The world's coolest hotel

Business Jet Traveler » December 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 4:00am

One of the most unusual hotels anywhere exists for only part of the year.

Located more than 100 miles above the Arctic Circle in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, just seven miles from Kiruna Airport, the Icehotel is exactly what its name suggests. It is a frozen fantasyland decorated with ice artwork imported from around the world that has opened each winter for the past 20 years. Guests in its 80 or so rooms spend the night on an ice bed, tucked snugly in a thermal sleeping bag that rests on layers of reindeer hides.

Construction begins in November, when workers blast metal frames with snow guns to create an icy shell. Once it is frozen solid, the supports are removed. The interior structures are then formed from blocks of ice cut the previous spring and stored during the summer. Construction of the hotel, which opens bit by bit as sections are completed, concludes by the end of December.

The Icehotel ( closes in late April as the roof starts to melt, but the operators offer traditional accommodations nearby in warmer months, when visitors can take a three-day ice-sculpting class. 

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais