The Ice Hotel, Lapland

I have always wanted to go to Lapland.

The idea of snowy forests, husky dogs, log cabins and Father Christmas all in one place has always intrigued me.

Ever since I saw that Bond film I have wanted to go to The Ice Hotel.

So when Discover The World asked if I fancied test driving one of their jollies out there, well I couldn’t say no!

We hopped on a morning flight from Heathrow, and flew into the darkness of Sweden’s winter.

Landing just after lunch time, into a starless night, at the prettiest little red airport you’ll ever see!

Lapland's little red airport

In Lapland’s winter, the sun never rises above the horizon.

You get a couple of hours of twilight in the middle of the day, but that’s all.

By the time we arrived at the Ice Hotel, we had been plunged into the pitch black of the afternoon.

Glowing entrance to The Ice Hotel

Which only adds to the excitement of exploring this glittering ice palace!

We stepped inside, boots gently crunching through the trodden snow.

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As you might expect, everything is made of ice.

Even the reception desk, along with its frosty receptionist…

Ice Hotel reception

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The first thing to hit you as you enter the main hall, is the calm.

The snow absorbs every bit of noise, leaving you in a sort of spell bound silence.

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But seeing as it’s a hotel after all, you’re probably itching to see the rooms!

Allow me to show you around.

I’ve included the room number and name (followed by the artists responsible), in case you fancy booking your favourite.

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The beds are carved from ice, topped with wooden palettes, then foam mattresses, then reindeer hide.

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Surprisingly comfy!

Though you can’t help but feel you might already be dreaming.

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Striped poloneck

Canada Goose jacket*// Canada Goose salopettes

Snow boots

*Though I wouldn’t usually wear fur, it’s nessasary when going into -20 temps (Lapland usually hits -40 at this time of year) as it is the only material to stop frostbite. Sourced humanely, used sparingly and never just for fashion, purely function. More info.

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Especially in this particular room, where you might wake up with someonething watching you…

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In this room, iced sheep emerge from a crack in the wall, run the length of the room, before leaping over your bed.

All hoping to be counted and send you off to sleep.

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My friend Thomas is rather proud of his Austin Powers impression, so Thomas… this room’s for you!

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The whole place is incredibly tactile.

You can’t help but want to run your fingers along the walls and get hands on with the sculptures.

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The lighting can be pretty magical, too.

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Having thoroughly explored the hotel and settled in, we went in search of the elusive Northern Lights.

It’s one of the multitude of adventures you can book before you go.

For this one you race off into the night, looking for the darkest part of the frozen river, and hope to see the dancing Aurora Borealis. Though the second you board the plane in London, someone comes on the mic to tell you how rare they are, and that you probably won’t. This is reiterated when you check in, and again before you set off.

Never the less, we were optimistic!

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We drove through the darkness, in -15 temps, for about two hours.

With the sky completely covered in a layer of cloud, our guide suggested we all give up and head inside for some supper.

If there’s one thing that can ease my crippling disappointment, it’s supper.

We turned off our chariots and followed a candlelit path into the woods.

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Trudging through thigh-high powder, we eventually came across a clearing filled with a three little, snow topped huts.

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Glowing with firelight.

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We took our seats inside, stripping off coats and mittens, wriggling our hands and defrosting beside the fire.

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Warming mugs of hot lingonberry juice were brought around,

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followed by potato soup, reindeer stew (delicious) and panacotta.

No mulled wine or anything of the sort as Sweden have a zero tolerance drink-driving policy. If you touch a drop, you can’t drive.

Very sensible indeed, and something to remember if you head out. Don’t drink wine on the plane.

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Having warmed and filled up, we emerged into the night.

Keeping our eyes firmly on the sky and squinting just a little, hoping to spot the lights.

Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, and we raced back to the hotel at an exhilarating speed!

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Home at last, we sought out The Ice Bar.

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Where you’ll find cocktails served up in chiselled ice glasses.

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Which you can drink in the snow, beside the crackling fire.

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The hotel recommends that you only sleep on ice for one night of your stay.

The other nights you spend “in the warm”, in little cabins.

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Very simple, pine clad rooms with no-nonsense shower rooms.

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Not quite The Ritz, but by the end of the day you’ll be so tired and grateful for the warmth… you won’t even notice.

Haven’t seen quite enough yet? S’no need to worry, more Lapland adventures to come!

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  • Madison

    What a fun place! LOVE the idea of the ice hotel, but it looks a little scary in all its nighttime isolation, no? Quite magical though!

    http://www.femininefeminists.me

    • Rosie

      I didn’t find it scary at all! But I also don’t find isolation that scary… perhaps it varies person to person! x

  • These photos are amazing! The Ice Hotel is such a remarkable piece of architectural ingenuity, super jealous you got to stay there. It’s on the bucket list for sure!

    http://www.lucylovestosparkle.com

    • Rosie

      So clever.
      We stumbled across an old warehouse full of carved ice, where they obviously make all of the decoration. The tools, knives & chisels just laying next to boxes of diamonds and chandeliers, all made from ice!
      Would be fun to watch a time lapse of them putting it all together.

      • Lucy

        There was a program on channel 5 over Christmas about the making of the ice hotel! It’s insane what they go through to put it all up, although perhaps ruins the magic a little? X

  • Oh wow, Rosie, this looks like an amazing adventure! Sorry to hear you missed the lights, but it looks as though the ice hotel gave you an experience to remember, such beautiful rooms! Yet another Londoner adventure is added to my bucket list! Lol x Jersey Girl x http://www.jerseygirl.co

    • Rosie

      A once in a lifetime trip for sure! x

  • Melanie Snyder

    You are one brave woman! The pictures are wonderful, but I got cold just looking at them. What an amazing adventure!

    • Rosie

      Nice and toasty in our coats, thank goodness! 😉 xx

      • Melanie Snyder

        You always look stylish 🙂

  • This is incredible! I have read about this place and it has been a dream of mine to go! It looks breathtaking! Like a dream come to life!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Take care,

    Charlotte B | http://atlantic-c.blogspot.ca/

    • Rosie

      A good one for the bucket list, C! x

  • marina jackman

    Looks like a great experience! Looking forward to your next post. Glad you posted that info about Canada Goose as well, I made sure I looked into all that before I bought from them!

    • Rosie

      Glad we’re on the same wavelength, Marina! x

  • What an awesome adventure! Would love to visit there one day!

    • Rosie

      One for you “must” list for sure, Rach! x

  • This is so awesome! I’d love to visit!

  • OMG LAPLAND IS SO BEAUTIFUL ROSIE! From the ice bars and all that ice, to the fire and the candle light pathways, its just magical! Makes for a perfect winter getaway!

    x Carina, Running White Horses

  • Annie

    Wow! That looks amazing! How did you sleep haha it looks freeeeeezing 🙂 I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just genuinely curious: Why don’t you wear fur, but choose to wear leather?

    • Gigi

      The majority of the fur industry isn’t regulated unlike leather.

  • Who could turn this opportunity down, it’s all simply stunning! I’m not sure I can imagine going to sleep surrounded by so much ice, but the decor is out of this world… I love the peacock especially! Can’t wait to read about your husky sledge ride!!

    Laura | http://www.lovedbylaura.com

  • The hotel looks lovely and it’s such a great idea to create a Ice Hotel

    http://luxurysmoland.blogspot.pt/

  • This looks so cool!!! I’ve always wanted to go to Lapland and your pics make me wanna go even more! Can’t wait to see the rest of Lapland adventures! And hope you could eventually see the northern lights!

    Have a good day,

    Umberta

    http://thesecretlifeofanactress.blogspot.fr

  • This looks amazing! I cannot wait to see more of your snowy adventures 🙂

    http://www.champagne-lifestyle.com/

  • The slow pace

    Since I saw your pics on Instagram I’ve been waiting for these posts about Lapland! I’ve always dreamed to go! Maybe with your recommendations we can plan something for the next Christmas? The hotel looks fantastic, but I’m waiting for the husky dogs! I’m sure you took plenty of pictures! 😉
    Happy new year, by the way!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  • I just saw a program about this place, it looks so beautiful!! I’d love to stay here.
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

  • Kate

    This post makes me kinda sad because it is so beautiful, but as you say the temperatures are double what they should be, and I’ve read various predictions that this January there may be a point where there is no snow worldwide..
    I’m no crazy environmentalist, but as someone who flies so often and lives such a decadent lifestyle, and has a large following, won’t you take a little accountability to the fact that there won’t be ice hotels for the next generation?

    • Ben Hammond

      I AM a “crazy environmentalist” Kate. It sounds like you could do to do a little more research before pointing fingers.
      One girl taking a few flights a year and leading “a decadent lifestyle” has no impact on the problem.
      Big industry is the problem – factories are the problem – American legal teams (complete with private jets) lobbying The White House for a ban on reform and lesser penalties are the problem – The Primarks and VWs of the world are the problem.
      You can stay in your home town – live off the land – and refuse to use transport and airplanes all you like but don’t kid yourself you’re saving any polar bears.
      Though if we’re all honest – this was just an easy way for you to have a go at a stranger on the internet – Grow up.

      • watch the documentary “Cowspiracy” than you will know what the REAL PROBLEM is..

        Amazing post Rosie, cant wait for another one from Lapland!
        kiss,
        Veronika

        http://www.veronikad.com

    • Cara

      1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

      2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

      3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

      Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

      This is all natural and happens every few hundred years.

    • Cap’n Obvious

      Trollololol look at all the attention y’all gave the troll.

      No-one’s that fucking stupid and you just gave “Kate” the attention they wanted.

  • charles

    Don’t see a minibar in the ice room, GUTTED.

  • Ana Simões

    Your first sentence could be my first sentence. What an amazing adventure, Rosie! I’m so glad you explained that you only sleep in ice for one night; I’ve always wondered about that. Happy New Year!!

  • OOH!! That place looks gorgeous!! They look like the castle from FROZEN.

    http://yumiandyuji.blogspot.kr/

  • The ice hotel looks absolutely amazing!! I’d love to have a look around for myself but I’m not a big fan of the cold, so I’m not sure if I could actually spend the night!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

  • wonderful and whimsical

    What a gorgeous place, definitely on my list of places to go!

    Wonderfulandwhimsical.com

  • Ally

    Lapland is in Finland and the Ice Hotel is in Sweden though? Did you go on to Lapland from Sweden? xx

    • Ems

      I agree, this post is a little misleading Rosie… Lapland is in Finland, and so is Father Christmas. However, the Ice Hotel is in Sweden, so which country did you end up visiting?

    • Sofia

      As a Finn (and a Swedish-speaking one, too!) I can assure you all that Lapland exists in both Finland and Sweden. If you want to see Father Christmas you’ll have to visit the Finnish Lapland though, seeing as that’s where he REALLY lives! 😉

  • Ashlee

    This looks so amazing, would love to go someday!!

    http://www.tusksandtails.com

  • It seem like a really great experience! I don’t know whether I would survive in the coldness for that long, but hopefully I’ll try it one day. How did you even sleep on the ice beds, were they comfortable or…?

    S | littleworldofs.com

  • Such a beautiful place! So disappointed you didn’t get to see the Northern Lights….unless you do later on 😉
    Fantastic hotel!

    http://www.majeang.com

  • Looks so cool! What was it like sleeping in the ice room? Did you have trouble getting warm? Quite the adventure!

  • Love this post, I’ve always wanted to have a nose inside the Ice Hotel!

    You’ve also given me some outfit inspo for my upcoming skiing trip, just purchased the striped polo & Sorel boots!

    http://www.shegoeswear.com

  • Jeanne – Doodle T

    Incredible! But doesn’t the cold seep into your bones when you sleep..brrr. Perhaps that’s why you should only sleep on the ice one night..right?
    http://doodlet.me/

  • How utterly surreal! I especially love the thought of the snow blocking out sound – it reminds me of those rare occasions where it snowed heavily in London and the silence even in central London was almost deafening. Totally stunning pics – I genuinely want to visit now!
    http://www.zukiniz.com

  • Looks amazing! I bet you were glad it wasn’t quite -40!

    http://www.theleachlife.com

  • This looks like a dream, the rooms are amazing and I loveee how different every one is! beaut!

    http://www.tinytwisst.com

  • This place look amazing! Your snapchats of this place were making me rather jealous!

    http://www.gracesnotebook369.wordpress.com

  • This must have been such an incredible experience! I’m in awe. Can’t wait to see more!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

  • Sarah Hotel Rater

    Gorgeous!!! How do you look that good in overalls?!! http://www.thehotelrater.com

  • Wow, this is literally Winter Wonderland, very different to my Christmas in Miami! Would love to go here one day, photos are amazing x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • Bethanyalicemarie

    What an amazing adventure! I’ve wanted to visit here forever, there was a documentary on the hotel on tv recently and it looked stunning.

    I recently began sharing my thoughts/ideas on my blog & would love any constructive criticism from anybody willing to give it a read.

    Bethany x

    http://www.bethanyalicemarie.co.uk

  • This is such a cool experience 🙂 -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

  • What a unique hotel, the ice sculptures are amazing & I love how the rooms double up as works of art. Definitely one to add to the travel list.

    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Oh my gosh that looks amazing! It has been on my bucket list for years. Such a shame you didn’t get to see the lights!
    holly-bythesea.blogspot.com.au

  • The ice rooms look amazing, what a great experience even just for the night!

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • What an awesome experience! Would love to stay here one day. Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

  • What an incredible experience!
    Shame about the lack of Northern lights but it must have been amazing to experience walking around in almost darkness all of the time! xo

  • Gaelle Gralnek

    I was there in mid-December (a little bit before you, based on the state of construction), and your travelogue and photos beautifully capture the magic of this special place. You must return and sleep in a cold room — my daughter and I loved it, and it was the best night of sleep I had on our entire trip!

  • gina

    wow – those rooms look INSANE, so want to visit – was it weirdly cold to sleep in there tho??? http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/2016-travel-inspiration.html

  • This looks amazing love the photos I am going in February can’t wait!

    http://www.elizaswhatsfashioning.com/

  • How incredible! Such a shame you didn’t get to see the northern lights though- they’re firmly on my bucket list.

    we are dannah | australian lifestyle blog

    xo

  • It must have been amazing <3

    littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it

  • I’ve always thought Lapland must be one of the most magical places on earth and the ice hotel looks like an Elsa-palace! However, I always feel sorry for the staff- they must never manage to get warm!

    KatieJane
    Katie’s Rose Garden

Instagram @rosielondoner