Sweden's Icehotel Reveals Stunning New Artist-Designed "Ice Suites"

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By Jennifer Pattison Tuohy
Lapland's original Icehotel unveiled its winter makeover Friday, showing off a selection of stunning ice suites designed by 34 artists from 13 countries.

This is the 29th annual incarnation of the ephemeral hotel made entirely out of ice and snow from the Arctic river Torne. Situated in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, the hotel takes 12 weeks to build, only to melt back into the river come April.

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"Lollipop" is designed by architect Mathieu Brison and interior designer Luc Voisin. Indulge your inner child and take a nap surrounded by giant lollipops and cupcakes.

"Lollipop" is designed by architect Mathieu Brison and interior designer Luc Voisin. Indulge your inner child and take a nap surrounded by giant lollipops and cupcakes.

This year, guests at Icehotel can choose to stay in a candy shop filled with giant sweets, with a swimming ice woman who loves cold baths, enveloped by an aquarium, or embraced by a flock of Arctic terns. Each of the 15 suites is crafted over 2 weeks by artists whose design is selected from around 150 applicants.

"We appreciate each hotel in its own way, but at the same time, knowing that you can try out a new idea next year is very liberating – it has an interesting effect on creativity," says Arne Bergh, Creative Director of Icehotel. "Every winter I say that ‘this is the best Icehotel so far’ – but this year it definitely is!"

"The Living Ocean" is designed by British art student Marnie Green and her father, production designer Jonathan Paul Green. A visual feast of marine creatures, this ice suite celebrates the natural wonder of the ocean. 

"The Living Ocean" is designed by British art student Marnie Green and her father, production designer Jonathan Paul Green. A visual feast of marine creatures, this ice suite celebrates the natural wonder of the ocean. 

Jonathan Paul Green, a production designer from London, created The Living Ocean suite with his daughter, Marnie. "The suite is inspired by the climate changes and the overfishing that affects our oceans," he says. "I also thought the idea of using frozen water from a river in northern Sweden to create an ocean with shells, fish, and corals is exciting."

Icewoman is designed by Linda Vagnelind, a Swedish artist. As you enter the suite, a pair of swim goggles greets you and waves run along the walls towards a massive figure towering at the far end. 

Icewoman is designed by Linda Vagnelind, a Swedish artist. As you enter the suite, a pair of swim goggles greets you and waves run along the walls towards a massive figure towering at the far end. 

With temperatures hovering between 19 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit in each room, most guests spend just one night in an ice suite, and the rest of their time in the warm rooms the hotel also offers. Icehotel promises a unique experience outside of the rooms as well. Situated about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, you'll experience more than 20 hours of darkness, glimpse the northern lights, see snow-clad forests, meet reindeer, and discover cloudberries. 

Spruce Woods, designed by Canadian artists Jennie O’Keefe and Chris Pancoe, reflects the passions of its festival—and nature—loving creators. An iconic VW van nestles in a forest of spruce trees illuminated by the lights of Aurora Borealis.

Spruce Woods, designed by Canadian artists Jennie O’Keefe and Chris Pancoe, reflects the passions of its festival—and nature—loving creators. An iconic VW van nestles in a forest of spruce trees illuminated by the lights of Aurora Borealis.

The seasonal part of Icehotel is open December 14 to April 13, but you can visit year-round thanks to a recently installed solar-powered refrigeration plant, which keeps 20 ice suites open 365 days a year. Pricing for two adults starts at $170 for a warm room and $260 for an ice room.

"Oak" art suite by Tjåsa Gusfors and Sam Gusfors.

"Oak" art suite by Tjåsa Gusfors and Sam Gusfors.

"The Tao of Cat" art suite by Sonia Chow and Huschang Pourian.

"The Tao of Cat" art suite by Sonia Chow and Huschang Pourian.

"Blossom" art suite by Wouter Biegelaar and Viktor Tsarski.

"Blossom" art suite by Wouter Biegelaar and Viktor Tsarski.

The Icehotel's main hallway.

The Icehotel's main hallway.

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