  • Liked — Uniqueness
  • Disliked — Personal space and comfort
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Doctor_MGWH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,428 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • 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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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2007

We stayed for two nights (one in an ice suite and the other in a Kaamos Warm room). The entire complex is beautiful with several options for activities.

My only hesitation is that the hotel itself doesn't offer an area for people to unwind... especially those who will be staying in cold accommodations! There is a warm lobby but it isn't a place where you would want to relax for a few hours (while trying to get warm!).

The Kaamos hotel rooms were fantastic. GREAT beds and the bathrooms were wonderful. The view from the room was wonderful - snow and more snow.

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank roomandbored
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
37 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2007

We just got back from an incredible stay. All the previous reviews were excellent, so I won't repeat the same stuff. All were very accurate in every respect. It truly is a "once in a lifetime " experience. I do have a suggestion for the hotel however...The basic suites should and easily could be upgraded to make them more attractive. The suites are glorious, but the regular rooms are spartan to say the least. We stayed in a family room and for almost $700 per night it was very, very plain. They really could do more with lighting and carving the walls to make them look more attractive. Don't plan on more than one night in the cold part of the hotel unless you are willing to put up with the climate inside!

  • Liked — Amazing theme , ice sculptures
  • Disliked — Basic rooms need more decoration/design to make them nicer
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank tripzzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2007

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Ice Hotel for 3 nights. Our first night was spent in an ice suite. If you can afford it I recommend an ice suite as opposed to the communal rooms. That night was pretty restless for the both of us. Mainly because neither one of us can sleep on our backs and you have to to keep your mouth and nose outside of the sleeping bag. Cold was not an issue as it got surprisingly warm inside the sleeping bag the hotel provided for you. In the morning you were woken up quite early with hot lingonberry juice. There is a warm building adjacent to the ice hotel where you are given either a locker or a changing room to keep your luggage in while you sleep at the hotel. The toilet facilities are there as well. USE THE TOILET BEFORE YOU TURN IN FOR THE NIGHT... you do not want to wake up at 3am (like my poor boyfriend) and have to run the gauntlet of COLD to use the toilet. The only complaint I have about this set up is that the shower facilities are located in 2 completely different areas not near the Ice Hotel. You have to get completely dressed and walk to the buildings where the showers are.

Our other 2 nights were spent in a warm hotel room on campus. It was a very nice, clean, bright and warm room. It was very spacious. It includes a small refrigerator and an electric kettle for tea (perfect after a long day in the cold). The bathroom is very basic with no shampoo, lotion, soap provided but there is a hair dryer. They had a combination shampoo/bodywash in the shower facilities.

During our stay we went on 3 excursions. First was the Sami experience where we rode out on a sled pulled by a snowmobile to a sami camp. There we learned all about reindeer and how the Sami people use them. We were able to touch the reindeer, feed them and ride a sleigh pulled by one. It was really great! I recommend going first for the sleigh ride as you will get a well rested deer which is likely to go fast and you get quite a rollercoaster ride! We then entered a labu a traditional sami tent where we were able to warm up and try some reindeer meat (very tasty).

Second we went on a snowmobile trip to see the northern lights. This excursion is a crap shoot in that (we heard) one in 10 get to see the lights. We lucked out with a moonless, clear night. My boyfriend and I shared a snowmobile. We rode for about 30mins to a frozen lake couldn't see anything and then rode another 30-45mins to a set of cabins where we were served a hearty moose meat soup (very good). Mid-way through our meal our guide went out to rinse a pot and came in saying the lights were out. It was amazing (view picture).

The last excursion was a sled dog experience. We rode out to the kennels and were assigned to our own sled with a team of 4 dogs (very cute and friendly dogs). They teach you the basics and then you ride for about an hour out to some cabins for lunch and then back. It was fairly simple just be careful on inclines as you have to help push the sled and balance can be tricky.

Overall the trip was amazing and definitely an experience of a lifetime. Be sure to bring plenty of layers and take advantage of the clothes that the hotel provides. You'll barely feel the cold.

  • Liked — very unique
  • Disliked — only restaurant was very expensive
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank silv2078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2007

My husband and I were lucky enough to win a competition and one of the prizes we could choose was a trip to Lapland to stay in the Ice Hotal and see the Northern Lights. We spent three nights in Lapland in January 2005.

The Ice Hotel itself is breathtaking as is the Ice Church and the Ice Bar. Beautiful Ice carvings are everywhere, the church pews, font, altar and carved windows are all Ice. Reindeer skins are provided to sit on. A word of advice if you visit the Absolute Ice Bar.. keep your ice glass. You will be charged £10 for your first drink and if you keep your glass the price goes down to around £5.00 for any subsequent drinks but if you give up the glass you'll pay £10 every time. We spent one night actually sleeping in the Ice hotel and I absolutely would not do it again. You have to put all your clothes etc., in a locker in the main building and you sleep fully clothed in a sleeping bag and you are even advised to wear a hat whilst asleep. The rooms obviously have no furniture except a block ice bed covered in reindeer skin. Thank god I didn't need the loo in the night !! The rooms have no doors just a curtain and during the daytime people are allowed to freely wander in and out of the rooms and take pictures. To anyone going I would say don't sleep in the actual Ice Hotel have your pictures taken in the rooms but sleep in a cabin. It was very uncomfortable and extremely cold. Included in our trip was a day husky sledging and a night in the Wilderness Lodge, this is beautiful but has no electric, gas or water. The men had to get water from the river for cooking and cooking was done on burners which the guide had. Heating was from wood burning stove and the only light was candles. The loo is a basic earth latrine (not very pleasant) However for one night it was immense fun and once the heating got going it was very warm and cosy. Dinner was reindeer stew. Everyone had their own team of dogs and were responsible for them. The final day we went snow mobiling on a frozen lake, it was fantastic but it was minus 40 degrees and pitch black, this being a saturday afternoon at 4pm. Any stray wisps of hair that escape hoods etc., just snap off with the cold and the guide continually checks for frostbite. Even the hairs up your nost freeze when you breathe. There are two restaurants close to the site and both were nice although the Homestead one was better although not cheap. We did see the Northern lights which were amazing.

All in all I would say that the trip was a great experience and I'm very glad I've done it. However, now that I have done it ,I wouldn't particularly want to go again, but I would recommend anyone to go and see it once although as I have said above don't sleep in the Ice Hotel itself.

Joy Peck Barnet

Stayed January 2005
Helpful?
6 Thank JoyBarnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick Parish, Bermuda
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2007

We have just returned from our wedding and honeymoon. The wedding took place at the Ice Hotel which has turned out to be the most amazing experience of my life and will remember forever. The service obtained from the Ice Hotel was excellent and they will try to obtain or provide any service that one requires. We stayed one night in an actual ice suite and one night in the warm accommodation. I received a wedding co-ordinator who helped plan all events and appointments such as hair and make up etc. The hotel staff were very helpful,as checkin into the warm accommodation is only at 3 pm, but the let me in at 11 am so that I could get ready for my wedding that evening. The Homestead restaurant, which is where we dined each day and had my reception, provided excellent food and really prepared a beautiful table with its own ice sculpture. All staff members are extremly polite and helpful. We stayed during the period 08-10 January 2007. Although people may deem the prices as very expensive, it was well worth it and do not regret a penny that was spent. However, a forewarning, if one is staying in the cold accommodation, the showers for women are quite a walk and thet are communal with no partitions, there I recommend showering in the afternoon when hardly anyone is there.The photos I have posted were taken by one of the official ice hotel photographers, Hans Olaf

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Cheriedam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, UK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2007

What to say about the Icehotel? The rooms really are -5c and I had my worst night's sleep ever there, but I don't care because it is an amazing experience (some of group said they slept well).

The thermal sleeping bags are really very warm and I was too hot most of the night. You do need to sleep in as little clothing as possible as the bag is designed to work on your heat, but the staff will explain it all to you. I would suggest taking the pillow into your bag with you otherwise it'll keep falling off the back of the bed. It is cold to begin with but it does warm up. One of the party we were with also suggested that you wear a hat and poke your head out of the hole for a while if you are too hot.

The art in the suites is amazing, make sure you look at them all. The Icebar is very expensive - about £10 per cocktail. In fact everything is Sweden is expensive especially when it is alcohol related. We did the dog sled tour with coffee and the skidoo northern lights hunt - both were fantastic and I would strongly recommend you do these trips if you can.

The Icehotel will give you a really good warm outer suit, i just wore my thermal long johns, thermal socks and wools socks, thermal long sleeved shirt and wool jumper (hat, scarf, skiing gloves) and was fine in -10c. I put an extra pair of leggings on and a hoody when we went out the next day for -25c. I would also recommend these extras for the outdoor acctivities. My Wife wore: thermal legs and jogging bottoms PLUS her salopettes and the Icehotel suit. On top she wore thermal long sleeved shirt, long sleeved top, jumper and thinnish fleece Icehotel suit and three pairs of socks (make sure you wear your thermals against your skin!!). She really feels the cold but this meant she was nice and toasty pretty much all the time, even just standing around in the bar.

  • Liked — Unique.
  • Disliked — Cold.
  • Tips/Secrets — Spend only ONE NIGHT, no more unless you are slightly bonkers :-)
  • Stayed January 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Guido_Flashman
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:3.5 star — Icehotel 3.5*
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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