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Artists Sculpt Famous Swedish Hotel Made Entirely of Ice

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by underthesea

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In The News

The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, a hotel built entirely of ice, is kind of an annual event-or at least has to be rebuilt annually. In its entirety, the famous Swedish hotel includes a bar, chapel, and (of course) hotel accommodations--holding up to 100 guests.
Every year Icehotel chooses artists from around the world, to design and construct the hotel's room suites-so the experience (outside of temperature) is never the same. The ice hotel structure, constructed the year before, stays open for business through March-when the spring thaw marks the hotel's temporary "demise" of a structure that's been built and rebuilt-for 20 years straight.
In March, workers for Icehotel begin to gather raw material for the following year’s hotel structure, slicing the surface of the nearby Torne river into 3-foot-thick blocks with hydraulic saws. By April, workers possess 3,000 blocks of ice, at a mere 2.2 tons. The frozen ice blocks have to be transported to a warehouse and stored at 20 degrees F. For the year's next six months or so, last year’s hotel structure will continue to melt back into the river.
November marks the time for ice hotel rebuild, with steel moldings put in place, marking where the future Ice Hotel will stand. Just like a ski lodge, snow machines blow tons of a mixture of snow and ice, while snow blowers inhale the blown snow and ice, blasting it onto the metal frames of the hotel. In two days' time, the snow and ice mixture is frozen solid for frame removal. The stored slabs of ice are removed from the warehouse storage and stacked, then thoroughly doused with water. The water freezes, cementing the ice slabs or blocks into support columns for the hotel structure.
Final structure for the Ice Hotel takes place between December 10 and December 30 each year. Before year's end, leftover ice is utilized for creation of windowpanes and beds for the for the final hotel. Icehotel uses actual reindeer fur to enhance traveler comfort-since sleeping conditions during "cold" season are routinely at negative five degrees Celcius. Not to worry-the Icehotel serves hot lingonberry juice bedside, but then again travelers do have to get out of bed at some point.
Icehotel rates start at about $165-$200 per night, depending on season and variety of room choice.The "cold" season's first hotel guests are allowed to check in at year's end, with welcome drinks of Absolut vodka in ice tumblers and boots for those cold "floors".

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