The Best Ice Hotels In the World

Oct 15, 2019

An ice hotel is a temporary hotel made up of snow and sculpted blocks of ice. Ice hotels are dependent on sub-freezing temperatures, are constructed from ice and snow and typically have to be rebuilt every year.

The SnowCastle of Kemi, Finland

This 21-room snow castle, at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. Every season it is rebuilt, but it always features a church, a restaurant, and a hotel. Guests can enjoy a meal around glistening ice tables, with specialties such as reindeer soup. The temperature inside is brisk –5C but rooms come equipped with sleeping bags that have thermal fleece linings. A stay also includes breakfast in the slightly warmer Castle Lounge. Kauppakatu 29, Kemi, Finland. Doubles from €125, B&B.

Le Village Igloo, France

A new addition to Avoriaz, this collection of igloos opened its icy doors in December. Glide straight off the Bleue d'Arare piste or come on foot via the Stade chairlift to spend a night in one of the three bedrooms, with their carved ice walls and sleeping bags designed for polar expeditions. There is also a rock shelter decorated with snow and ice sculptures, and a bar with a sun terrace, should you want to warm up. Avoriaz, France. An overnight stay, including a cocktail, dinner, and breakfast is €175 per head.

Icehotel, Sweden

The Icehotel brand is celebrating its 25th year with a new construction in the village of Jukkasjarvi. A total of 1,600 tons of snow and ice from the nearby Torne River went into constructing the hotel, which is expected to last until March. Guests spend a night in whimsical rooms made from ice and snow, before transferring to "warm" chalets or hotel rooms. The ice-block beds come covered with thick mattresses and reindeer skins, with the room temperature guaranteed not to drop below a nippy –7C. Jukkasjarvi, Sweden Cold accommodation doubles from SEK 3,200 (£264), B&B.

Iglu-Dorf Gstaad, Switzerland

Cosy sheepskins and expedition-quality sleeping bags ensure a warm night's sleep at the Iglu-Dorf. The igloos range in size from doubles to six-person family accommodation, each carved out of the ice in a slightly different way. The Iglu-Dorf also has its own whirlpool and offers complimentary night-time snowshoeing sessions, so you can work up an appetite before wrapping into a cheese dish at the restaurant. Gstaad, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. Doubles from €348, half-board, including snowshoeing.

Arctic Snow Hotel, Finland

If you're looking to maximize your chance of spotting the Northern Lights, this hotel within the Arctic Circle is for you. Check into one of the two-person snow rooms, where all the furniture is made from snow and ice (the beds are padded with warm bedclothes) and ask for the Northern Lights alarm – staff will wake you if the Aurora is spotted. Visitors determined not to miss the phenomenon should alternatively try the glass igloos, which let you watch the lights from bed. Lehtoahontie 27, Sinetta, Finland. Doubles from €250. B&B.

Hotel de Glace, Canada

This icy hotel is located only a few minutes from downtown Quebec City, and you can start your stay will a taste of ice beverage, served in an ice flute. Chilly rooms come with sleeping bags for a comfortable night's slumber, and premium suites even have their own fireplaces. Guests receive complimentary access to the hotel's spa, and you can also take a behind-the-scenes tour, which shows how the snow building is made, or learn how to craft your own ice cocktail glass.Rue de la Faune, Québec, Canada. Doubles from C$400 (£222), B&B.