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“A Once In A Lifetime Experience.”
Review of Icehotel

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Icehotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jukkasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level Contributor
165 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“A Once In A Lifetime Experience.”
Reviewed July 29, 2007

Travelling to the Ice Hotel in Arctic Sweden is truly an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience; but I've been lucky enough to have stayed there twice.

The Ice hotel is in a village called Jukkasjarvi, about 15 minutes drive from a mining town in Arctic Sweden called Kiruna. You can drive there from Stockholm in about 12 - 15 hours, or you may prefer to take the overninight train or fly there from Stockholm. The train and airport are situated in Kiruna. Scandanavian Airlines and flynordic both fly to Kiruna. You can either take a taxi to the Ice Hotel, or arrange for people from the Ice Hotel to take you there either by bus, dog sled or snowmobile. (The last 2 options are quite expensive.) Kiruna Airport even has it's own dog sled parking area.

The Ice Hotel is not as cold as people would imagine - it's quite cosy to sleep inside, but there are chalets or the Arora rooms to sleep in if you really don't want to sleep in the ice rooms. You sleep in a bed carved out of ice with a mattress covered in rendeer skins in a thermal sleeping bag - I was quite comfortable sleeping in my shorts and a T-shirt.. A word od advice though - go to the toilet before you go to bed.

There is a bar inside the Ice Hotel which serves drinks in an ice glass. The drinks get cheaper the more you buy because each drink melts out a bit of the glass and they always fill the glass to the top. Eating at the Ice Hotel's restaurant is quite nice, but expensive, a cheaper option is to walk about 10 minutes into the Jukkasjarvi village and eat at the homestestead restaurant there. it's a nice walk there, the sound of the snow crunching under your feet as you walk past the Swedish homes in the village.

What is there to do at the Ice Hotel? The Ice Hotel organises reindeer tours, snowmobile safaris, dog sleging, ice fishing, overnight wilderness tours, a chance to have a drive of a Saab on the Torne River (frozen of course). These activities are very expensive, but you can save yourself a bit of money by doing your research and organising these activities directly through the local companies before you get there. One company is Lapland Wilderness Tours.

It is worth visiting kiruna while you are in the area and having a look around. Also a trip to Narvik is an adventure as well. Narvik is about a 3 hour train or car ride from Kiruna and the scenery is spectacular.

January is a good time to go to the Ice Hotel because there is more daylight then. At Christmas it gets light at around 9am and it is dark again by 2:30pm. By the end of March, the Ice Hotel is closed and allowed to melt back into the Torne River and the Ice hotel staff begin their summer activities such as canoeing, fishing and wilderness tours. You can still stay in the chalets and the Arora Rooms.

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21 Thank themaddog74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level Contributor
34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2007

I got taken the Ice Hotel by my boyfriend for a surprise trip. For me it is somewhere I have always wanted to go and it was amazing. If you don't like the snow and the cold, then its not the best place for you. If like me the idea of being in the snow and cold is heaven then its the perfect place to go.

Reading other reviews, I do agree that at times it can appear a tourist trap and I don't understand how they make everything so expensive!

We travelled from Heathrow to Kiruna.....the most annoying part was the long wait at Stockholm airport. If there was a direct flight it would have taken just over 3 hours, instead we spent 3 hour waiting for our connecting flight.

Landing in Kiruna was amazing as everywhere apart from the runway was covered in snow. I am a regular skier and have never seen an airport operate under those conditions.

Transport to the Ice Hotel was by coach took about 20 minutes. Look out for wildlife and people on skidoos, not many cars about.

We stayed for 1 night in the warm accommodation and it was lovely and clean. We backed onto the Ice Church and it was lovely and quiet.

My boyfriend who is not a skier hired all his clothes which were free. I borrowed apres boots which were lovely and warm.

We ate at the Homstead which was a 20 minute walk away....do wrap up warm but wear light clothes underneath as the restaurant is very hot. The food was delicious and we had a lovely time.

Breakfast is included and is a generous buffet. We did not stay for lunch but you could always make up sandwiches with the bread and fillings that were available.

We did a guided tour of the Ice Hotel which was interesting and I really enjoyed looking around at all the suites. Drink in the Ice Bar is a must.

Overall I would recommend it, but I am biased as I it is where I got engaged!

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
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7 Thank ljn26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2007

This is the second time I've been to the icehotel and it looks like the rampant commercialism of the brand is starting to take its toll. Mid April, a lot of the rooms had collapsed, but the hotel did nothing to warn us in advance and failed to provide any refund when we opted to move from an ice suite with grit and meltwater on the floor to a warm room (despite the rate being SEK1000 cheaper). Furthermore, the amount the hotel charge you for activities isn't far off what it actually costs to buy the stuff - ice hole fishing at £25 per person - and they really do charge per person. A head lamp rental for £6 per day? Come on guys, its getting too greedy, particularly at the end of the season when the place is melting, management really should think about whether its fair not to give refunds when the ice bar has collapsed in on itself, the church is closed, there is builders tape, all over the place and the place essentially resembles a building site. We all know that its out of their control when the thaw comes, but equally, when things like the Sami museum are closed and the Homestead restaurant, management do have the means to make the proposal a bit more fair for late guests by adjusting prices accordingly and throwing in some activities. I viisted about 7 years ago and the whole vibe was a lot less grabby and greedy, there was performance art in the bar. Now its just wave after wave of guided tours traipsing through the place - there's no real point in paying up for an ice room as you can visit them all during a tour or a trip to the bar - save your money, book a warm room, you'll be able to check in earlier, have a shower in private facilities and you'll still get the same experience. I'm sorry to sound so negative, but unfortunately this is what happens when a company gets too greedy with its clientele - the whole experience is ruined and it just leaves a bad taste. The icehotel knows that they have their clients over a barrel in this location and they make sure they clear out every last penny from your wallet if they see the chance. My advice would be to find one of the local dog sled operators and spend an extra night in the Lappland wilderness rather than boost the coffers of an increasinly mean global organisation.

  • Liked — very clean warm rooms, large and well-appointed
  • Disliked — absence of refunds or alternative activities provided despite the collapse of the around 1/3 of the icehotel
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
25 Thank hartleyjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norwich
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2007

Have just returned from the icehotel where my husband (!) and I got married. We travelled with 11 friends, flew out on Tuesday 3rd of April and returned on Good Friday.

God – where to begin? I suppose firstly I should say it is just about *the* most amazing place I have ever seen; and anyone who is curious enough to be reading this review should be booking their tickets right now!

I’ve got quite a few tips to pass on, not least regarding the perceived expense of the trip. Okay so it’s never going to be as cheap as a last minute week in Benidorm, but presumably since you’re reading this review that’s not the kind of holiday you’re after…

Our 4 day holiday there, including food, all trips, transfers, accommodation and flights cost just over £700 each, having been bumped up slightly by the new flight taxes (thank you Mr Brown).

I think we did very, very well compared to what other people have paid. Of course because we were getting married there we subsidised trips for the other guests, paid for the wedding ceremony, photographer and a big meal so our grand total was higher, but if we had just been going on holiday as a couple that £1400 is all we would have paid.

How to save money (Tripadvisor doesn’t won’t allow me to post web addresses so just google the names and the sites will come up).


1.Don't book with a travel agent.

We booked our flights independently with SAS (Heathrow to Kiruna), and our accommodation directly with the icehotel. They speak perfect English and are very helpful. I know another couple who took a different approach, booking with a tour company, and they spent £1200 each just on flights and accommodation. They then took official tours which really are not cheap. I would imagine they spent another £500 / £600 on food and excursions – bringing their grand total to £3000+. We spent just over £1400.


2.Don't book excursions with the icehotel

There is another company – Kiruna Guidetur – who offer exactly the same trips as the icehotel but at half the price. The guides who work for Guidetur also take trips for the icehotel, which should tell you something. Guidetur will pick you up from the icehotel and drop you back there afterwards. There’s no extra effort and we saved around a huge amount.


3.Choose excursions that feed you!

Eating at the icehotel in the evening time is expensive. If you book a tour for the evening (for example the Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour) they feed you a traditional Lappish dinner while you are out, with dinner included in the price. Breakfast is included with the icehotel rooms and it is absolutely excellent.


4.Consider going at an off peak time.

The icehotel has a very good downloadable price list, showing peak and off peak prices. Clearly we went at the very end of the season, and it is true to say that the icehotel had seen better days. However there was still 3 feet of snow everywhere, and there is something to be said for going when the temperature is only around –12. I was absolutely toasty in all my clothes but I wouldn’t have liked to have been bombing round on the snowmobiles at –30. I think my face would have fallen off.

Hmmm…. What other tips?

1.
Pack lightly but sensibly. I was there four days and took two pairs of thermal long johns and two thermal long sleeved tops. I took my own thick ski gloves, and with hindsight wish I had also taken a thermal liner for them. I took two pairs of trousers, two long sleeved tops and two jumpers and this was ample if not too much. Wool socks are a must. I packed cotton ones and wondered why the guide scoffed so until my toes nearly dropped off with the cold. I also took my own snow boots and a warm coat and hat. The icehotel provides protective overalls, and also boots, hats and gloves if required – all for free. You will also need sunglasses. There is a hairdryer in the kaamos rooms, as well as an ironing board, ample tea and coffee, sugar etc.

2.
There is a Co-op ten minutes walk down the road, next to the Old Homestead Restaurant. It is very well stocked for food. However the lunch at the icehotel is very reasonably priced (around £9 per head) and is served buffet style, with a fantastic spread laid on – meat, fish, veg, salads and pasta, hot and cold drinks.

3.
Book a warm room (kaamos) on your first night. You really will be tired after all the travelling. They are lovely.

4.
Don’t bother with an ice suite. Very expensive. Good fun to look round but once the light’s out it’s dark – and they all look the same.

5.
Make sure you have enough to do.
If you aren’t on an excursion there really is very little to do once you’ve spent some time looking round the place.

This was our itinerary:

TUESDAY:
Arrive Kiruna at 3pm, Dog sled transfer to icehotel, coffee and sandwiches on the way.
Northern Light Snowmobile Tour with Dinner at around 7.30.
Returned at Midnight to a warm room.

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast at the icehotel (free).
Late morning – hired ice fishing equipment and the sauna and outdoor hot tub at The Old Homestead.
Lunch buffet at Icehotel restaurant.
Afternoon – wedding ceremony in the Ice Church followed by evening meal at the Old Homestead.
Stayed overnight in a cold room.

THURSDAY:
Breakfast at the icehotel (free).
Lunch at the icehotel buffet.
3pm picked up by snowmobile for an overnight trip to the Wilderness Camp – a log cabin with sauna - where we stayed overnight. They cooked us a fantastic dinner, with wine, and left breakfast for the morning.

FRIDAY:
Breakfast at Wilderness Camp (free)
Snowmobiles back to the icehotel.
Minibus transfer to the airport for our flight early afternoon.

Looking back it doesn’t look too hectic but it was! I certainly wouldn’t book any more than that to do in any one day. In fact if I had my time again I would add an extra day and spend more time lounging around in the hot tub. Book all of these trips well in advance of travel.

With regards the service – I could not fault it. We were treated exceptionally well, all our requirements catered for. We had several vegetarians, I have a gluten allergy and another of our group cannot eat onions, and we were catered for every step of the way. We were even upgraded to a deluxe suite free of charge on our wedding night, and we found they had left us a present on our bed for us to open. We were also allowed to check out of our room later than usual to allow us to have somewhere to base ourselves while waiting for the Wilderness trip. Furthermore, one of our number needed assistance to get from the icehotel to the Homestead, and we were driven both ways for free. They even ran us into town to go to the larger supermarket for some beer. Can’t say fairer than that!

The Kaamos rooms are fantastic, underfloor heating, brilliant shower. The aurora cabins that I saw were a little bit more basic, perhaps a bit tired in décor, but certainly acceptable.

I was lovely and warm in the cold rooms. I wore my thermal long johns and top, woollen socks and my hat, and slept soundly the whole night through. Just make sure you don’t drink too much otherwise you’ll spend the whole night negotiating icy corridors to find the loo!

And I don’t know what some other reviewers have been going on about – the changing facilities for the cold rooms are fantastic – warm and amazingly clean. Bah Humbug…

I think they annoying thing about the whole trip is that I left addicted to Lingonberry juice… and I bet I can’t get it for love nor money in this country!

I’ll just add another bit about the wedding for those who are thinking of it, but for all the rest of you who are going to stop reading here…. BOOK IT BOOK IT BOOK IT!


THE WEDDING
The icehotel has one wedding co-ordinator, Eva, and if you decide to get married there all your communication will be through her. She does get round to doing things – eventually – but she very often needs a good nudge via email. Prepare to be persistent and just keep reminding yourself of 1. the money you’ll be saving and 2. the fact you’d still have to be doing all this nudging even if you’d paid a tour operator twice as much to do the same thing.

She can organise everything for you, your rooms and the food – I would recommend having your celebratory meal in the Old Homestead afterwards – it’s warm and the food is fantastic. Get her to email you the menu so you can choose and pay for the food and wine in advance. Don’t have a three course meal; order a starter and main and bring along your own cake for dessert – we chose a fruit and madeira royal iced cake from Tesco and both travelled very well indeed.

It’s quite nice to have a “stag” / “hen” type trip whilst there. For me, the morning before the ceremony was spent with the girls in the hot tub / sauna, whilst the boys went off to try their hands at ice fishing (not very successfully I might add)

Take your own artifical flowers. You won’t need any to decorate the venue – just your own and a button hole, perhaps. Fresh flowers are expensive there and wilt very fast through the fluctuation in temperature.

Do not wear heels! The church is a combination of snow and ice and you will come a cropper. I wore white snow boots, with white long johns, and a traditional big wedding dress. I did have a shrug for my shoulders but didn’t wear it in the end. I think it was the adrenaline – in the UK I’m usually the one shivering in the corner with two jumpers on. My partner wore a morning suit, as did the Best Man, albeit with long johns underneath. :)

Eva recommended that we keep a warm room on as spare for the night of the ceremony and it was excellent advice. Because you have to check out of the warm room you’re staying in the morning of the ceremony (because we were staying in a cold room on our wedding night) we wouldn’t have had anywhere to get ready for the ceremony (although you are provided with a locker you are not allowed to check in to the cold rooms until gone 7pm, and anyway, who would want to get ready at –5 ?). So definitely make sure you do that. Well worth the extra expense.

Eva will meet with you the morning of the ceremony to go through everything, and the priest will also come to see you. We had the lady priest, Anna, and she was very nice and spoke absolutely perfect English. Do NOT be conned into paying for a translator!!!

As regards the ceremony, the Priest will sing you in down the aisle, and the ceremony itself is very, very similar to an English ceremony from the Book of Common Prayer. There are a couple of hymns which are in Swedish – the Priest will encourage you to join in but it’s very hard!!! She sings again as you exit the church.

We then had the icehotel’s official photographer, Hans Olaf, take our formal photos. It did take quite some time and I was very cold by the end but he did keep giving us “warming up breaks” which helped take the edge off it. In addition to the time he spent prior to the ceremony taking reportage shots, we spent well over an hour with him in the icehotel. He is sending us all the hi res digital images on CD as well as an album with 8 of the best enlargements – for just under £500 I think that is excellent value. It is possible to take *reasonable* pictures with your own camera but nowhere near the quality of his; he has proper wireless lighting systems and everything. Well worth it.

The ceremony was lovely and simple. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was very special and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. It wasn’t in the least bit stressful and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone considering it.

Phew!
Hope that was helpful!

  • Stayed April 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
59 Thank whirlybirds76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmallEffingham, Work for the largest tour operator in the world to the Icehotel at Icehotel, responded to this review, November 18, 2008
We have noted a number of comments on Trip Advisor about the high cost of excursions operated by the Icehotel. Discover the World is the largest tour operator in the world to the Icehotel and we have been working in this area of Lapland for a great many years, in fact even before the Icehotel was even thought about! Yes, Icehotel excursions are the most expensive on the market, however we really do believe that they provide the best value. All passengers are fully insured and their guides and equipment used are of the highest of standards. In addition the hotel takes full responsibility for any problems with bookings or mishaps which should happen in the course of the trip. Excursions operated by some other companies can often be of an inferior standard and they are not always like for like. For example the duration time of an excursion might include long transfers from the Icehotel to the base of the operator. Of course we accept that many people have been perfectly happy with alternative excursions and I accept some of these are of a perfectly adequate standard but, like most things in life “buyer beware”!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2007

Booked two nights here as a special gift for my wife, who always wanted to a) stay in this hotel, b) see Northern Lights, c) see moose -- accomplished a and b. Northern Lights are everywhere if you go right time of year. We did the "stay one night in the IceHotel, one night in the warm room" option. I lived many years in Alaska, so the ice room was not such a great thrill for me, but my wife loved it. A few hopefully helpful observations:
* Pack intelligently and lightly, in the sense that they provide snowsuits free, and you sleep in the ice rooms in giant mummy bags. Your bags, etc. are stored in lockers.
* If you are big/tall, request a double bag, as the standard mummy bags will bind you like a straight jacket. You might actually find the bags too warm.
* The showers/toilets are all in another building (don't drink too much or you'll be getting up in the cold) and you're better off using the group shower/sauna during (limited) morning hours.
The good and the bad:
* The surroundings are beautiful and the food is world-class gourmet. I'm a serious foodie and it's top-quality and creative. Splurge on the "ice menu" in the main restaurant.
* The Ice Bar is great -- atmospheric, artistic. Drinks very tasty and bartenders friendly.
* The Homestead restaurant is a long way away, make sure you borrow a push-sled.
* The Ice suites (fancy rooms with ice sculpture) are the best, but that's not what you get as standard. Make sure to tour all the suites.
* The "warm accomodations" are comfortable, modern and generally excellent.
* The booking process is a pain if you do it yourself. Try to go through a travel agent. But try to book one way trip on the overnight train from Stockholm-Kiruna, and make sure you spend the extra money and get a sleeper cabin.
* The IceHotel is stratospherically expensive, to the degree that Americans, with the weak dollar, may have a hard time getting over the prices -- $20 drinks in the bar, $100 per person for dinner. Not many alternatives, though try walking a half mile down the road to stock up at the (excellent) co-op grocery. Bring alcohol from home or buy some at a duty-free outside Sweden(Keflavik, Iceland is a good option).
* We booked activities through the hotel that were enjoyable (Sami cultural tour, dogsled) but, unfortunately, ludicrously expensive. It made them hard to enjoy, though a lot can be said for driving your own reindeer sled.
We had one bad experience in booking. I made reservations 8 months in advance (recommended) so our stay would coincide with the ice sculpture festival in Kiruna, and I worked out this detail with the hotel. When we got there, we were told the ice sculpture festival happened the week before we arrived. We were quite upset at this, but the hotel arranged a free taxi into Kiruna ($150 value) so we could see the remnants of the sculptures, and the market, which was excellent. If you have time, go into Kiruna.

  • Liked — The
  • Disliked — Extreme expense
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
13 Thank GortPickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
139 reviews
137 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2007

Everyone tends to agree on one thing with this property -- it is an experience you will never forget! My assessment is that with a bit of planning you can control whether it is a wonderful experience, or something you are doing "just to say you did it"

here are my learnings:

Getting there:
Most people travel a great distance to get to the Ice Hotel. My husband planned it so the first night, we would stay in Kiruna (which was great as plane was delayed and we didn't arrive until 10pm.) We also called the hotel in Kiruna to check if any food would be available at this hour (since this is a real small town) and as we assumed, they said no, so we just grabbed pizza in Stockholm airport. The next day we stayed in the Cold room of ice hotel, then the last 2 days in the Warm room. I really recommend this combination - logistically I think it is easiest.

Packing:
I packed a ton more of my personal 'outdoor' clothes because I was afraid I would be cold (e.g ski coat and pants, 4 hats, etc.) I liked having a lot of choice and layers, but I ended up wearing the IceHotels outer clothing as it is more industrial. I did wear my own pair of tall 'Uggs' boots that are lined with sheep skin, and my feet were always toasty. It is really casual, even in the dining areas, so leave the fancy clothes behind. I did find it was very dry, so I was glad I brought a nasel spray to relieve my dry nose. I think the beauty products could be left behind also! If you are always in a hat, and covered up, who cares if you have on make up! (but remember the sunscreen!)

R & R time:
Remember that if you are spending one night in the Cold room, to plan what will you do with your time before you go to sleep. You do not have a personal private space to retire to.... so we planned an excursion, spent time in gift stop / reception area reading, then made an early dinner, and to bed! This is one criticism I would give to the Ice Hotel, there is not enough public areas to relax as you are waiting to get in your room. So plan accordingly.

Last few tips: We bought the DVD in the gift shop explaining the making of the hotel, which was nice to show to our family who were really interested in it. I can say it is honestly just like it shows on the DVD. We saw them cutting and dredging the ice out of the river for the next season, it was really incredible.

If you are a bit scared in advance, don't worry! I travel quite a bit (see my other reviews) and I was afraid I would be cold, miserable, fall off a snowmobile, etc etc but in the end I found it to be a very relaxing exhilerating experience like none other! The snow and cold were very refreshing and revitalizing. Enjoy the 'low tech' joys like being pushed in a sled by your significant other, or watching the landscape change each morning. You will enjoy.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
13 Thank Service_Sommelier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
91 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2007

We traveled to the hotel the nights of February 24th and the 25th. We arrived by train after dark because we were coming from Narvik in the North rather than from Stockholm in the South (just to take the train to the end of the line and back---the mountains are spectacular between the two cities!). I had booked the transfers in advance because I read it is cheaper than taxis and couldn't figure out if there was a way to take public buses to the Icehotel (I emailed the Icehotel this question twice and they responded to my emails without answering that question directly....they said "we have a bus that will pick you up"). We had to wait a little bit for our "shuttle" which made me a bit uneasy but all of the sudden a guy leaning against a taxi pulled out a sign that read my last name (he was standing there a while but never pulled out the sign). I hadn't thought that was him because I didn't expect a taxi. He sped through the ice covered streets which my friend and I admitted to one another later that we had both been scared. He was grooving to Swedish rap music which kind of amused me. I saw the meter go above the rate the Icehotel had quoted me so I wondered how it would play out but when I asked him how much he said the hotel would bill me (which they did--the agreed upon rate---about 30 dollars roundtrip per person). I never did find out why one of their little shuttles didn't pick us up. We stayed in a Aurora cabin the first night and we absolutely loved it. I used my phone card in Switzerland and Iceland on this trip, but for some reason at the cabin I had to talk to the phone card customer service and then had to pay a large extra connect fee because the property wasn't a subscriber of whatever, so watch out for that. We went to the warm bar just to get some ham and cheese sandwiches and Pepsi's to take to the cabin and it cost us 25 USD for both of us. Ouch! (by the way, the grocery store is closed on Sundays and public buses don't run on Sundays so we were kind of stuck). The breakfast was great. We pretty much had exhausted our finances just staying for two nights so we didn't book excursions. We did find that the Old Homestead had a very reasonable lunch buffet up until 4p, so we ate it as late as possible and skipped dinner to save some money. We went to the mixed sauna in the evening not realizing that most people would be naked, an experience for us prudish Americans. We made many friends in the sauna area as there was a large group of international businessmen there, staying at the Icehotel on a retreat. I met up with them later in the Icebar and we all had some great laughs. One Malaysian guy there convinced my friend and I to go Northern Lights hunting with him around the property, but even though it was very clear the two nights we were there we never saw them. As for the cold accommodation, I have no idea how in the world anyone sleeps in there. I slept 1/2 hour tops, and my friend up to three hours. I only had one drink in the icebar but still had to go to the bathroom so that was bad. I kept hearing quiet running through the snow covered hallways throughout the night, I am assuming of poor souls who had to go to the bathroom. I couldn't sleep because my face was so freezing cold. I tried to close the sleeping bag more but got claustrophobic and then tried to put a scarf over the hole but I felt the cold seep through. I felt a tiny little snow crystal fall on my face when I did fall asleep and I freaked out. At 330a I had my fill and I jumped up and started freaking out, couldn't get out fast enough. I was almost out of the room and then heard my friend say "Wait for me!" There was a young girl trying to sleep in the luggage room and then a couple from Wales came in to try to put on more layers because they couldn't sleep. Her husband kept trying to hug me and sit on my friend's lap "to keep warm". I would never try to sleep in a ice room again. Forget it! It is definitely worth a try though, just to know you did it. I liked the guy at the luggage room reception...he gave me some of the hot juice at 4a since we had to leave early to catch our 6a flight. He was laughing at me complaining (with a smile) about my once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will never go back but it was worth it!

  • Liked — Unique and beautiful
  • Disliked — Cold and expensive
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank WVTravelGirl
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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