The Kirkenes Snowhotel opened for the first time in 2006. Snow and ice are disappearing in an ever warmer climate. Enjoy this while you can !
The Kirkenes Snowhotel uses the snow's insulating abilities. Snow is a very good insulator, when it is minus thirty degrees outside it will still be relative warm inside the snowhotel, a stable minus five degrees celsius. This special ability of the snow is also known by mother nature. The Ptarmigan creates caves in the deep snow during winter and thus saves a lot of energy inside this shelter, the same can bee seen with the Husky dogs they let them self snow down to keep warm.
Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is a small treasure. The rooms are five metres in diameter, and they are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable night. The pictures looks like you are sleeping on ice, but that would be too cold and to hard for your back, The beds are framed with ice blocks and the beds have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees Celcius.
Humans produce a small amount of heat and moisture through breathing, That’s why the rooms have curtains instead of doors, to make the air circulate. In every room you will find decorations and sculptures made from ice and snow. These arts are created by artists from the Chinese city of Harbin.
All of the hotel's 20 snowsuites have a different theme from Arctic culture or nature. The lighted ice sculptures give the snowhotel a very cosy and special atmosphere.
In the construction of the hotel's ice-bar and sculptures, more than 15 tonns of ice were used, and the expertise of the Chinese ice artists were responsible for the decorations
All the ice comes from the frozen lake next to the snowhotel. The ice was cut with chain saws and pulled it with snowmobiles into the snowhotel. In the middle of winter this ice is 70 centimeters thick. The icebar and the sculptures are designed differently each year. It’s always exciting to see what kind of sculptures the artists find hidden in the ice.