Student hostels, Motel 6, Holiday Inn, The Marriott, Four Seasons…igloo. Wha? That’s right, a little known fact is that igloos are next in line on the evolutionary stage of hotel staying. They’re posh, unique, and to the savvy traveler, accessible all around the world. Originally constructed by the Inuit, these snow domes trap air and insulate the dweller against outside temperatures that can drop to a ridiculous -45 °C (-49 °F) and allow inside temperatures to remain a survivable -7 °C (19 °F) to 10 °C (61 °F) by body heat alone. Luckily, the world of snow construction has come a long way, and today’s featured ice hotels will inspire the adventurer in you to pack your suitcase, suit up in your warmest woollies, and be ready to chill out in one of these winter wonder lodges with room service.
Hotel de Glace-Quebec, Canada
With ambient temperatures a cool 37.4 °F to 41 °F, you’ll sleep like a baby Eskimo inside these beautiful ice walls and a comfy bed and blanket. Photo courtesy of icehotel-canada.com.
Hotel Kaklsauttanen-Saariselkä, Finland
Finland’s finest ice hotel offers igloo accommodations made of snow, glass, and wood, allowing the varying levels of adventurers plenty of options to choose from. Photo courtesy of kakslauttanen.fi/en/.
The 2010/2011 winter season will be ICEHOTEL’s 20th year in operation. Starting at a cozy igloo of 60 square meters, it is now the largest ice and snow resort at 5,500 square meters. Photo courtesy of icehotel.com.
You’ll be ordering your drinks “neat” at this icy bar, and leave with an experience you’ll hopefully remember! Photo courtesy of kirkenessnowhotel.com.
Alpha Resort Tomamu’s Ice Village-Shimukappu, Japan
Bona fide foodies will love the frosted ambiance at Ice Village’s elegant igloo restaurant. Photo courtesy of asiaone.com.
Iglu-Dorf-Davos Klosters, Switzerland
Iglu-Dorf’s hot tub’n takes soaking to a whole other planet! Each room features a whirlpool or sauna to warm your heart and your toes. Photo courtesy of iglu-dorf.com.
Harbin Ice-Snow World-Harbin, China
North China has just put Igloos over the top. They’ve literally created a winter wonderland which spans a massive 400,000 square meters, uses 120,000 cubic meters of ice and 100,000 cubic meters of snow. You can visit an ice-made bar, hotel, play snow golf and football, and gaze at palatial statues and snow buildings to your heart’s delight. Photo courtesy of absolutechinatours.com.
All photography by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly