Instead of letting snow and ice pile up outside, intrepid hoteliers in Norway, Sweden, Canada and Finland have all sought to make the best of the colder temps with a tourist attraction like no other — the ice hotel.But these vacation destinations are more than just big igloos. They have world-class restaurants, activities ranging from Northern Lights night-watching to husky snow sled rides, and toasty accommodations despite the 17-23 degree rooms.
Plus, they’re well-crafted. All the hotels feature intricate ice and snow sculptures and are built to last, with many standing well into the summer despite the warmer climate.
This is the entrance to the ICEHOTEL in Sweden. It originally started as a design project in Jukkasjärv, Sweden, 22 years ago, but is now one of the most famous hotels in the world.
Guests sleep on reindeer hides inside sleeping bags that can stand temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius.
The hotel has 30 rooms, including 2 suites, and is decorated with ice sculptures and ice furnishings.
Every room in the hotel has a bed framed by ice blocks with thermal-insulated mattresses and a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees Celsius.
Activities include snowmobile tours, husky sled dog trips, ice fishing on the fjord, and spending a night gazing at the northern lights (if you're lucky).
Every year in late November, 1,000 trucks of snow are used to create Finland's Snow Village. This is the entrance to the Snow Hotel.
Guests sleep in thermal sleeping bags in rooms made with ice and snow and even receive a diploma documenting their overnight igloo stay.
Snow Village also has a bar, lobbies, suites, and even an igloo restaurant that serves reindeer meat.
Hotel de Glace in Quebec is currently the only ice hotel in North America. It was first built in 2001, and is made of 15,000 tons of snow and 500,000 tons of ice.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.