…literally, that is.
If this relatively mild February has you hankering for some serious snow. you’re in luck! Several countries have made the most of their abysmally harsh winters by capitalizing on the abundance of snow and ice to create incredibly unique getaway destinations: ice hotels.
From Norway to Canada to Finland to Slovenia to Sweden to Romania, we’ve toured the globe (virtually, at least) to bring you pictures of amazing snow and ice hotels and villages.
The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden was the first of its kind. The hotel is rebuilt every winter, and is currently in its 25th regeneration. Every part of the ICEHOTEL is painstakingly crafted by a team of handpicked artists for maximum beauty.
On-site activities include spectacular views of the Northern Lights, snowmobile tours, dog sledding, exploration of the native culture, among other winter attractions. The hotel features a full ice bar, ice church (it hosts dozens of weddings every season) and nearby chalets for those who don’t want to sleep in below-freezing rooms. It’s open in the summer too (not the ice building, obviously) for wilderness tours, white-water rafting, ropes course, boat tours, and views of the Northern Lights and the midnight sun.
Neighboring Norway and Finland, not to be outdone, boast their own winter wonderlands. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland offers accommodations in a choice of glass igloos, snow igloos, and various sizes of log cabins.
Finland is home to many snow attractions, including the SnowVillage, well above the Arctic Circle. The Village features a SnowHotel for the brave. cabins for the cold-toed, a restaurant, bar, and yearly-changing attractions to explore.
This one’s not a hotel, but it’s too cool to leave out. Finland’s best tourist attractions include the famed SnowCastle in Kemi:
Nearby Norway draws thousands of visitors every year, and their ice and snow offerings are just as impressive. The Kirkenes SnowHotel is sculpted of intricately carved ice; visitors can choose from exciting activities in both winter and summer, including ice fishing, Husky trips, Northern Lights tours, snowmobile trips, and midnight sun rafting tours.
Another Norwegian option is the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway.
If you’d rather stay out of Scandinavia, the Hotel of Ice in Romania may be the right place for your vacation.
It may not have the Northern Lights, but the views of the Carpathian Mountains is unrivaled.
The Igloo Hotel in Eskimska Vas (Eskimo Village) in Slovenia is often overlooked as one of the world’s greatest ice hotels, complete with igloo restaurant.
Want to stay closer to the US? Montreal offers stays in the Hôtel de Glace and the Montreal Ice Hotel in the Snow Village.