The Snow Hotel - Kirkenes
25 tonnes of ice and 15000 cubic metres of snow are shifted each Winter to build the famous igloo snow hotel at Kirkenes. Every year, the hotel is built completely of snow and ice in November, and each spring, in April, it melts back into the arctic fjord in front of the hotel. It is built by blowing up giant balloons and covering them with snow which packs down and turns into ice which is then carved into beautiful works of art. Despite how beautiful the carvings are, it doesn’t actually take very long to construct.
There are 20 dreamlike rooms uniquely carved by master ice sculptors from around the world. There is a new theme every year, but there is always a Nordic touch with inspiration from both Norwegian and Sami folklore, fauna and fairy tales.
With a constant temperature of – 4°, you may not get much sleep if you stay here – although you are provided with a warm, thermal sleeping bag, and tips on how to stay warm. As it is probably a once in a lifetime experience, you may well not be too bothered about sleeping much anyway?!
There are no doors – only curtains. Legal requirements mean that each room has to be equipped with smoke and fire alarms, but there are no plugs. There is electricity though – just to power the few strategically placed lights. There are no shower or toilet facilities in the hotel itself – you need to walk the length of the corridor to the restaurant block at the end.
To stay here costs 3,000NOK per adult per night – so a night for two £536. They also have warm room cabins which are slightly cheaper (but not much) – you only stay in the ice hotel itself for one night. It would be a great place to stay for a few nights – there would be quite a lot to do: husky dog sledding, snowmobiles, ski-ing etc. – all in achingly beautiful surroundings.