Northern Sweden’s ICEHOTEL: Luxury on the ‘Rocks’

The sky reflects an impossible shade of shocking blue mixed with subtle pink hues. The structure – a sprawling, glimmering piece of original art work – becomes all the more fascinating with the knowledge that it’s made entirely of frozen water. Situated in the tiny village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (population just over 1,000), the oldest and largest ICEHOTEL is a remarkable interpretation of man’s architectural ingenuity and creative prowess.

Every year, a brand new single-story hotel is built from 1,000 tons of ice from the adjoining Torne River. An additional 30,000 tons of 'snice' (ice mixed with snow) is then added to secure the creations. Several hundred international artists vie for the opportunity to be part of the process. In the end, approximately 50 are se-le-cted by a jury to design designated parts of the hotel. Although the actual construction occurs between November

and December, the work involved to complete the hotel is a year-long effort. For instance, 5,000 tons of ice is harvested and stored between March and the end of summer. The hotel itself only opens between December and mid-April.

As the story goes, the IceHotel concept was born quite by accident. In the late 1980s, a local white-water rafting tour guide named Yngve Bergqvist, asked a group of Japanese ice sculptors to create something special to

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