To immerse yourself truly inside the Lapland landscape, think about staying in a snow or ice hotel. Finland is home to a number of them, so you’ll only have to take your pick for your ultimate stay in the Finnish Lapland countryside.
Or perhaps you’ve come with the idea of staying in an ice hotel already and you’re wondering which is the best. We’ve compiled the best hotels and resorts and the best reasons to go for this unusual accommodation while visiting Finland. Read below to discover more.
What is an ice hotel?
The original Ice Hotel was built in Northern Sweden and inspired many similar resorts around the Nordics (and even the Hôtel de Glace in Canada). Some hotels are whole complexes built with kilos of snow and natural ice. Others offer more traditional igloos, or even modern glass igloos.
While the temperatures in Northern Finland can drop down to -30°C (-22°F), inside you won’t feel it, even if you stay in an ice room.
In fact, temperatures are usually kept between 0°C and -5°C (32-23°F). And even though the ice bed may seem, well, cold, you’ll stay warm with sleeping bags and reindeer fur. In the morning, you may be woken up with a hot berry juice and a visit to the sauna.
Spending the night in a hotel made of snow and ice has become a popular alternative to normal hotels for people visiting northern countries. Come experience it yourself!
- Check out ice hotel packages in snowy Lapland
Best reasons to stay in an ice hotel in Finland
Maybe you don’t need any reasons and you’re already keen for this Nordic experience. But if you’re not sure, here are our best 5 reasons to stay in an ice hotel during your winter getaway to Finland.
1. A chance to immerse yourself in the countryside. You’ll in fact become part of the snowy landscape.
2. The opportunity to spot the northern lights. They are at their best at night in rural regions of the Arctic, where you’ll be located.
3. Admire ice art and get a drink from an ice bar. These are some of the fun things you’ll be able to experience inside an ice hotel.
4. Feel the cold (and the warmth). You’ll cuddle up in thick sleeping bags to spend the night in rooms kept at below freezing temperatures. And don’t forget the nearby sauna to relax the next morning.
5. Get bragging rights for staying in a seasonal hotel. Many ice hotels are redesigned and rebuilt every year, meaning you’ll have stayed in a totally unique hotel.
And now here are the 4 best ice resorts in Finland:
1. Igloo Village at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
The Igloo Village is a beautiful success story. It started in the 1970s as one small chalet and has since evolved into a popular winter resort in Northern Finland.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is located near the remote Urho Kekkonen National Park. This means it is set against a stunning background of quiet wilderness. And the glass igloos are ideal to observe and even become part of the landscape.
Within your own pod, you could admire the snowy trees and the stars high above. You may even be lucky enough to see the northern lights dancing in the sky.
Each igloo is kept at the cool temperature of -6°C (21°F) and comes with a warm sleeping bag to keep you cosy.
You could experience the cold even more by taking a dip in the frozen river and then warm up with a stint in the smoke sauna. This is a great way to experience the benefits of a traditional Nordic spa regime.
The resort also offers some fun winter activities like taking a husky or reindeer safari, going to ski or snowboard, or trying your hand at ice fishing. It also goes without saying that a northern lights excursion is a must.
2. Arctic SnowHotel
When you hear of Finnish Lapland, your may immediately think of Rovaniemi. It is an iconic location in this part of Finland. Not only for its winter wonderland, but because it is also the home of Santa.
You’ll be happy to know that you could also stay at the Arctic SnowHotel during your stay in Rovaniemi. This beautiful hotel is hidden away in a nearby forest and combines a snow hotel with glass igloos.
In the complex, you’ll find a collection of beautiful ice-sculpted rooms, all furnished with an ice bed and topped with reindeer furs. It also offers a choice of cold or warm restaurants and bars.
While you’re visiting Finnish Lapland, don’t miss the outdoor fun. From the Arctic SnowHotel, you could enjoy a number of winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and more.
And at night, you can warm up and relax in the outdoor jacuzzi or the snow sauna.
Are you looking for a unique location to get married? You may want to take a look at the fairytale-like ice chapel where you could tie the knot in a cool ceremony.
- Meet the "man in red" on a Lapland Santa tour
- Learn more about holidays to Lapland in January, February, March and December
Reminiscent of the film Frozen, you’ll feel straight out of a fairytale by visiting or staying at the SnowCastle. Come feel the magic of the Finnish Lapland countryside at this magnificent hotel.
It is located in the town of Kemi, which is also a lovely place to discover. The town sits right by the natural border with Sweden, the Torne River. Every year, the surrounding natural resources are used to construct the SnowCastle.
With ice and snow made from the nearby bay's seawater, the hotel is built in a different theme, with innovation year on year. It means you could visit Kemi every year and see a different SnowCastle every winter.
When you’re visiting, make sure to dine at the ice restaurant. You can sit at ice tables, drink from handmade ice glasses, and tuck into a three-course meal featuring locally sourced ingredients.
To experience the SnowCastle in a different way, book a night in one of the award-winning seaside glass villas. They are characterised by their floor-to-ceiling windows and glass roofs, allowing you to gaze out over the beautiful surroundings.
If you want to stay nearby, you could also simply come visit the SnowCastle. They offer guided tours if you’d rather spend the night in a warm hotel room.
- Experience the wintry beauty of Kemi on these Finnish Lapland tours
Last but not least is the Snow Village, located in the north-west of Finnish Lapland. It is an atmospheric and popular resort near the town of Kittilä
Every late autumn the work starts to rebuild this beautiful complex, with kilos of snow and natural ice. Like the previous 3, it also offers a range of facilities and features fancy ice sculptures.
The hotel is also built every year in a different theme. For example recently you could have walked through a Game of Thrones themed hall or hotel room.
Another bonus point is the Snow Village’s location north of the Arctic Circle. This means you’ll have the best chances on your side to be able to see the stunning northern lights. And you'll be able to participate in an array of thrilling adventures in the winter landscape.
Other ice hotels in Scandinavia
You may be interested in visiting Finland’s neighbours, Sweden or Norway as well. It’s good to note that they both also offer the chance to stay, or visit, ice hotels. These are the:
- IceHotel outside Kiruna, Sweden
- SnowHotel near Kirkenes, Norway.
- Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, in Alta, Norway.
- Look up ice hotel packages to Norway and Sweden
- Related: Learn more about ice and snow hotels in Scandinavia with our handy guide
We hope you’re now prepared for your upcoming stay in an ice hotel in Finland.
And if this has inspired you to book your stay in such a unique hotel, get in touch with our Scandinavian experts. They are located nearby in Sweden and know the region inside out.
You could also consider our classic Lapland holiday packages. Whether you have special requests about adding nights to your tour or fun winter excursions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Your travel consultant will do their best to plan your ideal winter wonderland trip.