10 of the Coolest Ice Hotels in the World

Book the coolest vacation ever at these ice hotels located in North America and Europe.

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Snow castle, Kemi, Finland
Courtesy of Kemi Tourism Ltd; Photo by Timo Laapotti

When it comes to unique travel experiences, nothing beats spending the night in an ice hotel or a snow igloo in a remote area. These seasonal accommodations are usually built in the Arctic or another remote place at high altitudes and last until spring when they naturally melt away. So for about five months, ice hotels and villages turn into the ultimate winter wonderlands treating their visitors to art sculpture exhibitions, one-of-a-kind dining offerings, and guest rooms built out of ice blocks.

The properties on our list are located in Scandinavia, Austria, and Canada, and offer a wide range of amenities and facilities, ideal for adventurous travelers seeking modern-day conveniences such as saunas and hot tubs and unique experiences that make for an even more memorable stay. So without further ado, here are the top 10 ice hotels and resorts to putting on your radar — and wish list.

Editor's Pick: Icehotel, Sweden

Sweden’s Icehotel Went All Out For Its 30th Anniversary With Elaborate Suites

Why We Chose It

The original — and biggest — ice hotel in the world still sets the standard for guest experience and customer service. Artists from across the globe create stunning sculptures throughout the sprawling property, while a large variety of unique winter activities keeps travelers busy beyond the icy walls of the hotel.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Complimentary access to an art exhibition space, sauna, private dining, and ice workshops

Hotel Description

Sitting on the banks of the frozen Torne River at 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, Sweden's Icehotel was first built in 1989 and has become one of Sweden's most renowned landmarks.

While a traditional hotel that’s open year-round exists here, the seasonal Icehotel welcomes guests for five months starting in December. For a truly unique experience, book an art suite that features ice decor crafted by a commissioned artist. And speaking of art, the property also has exhibition galleries filled with showstopping ice sculptures that hotel guests tour for free.

Hotel de Glâce, Canada

Hôtel de Glace, Québec City
Luc Rousseau/Courtesy of Québec City Tourism

Why We Chose It

When guests book an ice suite at Hotel de Glâce, they are also guaranteed an overnight room in a nearby hotel to use during their stay.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Sauna, steam room, spa, digital game room, outdoor winter playground with ice skating facilities

Hotel Description

Located a short 20-minute ride outside Quebec City, Canada's Hotel de Glâce is the only ice hotel in North America. Every year, from January until March, the property draws adventurous travelers looking to spend the night in one of 30 themed ice-sculpted rooms and suites. The spacious accommodations feature some seriously Instagram-worthy ice carvings and sculptures, a fireplace, lounge areas, and a bed covered in warm blankets and arctic sleeping bags. Guests also have access to a traditional room at the nearby Hôtel Valcartier — think of it as plan B in case you realize in the middle of the night that sleeping in freezing cold temperatures is not your thing. A welcome drink served in an ice glass is also included in the nightly rate, as well as access to the resort's ice skating path and outdoor spa area with hot tubs. Public restrooms, shower stalls, and ice bars serving local brews and spirits are also available to guests.

Lapland Hotels SnowVillage, Finland

Game of Thrones HBO Nordic Ice Hotel Snow Village Lapland Finland
Tuomas Kurtakko

Why We Chose It

The hotel's architecture is different every winter, and each room or suite is decorated with spectacular ice sculptures and carvings.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes (in the reception area)
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Ice restaurant, ice chapel, a slide, and a large variety of outdoor activities and tours

Hotel Description

Lapland Hotels SnowVillage is the epitome of a winter wonderland with an artsy edge. The village consists of a hotel, restaurant, bar, chapel, and exhibition space, all of which are built every winter from more than 44 million pounds of snow and 650,000 pounds of crystal-clear natural ice. The spaces, including the guest rooms and suites, are filled with spectacular ice creations making this ice hotel feel like a museum.

Check-in and check-out are at 10 p.m., giving guests 24 hours to explore the five-acre property. Temperatures in the hotel are kept between 28 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit, and staff will gladly lend guests a few extra layers or blankets. No two rooms at the SnowVillage are alike, but all feature large ice beds with warm sleeping bags. The menus in the ice restaurant and bar are heavy on Finnish flavors so travelers can fully immerse themselves in local culture.

Hotel Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Saariselkä, Finland

romantic winter getaways: Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
Courtesy of Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen

Why We Chose It

This sprawling resort offers a large variety of unique accommodations ranging from snow igloos to glass domes.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

The largest smoke sauna in the world; apparel rental services; Santa's House

Hotel Description

Explore the Arctic wilderness without compromising on modern amenities in Finland's famous Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Lapland. The property, which became famous for its dreamy glass-domed igloos perfect for viewing the Northern Lights, also has intimate snow igloos. Guests can spend the night wrapped in warm sleeping bags and surrounded by thick snow walls, maintaining a steady indoor temperature of about 25 F.

Along with three smoke saunas, travelers can also take a dip in the freezing waters of the nearby river for a truly authentic Arctic experience. Families should book a visit to Santa's House and workshop, which is open several days a week and well after Christmas is over.

Snowhotel Kirkenes, Norway

Kirkenes Snowhotel in Norway
also offers ice fishing and king crab fishing experiences. Kirkenes Snowhotel

Why We Chose It

The property offers an array of outdoor activities ranging from dogsledding to king crab safaris.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Sauna; a "dog yard" with huskies and reindeer; a lounge

Hotel Description

Unlike most ice hotels on our list, this one in northern Norway welcomes visitors year-round. The walls of the ice rooms are covered in fantastical motifs, and travelers get to catch their z’s in an ice bed with a beautifully carved ice headboard. Beyond that, the resort offers plenty of Arctic adventure to keep travelers entertained, with snowshoes and skis included in the nightly rate. Also included: access to the resort's dog yard, home to huskies, reindeer, and puppies that you can feed (we can't guarantee anything about cuddling). The hotel also has 20 Gamme cabins inspired by traditional hunting and fishing huts, an excellent option for couples and families.

SnowCastle Resort, Finland

Kemi, Lapland, Finland's SnowCastle Resort
Giles Clarke/Getty Images

Why We Chose It

This fortress-like hotel features rooms with beautiful ice art and an ice sculpture exhibition available year-round.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Sauna with a lounge and terrace; seaside glass accommodations; icebreaker cruises; a tube slide

Hotel Description

Finland's SnowCastle is the largest snow-and-ice hotel in the world and is reminiscent of a scene in Disney’s "Frozen." First constructed in 1996, this fortress-like property is rebuilt each winter using ice blocks from the Gulf of Bothnia, the northernmost part of the Baltic Sea.

Open from mid-January to mid-April, the hotel welcomes travelers for overnight stays in comfortable rooms that feature ice beds covered in plush blankets, snowflake chandeliers, and elaborate ice art. If you’re looking to make a lifelong commitment, the resort also has a romantic snow chapel and a spacious restaurant, where the furniture is made — you guessed it — out of ice. If you'd like to mix it up, consider staying at one of the beautiful glass villas that feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea. A year-round indoor exhibition of ice sculptures is also available on-site.

Iglu Village, Kühtai, Austria

Iglu Village, Kühtai, Austria

Why We Chose It

The experience includes a fondue dinner, a snow hike, a sauna, and an overnight stay in a snow igloo.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

A lounge, bar, complimentary breakfast, a sauna

Hotel Description

Tucked away in the Tyrolean mountains 6,562 feet above sea level, Iglu Village is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in one of Austria's most beautiful regions. The hotel is open from December until April and features six overnight igloos that accommodate up to 22 guests. Each is outfitted with warm furs and beautiful snow and ice artwork. Your stay here starts in the late afternoon with cocktails and fondue dinner at the village's ice restaurant, followed by a snowshoe hike. Then, travelers can warm up in the sauna before heading to their igloos for the night.

Igloo Hotel at Sorrisniva, Alta, Norway

Alta Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway
Alta Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway. T. Rakke/Nordic Life/Innovation Norway

Why We Chose It

Each ice suite is decorated by a local artist, and guests can try their hand at ice carving in a two-hour workshop led by artisans.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Sauna, restaurant and bar, hot tub, gift shop

Hotel Description

Overlooking the beautiful Alta River in the Arctic, Sorrisniva is a remote wilderness resort that offers year-round accommodation in a luxury lodge, along with a seasonal ice hotel that opens at the end of December. Here, every ice suite is designed by an ice sculptor with a unique theme in mind. Beautiful lighting is also incorporated into the interiors, creating an enchanting ambiance. The beds are covered in insulated mattresses, reindeer skins, and warm sleeping bags to keep overnight guests warm. During the day, travelers can explore the Arctic on a  snowmobile, join a dogsledding tour, or explore the Alta River on a boat. A delicious meal at one of the two restaurants serving local food and some time in the sauna is the perfect ending to a fun-filled day.

Arctic SnowHotel, Rovaniemi, Finland

Glass igloos under the Northern Lights at Finland's Arctic Snow Hotel
Arctic Snow Hotel

Why We Chose It

Each year, the rooms' decor is different and features warm reindeer furs and arctic sleeping bags.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Restaurant with ice table and chairs serving arctic specialties; a snow sauna; an outdoor hot tub

Hotel Description

Situated above the Arctic Circle in Lapland, this snow hotel sleeps 70 guests in beautiful glass-domed accommodations and snow igloos. Each December, the icy rooms are designed with icy decor, vibrant lighting, warm reindeer furs, pillows, and sleeping bags. But the most unique amenity of this hotel is its snow sauna, an intimate space with ice walls and a bench filled with steam. Those who feel adventurous (and can stand the cold) can combine this one-of-a-kind experience with cold water dipping — the ultimate arctic wellness ritual. Then jump in the hot jacuzzi, and enjoy the quiet landscape with a hot drink in hand.

Schneedorf Ötztal, Austria

Schneedorf Ötztal, Austria

Why We Chose It

This quiet ice hotel is near a ski resort, which makes it a great overnight experience to add to your ski vacation.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: No
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Off-site spa, outdoor jungle course, proximity to winter sports facilities, a dining igloo

Hotel Description

During the winter days, Austria's Tyrolean mountains are abuzz with winter sports enthusiasts, but once the lifts shut down, silence reigns. And there's no better — or more unique way — to experience the area than spending the night in a snow igloo in the Ötztal valley. The seasonal hotel offers packages for families and couples, inclusive of a welcome drink (opt for traditional glühwein), a guided hike, a fondue dinner, and an insulated double sleeping bag to keep guests toasty during the night. A snow bar, a warm-up room, and shared heated bathrooms complement the amenities. The area is packed with exciting activities for the whole family, such as an outdoor parkour course, a luxe spa, and sledding.

Final Verdict

Sleeping in an ice hotel is an experience that allows you to explore some of the most remote Arctic regions in North America and Europe. Our top pick, Sweden's Icehotel, is nestled in the country's northernmost tip and draws guests with its ice suites and striking ice installations. The property is surrounded by untouched wilderness and lush forests illuminated at night by the aurora borealis. But whichever ice hotel you are heading to from our list, rest assured that you are up for an epic experience in a memorable setting.

Know Before You Go

  • It's essential to come well-dressed in an ice hotel. Wear long wool undergarments (as opposed to cotton) to keep you warm during your overnight stay. Wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on because the icy floors of guest rooms are not covered in rugs, and shared restroom and shower facilities are located away from the guest rooms.
  • If you have doubts about being able to last the entire night, choose an ice hotel that also offers traditional accommodations (most do) and book a room in it. That way, you could move there in the middle of the night if you don't like the experience.
  • If you decide to bring your children along, check with the hotel about the minimum age requirement for overnight stays. While almost all ice hotels are kid-friendly, there are specific age recommendations for health and safety reasons — after all, temperatures in most properties are in the mid-20s.

How We Chose These Hotels

We considered various factors when making our picks, such as each property's reputation and quality of service, accessibility, location, and notable amenities (e.g., free Wi-Fi/on-site dining options/spa). We also considered what experiences are available to guests besides overnight stays. Lastly, we evaluated customer reviews and considered any recent awards or accolades.

Originally written by
Elizabeth Rhodes
Elizabeth Rhodes
Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure, covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.
and
Jess McHugh
Jess McHugh is a journalist, author, and researcher who has reported from North and South America, Europe, the Caribbean, and West Africa. She's written hundreds of stories, ranging from the fight to preserve world heritage in Palmyra, Syria, to the story of the first American dictionary. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Paris Review, Time, New York Magazine, The New Republic, Fortune, Village Voice, International Business Times, CNN, Avidly (Los Angeles Review of Books), AFP Services, The Believer, Lapham's Quarterly, Teen Vogue, Business Insider, InStyle, Dame, Thrillist, Man Repeller, and Travel + Leisure, among others. She can be found between New York City and Paris. * 8+ years of experience working as a writer and researcher * Author of "Americanon" (Dutton, Penguin-Random House, 2021) * Bilingual in French and English * Former staff reporter at Time Inc. and International Business Times. * Received a bachelor's degree in comparative literature from Yale University
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