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Just in time for #tbt – 25 years of ICEHOTEL in pictures

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Accagas I'm Alive, 1995

As Sweden’s famous ICEHOTEL is turning 25, we are taken for a trip down memory lane and a journey back in time with an online gallery featuring footage from early 1990s until present day. 

The suite “Mush-room” from 2008 has floor-to-ceiling agarics, and another one from 2001 features giant bamboo sticks. The gallery reveals variations of the iconic main hall and chandeliers and some of the favorite art suites of past years; including those inspired by Tron, Russian art noveau and Frankenstein’s science lab. Some images date back to the early 1990s and show the early days of the hotel.

The gallery includes historic treats like one of the very first ice chapels ever made, ice sculptures in Sahara and  a grand piano created for Swedish pianist Robert Wells in 2001; as well as large-scale undertakings like a forty-meter iceberg for a Chanel fashion show and a replica of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre.

Despite an industry with many hotels dating over a century, the seemingly humble age of twenty-five still deserves some credit when it comes to this hotel. Not only is it the world’s first hotel of its kind, it’s also a manifestation of great entrepreneurship. For a quarter of a century, its owners see it melt away every spring, only to recreate it in a new guise again come winter.

Having started out with an igloo of the humble size of 45 square meters, today the hotel covers an area nearly the size of a professional soccer field, requiring some 1000 tons of natural ice for its inauguration. It’s the world’s largest of its kind; including sixty rooms, an ice church, ice bar and a majestic main hall featuring solid ice columns and the iconic chandeliers.

The silver edition
Arne Bergh, Creative Director, says they did consider making the 25th anniversary a “best-of” rendition of previous years. “We discussed it, but in the end we decided that we should stick with our original line; we never do the same thing twice, it takes all the fun out of it.” Bergh continues: “Every year, we think ‘this has to be the best hotel we’ve ever made’, and I’m sure this year will be no different – we’re really excited about the ideas that were submitted for the 25th hotel.”

Aside from new design and art work, the hotel will also feature a new event hall, bar area and workshop for the ice sculpting classes that guests can take part in. The theatre, Aurora Hall, will be created using a new building technique whereby ice is casted on to a giant balloon. For this reason, the inner walls will be solid ice, and the outer walls will be covered in soft white snow, making for natural light and acoustics that are different to the other areas of the hotel.

The anniversary celebrations will launch online on October 1. The hotel opens for the winter on 12 December.

It never gets colder than -5 to -8 C

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