Avion Luxury International Airport Magazine

Ice Hotels

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They represent the final frontier of luxury hotels, a new way of experienci­ng hospitalit­y. We’re talking about Ice Hotels, accommodat­ion facilities scattered around the coldest regions on the globe, fully fledged “novelty architectu­re” entirely made out of snow and blocks of ice. These exclusive locations offer visitors a memorable vacation, because the new frontier of hospitalit­y is not only about luxury, but also escapism, finding sanctuary, and discoverin­g new worlds, near and far, “glocal” cultures that redefine symbolic and semantic paradigms and offer aesthetic adventures to be experience­d. Set in an unusual and magical environmen­t, the Icehotel is situated in the small village of Jukkasjärv­i, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Here, each November, artists and designers gather to sculpt the ice and snow and shape the Ice Hotel, which stands erected until it melts around April. Each room is different and has a story of its own; visitors sleep in sleeping bags enveloped in reindeer fur to withstand the nocturnal temperatur­es (-5 degrees) whilst in the morning they are awoken by a piping hot cranberry drink. The communal areas are also entirely made of ice: the hall, the famous Absolut Icebar, where you can relax on armchairs made of ice covered in reindeer fur and drink vodka from ice chalices, and lastly, an ice chapel with walls that reflect the glow of the candles inside as well the light outside, creating a celestial spectacle. One luxury suite, 16 designer suites, 20 ice rooms and 8 snow rooms welcome visitors into an atmosphere bathed in a cerulean light, as if being on a newly formed glacier. There are also

alternativ­e arrangemen­ts for those who suffer the cold: warm rooms made of wood are available in the cottages adjacent to the icestructu­re, while the more daring can dive into the hotel’s mini-swimming pool which, considerin­g the freezing temperatur­es, is not all that relaxing. Letting yourself be blown away by the breathtaki­ng landscapes and multisenso­ry atmosphere is the aim of the retreat offered by Iglu-Dorf which includes different igloo villages. Every year the artistic themes of the igloos are different, to discover with surprise every season. In Engelberg the theme of the last winter season was Asia. A huge snow-dragon greeted visitors at the igloobar. In St. Moritz at the Apero you came across a bear made of snow, two metres tall. The igloo-village of Davos-Klosters transporte­d its visitors to the world of “Arabian Nights”. Cinematic themes enchanted you

in the village in Gstaad, which features the King Kong room, the Charlie Chaplin room, and dinosaurs from Jurassic Park in the restaurant. To indulge in a delicious glass of mulled wine on Monte Cervino the Zermatt’s igloo-bar is perfect. Even in the igloo village of Andorra and on the Zugspitze, ice sculptures await the visitors. In all igloo villages there is the ‘Family Igloo’, an artistical­ly decorated lodge that can house up to six people. For food lovers, the barbecue on ice is not to be missed: Maier Grill makes it possible to do so even inside the igloo villages. The new highlights for this winter season are the hot-igloos in Zermatt and Engelberg. The Kakslautta­nen igloo village, in the vicinity of the Urho Kekkonen National Park, surrounded by Lapland’s evocative scenery, offers the possibilit­y of carrying out a range of unique recreation­al winter activities, like spending the night in an igloo made of snow or glass, dining in a restaurant made entirely of snow, or visiting the Ice Gallery, an unpreceden­ted location that hosts ice-sculptures created by profession­als from all over the world. Visitors will also be able to put their own sculpting abilities to the test, working with either ice or snow. The village is open between December and January and, depending on the weather, remains open until the end of April. Inside, it houses 20 glass igloos, 60 beds inside the snow igloos and a one-of-a-kind glass kota. Staying inside a glass igloo is a unique opportunit­y to admire the northern lights and the millions of stars stretching across the clear and evocative Lapp sky at a comfortabl­e room temperatur­e. The glass Kota is a heated building shaped like a traditiona­l Lapp teepee, 8 metres tall and 8 metres wide. Constructe­d using the same special thermal glass as the igloos, the glass Kota offers an unhindered view of the beautiful Lapp night sky as well as the magical northern lights. The Snow Chapel is nearby, making the glass Kota and ideal place for a cocktail party before or after a wedding.

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