The Environmental Cycle

Every year, we borrow ice from the river to build a new, seasonal hotel of ice and snow, which eventually melts and returns back to its origin come spring. The basic idea of Icehotel is built on the premise of the environmental cycle, and our relation to the water and the ice is central.

boat on calm Torne river in summer
Photo Asaf Kliger
Jukkasjärvi and Torne river from above in winter  in pink polar light
Photo VideoVan

side by side with mother Nature

Nature is crucial for our business - a source of inspiration, for daily adventures and not least; the source of our building material. Icehotel is located in a nature-rich area on the bank of Torne River - Sweden's largest and northernmost national river.

With its mighty 520 kilometres, the river runs from the ancient mountains in the west and further down to the coast in the east where it unites with the Gulf of Bothnia.

maintaining the ice field

Torne River supplies Icehotel with its ice in the winter. In the summer, when the hotel is melting, the water returns to its origin. The natural ice demands a lot of work - months and months are spent maintaining the "ice field", keeping it clear from snow to create the best possible conditions for it to grow before springtime when it is finally harvested.

Ice harvest with two tractors
Photo VideoVan
ice block lifted up from the river

Naturally grown ice

Icehotel works only with naturally grown ice which has been allowed to grow at it's own pace and is available right outside our doorstep.

The amount of wastage and emissions is kept down as there is no need for the ice to be transported from the production source to the storage, and any ice that is not being used is returned to the river again.

storing the ice

The ice is harvested in the spring, and gets stored in the storage hall until it is time to use it. The ice layer is insulated with the help from Hasopor, a lightweight insulation material made from recycled glass and one of the most environmentally friendly alternatives on the market. The cold climate serves as a natural coolant during most parts of the year and is backed up by CO2 during the summer months.

When you store ice quantities as large as thousands of tons, the ice actually preserves itself and keeps the cold better on its own.

huge ice blocks inside ice storage
Photo Asaf Kliger
solar panels at Icehotel in summer
Photo Asaf Kliger


In addition to our seasonal “winter hotel”, in 2016 we opened the doors to a new ice hotel: Icehotel 365. Open all year round, including twenty suites, an ice bar and an art gallery, it is solely run on renewable energy.

Thanks to the development of solar energy combined with the many hours of sunshine in the Arctic Circle between May and September, it is possible to keep Icehotel open in a sustainable way even throughout the summer.