The Magic of the Icehotel
Editor of Pebble, a stylish sustainable lifestyle magazine, Georgina Wilson-Powell discovers the magic of the Icehotel at Christmas with Discover the World…
Sweden’s Icehotel is 200km north of the Arctic Circle and while it’s not the North Pole it’s certainly on its way. Here every December the hotel emerges from the ice ready to welcome the thousands of guests who want to sleep ‘cold’. The Christmas tree twinkles in the hotel village, gingerbread hearts are made to munch on and warming lingonberry juice is available for slurping. Christmas here smells delicious.
The magic of the Icehotel is that it reduces grown adults to excited little children, particularly at the thought of sleeping on ice at -5 degrees. Bedtime is full of chatter and laughter as you climb into your thermals and wrap up snug in a double sleeping bag, ready to snooze on a carved icy bed and comfy reindeer hides. The bubbling excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve is captured every night as people settle down to one of the most unusual nights of their life.
Nothing says Christmas more than a frosty snowy morning, but here at the Icehotel, deep into the Arctic Circle, the snow’s here to stay and you can make the most of it by exploring the frozen Torne River by snowmobile or husky sled.
Heading out deep into the forest in the dark on a snowmobile feels exhilarating; sliding and slaloming up and over snow drifts looking for the Northern Lights. Up here the landscape is otherworldly and magical, just the place for Father Christmas to be hiding.
For those that want to feel the rush of being pulled along by the region’s huskies, the hotel offers a variety of sledding experiences. You can choose to drive yourself or simply sit in the sled and take it all in. Up the festive factor by swapping dogs for reindeer. While Santa uses the reindeer just one night a year, the traditional Sami people use them all year round, moving across the land in search of food. Spend an afternoon and evening getting to know the reindeer before trying your hand at driving the sleigh.
There are plenty of other activities on hand to try. Indulging in Icehotel’s sauna with a refreshing dip in the frozen river afterwards is a must; it strips away any winter worries and helps you ease into the slower pace of life up here.
Christmas is a time for family and friends, good times and great food and it’s easy to enjoy all that up here in the north. The hotel has plenty of room for board games, where you can settle in for an afternoon with hot chocolate and cold beer and let the rest of the world melt away. Before you know it, you’ll have forgotten what day it is, surely one of the best things about the festive period. Relax, embrace the snow and remember what being a child feels like.
Don’t miss out on this winter’s Icehotel! Fly direct on our exclusive #IceFlight and discover the magic of the world’s coolest hotel for yourself. Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas at the Icehotel or combine with Abisko National Park on a twin-centre winter break, contact our team of Travel Specialists to discuss your options.