Tag Archives: europe

Madrid in 3 Days

As a main travel hub to get in and out of Europe Madrid is the perfect place to fly into and experience for a few days before heading off to explore the rest of Spain, Portugal or even Marrakech as we did! Madrid is everything you’d expect culturally and historically as Spain’s Capital, but there is also a budding indie art, shopping, food and craft cocktail scene that gives it an interesting edge. Visual juxtaposition was a theme that kept popping up from interesting modern-meets-historical architecture to big bright displays of street art on century old buildings.

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ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi

2015 marks ICEHOTEL Jukkasjäarvi‘s 25th anniversary. Being the first and original ice hotel they have a lot to celebrate; 25 years of offering one of the most unique lodging experiences money can buy, a hotel completely built of ice and snow. Each and every year plans are drawn up to create a new hotel, as last winter’s masterpiece melts away come spring. For this reason the owners are adamant that no hotel shall be the same and they’ve kept that promise for a quarter of a century. The 25th anniversary model is no exception to this rule, requiring over 1000 tons of natural ice, this year’s hotel erected into sixty rooms, an ice bar, an ice church and main hall, making it the largest ICEHOTEL yet.

One of my favorite things about ICEHOTEL is the creation of the Art Suites. Each November hundreds of artists from all over the world, and design disciplines, apply to design an Art Suite. No specific design background is required, nor is a background in working with snow and ice. The chosen designers are usually a mix between a few ICEHOTEL veterans and some completely new to the job. This mix of experience allows for new and fresh ideas to flourish without guardrails and is attributed to the success of the ICEHOTELS unique offering.  It is truly incredible what can be done with snow and ice and the outcome is unlike anything else in this world.

But sleeping in an Art Suite is only one part of the ICEHOTEL experience. Situated some 200km north of the Article Circle in Jukkasjäarvi, Sweden, with only 1000 permanent residents, ICEHOTEL’S activities ring true what you’d expect from a small Northern Swedish village. Guests are invited to experience the tranquil winter setting by snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, reindeer sleigh and even horseback. Learn about the Sami people, indigenous to the area, see the Northern Lights, or book an overnight excursion to a wilderness camp by dog sled team or snowmobile should you prefer. For those of you in awe of the mechanics that go into designing the place you can even partake in your own ice sculpting class.

ICEHOTEL can be booked by single or double night and they even have a hotel with “warm rooms”, aka a regular hotel room, including all the modern amenities should you need to escape the ice or combine your stay longer on either side of your ICEHOTEL experience.

This is surely on my bucket list and I will continue to dream of being a true ice princess, waking up in my very own Art Suite until the day comes that I can experience it in the flesh.

Enjoy some pictures below of my favorite Art Suites from this year’s hotel along with some images of ways to enjoy the great Scandinavian outdoors while you’re there. Pretty idyllic if I do say so myself. One one question remains, when can we book?!

small_Frozty_Flower_by_Shingo_Saito___Natsuki_Saito_-_Photo_Christopher_Hauser ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi, konstkatalog 2012/2013. Continue reading ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi