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Adventures of an Architect – Episode 4: Ice Hotel

With all of the snow and ice we’ve been getting this season, I thought it fitting to write a winter-themed blog this time around.  Instantly I thought of a place that I’ve always wanted to travel to – the “Ice Hotel”, in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (pronounced “Yooka’s yarvy”).  The name says it all – it’s a massive hotel built entirely of snow and ice!  The hotel covers about 60,000 sq ft, takes over 30,000 tons of snow and ice to construct…. And is re-built every year!  About 100 people work year-round to construct the new Ice Hotel, including 40-50 artists.  As if it weren’t enough to build lounges, bars, restaurants, and bedrooms out of local river-ice and snow, the artists transform the entire structure into an incredible display of creativity!  Sculptures, carvings, lighting, and furniture are all beautifully designed and hand-crafted for visitors to experience over the 4-months that the building is open to the public.  Each year new artists are chosen to create a unique building… making this an art exhibition that is always changing.  Whether you choose to stay overnight on a fur-covered ice-sculpted sleigh bed (in the balmy 19˚F suites), or just to visit for the day to view this breathtaking work of art, you should certainly stop at the IceBar for a cocktail out of glasses made entirely out of ice!  For those looking for more info you can go to their website (, or find the hour-long National Geographic episode of “Megastructures – Ice Hotel”) from 2006 to watch.

Ice Bar 1

Ice Bar 2

After seeing the success and popularity of the Ice Hotel in Sweden, other countries began constructing their own – including Japan, Norway, and Romania.  If you want to have this experience a little closer to home, there is a similar facility in Quebec, Canada – “The Hotel de Glace”.  Have any of you been here?

Have fun out there,


Bed 3

Bed 2

Bed 1

Art Suite 1