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The World’s Most Expensive Hotel Suites are About to Melt

The world’s first and largest hotel made of ice and snow rises in a new shape every winter and then literally disappears back into the Torne River in April as the springtime sun returns. Once it is gone, clients are given a bottle containing some of the melt water, along with the sketches and blueprints for the design, and photographs of the suite they’ve co-created with one of ICEHOTEL’s designers as the hotel offers bespoke suites tailor-made to suit individual clients.

Like a haute couture of travel, ICEHOTEL focuses on creating an experience which is totally unique and personal. The ICEHOTEL creators are hoping to get the client involved in the design process and bring guests even closer to the ice as the ephemeral art. The guests are encouraged to express their very own personal design ideas and experiment with ice as an art material.

ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi. Photograph Courtesy of ICEHOTEL.

ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi. Photograph Courtesy of ICEHOTEL.

The suites that express the individuality of the client are made by order using exclusive natural ice from the river Torne and all the art work is original and handmade. One of the last untouched rivers of Europe, Torne is completely free of pollutants, giving the ice a premium quality.

Melting Icehotel Gerrit Holl

Melting Icehotel Gerrit Holl

Prices start from SEK1 485 000 (US$ 231 000), making ICEHOTEL suites one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. Parts of the proceeds are donated to environmental initiatives in the Baltic Sea, where the river Torne runs into the ocean. In addition, the design package includes a face-to-face consultation in the home town of the client, as well as a complimentary stay at ICEHOTEL and chance to participate in the creation of the suite which can take up to two weeks. Guests are be able to stay in the ice suites during the winter months between December and March. The average temperature in one of these ice suites is -5°C to -7°C (regardless of whatever temperature it is outside, 0˚C or -40˚C) but guests wrap up warm in their long johns and hats and snuggle into their polar sleeping bag.

Ice Suites are designed by artists from all around the world. Last year 130 artists applied to create a suite at Icehotel but only about 19 were selected.

THE ICEHOTEL ART SUITES 2016

ART SUITE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

“At some point we all face an issue or situation that is commonly called ‘the elephant in the room’: an obvious truth that is either being ignored or not addressed. The elephant situation is adaptable on so many topics in our present world: from a large global scale down to a more personal one. To choose not see the obvious truth can turn into a hard lesson. So, do you have any elephant in your room? Open your eyes, what do they tell you? To look at something is not the same as to actually see something. But it is a good start. So let us start with that elephant…”

HOTEL SUITE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM design by Anna Sofia Mååg, Sweden. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM design by Anna Sofia Mååg, Sweden. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE FLYING BUTTRESS

AnnaKatrin Kraus and Hans Aescht have created the The Flying Buttress. The inspiration was found in the architectural shape of the arch, which is also one of the most iconic features of ICEHOTEL.

“We started out from the existing shape and created multiple arches of ice and snow in different sizes and in different directions to capture the expanse of the suite. It’s our aim for the visitor to experience the room, in its entirety, as a sculpture.”

HOTEL SUITE FLYING BUTTRESS design by Anna Katrin Kraus and Hans Aescht, Germany. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE FLYING BUTTRESS design by Anna Katrin Kraus and Hans Aescht, Germany. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE FRACTUS

Science and physics have inspired Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A Lüchow to create Fractus. Molecules and fractals are symbolized by sharp, geometrical lines shaping the suite.

“We wanted to create a landscape of fractals and connect elements in our surroundings with the architecture of snow and ice. The Torne river and each little snowflake are made up of fractals and molecules that we can’t see with the naked eye. We wanted to enlarge them and make them visible!”

HOTEL SUITE FACTUS design by Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A Lüchow, Germany. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE FACTUS design by Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A Lüchow, Germany. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE LIVE YOUR TIME

The concept of time is the essence of this suite. The future and past is represented by two walls parallel to each other, while time is symbolized by wave-like movements through the suite.
“We want to encourage people to live each moment to its fullest because those moments that make up a lifetime pass so quickly. From the bed in our suite, you can experience both the past and the future at the same time, capturing the sense of now.”

HOTEL SUITE LIVE YOUR TIME design by Jose Carlos Cabello Millán, Spain and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa, Agentina. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE LIVE YOUR TIME design by Jose Carlos Cabello Millán, Spain and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa, Agentina. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT

Drawing on the proud body language of the peacock, Show Me What You Got aims to encourage guests to stand up for themselves with dignity, reminding them everyone’s their most beautiful when they show their true colors. “A peacock is proud, beautiful, powerful and magical, and in our suite the peacock speks for himself, standing there on one side of the room. His magnificent wings embrace the entire ceiling and each eye in his feathers is iluminated and all-seeing. We hope that those who visit the suite will be filled with strength and a sense of affirming their talents. Showing who they really are, just like the peacock does.”

HOTEL SUITE SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT design by Tjåsa Gusfors and David Andrén, Sweden. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

ART SUITE SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT design by Tjåsa Gusfors and David Andrén, Sweden. Photo by Asaf Kliger.

THE ICEHOTEL ART SUITES 2015

ART SUITE TIME PIECE

It brings to mind a clock, something mechanical, but time is really abstract. An eternity or a moment. Constantly moving forward and forging changes, yet we don’t always remember that it’s there. When you step in to the Time Piece suite, you find yourself inside a clock – the enormous cogwheels on the far wall, and the floor-to-ceiling clock on the other side.

“The inspiration for this suite came to us when we thought about the concept of time. It is measured in a very mechanical way and yet it is constant, in a very relative way. ICEHOTEL is a proof of this. In time there will only be water left.”

HOTEL SUITE TIME PIECE Emma Curdén, Theodor Fahlén, Gabriella Bulin, Sweden

ART SUITE TIME PIECE Emma Curdén, Theodor Fahlén, Gabriella Bulin, Sweden

ART SUITE 7 , 5 ° Rø

Playing with notions of matter and space, the 7.5 °Rø suite is divided into 12 frames, each leaning against the frame in front at an angle of 7.5 degrees. The gradient creates a spiral-like twist within the room and an illusion of infinity. The artists were inspired by the Danish astronomer Ole Christensen Rømer, who invented a thermometer that measures in Rø units. According to this scale, water turns to ice at 7.5° Rø, a concept that the creators have used here.

“In our suite, we experiment with the power of change. At 7.5° Rø, water turns to ice, and the frames in the room also incline at a 7.5 degree angle. In this suite, the guests will also change state, from being awake to falling asleep.”

HOTEL SUITE 7 , 5 ° Rø Wolfgang-A. Lüchow, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Anja Kilian, Germany

ART SUITE 7 , 5 ° Rø Wolfgang-A. Lüchow, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Anja Kilian, Germany

ART SUITE CHESS

King, queen, knights, rooks and pawns, all made of ice and snow. The Chess suite is, as the name suggests, inspired by a chess game. With this suite, the creators wanted to express that chess is so much more than just a game. It’s a representation of life, two opponents up against each other – good vs. evil, male vs. female, right vs. wrong or ice vs. snow.

“In chess, just as in life, there are certain rules to follow, rules that have been the same since the game of chess was invented. But life changes. Sometimes we are at the bottom and sometimes we are on top. The question is – who wins?”

ART SUITE CHESS Fernando Inçaurgarat, Nadia Inçaurgarat, Sofia Sol Inçaurgarat, Argentina

ART SUITE CHESS Fernando Inçaurgarat, Nadia Inçaurgarat, Sofia Sol Inçaurgarat, Argentina

ART SUITE RENAISSANCE

A shaft of light illuminates the room, drawing focus to the bed. Created by artist Francisco Cortés Zamudio, this suite is inspired by the period of time that is most synonymous with rebirth – the Renaissance. The light and sculptures symbolize the renewal.

“The Renaissance period was in many ways a rebirth, from the darkness of the Middle Ages to a more enlightened period, with mankind at the center. This was also reflected in the art world. I think that we are, once again, on the verge of a rebirth, where we will need to care more about the environment and the world around us in a new way. In my suite, the guest and the sculptures become a part of this renaissance.”

HOTEL SUITE RENAISSANCE Francisco Cortés Zamudio, Sweden (Chile)

ART SUITE RENAISSANCE Francisco Cortés Zamudio, Sweden (Chile)

ART SUITE RAYS OF VISION

Inspired by the corbels of Uppsala Cathedral, the creators of the Rays of Vision suite have chosen to work with pillars that narrate and act, becoming an interactive part of the design. Just like sculptures and their “rays of vision” were used during the Middle Ages to tell biblical stories, this suite lets the guest interpret the glances of the sculptures, understanding and becoming part of a bigger context.

“We wanted to illustrate these rays of vision that exist in our everyday lives through pictures sculpted into the pillars. We did this using different gazes, looks and expressions. Gazes that meet or gazes that speak. Curious looks or annoyed looks. Characters who see each other, watch each other or respect each other’s differences.”

HOTEL SUITE RAYS OF VISION Lena Kriström & Nina Hedman, Sweden

ART SUITE RAYS OF VISION Lena Kriström & Nina Hedman, Sweden

ART SUITE ABJECT BEAUTY

The classically beautiful often becomes dull and predictable – it becomes the expected. In the Abject Beauty suite, Julia Gamborg Nielsen and Lotta Lampa have worked with abstract, organic sculptures to create a sense of unpredictable dynamics, excitement and movement in the room. With their abstract and detailed world, they hope to change people’s ideas of what is considered beautiful:

“We wanted to create a world within the world. A world full of patterns and shapes that fill the the room and create a captivating scene.”

HOTEL SUITE ABJECT BEAUTY Lotta Lampa & Julia Gamborg Nielsen, Sweden

ART SUITE ABJECT BEAUTY Lotta Lampa & Julia Gamborg Nielsen, Sweden

For more information about art suites please visit ICEHOTEL.

Live your time design by Jose Carlos Cabello Millán and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa Photo Asaf Kliger
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