26 April 2011

Ice Hotels

These hotels are literally just gigantic igloos. While they are growing in popularity, for logistical purposes there are only so many parts of the world that can have ice hotels. The hotels are made out of real ice, so they can only be located in parts of the world with consistent freezing temperatures in the winter with close proximity to bodies of water (so they have a supply of ice). There are ice hotels in Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Romania. Don’t plan on having a comfortable stay, though. Expect your room to be between 17 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit. The really crazy part is, every spring the hotels melt, and they have to rebuild them all over again for the next winter!

Ice hotels are oversized, extravagant igloos. Solid blocks of ice make up their formidable, barrel-shaped structures. But inside, ice hotels glitter with elaborate ice furniture, ice bars and even ice glasses.

Colorful lighting makes the structures look more like magical snow castles than frigid arctic dwellings.

The hotels are built near rivers where workers can draw water, freeze it into ice and cut the ice into large blocks before trucking it into place. Extensive, large-capacity ice hotels take about five to six weeks to build. But when spring comes, all the hard work melts away, and the hotels must wait until winter to rebuild.

Ice hotels are part of a growing trend in destination hotels. People no longer select lodgings simply because they're close to holiday spots. With normal vacations just not cutting it anymore, hotels have become destinations in their own right. Arctic resorts that once had to close shop for the winter can now attract tourists year round.

People describe the experience of waking up after a night in an ice hotel as one of sheer exhilaration. Some say it even feels like an accomplishment. In the next section, we'll learn about the original ICEHOTEL in JukkasjÀrvi, Sweden.




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