New designs and features to celebrate its 30th anniversary
A West End theatre production, an ice-carved kaleidoscope, a knitted universe, a frozen feline lair, a bed surrounded by bones and an icy amusement park; photos of the 30th Icehotel have just been revealed.
The iconic Icehotel in Swedish Lapland opened its doors over the weekend ready for another winter season, celebrating its 30th anniversary with new layouts, suite designs, activities and features including a special ice-carved observation deck built above the hotel.
It has been 30 years since Icehotel founder Yngve Bergqvist started a journey that would lead to the world's first hotel made entirely out of snow and ice and during this time over one million guests from all continents of the world have visited. The newest incarnation of the hotel is now open until the ice melts in the spring and the water returns to the Thorne river.
This weekend also saw the operation of Discover the World’s first exclusive #IceFlight of the season, the first of eight return flights operating directly between London Heathrow and Kiruna until March 2020, making the Icehotel accessible in just over three hours from the UK. This season, a three-night trip is priced from £1,061pp on a B&B basis including return flights.
* The amount of ice used to create the hotel equals 10 seconds of water flow from the Torne River
* The chandeliers contain 1,000 ice crystals, each sculpted by hand
* The building is created from 30,000 cubic meters of snice, the equivalent of 110 million ice creams
* The hotel uses 1,000 blocks of ice, each weighing an impressive 2.5 tonnes
* The construction will see 30,000 litres of water used, the equivalent of over 700 million snowballs
New Designs and British Artists
33 artists from 16 countries have spent an intense couple of weeks in the village of Jukkasjärvi, creating the hotel (made entirely out of ice and snow from the free-flowing Torne River) under the guidance of the hotel’s new Creative Director Luca Roncoroni.
This includes two British teams; father and daughter duo Jonathan and Marnie Green and professional sculptor Robert Harding, both of which have created Art Suites for Icehotel before.
Jonathan and Marnie Green’s suite celebrates 30 years of Icehotel with an Icehotel-themed West End production called A Night at the Theatre, with ice-carved curtains, reindeers waiting in the wings, an impressive scale model of the hotel entrance in the centre and a frozen bed nestled amongst miniature theatre seats in the auditorium, with six life-size ice seats for guests to sit on behind.
Robert Harding’s Bone Room celebrates the natural melting process of the Icehotel each spring as it slowly dissolves back into the Torne River, and aims to highlight the beauty found in the cycle of life with giant ice-carved bone sculptures overlooking the frozen bed, each glowing from within thanks to an under-floor white light.
The Main Hall “Brutalism” celebrates the construction of the hotel, the Ceremony Hall “Gingko” plays homage to the Chinese Ginkgo Tree (which symbolises hope, strength, longevity) and features 30 stars carved into the ceiling, one for each year of Icehotel, whilst the IceBar “TorneLand” is a tribute to the hotel’s 30 years of frozen fun, with ice-carved roller-coasters, games and hot air balloons surrounding the bar.
Building the winter hotel requires a large amount of work, beginning in March each year when around 2,500 tons of ice is harvested from the Torne River.
New Observation Deck, Outdoor Sculpture & Chef Team
To mark the 30th anniversary, the hotel has built a special ice-carved observation deck, offering views of the surrounding frozen landscape across the Torne River from which the ice is harvested. Plus, the hotel has also built a new sculpture at the enterence to the winter hotel; a four-metre tall tower that guests can climb.
The Icehotel has even unveiled a fresh new restaurant team this season, led by the Food and Beverage Manager Henrik Lööv alongide talented chefs Samuel Jahn and Sebastian Olsson. They are passionate about using natural ingredients, local cooking methods and traditional Swedish flavours characterized by salt, sweet and smoke.
30 Years of Icehotel:
It all started back in 1989 when founder Yngve Bergqvist decided to turn his summer business (offering white-water rafting, saunas and mountain biking) into a year-round experience with the addition of a small igloo allowing visitors to stay in Jukkasjärvi during winter months too, where new activities such as husky sledging, snowmobiling and cross country skiing proved extremely popular with guests.
Managing Director of Discover the World, Clive Stacey, commented “Right back from those early years we knew that Icehotel offered something incredibly special for our clients which was the driving force behind us launching our own direct flight to Kiruna in 2006. We wanted to make it more accessible for weekend breaks and take out the hassle of connecting flights.
And 13 years later it’s just as popular thanks to the continued innovation by the Jukkasjärvi team who, year after year, manage to create a totally unique hotel harnessing the creative talent from around the world,” Stacey added.