Brilliant hotel bonuses, such as ice-molded dinnerware, and complimentary bottles of sparkling champagne may only be tiny details, but they sure make the difference in the long run. Of course, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing will always be fantastic outdoor activities in the winter; however, they certainly cannot beat the surreal experience at the following magnificent structures, partially or completely made of ice and snow.
While some were utterly made of ice, others feature a truly fantastic artwork, boasting outstanding ice carvings and snow sculptures. Now, with so much magic and beauty at hand, it’s almost impossible to think of any downside at all, right?
But realistically, these ice hotels and structures can also be quite chilly; however, what they lack in warmth, they make up for fantastic amenities and mini bonuses, such as reindeer-fueled sled rides or gondola-inspired saunas.
Now that winter is already peeping out at us from behind the corner, all travelers should hurry up and claim a room at one of these gorgeous places.
From the Snow Castles of Kemi to the unique Kakslauttanen Igloo Village - Finland, today we will be exploring the world's most spectacular hotels, packed with ice and snow sculptures and other cool amenities.
22 The Snow Castle of Kemi
This frozen beauty, now entering its 19th season, offers a total of 21 rooms, each redesigned in a magnificent architectural style every winter.
This 21-room snow castle in Kemi, Finland, is hardly only a magical destination for the out-of-the-box travelers, but it seems to be quite an excellent choice for skiers and snowmobile riders. The Ice Palace, built anew every season, takes almost six weeks to complete, www.fodors.com details. But once it’s up and running, guests can enjoy a fine range of activities around here, even including marriage ceremonies and christenings. During the high season, the Snow Castle in Kemi also hosts many shows and events, held at the special snow stage.
21 Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village - Finland
To those, who've always wanted to spend a night among the stars, we'd love to recommend the surreal Kakslauttanen Igloo Village in Finland. It's not only an eccentric place to stay at but a winter resort with clear night skies, strewn with a billion stars. Here, visitors can choose between snow or glass igloos, www.fodors.com reveals. Frankly, the snow igloo is quite fantastic for a quiet winter escape from the outside world. But, on the other hand, the glass igloos are also a fine option as they feature a panoramic frost-resistant glass, allowing for spectacular views of the Northern lights.
20 The Snow Village, Montreal - Canada
Whether you’re only a curious visitor or an adventurer, hunting for out-of-the-ordinary experiences, Snow Village has got tons of ideas to keep you relaxed during your stay. Generally, guests can spend a night in a polar igloo or a deluxe ice suite, while taking the moment to enjoy ice spa procedures under the stars. Not only is this place great for amorous couples, but for young families with kids who will love the endless snowball fights during their stay at Snow Village. Of course, adults aren’t offered less fantastic outdoor experiences either. The village boasts a plethora of events, from weekly fireworks to comedy nights in the well-heated “Ice Breaker” dome, www.fodors.com details.
19 Hotel of Ice, Balea Lac - Romania
For those, who're always hunting for the ultimate snow escape, the Hotel of Ice in Balea Lac, Romania, will surely fit the bill. This gorgeous place, nestled in a mountain valley, offers sub-zero rooms, and private igloos scattered on top of a frozen glacial lake. Once you've warmed up your body before the flickering fire, you'll be expected at the Chalet Balea Lac's restaurant where you'll be served delicious Romanian dishes. Here, guests can also enjoy a whole myriad of typical winter activities, from ice skating to snowman-building, and even ice bowling, www.fodors.com reveals.
18 Snow Village In Kittilä - Finland
The adorable Snow Village In Kittilä – Finland will not only melt your heart but will offer you a grand entrance on a snowmobile to this winter fairytale. Once you get inside, you’ll be stunned to see the perfectly rounded snow tunnels, embellished with beautiful ice carvings, www.fodors.com notes. But to make your stay even more exciting and unforgettable, the Snow Village in Kittilä, Romania, features fantastic outdoor activities, from Ice Karting, and Gondola Sauna, which almost glides over the nearby snow-capped hills, to an actual moonlight reindeer safari. Indeed, this place certainly sounds and feels like real magic.
17 The Ice Hotel Near Kiruna, Sweden
Apart from the surprisingly warm beds, tucked in between ice blocks, the ICEHOTEL in Sweden loves to enchant the guests with its glistening ice-cube plates that the food is served on, light exhibits and ice blocks, covered in reindeer skins. During their stay, www.fodors.com highlights, visitors can also explore ski-inspired photography and learn more about the unique construction of the property. Unlike the other lesser-known ice hotels, the one in Sweden quickly made the headlines around the world as one of the most famous sub-zero ice palaces. But most interestingly, the ICEHOTEL was really built from the frozen water of the Torne River.
16 Hotel De Glace - Quebec City, Canada
Situated a few minutes from downtown Quebec City, Hotel de Glace greets visitors with iced ciders, normally served in uniquely-shaped ice flutes on smooth ice tables. Gladly, there are enough warm blankets inside the cozy rooms (44 in total) at Hotel de Glace, so guests can enjoy a nice winter getaway just a couple of minutes from Quebec City. But besides being quite a lovely hotel, with nicely sculpted ice couches, De Glace also offers behind-the-scenes tours, revealing how the snow structure was actually built in the first place. According to www.fodors.com, guests can also stop by the so-called Ice Workshop to create their special ice cocktail glass.
15 Kirkenes Snowhotel - Norway
At the snow-white Kirkenes hotel, located in Norway, rooms and suites feature beautiful ice sculptures and decorations that are totally Instagram-worthy.
To get the VIP feeling, SnowHotel's overnight visitors are normally greeted with a special beverage made from local berries. The second surprise that follows is the traditional three-course dinner. Once it’s over, fodors.com details, guests are able to walk around and explore the snowy lodge before stopping by the friendly huskies and reindeer. Other adventures that are not to be missed around here is the unique Arctic king crab fishing tour and the exciting husky rides.
14 Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta - Norway
This frosty igloo hotel in Norway can absolutely suit the needs of any Ice Queen or King. The hotel features finely decorated ice rooms and teepee-inspired tents – more commonly known as lavvos. Once visitors have unpacked their luggage, they can take advantage of the snowmobile safari tours as well, fodors.com notes. The snow adventure takes visitors into the mountains where the most beautiful views are to be witnessed. In the evening, many guests love the opportunity to enjoy the on-site sauna, especially after spending a day or two out in this winter fairytale, known as Norway.
13 Eskimska Vas - Slovenia
Nestled high up in the Slovenian mountains, this adorable Eskimo Village is the perfect getaway for every adventurer. Travelers can reach this Eskimo village by a cable car, but then they need to continue their journey with a snowshoe hike. Unfortunately, there’s hardly any other more efficient route to get to this place. But on the bright side, you can reward yourself by savoring the traditional Slovenian sausage while also sipping fresh, homemade beverages at the igloo café. Once you’re ready to get out in the snow again, take the bikes with skis to explore the area. And as the day closes, www.fodors.com details, the snow-block beds inside the individual igloos are usually covered in warm sheepskin.
12 Igloo Hotel, Grandvalira, Andorra
With such a frozen beauty at hand, there’s really no need to go to the frozen north to experience a sub-zero winter fairytale. The romantic Igloo Hotel in Grandvalira, Andorra, is, without a doubt, like a dream come true for any amorous couple. It’s not only a fantastic option for the weekend, but it’s quite peaceful, even during the high season. The Igloo hotel’s capacity is rather scarce as it offers only four rooms, perhaps for maximum privacy. Here, at an altitude of almost 2,450 m up in the Pyrenees, guests at the Igloo Hotel can also enjoy skiing and snowshoeing under the starry night, skyscanner.net reveals.
11 The Ice Hotel In Hunderfossen - Norway
Today, the ice hotel in Hunderfossen is not only a unique property but a major tourist attraction, with tons of fantastic sights to see and things to do. There’s a fairytale castle, an ice cathedral, suitable for weddings, alongside other multiple winter activities nearby. But even though it's quite a popular snow hotel within the area of Lillehammer in Norway, this magical place can only house up to 35 guests at a time. The hotel usually opens in late December, and runs until early spring (probably until March); however, this primarily depends on the temperature levels in Norway, www.tripsavvy.com reports.
10 Iglu-Dorf Gstaad – Oberland, Switzerland
Every year, thousands of visitors come here to explore the beautiful Igloo Village. There’s even a ton of curious travelers who only come to visit for the day as well. Generally, guests at Iglu-Dorg Gstaad in Bernese, Oberland, can choose from multi-bedroom, romantic or toasty-warm igloos. But while the romantic igloos are well-suited for couples, the multi-bedroom ones are more appropriate for big groups and families. Also, the Iglu Dorg Gstaad boasts an excellent on-site restaurant that specializes in fondue and other mouth-watering appetizer packages as well. Another curious fact about the ice village is that guests can even book fondue at a super reasonable price, tripstodiscover.com reveals.
9 Schneedorf Igloo – Austria
When compared to some of the other igloos, Schneedorf’s ones are rather classic, but no less cozy or adventurous. Here, overnight stays include a perfect mix of continental breakfast, sleeping bar gear as well as a delicious dinner with a welcome drink of tea or wine. Nearby is an exciting igloo construction workshop where visitors can learn more about the ice structures. In the evening, guests can enjoy marvelous views of the Otz valley mountain while relaxing in their cozy rooms. But similarly to Iglu-Dorf Gstaad in Oberland, the Austrian Schneedorf Igloo can accommodate up to four people, each with two double beds, tripstodiscover.com highlights.
8 Le Village Igloo – Avoriaz, France
Although it sounds a bit strange, there’s an actual igloo hotel in France, and it’s slowly but surely becoming popular with tourists. Le Village Igloo easily stands out with its artistically carved ice walls and warm sleeping bags for the guests. Once you get inside, you’ll be amazed at the sight of the unique ice bar with a sunny terrace. All in all, the lovely igloo hotel features two well-furnished igloo rooms that can welcome no more than eight guests per night, tripstodiscover.com discovered. Outside of the rooms and cozy furnishings, Le Village Igloo in Avoriaz offers a snowshoeing experience as well. The best part – there's also a well-skilled mountain guide to help you get the hang of it.
7 Alpeniglu Igloo Village In Thale, Austria
Nestled in the ski resort of Thale in the Kitzbuehel Alps, the Alpeniglu Igloo Village features ice sculptures carved by local and international artists, buzzfeed.com details. The village offers dozens of igloo accommodations, making sure that guests will experience an out-of-the-ordinary journey. For instance, a stay at Alpeniglu hotel comes with an abundance of overnight packages, including a guided tour, an Igloo Magic Night Party as well as a torch walk at night, and an excellent ice carving workshop. But whatever package you pick, room rates usually start at $183, and that’s valid even during the low season, thepointsguy.com reveals.
6 Lainio Snow Village
Another Ice hotel which usually sports a whole different look every season is the gorgeous Lainio Snow Village in Finland. The snow village, which first opened in 2000, consists of about a dozen igloo bedrooms and a few fancy ice suites, so visitors can make their own choice when booking a room here. Generally, a one-night experience at the Snow Village comes with many fun activities, such as snow slides and even a snow maze.
When compared to other hotels, businessinsider.com explains, Lainio offers the ultimate luxury and comfort for quite reasonable prices (usually starting at $250 per night).
5 Village Igloo Blacksheep - France
Situated at about 2118 m (6500 ft) on the ski slopes in the La Plagne Paradiski resort, Village Igloo Blacksheep is perfect for those, looking for more off-the-beaten-track winter experiences. Blacksheep is, in fact, a French company that operates the unique accommodation, and is well equipped with cozy camp beds, duvets, and sheets. When compared to other luxury ice hotels, this one isn’t that much lavish, but it sure offers quite a spectacular winter holiday. In the evening, guests at the Village Igloo Blacksheep gather by the campfire as they wait for the traditional Savoyard fondue to get ready at the Blacksheep restaurant, theluxurytravelexpert.com reveals.
4 Torassieppi Aurora Domes
Another place that’s pretty much perfect for witnessing the otherwise elusive Northern Lights is the cozy Torassieppi Aurora Domes, telegraph.co.uk shares. These beautiful lakeside domes feature lovely, fur-strewn armchairs with hints of Scandi Luxe – excellent for sipping a glass of wine or champagne with private views of the glowing Arctic sky and the frozen Lake Torassieppi. Indeed, this sure sounds like another fantastic place that certainly deserves to land on your travel bucket list too. At night, just before you hit the hay, you’ll undoubtedly be amazed at the attention to detail in every suite of this ice hotel.
3 Levin Iglut
Levin Inglut is easily one of the most lavish offerings in the entire Lapland, packed with heated glass igloos, en-suite showers, deluxe kitchen sets, and all the like. Levin Iglut was tastefully designed and furnished, and that’s quickly noticeable in every small detail here. Guests at Levin Iglut can also enjoy panoramic views of the Northern Lights while relaxing in outdoor hot tubs, best-served.co.uk explains. All of those Glass igloos in Finland are quite a unique way to become one with the winter wilderness. Here, at Levin Iglut, all guests can just lie down on their lavish, warm bed while admiring the starry Arctic sky.
2 Bjorli Ice Lodge In Bjorli - Norway
The Bjorli Ice Lodge is yet another luxury ice hotel that boasts super stylish and well-furnished rooms which can also be individually customized to suit your needs. The extraordinary ice hotel, located in the Dovre-Sunalsfjella National Park, operates from early January until early April. Interestingly, the Bjorli Ice Lodge advises all light sleepers at the lodge to wear earplugs – it will block out the howling of the wolves and the creaking sounds of the ice at night. But other than that, The Bjorli Ice Lodge in Norway is a magical hotel with beautiful snow sculptures and uniquely shaped beds, framed in ice, that's worth visiting.
1 Whitepod Hotel – Switzerland
Indeed, there’s nothing quite like this hi-tech eco camp, situated at an altitude of about 1700 meters in the Swiss Alps. These curiously named eco-lodges take camping to a whole new level: there are private saunas, gorgeously furnished rooms, with army blankets, hammocks, and all the like. For instance, the Forest pod suite boasts indoor birch trees, placed on each side of your bed to make you feel even closer to nature.This unique collection of pods, each anchored on a particular wooden platform, also offers magnificent views of the Swiss Alps, vogue.com details. The best part - you don’t even have to get out of your Whitepod room to enjoy their surreal beauty.References:
References: fodors.com, tripstodiscover.com, tripstodiscover.com, skyscanner.net, buzzfeed.com, businessinsider.com