The Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.


Two hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, in a small village called Jukkasjärvi, is a hotel made entirely from ice and snow! Built each December with ice from the nearby river Torne it melts in April.

Inside the Icehotel are bedrooms, a cinema, ice art and the famous Absolut Ice Bar. Nearby is an Ice Chapel often used for weddings.

Whilst the temperature outside varies from -10°C down to -40°C inside the Icehotel the bar and bedrooms maintain a "comfortable" -5°C.

The hotel has been built to a different design each year since 1990.

Most people spend one night in the Icehotel itself and a couple of nights in a bungalow. Some bungalows have two twin bunk rooms, others are equipped with a double bed and a large skylight for watching the northern lights (aurora borealis).


In the Absolut Ice Bar the drinks are served in solid ice glasses.

Within the Icehotel everything is made of ice or snow - the tables, the chairs, the windows, even the chandelier. Throughout the hotel are impressive ice sculptures. In the cinema films are projected onto an ice screen.

The bedrooms.


The bedrooms range from simple snow tunnels with beds for between two and eight occupants right up to elaborate ice suits. Some suites have fantastic ice sculptures illuminated by dozens of candles, others have intricately carved ice windows.

The hotel provides very warm sleeping bags, and detailed instructions on how to use them.

The ice bathroom is only for show!

We stayed in Suite 207 designed and created by Bengt Carling. This room was illuminated by ultra violet light with fluorescent dye embedded in the ice and snow of the walls and floor. Below is the artists description of the room and its sculptures.

Suite 207. This suite is the lair for fantasy's ephemeral beauty.


The floor is a picture of the earth as seen from a snow filled cloud over Jukkasjärvi. The bed is in the centre of the earth's elliptical orbit around the sun. Now, the earth is at the end of the bed and the green lines of the earth's axis tilt and a red dot for Jukkasjärvi.

The bed is surrounded by six prism guards which measure immortality and give dreams content.

The cycle of the Icehotel is 122 days, the earth's orbital cycle around the sun and the earth's axial tilt repeats itself every 413,000 years. During this time there are many ice ages. About 10,000 years ago we left the last ice age and in another 10,000 we will enter a new one.

In the back wall is a reindeer covered standing meditation place for contemplation for the Torne river's fresh water which flows under the ice right now and builds up little by little the ice for next years Icehotel.

In the opposite wall lives love's shifting color scheme which effect the phallos prisma's desire to create life.

Things to do.


About a kilometer from the Icehotel is the old wooden Sami church of Jukkasjärvi built in 1608.

Inside the church is a richly decorated altarpiece by Bror Hjort which tells the story of the (forceful) conversion of the local Sami people to Christianity.


The church also contains a beautiful organ which includes water filled pipes to imitate traditional Sami instruments.

Other local attractions include snowmobile trips, reindeer sleigh rides, visits to a traditional Sami village.

For the very brave there is nude ice swimming.


Home - This page last changed on 2003-01-04.