Take an IceFlight to 29th IceHotel, Swedish Lapland


A candy shop filled with giant sweets, a bathing ice woman, a vintage VW camper and a flock of Arctic terns – the first look at the suites of the 29th Icehotel revealed. The iconic Icehotel in Swedish Lapland opened for another winter season on 14 December. As well as uniquely designed art suites, the hotel features an ice bar, an ice ceremony hall and an exciting new chef’s table dining experience.

New designs and artists:

In total, 34 artists from 13 countries have spent an intense couple of weeks in Jukkasjärvi, creating create the 29th annual incarnation of the ephemeral hotel that is entirely made out of ice and snow from the free-flowing Torne River.

“It was a challenge for the  jury to choose the 15 winning designs but we are very happy with our selection. This winter our guests can enter an amazing wonderland and explore everything from the deep sea to forests and incredible skies. Every winter I say that this is the best Icehotel so far, but this year it definitely is.” says Arne Bergh, Creative Director at Icehotel.

The Living Ocean Suite, IceHotel by Jonathan Paul Green Marnie Green. Image by Asaf Kliger
The Living Ocean Suite, IceHotel by Jonathan Paul Green Marnie Green. Image by Asaf Kliger

‘The Living Ocean Suite’ is from British father and daughter duo Jonathan Paul Green, TV production designer, and Marnie Green, London-based art student. The suite depicts an eerie underwater world inspired by the negative effects of climate change and over-fishing, complete with ice-carved corals, shells and fish.

“The suite is inspired by the climate changes and the over-fishing that affects our oceans. I also thought the idea of using frozen water from a river in northern Sweden to create an ocean with shells, fish, and corals is exciting, says Jonathan Paul Green.

Other designs include “Spruce Woods” by Christopher Pancoe and Jennie O’Keefe from Canada which allows guests to sit around a fire (of ice) in a forest camping site adjacent to a vintage VW camper van, ‘Flock by Lisa Lindqvist and Ulrika Tallving, a UK and Swedish team, as well as ‘Haven’ representing a magical portal of ice guarded by the clever fox and fiery phoenix, created by artists Jonan Johansson, Jordi Claramunt and Lukas Petko from Sweden, Spain and Slovenia. Other designs include the icy Aurora Borealis and a room bursting with frozen flower blossom.

Lollipop, Mathieu Brison, Luc Voisin. Photo by Asaf Kliger.
Lollipop IceHotel, Mathieu Brison, Luc Voisin. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

An ephemeral art exhibition takes shape:

Building the seasonal hotel requires a large amount of work, beginning in March each year when 2,500 tons of ice is harvested from the Torne River. The ice is then stored until October, when the building starts.

Icehotel in figures:

  • Icehotel is entirely made of snow and ice from the Torne River, Sweden’s largest national river
  • The annual hotel is built over 12 weeks October- January, only to melt back to the river in April
  • The total amount of ice used by the hotel equals 10 seconds’ water flow along the River Torne
  • The iconic chandeliers hold 1 000 ice crystals sculpted and mounted by hand
  • The main building material is “snice” (a mixture of snow + ice)
  • 30 000 cubic meters of snice- that’s the equivalent of 110 million popsicles- are used for the floors, ceilings and walls of the hotel
  • Out of 150 applications, 15 teams are selected and invited to create their suite concept
Flock IceHotel by Lisa Lindqvist, Ulrika Tallving. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

Icehotel Break Special Offer:

The weekend also saw the operation of Discover the World’s first exclusive #IceFlight of the year, the first of eleven return flights which operate between London Heathrow and Kiruna until March 2019, making the Icehotel accessible in just over three hours from the UK. The price for a three-night break starts from £1,073pp* including return flights.

A stay at the Icehotel offers the chance to combine sleeping ‘on ice’ in one of these unique suites with various northern light excursions and Arctic adventures including husky sledding, ice sculpting, winter skills survival classes, snowmobiling, reindeer sleigh rides, Northern Lights photography classes and wilderness dinners. What is more, new bookers (by 14 January 2019) can save up to £150 per person (10% discount) if travelling in December and January on Discover the World’s direct flight.

A ’classic’ three night Icehotel Break is now available from £1,073pp based on two sharing (two nights in a warm Kaamos room and one in an Ice Room) on a B&B basis including return direct flights between London Heathrow and Kiruna, return airport transfers. Excursions can be added at an additional cost.

Last minute Christmas and New Year departures:

Christmas Break- 3x nights (departing on 23 December 2018) are now available from £1,127pp (was £1,240pp) based on two sharing on a B&B basis including 2x nights in a warm room and 1x night in an Ice Room with return direct flights and transfers. www.discover-the-world.com/holidays/christmas-at-the-icehotel

New Year Break- 4x nights (departing on 29 December 2018) are now available from £1,501pp (was £1,645pp) based on two sharing on a B&B basis including 3x nights in a warm room and 1x night in an Ice Room with return direct flights, airport transfers and a special NYE dinner. www.discover-the-world.com/holidays/new-year-at-the-icehotel

Discover the World’s Icehotel travel collection also offers the chance to combine a stay at the Icehotel with an exclusive overnight in Abisko National Park, one of the best places in the world to experience the northern lights, as well as Norway and further afield to Iceland.

For more information contact Discover the World on www.discover-the-world.com/icehotel or call 01737 886 131. Cover image: ICEWOMAN by Linda Vagnelind. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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