Global Warming was the topic in Copenhagen last week, but in Sweden, the buzz is all about construction of the 20th annual ice hotel. The little Lapland village of Jukkasjärvi, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, is the site of this ephemeral art project and ultimate boutique hotel experience. You can let out your inner Santa as you sleep and dine on ice in this annual giant igloo extravaganza.
The building process spans November and December. Artists from all over the world come to help build the frozen palace, and each week a new “wing” of the hotel is open to guests. This year, headline artists came from Chile, Bulgaria and Japan. The 2009/2010 Ice Hotel will have 62 rooms. A live webcam lets you keep up with this extreme architectural endeavor.
This year’s creation features an Absolut Vodka ice bar, an ice cinema, an ice chapel, ice family rooms and ice suites. Four thousand tons of ice is used each year. Room rates start at about $300. Guests sleep on reindeer skins and the accommodations are surprisingly cozy, according to a colleague who made the trip a few years ago.
It is of course the darkest time of the year, but if you visit this part of Sweden now you may get a chance to see the famed Northern Lights or maybe the occasional flying reindeer. You can check out our Triporati Sweden Ice Hotel video and see for yourself…this is certainly the ultimate place to chill.