In the already surreal Lapland (Finland’s northernmost region), you’ll find a destination not of this world. It’s home to some of the planet’s most beautiful, Arctic-inspired lodging like the Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos and the futuristic Koutalaki Ski Village, where visitors will be able to ski on the hotel’s roof. For the 2018 winter season, one more hotel is joining the fray, and it’s straight out of Game of Thrones.
The aptly named Snow Hotel is a one-off, temporary resort built entirely of snow and ice, including the beds, furniture, even the cocktail “glasses” at the bar. While ice hotels are nothing new, the theme for this year’s Snow Hotel is. It was designed in collaboration with HBO Nordic to feature a one-of-a-kind, Game of Thrones-inspired theme.
Fans of Westeros will recognize the Braavosi Hall of Faces, an imposing White Walker likeness with glowing blue eyes, and, of course, a full-sized throne of swords guarded by Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. Sculptors and interior designers were brought in from Poland, Russia, Latvia, and Ukraine to custom create the dozens of rooms and suites. All feature an ice figure from the TV show, but no two are exactly alike. Temperatures inside hover around 23 degrees Fahrenheit, so military-grade sleeping bags are provided to overnight guests. There are also warming cabins for anyone who just can’t brave the cold.
Every winter since 2000, Lapland’s SnowVillage returns in a bigger and better way, with an entirely new theme. The complex is torn down and rebuilt annually using more than 40 million pounds of snow and 770,000 pounds of natural ice. While the theme changes each year, the overall concept is the same. The 215,000-square-foot complex includes the Snow Hotel, plus an Ice Restaurant (with local delicacies like reindeer steak), an Ice Bar, and a cinema. There’s even an Ice Chapel which hosts hundreds of wedding each season. The village is situated in Kittilä, a vacation resort approximately 125 miles into the Arctic Circle. While it might feel like the end of the world — and indeed it almost is — it’s just 90 minutes from the country’s capital Helsinki.
The entire SnowVillage, including the Game of Thrones Snow Hotel, opened on December 12, 2017. Rooms start at $200 per night and can be reserved through April 8, 2018. Guided tours are offered for just $18 per person. Book now if you’re interested. Once this year’s Game of Thrones-inspired version of the hotel melts, it’s gone forever.
Images courtesy of Lapland’s SnowVillage.