About 19 km east of Kiruna in Jukkasjarvi you will find the world’s first ice hotel. Opened in 1990, the hotel is normally built in November each year and open from December to April. After this, it becomes a museum for tourists before it melts and gets built again from scratch later during the year. We were there towards end of April when the entire construction was still standing, but the ice was starting to melt. It is made of snow and ice blocks derived from the nearby Torne River. When spring arrives, the ice that melts into water returns to this river. Northern lights, or aurora borealis, can also be seen from this location during the winter time.
Icehotel boasts 100 rooms, as well as a bar, restaurant, reception area and chapel. Furniture, chairs, beds, walls, ceilings and floor are all made of ice. There are no bathrooms in the rooms. They are located at a warm building close by. The rooms are never the same as each of them is uniquely designed and changed every year when they are rebuilt from zero, where artists all over the world are invited to submit their designs. In 2013, there were more than 200 applications submitted to design the rooms.