The 31st Icehotel

Friday, 11th December 2020

Pam Forrest

swedish lapland icehotel31 main hall chandelier ak

In the tiny village of Jukkasjarvi, high above the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, the iconic Icehotel has opened its doors to the 31st winter hotel unveiling a collection of striking new Art Suites sculpted from ice and snow. Surrounded by true wilderness, and chilled to -5°, the Icehotel remains one of the world’s most extraordinary hotels.

This year’s artists comprise home-grown talent rather than the international line-up of previous years. Designers and sculptors from or residing in Sweden have teamed up to create brand new themed suites in both the winter hotel and in the permanent building, Icehotel 365. Despite the challenging circumstances of 2020, the team has spent an intense six weeks under the guidance of the hotel’s Creative Director Luca Roncoroni to build an ephemeral construction using 563 tonnes of ice, harvested from the Torne River.

“The pandemic forced us to think differently, but the result is a stunning homage to Sweden. The 31st edition of Icehotel will be a memorable one! The 24 Swedish-based artists created concepts that will mesmerise our guests, giving them a much needed escape from the reality of this year”
– Luca Roncoroni, Icehotel Creative Director

Take a virtual 360° tour of some of the new suites below and marvel at the incredible blend of artistry and eclectic imagination. 

'Hang Loose' Art Suite, Icehotel 365

Designed by Edith van de Wetering & Wilfred Stijger, ‘Hang Loose’ is an imaginative art gallery with paintings and sculptures offering perspectives of the choices we make in life, and the outcome of sometimes not making choices but just letting go.

'Dreaming in a Dream' Art Suite, Icehotel 365

Designed by Kestutis & Vytautas Musteikis, ‘Dreaming in a Dream’ is a true fantasy world of ice and snow comprising fantastical creatures including a giant lizard-like creature, weighing 350 kilos, as kind as she is heavy. The idea being that guests will sleep well, knowing they are being watched over.

'Sauna' Art Suite, Icehotel 365

This frozen ‘Sauna’ is a Art Suite designed by Icehotel’s Creative Director, Luca Roncoroni and is a play on hot and cold themes juxtaposing the imagined heat of a sauna against the familiar ice-sculpted objects within the room. Guests can replace the cold experience with a real hot sauna experience in an adjacent private relaxation room.

'Kodex Maximus' Deluxe Suite, Icehotel 365

Designed by Julia Gamborg Nielsen & Lotta Lampa, ‘Kodex Maximus’ Deluxe Suite is a surreal, slightly off-balance room intended to offer guests a moment of contemplation. Drawing on themes of climate change and reuse, the artists have reclaimed ice sculptures from an earlier suite they created, ‘Hydro Smack’.

'Toybox' Art Suite, Icehotel 365

Designed by Wouter Biegelaar & Viktor Tsarski, ‘Toybox’ is playful art suite full of toys that might bring your inner child to life. A toy rocket, penguins, a giant bunny and a 4-metre tall giraffe sculpted in ice all feature. ”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” plays in the background to lull you off to sleep.

'You are Here' Deluxe Suite, Icehotel 365

icehotel365 art suite you are here by elisabeth kristensen and dave ruane ak
You Are Here by Elisabeth Kristensen and Dave Ruane

Connecting your heart with your brain, ‘You are Here’ is designed by Elisabeth Kristensen & Dave Ruane. The suite is a tribute to those who dare to dream, open their minds and let their hearts rule their heads.

Art Suites in Icehotel #31

New for 2020-21

This year all the art suites are equipped with a QR code that can be scanned to hear an audio guide telling the story about each art project.

All images © Asaf Kliger

Icehotel’s Experience Room

A new ‘Experience Room’ has also opened in Icehotel 365. This area open to all guests celebrates the heritage of the hotel and is made entirely of ice and snow. Visitors can follow the hotel’s 30 years through ice works and explore the time line, view selected pieces of art that have been preserved from previous years and get to know Icehotel’s founder, Yngve Bergqvist, who appears in a personal film portrait.

Travelling in winter 2020/21

It’s not currently possible to travel to Sweden without quarantining on return to the UK, but we are still hopeful that will change early next year to make a trip to this winter’s Icehotel possible, perhaps around the time of the spring equinox when aurora activity is heightened. Alternatively, Icehotel 365 is open year round for those considering a summer or autumn trip to Swedish Lapland or perhaps you’d prefer to visit next winter. Whatever your preference, booking with Discover the World you have the extra peace of mind that comes with our comprehensive flexibility promise should the travel situation change.

Consider our classic 3-night Icehotel Break or combine with a stay in Abisko National Park – rated by Lonely Planet as the best place in the world for experiencing the northern lights – on our Northern Lights, Abisko and Icehotel holiday.

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