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Every year, 60 artists are given 30,000 tonnes of snow and ice to play with on the banks of the Torne River and are tasked with building the latest incarnation of the Ice Hotel; unsurprisingly, the result is much more than your average igloo.
With every room carved entirely from snow and ice, guests sleep on reindeer skins and are provided with warm outer clothing to keep the cold at bay. Different artists design each of the suites which are spectacular themed grottos- guests can indulge in a spot of room envy by taking a tour of them all before bedtime. If the thought of sleeping on the ice leaves you cold, the hotel also has more conventional heated rooms and Scandinavian- style chalets.
At the elegant Ice Hotel Restaurant, guests can enjoy refined international cuisine 'on the rocks'- cold starters and desserts are served on plates made of ice- or indulge in more traditional Scandinavian fare at the Old Homestead. A key feature of the hotel is the Absolut Icebar, where everything is, of course, made of ice including the glasses in which the drinks are served.
Of course the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are extremely high, but if the skies are not kind, there are a whole host of other activities on offer- from ice driving to reindeer sledding- and there is even the opportunity to get married in the ice chapel.
Sadly the arrival of summer marks the end of the Ice Hotel as it gradually melts away to nothing- until next year!
Rebuilt yearly - it melts of course - 30,000 tons of snow and 4,000 tons of ice are used in the construction of the world-famous Ice Hotel every year.
Charlotte H, Original Traveller