The novelty and excitement that I felt staying in Kirkenes Snow Hotel were so surreal.
Something that you should definitely experience once in your life and include on your travel bucket list. The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is one of the famous igloo hotel in Norway and one of the unique Kirkenes hotels.
Through the archway and past two massive ice wall carvings was our ice cabins for that evening. Each ice cabin has different designs on its wall. My ice cabin’s ice carving was polar bears! So sleeping in an igloo (ice cabin) in the Arctic region with polar bears! It can’t get any better than that! Plus, the magical northern lights displayed an incredible show that evening.
It was a cold winter morning in Oslo; I rushed to the airport to catch the 2-hour flight to the Kirkenes, one of the most northern towns of the Norwegian Arctic Circle for a week cruise exploration.
I’m ecstatic and still can’t believe that I’m literally on the (almost) top of the world. The serenity of the place and the surrounding was filled with snow as far as your eyes can see was just mind-blowing. The sub-zero temperature was ignored due to the adrenaline of excitement. After I’ve been welcomed and transferred, there was a small briefing about what to expect during our stay in this Kirkenes hotel. We were ushered to the wooden Norwegian/Scandinavian style lounge restaurant of the ice hotel to settle in before we started our afternoon activities.
Our adventurous afternoon exploring the frozen fjords on a snowmobile and a quick stop for a King crab safari was a blast! We were not far from the boundaries of Russia and Finland, where you can be in 3 different countries all at the same time!
After our activities, we went to warm up in the arctic cabin style restaurant of the hotel. They served us the arctic beer and the homemade reindeer sausages that we needed to roast in the little fire in the middle of the cabin. It was tasty! After our little snack inside the cabin, we were ushered to the ice bar of the snow hotel. It was incredible! Another welcome drink was served; this time it was crowberry juice. Crowberry is a fruit almost similar to berries, but this is can only be found in the arctic and sub-arctic regions.
After our dinner, the staff of the snow hotel gave us very detailed instructions on how to survive the night and get the most comfortable night sleep in the ice cabin. After all, this will be a night to remember.
Here are some tips on how you can have the most comfortable stay in an ice hotel.
Wear layers of clothing
To tackle the sub-zero temperature inside the ice cabin, you need to wear layers of clothing. This will give you great comfort and insulation throughout the night. In case you feel that you feel too hot, you can just quickly strip off a layer of your clothing. I prefer to use thermal clothes, as it helps retain your body heat. The snow hotel will provide you with woolly socks, balaclava and gloves (or you can use your own gloves).
Skip the shower
For your safety, to avoid hypothermia, it is strongly advisable to skip the shower. Water obviously will get frozen overnight. The outside temperature that evening was -30 degrees centigrade, and inside the ice cabin it was -6 degrees celsius. I’m sure you can now picture how bitterly cold it felt that night. Also make sure to empty your bladder, as it would be a pain to get out of your comfy and snug sleeping bag to go to the toilet.
Courage to stay in the ice cabin
Not everyone is a fan of the cold surroundings, especially staying in an ice cabin might not be an ideal scenario. You have to make sure that you want this personal challenge on your travel bucket list and enjoy the novelty of staying in an igloo. If you feel that you can’t stand the cold temperature, the hotel staff will give you an alternative sleeping arrangement.
Make sure you are not claustrophobic
During this epic night in the ice cabin, you will be sleeping in a sleeping bag. The hotel will provide a sleeping bag that can withstand up to -30 degrees’ centigrade temperatures, so you can rest assure that you will be warm and snug the whole night in your ice cabin. A flat sheet will also be provided as an extra lining and for hygiene purposes while you are in the sleeping bag.
Sharing your room with a buddy is a great option to heat up the ice cabin even a tad bit. Moreover, it’s going to be an awesome way to share this experience with a friend or loved ones.
I had an incredible night sleep in the ice cabin. These tips will help you to survive and have a restful sleep.
It’s worth it and a night to remember!