Sweden’s Icehotel isn’t the only hotel to be made from frozen water. Each year for 17 years now, Kittilä, in Finnish Lapland, hosts a temporary hotel sculpted from ice and snow called the SnowVillage. This year’s theme is the TV show Game of Thrones, and it boasts impressive sculptures including a White Walker and the Iron Throne.
The 2017/18 SnowVillage consists of a hotel with 24 rooms, as well as a restaurant, bar, and theater – all made from ice. Couples can get married in an ice chapel and an ice slide is available for kids, too.
Fans of the Game of Thrones TV show, which is based on George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels depicting different noble families fighting each other in a world of sorcery and dragons, will recognize a life-sized Iron Throne, a Braavosi Hall of Faces, at least one dragon, and a White Walker with glowing blue eyes.
The ice rooms are kept at a temperature of around -5 Celsius (23 ºF) and visitors are given high-quality sleeping bags to keep out the chill. Heated accommodation is also available nearby.
Approximately 20 million kg (22,000 US tons) of snow and 350,000 kg (385 tons) of ice is used each year in the construction of the SnowVillage. Water is pumped into artificial snow machines to create the snow, while the ice is harvested from a nearby river using chainsaws.
The ice blocks are harvested in March then kept in chilled containers over summer to be used in November. This year involved artists from Russia, Poland, Latvia and Ukraine, as well as construction specialists, electricians and the like.
The SnowVillage is open until April 8, 2018. There are multiple price points available but the snow suites with the impressive sculptures start at €352 (US$420) per night, for a two-person suite. The ice rooms are also open to visitors through the day.