I've heard some interesting things about the ICEHOTEL in Sweden and wanted to see if any one have stayed. Also what is it like to sleep on the ice? I found this inforgaphic on how to sleep on ice and it looks like a real adventure - but does any one have any first hand experiences? Really intrigued!
I spent 3 nights in the hotel last month, and it was fantastic! The hotel recommends you only spend 1 night in a cold room, and then move to the warm rooms if you are staying for longer than one night. The ice rooms themselves are -5 degrees inside. When you check in, you leave all of your bags in a large walk in locker room, that has bench seating, somewhere to charge for your phone/electrical etc.(the locker rooms are inside the building that houses the reception and bathrooms) The Icehotel section of the hotel is open to the public between 10am - 4 pm every day, then it closes and only those staying in the hotel have access to the rooms. In the afternoon, they take you for a tour and tell you a little about sleeping in cold temperatures. When you are ready to go to bed, you get a Nordic sleeping bag from reception and go to your room - you need to wear thermals to bed. The beds themselves have a thin mattress and a reindeer skin over the top of the ice (it's very firm to sleep on). In the morning, staff come around to the rooms with hot Lingonberry juice.
The hotel itself is incredibly beautiful. The sculpture's and ice art is stunning and the artists who create the art suite rooms are so talented. They also have cocktail bar in the hotel that serves cocktails in glasses made of ice.
The next morning, they transfer your bags to the warm rooms (nice standard hotel/ensuite room) if you are staying for longer.
The hotel itself also has activities available. I went dog sledding, drove a reindeer sled and went to a Sami reindeer farm to learn about the history of the Sami people. There are ice sculpting classes as well and snowmobiles and horse tours.
The Torne river is directly behind the hotel. It's completely frozen so you can walk right out onto the river. This is where I went during the evening and saw the northern lights for the first time.
It is expensive, but it was definitely the highlight of my trip to Scandinavia. I would recommend it to anyone.