One of the rooms created in the 2012-2013 ICEHOTEL.
Credit: Photo by Paulina Holmgren. Design, artwork by Dorjsuren Lkhagvadorj & Bazarsad Bayarsaikhan. One of the rooms created in the 2012-2013 ICEHOTEL.

Snuggling up under the covers isn’t an option—it’s a necessity for guests who stay a night in the ICEHOTEL.

Located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, the ICEHOTEL is the first hotel built entirely of snow and ice. Guests are invited to spend a night nestled into thermal underwear, a wool hat and a sleeping bag on top of reindeer hides inside any of the 65 rooms of the hotel where the temperature doesn’t fall below a chilly 8 degrees C.

It takes more than 100 people, mostly artists, to come together and construct the hotel in a year-round process.

The architecture and design change every year as artists shape the ice, which is harvested from the local Torne River beginning in March. Once the structure is finished, it’s open for business from December until it begins to melt in mid-April.

Yngve Bergqvist, founder of ICEHOTEL, developed the concept as business slowed in the winter months at the village in northern Sweden. The first workshop was held in 1989, where artists created ice sculptures on the shore of the river. The effort eventually led the artists to build an igloo named ARTic Hall. More than 30 years later, the village hosts about 50,000 visitors from around the world during the winter.