Ever since the James Bond movie, Die Another Day, wanting to stay in an ice hotel has been on people’s bucket list. It looked so decadent and beautiful. I remember being amazed to know that ice hotels actually existed.
Of course, the structure that Bond visited was an imaginative fantasy fabrication. The Bond Ice Palace, is apparently a polystyrene model. The structure was both structurally implausible and of course practically inconceivable to build such refined structures out of something as unstable as ice. It meant that any real Ice Hotel I was to visit would never truly match up to my Bond Girl fantasy, but it was still exquisite.
After researching which Ice Hotel to stay in, I opted for ICEHOTEL Sweden, created from ice harvested from the Torne River on which it stands. It was the original as the world’s first, and is still currently the largest ice hotel to this day.
I think what I find most mind-blowingly special about Ice Hotels is their temporary nature… The fact that they are intentionally built at great effort and expense, fully in the knowledge that the structure will have completely melted back into the river from which the ice was harvested a mere 6 months after it opens it’s doors! Each hotel is unique and completely different from the last, with new features added each year.
Ice Hotel Sweden opens its doors to guests just after Christmas and shuts again in Mid April. During this time, the Ice Hotel is already sinking into the River Torne, which is why room doors are curtains, and not solid doors in most ice hotels (as doors would become immobile with the movement of the structure).
Whilst I am pretty hardcore with some of the other experiences I have been lucky enough to have, I am a bit of a wuss with the freezing cold. I wanted to see an Ice Hotel, I didn’t particularly want to sleep on a bed of ice and snow with only a reindeer hyde and a sleeping bag to keep me warm, and didn’t feel overwhelmingly moved by the opportunity to earn a certificate to say I had ‘survived the night‘ in a cold room; so we went for the softer option in the warm and cozy alternative of a log cabin just a few metres from the main ice hotel structure.
At the end of the main corridor was an ice wall that allowed diffused sunlight through during daylight hours; bathing the feature chandelier area with an almost ethereal light. I honestly found it hard to tear myself away from each area as I tried to fully absorb the beauty and presence of the place. It is truly hard to comprehend or put into words which is why I have really decided to share this in pictures. I tried to take video-but have decided against posting that, as honestly-I just couldn’t do the experience justice!