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  • Day5

    Arctic Snow Hotel

    March 4, 2020 in Finland ⋅ ☁️ -7 °C

    It's already past 4 pm when we leave the Arktikum. After a quick stop at the supermarket, we leave our stuff in the hotel and then heat out again. Thanks to Air Norwegian's free WiFi, while flying to Rovaniemi we indeed booked a very special tour for this evening: a visit to the Arctic Snow Hotel, a luxury resort completely made of ice!

    After a 30-minute drive through the beautiful snowy forests of Lapland, we reach our destination. We are welcomed by our local guide, who explains that absolutely everything here is built using just ice and snow: no metal not wood are allowed. Inside, there are always - 5 degrees, regardless of the outside temperature.
    The construction phase takes about 3 weeks and starts in November. The whole season is for 3.5 months, until end of March. Afterwards, the ice slot starts melding and it gets white wet inside. However, it takes almost 3 more months for the ice hotel to completely melt away.

    They even have snow saunas: completely made of extremely thick ice (apart from the benches) they reach very high temperatures thanks to the insulating power of ice. After throwing water on hot coal thus generating the hot steam, each visitor can stay inside 10 minutes. Indeed, after this lapse the heat starts excessively melting the ice on the ceiling. Each usage melts 3 to 5 mm of ice away and each sauna can be used around 100 times and then is abandoned. At the beginning of the season, they build 100 saunas, and they use simultaneously 5 at once.

    After cuddling a cute baby reindeer (probably the kids attraction of the hotel), we can finally walk through the entrance door of this pretty unique hotel and start exploring. Some rooms feel a bit claustrophobic, but the suits are truly impressive, thanks to the elaborate decorations and the play of light. Each suit has a theme reflected by ice statues, coloured LED lights and bas-reliefs on the walls. There is even a restaurant with dozens of tables (cutlery and dishes are exceptionally NOT of ice), a bar and a Chapel.

    Really stunning...but I'm not sure if I would like to overnight here after a day spent in the cold of Lapland winter... 🙄
    The guide must have read my thoughts, because - at the end of the visit - we are transferred to a regular wooden hut, where we are served hot berry juice and cookies. There couldn't have been a better conclusion of our first Arctic day! ☺️
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