Our Top 10 Nordic Ice, Snow & Glass Igloo Hotels
Scandinavia and Finland truly are the promised lands of ice, snow and glass igloo hotels and cabins. Our initial idea was to present five of our favourites, however the choice was simply too difficult, and therefore what follows is a longer list of 10 recommendations.
A stay in an ice, snow or glass igloo hotel is one of the most extraordinary ways to spend a night, and what better place to experience any of these than Scandinavia and Finland, the home of guaranteed ice and snow! With an ever-growing list of options, we wanted to offer travellers our recommendations, based on years of experience and comparison, and the list includes options both big and small, easily accessible as well as remote. Please note that most of the hotels and resorts in this list also have other forms of accommodation available, so you can combine your stay in an igloo or ice room with something different or more economical. Also, a stay in any of these includes the opportunity to participate in numerous different activities, depending on your preferences.
Unsurprisingly, we simply had to include the ICEHOTEL in this list. Although it has become world-famous during its 30+ years of operation (starting in 1989), it is by no means predictable. Each year, the ICEHOTEL is reborn in the hands of artists who use ice to bring their extraordinary designs to life. In three decades, more than 500 artists from around the world have contributed to the various versions of the ICEHOTEL, shaping ice into works of art that reflect their unique visions. Sleeping in one of the cold rooms is to sleep within an art installation of ice and light.
You can stay here, for example, as a part of our independent 5-day itinerary Ice & Auroras in Swedish Lapland or on our 11-day Lapland Circle tour, either as an escorted tour or an independent tour .
Image: ICEHOTEL, Asaf Kliger
The Snowhotel Kirkenes is one of our favourite stops during our escorted multi-country winter tours. The Snowhotel first opened its doors in 2006 with 8 rooms and a small ice bar. Today, it is one of the most famous igloo hotels in Norway and, indeed, in the world - and rightly so. The hotel, which is built completely of snow and ice, is located against a backdrop of forests and mountains, overlooking the Arctic fjord. Each room - currently 20 of them in total - has a different theme from Arctic culture or nature and is uniquely decorated by artists from around the world. The Snowhotel also has warm Northern Lights cabins, created in the spirit of the traditional hunting and fishing hut, "gamme", which you can find in the Lappish wilderness.
You can stay here, for example, as a part of our 5-day Kirkenes Winter Experience tour or one of the following escorted tours: The 15-day Follow the Northern Lights, the 14-day Chase the Northern Lights or the 15-day Best of Norway summer tour - yes, the Snowhotel Kirkenes is open all year round!
The Inari Wilderness Hotel is one of our all-time favourites. Located in far northern Finland, with a fantastic view towards Lake Inari and the northern sky, you can lounge in the warmth of your bed while gazing at the night sky through the north-facing glass ceiling. The shape of the Aurora Cabins has been inspired by the "kota", a traditional Sámi hut, and they are a great way to experience a unique stay in Lapland.
Stay here on one of our escorted or independent tours, such as the Lapland Arctic Christmas.
The small, authentic, family-owned Aurora Village currently has 28 Aurora Cabins in the heart of the Lappish wilderness, hundreds of kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Surrounded by nature and millions of stars in the night sky, there is no noise, light-pollution, or traffic. Located well into the aurora zone, a stay in one of the Aurora Cabins comes with a fair chance of spotting the Northern Lights while lounging in your bed.
You can experience a stay in the Aurora Cabins on our new independent tour Christmas in Aurora Village Finland. The banner image is also from the Aurora Village.
The Aurora Domes at Torasieppi in Muonio, Finland, give travellers a unique opportunity to experience Nordic glamping in stunning Lappish nature, on the banks of lake Torassieppi. The Aurora Dome is an insulated, igloo-shaped luxury tent with one see-through wall as well as reindeer and husky themed decorations. A fireplace within the dome keeps the temperature warm, even in the depths of winter. The transparent wall faces north, thus providing the best possible view of the sky and the elusive Northern Lights over the frozen lake.
You can experience a stay in the Aurora Dome, for example, on our independent 4-day tour Lapland Autumn Retreat . Note that the Northern Lights can be seen as early as August, although your chances are better towards the end of September.
The Golden Crown Levi Igloos is another one of our all-time favourites. There are 15 superior igloos, nine prime igloos, and three suite igloos, all of which are situated on a stunning felltop location, 10km away from the centre of Levi. The igloos are spacious, well equipped and luxurious, suitable for even the most discerning traveller. You can admire the changing colours of Arctic sky before drifting to sleep in a warm, luxurious bed.
The Arctic Fox Igloos in Ranua, Finland, are one of the newest glass igloos in the world, having opened only in Dec 2018. Located on the peaceful shores of lake Ranuanjärvi, 80km south from the Arctic Circle, each igloo offers an unobstructed view towards the fascinating Arctic sky where the green swirls of the Northern Lights may or may not reveal their dance. There are currently 20 igloos in total, with half of them facing the open lake - we can make sure that one of them is yours! You can experience the igloos and much that the area has to offer on our 5-day Arctic Winter Wildlife Tour.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is a family hotel in Saariselkä, Finland, 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. It is located at the edge of the Lappish wilderness, along a road to the Arctic Sea. Since the 1970's, Kakslauttanen has been growing in size and popularity, becoming one of the most - if not the most - famous glass igloo property in Finland. There are multiple accommodation options, both warm and cold. One unique addition to the "normal" glass igloos is the Kelo-Glass Igloo which combines the comfort of Lappish log cabins and the stunning views available in glass igloos.
Stay here, for example, on escorted 5-day Christmas tour Santa, Elves & Glass Igloos.
Santa's Hotel Aurora is located in the heart of Luosto Village, in immediate vicinity of all services. Since 2015, guests have had the option to stay in their new, lavishly appointed glass igloos (10 of them in total) near the Pyhä-Luosto National Park. This is a great option for visitors who are not looking for the most remote wilderness experience, but will nonetheless enjoy observing the ever-changing colours and the unique landscape of Luosto while also accessing quality hotel services.
You can experience these igloos, for example, on our independent 5-day tour Northern Lights & Arctic Sky.
At the Finnish Travel Gala in October 2019, the "Newcomer of the year" award went to the Arctic Land Adventure whose spacious glass igloos in Kilpisjärvi, the northwesternmost corner of Finland, are a phenomenal way to experience the beauty of Arctic nature. What makes this experience extra special is that it is located at an authentic and secluded Sámi reindeer herding ranch with only four glass igloos available on the shores of the lake. This is as exclusive, remote, and authentic as you can get!
Interested? Inquire about our brand-new 7-day independent tour, Arctic Wilderness and Auroras , which includes some nights in Tromsø in Norway.
Image by @natashavishnyova