Home Blog The Best Hotels to See the Northern Lights in the World

The Best Hotels to See the Northern Lights in the World

Thursday, 1st July 2021

northern norway malangen resort aurora over fjord

Imagine waking up in a suspended glass cube high in the treetops, or falling asleep under an aurora display inside a cosy glass igloo. When it comes to searching for the northern lights it’s all about location.

From the icy fjords of northern Norway to the frozen lakes of Swedish Lapland, the big skies of the Icelandic countryside to the remote wilds of Alaska, with 40 years’ experience in travelling to northern latitudes, we’ve found some truly superb accommodations for catching sight of the northern lights.

Hotel Ranga, South West Iceland

iceland south west hotel ranga northern lights

Great for: Location is ideal, just a 90-minute drive from Reykjavik, yet deep in the countryside and away from the light pollution of the city. Ranga also has its own star-gazing observatory, outdoor hot tubs, and gourmet restaurant with one of the most delicious and exciting menus in the country.

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
Hotel Ranga is one of Iceland’s most sought-after hotels to experience the lights. Located far away from light pollution, this charming hotel has very favourable conditions for viewing a display of the northern lights. With an Aurora door knocking service that will wake you up should the lights appear, it’s no wonder Ranga has earned an enviable reputation for being a remarkable place for any Aurora hunter.

We recommend: The Suites. As well as standard and deluxe rooms, Ranga has 7 stylish suites, each with a unique design based on the seven continents. Styled using beautiful and authentic décor and furnishings.

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Icehotel, Swedish Lapland

northern lights over the icehotel in Swedish Lapland

Great for: Those wanting to tick off a bucket-list experience! This unique hotel offers guests the chance to sleep in a room made of pure snow and ice or ‘snice’. With different designs every year, each stay is a one-of-a-kind experience. Combine with Abisko National Park, where northern lights viewing is second to none, for the ultimate aurora experience.

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
The Icehotel is located on the edge of the tiny village of Jukkasjarvi some 200km above the Arctic Circle and surrounded by wilderness. It is next to the River Torne, which is frozen in winter and provides a vantage point for viewing the night sky at your leisure. The hotel also offers various evening excursions to catch the phenomenon such as snowmobiling safaris. For your best chances of seeing the aurora, we recommend a two-centre stay with a night in Abisko, often citied by space scientists as the best place in the world for the northern lights. Take a chairlift to the Aurora Sky Station for optimum viewing.

We recommend: Venturing out on the Northern Lights Snowmobiling tour – a 4 hour adventure in search of the elusive aurora with food and hot lingonberry juice provided inside a cosy log cabin with a fireplace to warm up!

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Treehotel, Swedish Lapland

treehotel 7th room and aurora borealis

Great for: Feeling a real connection with nature among the peace and quiet of the surrounding forest. There are a variety of unique ‘rooms’ to choose from, which vary in size and design. If you’re feeling particularly active – you can also take part in a host of thrilling activities available.

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
Located in Lulea, in northern Sweden, the Treehotel is far away from the hustle and bustle urban life. Not only is it far away from light pollution but this stunning property offers a rare wilderness adventure. Surround by striking landscapes and views overlooking the Lule River valley, guests can admire the northern lights in eight differently themed suites. Including a Bird’s Nest, a Blue Cone, a futuristic UFO, and the 7th room—the largest and the highest room that boasts panoramic windows.

We recommend: The Mirror Cube, a fun and spacious room, with floor-to-ceiling reflective windows that appear to camouflage the structure from the outside – clever! Keep watch for the aurora through the glass ceiling, as you relax in style.

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Malangen Resort, Northern Norway

malangen resort cabins and northern lights gt

Great for: Stunning natural surrounds and chic accommodation, an hour-and-a-half’s drive south of the Arctic city of Tromso. Located near the small village of Meistervik, Malangen Resort is an aurora hunter’s idyll. From stylish and spacious rooms to apartments to modern cabins overlooking the mountains and fjord beyond, be sure to keep an eye out for porpoises swimming nearby!

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
The Seaview Cabins feature three bedrooms ideal for groups of friends and families and each cabin has a private balcony, offering the perfect place to watch an aurora display in comfort. You can also choose to head out aurora-chasing with the wilderness guides venturing to Camp Nikka, the resort’s remote hilltop base.

We recommend: For a truly amazing aurora experience, book a Northern Light Watch excursion. Watch out for an enchanting display in a specially designed aurora cabin. Alternatively, opt for an aurora wake-up service if the lights occur during the night.

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Nellim Wilderness Hotel, Finnish Lapland

finland lapland northern lights over nellim 1

Great for: An authentic Lapland experience. Cosseted by Finnish wilderness, this family-run hotel, set on the shores of the beautiful Lake Inari, offer the ultimate in relaxation for families, couples and groups alike. Choose to do as much or as little as you wish at this charming and welcoming retreat.

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
Close to the shores of Lake Inari, and just nine kilometres from the Russian border, Nellim is a small family-run hotel very much off the beaten track.  It’s remote location and lack of light pollution, means it’s in an ideal sport for potential northern lights viewing. Nellim offers innovative ways to view the northern lights, including Aurora Camps, which provide unobstructed views of the night sky.

We recommend: Rustic Log Cabins. Equipped with a sitting area, kitchen, fireplace and sauna; enjoy the comfort and convenience of your surrounds before heading outside for the chance to catch an immense aurora display.

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Hotel Husafell, West Iceland

west iceland hotel husafell northern lights

Great for: Exploring West Iceland’s natural gems including Langjokull icecap and Hraunfossar waterfall. Hotel Husafell uses 100% pure energy from spring-fed hydroelectricity and geothermal heating, while natural hot water from nearby mountains is piped into fabulous geothermal pools next door.

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
Tucked into the hinterland of Borgarfjordur, this rural bolthole enjoys dark night skies with superb aurora potential.

We recommend: The restaurant, which serves outstanding food and imaginative dishes, rich in local produce and flavours, accompanied by panoramic mountain views.

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Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska

alaska northern lights at chena

Great for: Combining aurora hunting with relaxing in the resort’s healing mineral waters. Originally founded over 100 years ago, the resort continues to attract people from all over the world to bathe in its warm mineral waters.

Why is it good for seeing the northern lights?
Located outside Fairbanks, Alaska, the Chena Hot Springs Resort sits under the Aurora Oval offering some of the best opportunities to see the northern lights.

We recommend: Soaking in the natural hot springs of Rock Lake or the outdoor hot tub, making use of the indoor family pool or booking a massage treatment.

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Feeling inspired?

For more information on any of the featured hotels, or for help with finding your perfect room with a view, speak to one of our dedicated Travel Specialists on 01737 214 250, or send an enquiry.