Holidays on ice
Life can get busy sometimes, and millions of people every year spend time, effort and money going on holiday all over the world. Tropical islands, historic cities and camping trips in the countryside are all classics – but what if you want to go somewhere a bit different? A trip to the Arctic Circle might be perfect for you.
A trip to the far north conjures up images of frostbite, polar bears and dangerous climbs up glaciers, but there are some great examples of luxury hotels which are challenging these assumptions. No longer do you have to take a tent or build an igloo if you would like to sleep near a glacier.
The most striking example comes from Snøhetta, an architecture and landscaping workshop based in Norway. Their concept for a ring-shaped hotel at the foot of the Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier, is something truly unique and interesting. As well as being designed to give 360 degree views of the surrounding fjord and mountains, the hotel will be the world’s first “energy positive” hotel. What this means in real terms is that it will produce more energy than it needs through a careful construction process and the implementation of solar and hydro power.
Visitors to the hotel will be able to go kayaking underneath the hotel’s timber legs as well as being within an easy walk of the foothills of Almlifjellet Mountain. The walk is probably more challenging once you get past that point...
Another fascinating option for those looking for a holiday in the frozen north is ICEHOTEL in Sweden. Now in its 28th year, the hotel has somewhat flown under the radar of most holidaymakers despite it being a unique destination which is reborn every year.
The hotel opens annually between December and April and presents guests with rooms which are works of art – literally. Huge amounts of snow and ice is gathered from the Torne River and 40 artists from around the world are invited to bring it to life. Each room is “an exhibition of snow, ice and light,” and follows its own individual theme. Guests can sleep wrapped in the arms of ice King Kong, in the middle of an ice forest, on a fluffy cloud, or under the watchful gaze of a giant reindeer-antlered god. However, be warned that the rooms are kept at a temperature between -5° and -8°, so you will be cold!
These are just two of the options available to people looking for a truly unique holiday experience in the farthest northerly reaches of our planet, in environments that don’t require you to be part of a scientific expedition to attend. There are great opportunities out there towards the end of civilisation if you know where to look.