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Sweden’s Icehotel Reveals Magical Designs for 30th Anniversary

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The famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, will unveil revamped interiors to celebrate its 30th anniversary when it opens on December 13, 2019.

Photo by © Ragnar TH Sigurdsson

The famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, will unveil revamped interiors to celebrate its 30th anniversary when it opens on December 13, 2019.

Artists from 34 different countries are creating frozen sculptures and first-of-a-kind suites for the hotel made exclusively from snow and ice.

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When the Icehotel first opened on a seasonal basis in 1989, the Swedish establishment became the world’s first hotel made of snow and ice. In the three decades since, the incredibly “cool” hotel has been reborn as a pop-up each winter, using approximately 5,000 tons of ice sourced from the nearby Torne River to construct the frozen accommodations anew.

To date, more than 1 million international guests have stayed at the Swedish Lapland property, which sits about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the village of Jukkasjärvi, known as a prime vantage point for Northern Lights viewing. (In 2016, a new building called Icehotel 365 was specially designed to run on solar power so that guests could stay in various rooms of the hugely popular hotel throughout the year.) As the Icehotel’s 30th anniversary approaches this winter, the first designs for the hotel’s highly anticipated updated interiors have been revelead. 

In November 2016, the Icehotel unveiled a new concept called Icehotel 365, which allowed guests to stay in various rooms year-round, thanks to a new building designed to run on solar power.

In 2019, a total of 18 design teams have been chosen to contribute to the Icehotel’s 15 art suites, main hall, ceremony hall, and Icebar, which all officially open for guests to enjoy on December 13, 2019. (The artists involved with the project hail from 34 countries, including Sweden, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Poland, and the United States.)

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Inside this year’s Icehotel 30, a suite called “A Night at the Theatre” will feature a West End–style stage complete with ice-carved curtains and a frozen bed in place of front row seats. Another suite called the “Bone Room” will include design elements that nod to the hotel’s natural melting process as ice dissolves back into the Torne River each spring. 

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To further celebrate its 2019 anniversary, the hotel will host a photography exhibition showcasing its most memorable designs from the past three decades. The property’s Icebar will be carnival themed, with ice-carved hot air balloons, roller coasters, games, and (of course) cocktails on offer in the “Welcome to TorneLand” space. Additionally, an ice-carved viewing platform above the hotel will offer views of the surrounding frozen tundra.

In addition to the unique experience of sleeping on ice near the Arctic, guests can arrange to partake in winter adventures that include ice sculpting, snowmobiling, reindeer sleigh rides, Northern Lights photography classes, and guided Swedish sauna rituals as part of various Icehotel packages.

In 2019, the Icehotel will feature a suite called “A Night at the Theater” designed by artists Jonathan Paul Green and Marnie Green from the United Kingdom.
A three-night “Icehotel Break” package starts from $1,288 per person and includes one night in an Ice Room (with two nights in a warm Kaamos Room located nearby on the property), daily breakfast, and direct flights between Heathrow and Kiruna (approximately 3.5 hours in one direction), provided by Discover the World.

This article originally appeared online in December 2016; it was updated on September 5, 2019, to include current information. AFAR assistant editor Sarah Buder contributed reporting.

>>Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Guide to Sweden

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