The 25th installation of Sweden's Icehotel has opened, letting guests once again experience life in an enchanting frozen kingdom. The hotel, newly designed each year by artists and architects and built in the town of Jukkasjrvi, will be open for guests from December through April. The hotel rooms feature elaborate decorative carvings etched into the ice walls, large beds draped with heavy reindeer-skin blankets and understated lighting that shines through the cubes. Because Icehotel is essentially a habitable art installation, each room is a uniquely designed creation.
Overnight guests are advised how to stay warm during their stay at Icehotel on the attraction's website. “No matter how cold it gets outside, it will never be colder than -7C inside,” the site assures. “Before going to bed, you dress warmly in thermal underwear, pull your hat down over your ears and slide into your sleeping bag on a bed built by ice blocks.” Hotel employees conduct nightly “survival courses” for each new wave of guests.
Although sleeping on ice may not sound hospitable, the novelty of the concept rocketed Icehotel onto the list of the Seven Wonders of Sweden. In fact, the hotel's popularity spawned a nightlife counterpart, Icebar – in which guests order drinks at a bar built from ice cubes and are given fur coats to put on at the door. That attraction made its way to Japan, Europe and the United States thanks to a partnership with Absolut Vodka.