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How to Build an Ice Hotel

Everything starts with a design, and every year different ideas come to fruition. Ice and Snow Hotels are art projects and accommodation rolled into one, and no two Ice and Snow Hotels are ever the same.

The designers that know How to Build an Ice Hotel are encouraged to experiment, have fun and come up with creations that reflect the nature of Scandinavia. Every guestroom inside Ice and Snow Hotels are unique and features artistic ice sculptures which are enhanced by mood lighting. First though, the designs must be brought to life by a dedicated team of builders who strive hard against often unfavourable weather conditions to ensure that the Icehotel opens in time to receive its first guests of the winter.

Building starts in November when the temperature drops low enough to keep the ice frozen. A steel frame forms the shell of the hotel, which is then coated in snow sprayed on by a snow machine. This is then left to freeze and after a few days, the steel frame is removed, leaving behind a free-standing structure with a maze of corridors and halls inside.

Find your own unique break with our range of holidays to ice and snow hotels, or check out our ice and snow hotels holiday ideas for a bit more guidance on what we have to offer!

Filling in the Details

Once the outline of the hotel has been built and it is secure, the construction team collects blocks of ice that have been kept in storage and transports them inside the building. These experts know How to Build an Ice Hotel and begin the task of building the dividing walls and creating individual rooms and suites.

Ice artists from all over the world travel to the ice hotels to carve the ice into wonderful structures, creating beds, furniture, tables, chairs and decorative features. There may even be an ice bar within the hotel, where guests can congregate in the evenings to sip drinks from glasses made of ice. Some ice hotels also feature an ice chapel, where marriages and other religious services can be conducted.

There are normally around 50 guestrooms at the larger Ice and Snow Hotels, while others are smaller and offer a more intimate experience. Once spring arrives and the temperatures start to rise, the last guests check out and the ice hotel is left to melt away with the rest of the thawing snow that has blanketed the ground all winter. It is then that the designers get to work once more on generating new ideas and designs for How to Build an Ice Hotel the following winter.

Huge parts of the countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland lie within the Arctic Circle, meaning that winter can last for up to 200 days, which makes Ice and Snow Hotels viable business ventures.

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