It'll Never Fly - Ice hotels

The whole point of holidaying somewhere cold is to come in at the end of the day, take off your furs and fleeces and relax, with a glass of warming spirit in hand, next to a roaring fire. That's rather tricky in a building made of ice. The first ice hotel came about by accident in 1989. A group of well-wrapped visitors to an art exhibition on the Torne River in Swedish Lapland decided to spend the night at the venue - an oversized igloo. They loved the icy experience, and the organisers got the idea of using the region's harsh winters to their advantage. This ice hotel now requires 10,000 tons of ice and 30,000sq metres of snow to build it from scratch every winter. These days, it has 80 guest rooms, an ice bar, a cinema with an ice screen and even an ice church. A single room with 'unique ice art and sculptures' will set you back £267 a night, including warm clothing, a morning sauna and that vital first cup of hot lingonberry juice. There are now ice-hotels in holiday cold-spots across the globe, from Canada to Romania. Central London's Heddon Street boasts the UK's first year-round ice bar, built from the very same Torne River ice. They'll lend you a designer thermal cape, and for £15 you can spend 40 minutes in temperatures of minus 5 degrees, before stumbling out into the similarly unappealing reality of Saturday night in Soho. Why?

by Tara Craig
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

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