ICEHOTEL Opens Frozen Doors Again

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December 20, 2015

Sweden’s ICEHOTEL is open for business again, now that winter has fully set in in the Scandinavian country.

This year marks the 26th time that the Jukkasjarvi hotel, which now features 69 rooms, has been open to the public. Accommodation prices vary, so it’s not a hotel just for the rich.

The beds are made of ice, but people who sleep on them have a reindeer skin and a thermal sleeping bag between them and the ice. Temperatures in the rooms are kept at 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

Guests who have trouble sleeping can stay in a suite named Counting Sheep, in which frozen ewes and rams can help lull insomniacs into nighttime bliss.

Possibly the largest suite ornament is a nearly 10-foot-tall African elephant, created by Swedish ceramic artist AnnaSofia Maag. That huge wall ornament can be found in the Elephant in the Room suite.

Also on hand is an ice church. Hotel officials expect more than 100 weddings before the ice melts, probably about April.

The hotel was born in 1992, when enterprising organizers of an art exhibition catered to artists's wish to sleep inside the frozen exhibition hall. (Last year was the 25th anniversary.)

The igloo, exhibition, and town are all on the Torne River, which freezes quite a bit throughout the calendar year. Construciton of ICEHOTEL has become such an enterprising that the builders hoard their ice, harvesting 5,000 tons of ice from the Torne River and storing it nearby, in cold storage, of course.

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