Jonathan Irish, director of National Geographic Adventures, just got back from mushing across the snows of Lapland to the Icehotel on our dog-sledding adventure in Sweden. Here’s what he had to say about his legendary—and ephemeral—accommodations.
By Jonathan Irish
The Icehotel is more of an art exhibit than a place to lay your head. Sure, you can sleep in the below-freezing rooms on a slab of ice with reindeer pelts and down sleeping bags to keep you warm. In fact, I slept pretty darn well during my stay in one of the beautifully carved “art suites.” But you don’t come to the Icehotel for a restful night’s sleep. You come to the Icehotel—located above the Arctic Circle in Sweden near a small village called Jukkasjärvi—to experience an incredible world of ice, snow, and art that’s recreated from scratch every winter.
Oh, and don’t forget the famous Icebar, a place where the electric blue and red drinks come in glasses made of ice, and people are dressed in their finest winter ski clothes.
When I first entered the grand hall (pictured above) I was told by our guide that all the ice needed to make the incredible Icehotel comes from just ten seconds of river flow from the nearby Torne River. As I shivered and looked around in amazement, I realized I was standing in one of the most unbelievable structures I’ve ever seen: a soaring blue world of expertly carved ice. The fact that it will melt away in just a few short weeks made it all even that much more incredible.
Experience the Icehotel for yourself on our National Geographic Adventures to Sweden.