Following 1800 tonnes of ice and over two months of construction, the 24th Icehotel has opened in Swedish Lapland. Selected artists from around the world have gathered in the village of Jukkasjärvi to create the hotel and art exhibition carved from snow and ice.
This year, there are 65 cold rooms to sleep in, including 13 individually-designed Art Suites featuring some unique concepts. British film-producer turned ice-artist, Marcus Dillistone, has returned with an ice tube carriage inspired by this year’s London Underground 150th Anniversary. Another British team, father and son Rob and Timsam Harding, has created a suite entitled Before the Big Bang – their third suite at Icehotel.
The It’s Alive suite includes a secret button which treats guests, if they find it, to a light installation that depicts electric shocks flowing across the room. Other designs include a cinema, pole-dancing polar bears and a concept called Narcissus, which features a giant facial sculpture facing a mirror.
This year’s Icebar design depicts a story of a giant fish from the Japanese Ocean. Fish scales are carved out of the walls and the bar centrepiece comes in the form of a fish carved out of ice several metres long. The main hall’s design, Secret Garden, features a wishing well and a large carved unicorn mounted on an ice block and podium.
UK guests can visit Icehotel through Discover the World, which offers the UK’s only direct flight service to the hotel. This initiative has increased the number of flights for the 2013/2014 season by 30%.