Your natural instinct might be to escape the cold during the winter. Destinations like Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, and Australia are popular vacation spots for travelers looking to escape the cold. But why not mix it up and embrace it? Stunning igloo hotels and ice villages bring more beauty to the cold, and with only a handful of these large scale hotels in the world, it’s a rare experience for a more hardy traveler. Here are five igloo hotels you should book this winter.
A stunning thousand tons of ice form the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Their recent addition of solar panels allows Icehotel to operate year round, instead of just during the cold season. Rooms are complete with ice beds covered with heavy furs. Ice sculptures and intricate wall carvings are the decor. The hotel gives out parkas to guests to keep you warm and cozy during your stay. Visitors say it’s worth the splurge to book a deluxe suite in order to have access a private ensuite sauna. The hotel also has plenty of activities available, some of which are included in the booking cost. Epic options include include snowmobile tours, dog sledding, and learning about what it takes to survive in the wilderness. If you want to experience the Northern Lights, the best time to visit is between September to April.
Rooms start a $260 per night.
Lapland Snowvillage – Finland
This hotel in Kittila has themed rooms complete with lifelike ice sculptures. The most recent installation of Game of Thrones characters wowed guests with large sculptures of the Iron Throne, and many characters from the show. Overall, the ice hotel is outfitted with ice furniture and has gorgeous lighting to help bring it all to life.
Lapland Hotel’s Snowvillage is popular for weddings, and has an ice chapel on site. In addition to the ice hotel, the resort also has log cabin accommodations– including a three story log castle. All log cabins have built-in saunas. Travelers recommend visiting between December and early April.
Rooms start at $320 per night.
Hotel de Glace – Canada
Hotel de Glace’s primary boast is that it’s the only igloo hotel made entirely of ice and snow in North America. More commonly found in Europe, this Quebec City destination is constructed from a whopping 35,000 tons of ice and snow. This hotel is also more kid friendly than their frozen competition. The Grand Ice Slide is part of of their Winter Playground, with more than 35 ice slides total– some of which are high enough so you can get a great view during your activity time. Rooms include a choice of ice rooms, theme suites with ice sculptures, or premium suites that can have fireplaces and even access to a private spa. Sleeping bags are provided so you can sleep comfortably on the ice beds– and they even have smaller sleeping bag sizes for kids. Room temperatures hover between 23 and 27 degrees fahrenheit, and travelers recommend booking your stay between January and March to get the full Canadian winter wonderland experience.
Rooms start at $209 per night.
Hotel of Ice – Romania
An outdoor winter amusement park and a true dedication to ice decoration make the aptly named Hotel of Ice in the Southern Carpathians mountain range a true igloo hotel destination. Outdoor adventuring options include snow tubing, mobiling, and rafting.
The hotel is renowned for its ice sculptures and chandeliers, as well as the onsite restaurant serving traditional Transylvanian cuisine. Sleeping bags and reindeer skins keep guests cozy, as the internal temperature is kept between 28 and 35 degrees.
Rooms start at $89 per night.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Finland
Sleep under the Northern Lights in a glass igloo at this resort that provides a little bit of everything. Located in northern Finland, Northern Lights are visible in this region about every other night from September to March. The all glass domes of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort‘s igloos are perfect for stargazing. However, note that most igloos do not have restrooms– just beds complete with sleeping bags and other warm accessories if you stay during the winter. The area is known for its ski resorts and beautiful wilderness. Take a snowmobile or ice fishing adventure, go cross-country skiing, and relax in their gorgeous saunas. (They even have a complete Santa’s house.) If you visit during the summer, activities can include gold panning, white water kayaking, and taking safaris by either horse or husky.
Rooms start at $370 per night.