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World’s 10 Coolest Ice Hotels

While these hotels may not be built to last, the memory of staying inside an ice hotel will stick around forever.

What’s exciting about staying in an ice hotel, you ask? Literally, everything. These are the world’s coolest hotels, and although they may not be built to last, the memory of staying the night inside one of these amazing ice hotels is something that won’t soon fade away. These magnificent structures are created entirely from ice and packed snow and feature truly outstanding meltable art in the form of snow sculptures and ice carvings. They may be chilly, but what these hotels lack in warmth, they make up for in creative amenities like a gondola that doubles as a sauna, ice-molded cocktail glasses and dinnerware, and reindeer-fueled sled rides. From Norway to Switzerland, from Finland to Romania, these are ten incredible ice hotels around the world.

Related: The Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

1 OF 10

Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village

WHERE: Saariselka, Finland

Visitors to Igloo Village Kakslauttanen in Finland can sleep inside a glass igloo, which is this destination’s secret to staying warm at ice hotels. The amazing frost-resistant thermal glass of the glass igloos provides amazing views of the northern lights  and starry sky. Guests can book fishing trips in the summer, forage for berries and mushrooms in the fall, and hunt for the Northern Lights from August through April. Kids will enjoy a visit to Santa’s Home, where they can visit the jolly man’s house, sip hot drinks, eat sweet biscuits made by elves, and make friends with the local reindeer. For a truly Nordic experience, book a reindeer-drawn sled ride.

When to Go: Year-round, excluding May


2 OF 10

Iglu-Dorf Gstaad

WHERE: Gstaad, Oberland, Switzerland

Each of the suites inside this hotel is made of ice and is connected by an intricate tunnel system, where guests can sleep beneath the snow-packed ceilings of this icy retreat. Iglu-Dorf Gstaad features a complete wellness area with a sauna and whirlpool, as well as a central grill hut where guests can warm up around a warm fire. Rooms vary from heated suites for six people to romantic caverns with carved sculptures lining the walls. Hit the slopes to warm up during the day with guided ski tours or snowboard lessons, or chill out at one of Gstaad’s many snow bars.

When to Go: January to April

Related: Switzerland Travel Guide

3 OF 10

Hotel of Ice

WHERE: Balea Lac, Romania

Nestled in a mountain valley built on top of a frozen glacial lake, the Hotel of Ice is perhaps the ultimate snow escape. Guests can choose to stay in one of the hotel’s sub-zero rooms or claim their own private igloo near the hotel. After warming chilled hands with a flickering fire after an icy sleep, visitors can dine at the onsite restaurant, serving traditional Transylvanian and Romanian dishes … some served on ice plates. The Hotel’s winter park  offers the usual wintry activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, but it also arranges snowball fights, snowman-building competitions, and ice bowling.

When to Go: January to March

4 OF 10

Snow Village Finland

WHERE: Kittilä, Finland

Visitors can make a grand entrance on a snowmobile  to this winter wonderland, complete with rounded snow tunnels glowing with colorful lights and decorated with intricate ice carvings. For a frost-free night’s sleep, Snow Village has log cabins and tented cottages in the area, but a snow suite is the way to experience the best of this hotel of ice. Exciting activities include embarking on a husky-drawn ride, taking a moonlight reindeer safari (where you harness and steer your own reindeer), or partaking in a traditional Lappish ceremony. For the ultimate winter indulgence, you can enjoy a three-course dinner at the frozen Ice Restaurant or grab a frosty drink in an ice glass at the Ice Bar.

When to Go: December to April

Related: Helsinki Travel Guide



5 OF 10


WHERE: Near Kiruna, Sweden

One of the world’s best-known sub-zero palaces is Sweden’s, built from the frozen water of the Torne River. Guests can start their stay by hitching a ride to the hotel via a dog sled. Surprisingly warm beds are ice blocks covered in reindeer skins. During the day, guests can explore the unique “ski in, ski out” photography and light exhibit about the construction of ICEHOTEL or adventure into the frozen wilderness on horseback to see the Northern Lights. The hotel’s restaurants serve food on glistening ice-cube plates. Guests can book a stay year-round at the ICEHOTEL 365, where it’s always winter inside this permanent ice hotel. 

When to Go: Year-round

Related: Sweden Travel Guide

6 OF 10

The SnowCastle of Kemi

WHERE: Kemi, Finland

Although rooms in the SnowCastle are only available from January through April each year, guests can stay year-round in one of the Seaside Glass Villas to visit the SnowExperience365 to explore the history of this amazing ice hotel. TheSnowCastle itself has been a destination for magnificent ice sculptures and frozen beauty since its first construction in 1996. Built anew every season in a different architectural style, the castle takes about six weeks to construct. Guests can enjoy a meal around the glistening ice tables at the SnowRestaurant or eat in the warmth of the Seaview Restaurant Lumihiutale. The castle also hosts the SnowChapel, where marriage ceremonies or christenings can be performed.

When to Go: Year-round


7 OF 10

Hotel de Glace

WHERE: Quebec City, Canada

Located on the grounds of Village Vacances Valcartier resort, only a few minutes from downtown Quebec City, the glittering Hotel de Glace features incredible snow art throughout its icy accommodations. Upon arrival at the ice hotel, guests are greeted with a cocktail served in an ice glass to sip while standing around smooth ice tables. Fortunately, there are plenty of warm blankets covering beautifully sculpted ice couches. Day passes are available for a non-committal visit to see how the immense snow and ice hotel is created, but overnight guests commit the minute they check-in and receive their comfortable sub-zero sleeping bags … although they’re the only ones allowed to enjoy the onsite Jacuzzis under the stars. We recommend splurging on the premium deluxe theme suite that comes with its own fireplace and private spa.

When to Go: January to March

Related: The Best Things to Do in Quebec City

8 OF 10

Kirkenes Snowhotel

WHERE: Kirkenes, Norway

At the Kirkenes Snowhotel in Norway, snow suites are decorated with sculptures made from ice and snow. Overnight guests of this hotel made of ice are greeted with a drink made from local berries and then encouraged to enjoy a locally-sourced, three-course dinner. Afterward, they can wander the snowy lodge and pet the resident reindeer and friendly huskies. Adventures offered through the hotel include an arctic king crab fishing tour, a Northern Lights tour by husky ride, or a cross-country skiing tour. Guests checking in for the arctic summer are in for cool surprises, from husky hiking trips to king crab summer safaris.

When to Go: Year-round


9 OF 10

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel

WHERE: Alta, Norway

This frosty hotel is the northernmost igloo hotel in the world. Guests stay in one of the igloo’s decorated ice rooms or sleep under the stars in a lavvo—a teepee-like tent of the Sami people of Norway. One of Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel’s must-do adventures is a snowmobile safari, which takes guests into the mountains and offers impressive panoramic views. Many guests head to the on-site sauna after their night spent in this winter wonderland. In the warmer months, it’s the Arctic Wilderness Lodge that acts as a home base for wild adventures beneath the midnight sun, including waterfall bathing and rafting along the Alta River.  

When to Go: Year-round

10 OF 10

Schneedorf Igloo

WHERE: Austria

Located 2,000 meters above sea level, this Austrian snow village’s ideal altitude makes it accessible through all weather conditions during the winter season. Daytime visitors can test their skills on the adventurous Outdoor Parcours along the backdrop of Ötz valley mountain scenery or learn to build their own igloo with the Igloo Building Workshop. Overnight guests at Schneedorf Igloo are welcomed in with a warm drink of tea or mulled wine before cozying in for a cheese fondue dinner and snooze inside the village’s pre-made igloos. Classic igloos can sleep up to four people with two double beds and include sleeping bags and liners, as well as a complimentary hot breakfast in the morning.

When to Go: December through March

Related: Innsbruck, Tirol, and Vorarlberg Travel Guide