I had the really big luck to spend one night from 26 till 27 December in the famous Kirkness Snow Hotel, one of the most beautiful hotels of ice in the world!
I thus arrived by plane at the airport of Kirkness. My plane was 3 hours late because of a snowstorm! I took a flight with the company Widerøe (a local company): it was the first time I went up in a propeller aircraft, with only 29 places inside, and guess what… I was alone in the plane with both pilots and stewardesses, a raving! I had a privative plane! So, on arrival at Kirkenes airport, the storm was still very strong, I took a taxi to join the Tuna hotel, because it was the meeting point to surrender to Kirkenes snowhotel.
Once arrived at the Snow hotel, it was dark of course! I could not perceive anything. I was directly invited in a small cabin to change and put on warm clothes to make a snowmobile tour. We were 4 snowbikes, and the guide (French, besides). Normally, it is necessary to be two by snowbike, but as I was traveling alone, I had one for myself. It was very easy to drive!
After the snowmobile raid, I had some time to discover the neighborhood and …wow, just incredible… I never saw nothing so beautiful! Sculptures of ices and snow everywhere! Finally, it was not as cold as we could imagine…Inside the hotel, it was between minus 4 and minus 6 degrees, sleeping bags were lent to you in order to protect you until minus 25 °C. Moreover, socks, cowls and sheet to put in the sleeping bag came to complete this equipment: no panic, you would not be cold!
At 5 pm, everybody came back from excursion, and joined in a wooden house, a kind of snack bar where reindeer’s sausage are waiting for you (with a mix of pork) to make roast in the wood fire. If you are vegetarian or if you do not eat a pork, no problem, you can eat some corn, grilled by yourself!
When everybody had finish to eat, they would give you your room number, then you would be taken with all other customers of the hotel towards Snow Hotel, which is closed to this small wooden house I told you previously. Many information about the Hotel were given, it was really interesting!
You would cross this small front door and arrive in an ice made paradise, snow, sculptures and colors. If you can feel the -6°c outside, you’d have the feeling to be warmer inside these walls of snow. The hotel is composed of 25 rooms, all different, each one more amazing than the others! On the other hand, it was a little bit the lottery to know which one will be attributed to you. There are family rooms, that is for 4 people: you will not have several beds but only an immense bed, to be warmly held! Double rooms are also proposed. In every single room, there are different sculptures. You can also reach the ice-bar, situated in the hall. Do not wonder why, but rooms have no doors, only curtains. But it is not really disturbing.
The hotel melts every year in March and begins to be rebuild during the last week of November with artificial snow in order to be sure to have enough snow. But don’t worry, you will always have real snow under your feet. The snowhotel opens its doors on December 20th. On the other hand they do not know the exact date of closing because it depends on the weather report, which varies every year. What is brilliant, is that you can return the following year in the hotel and it will never be similar as the previous year!
Before arriving, I asked myself the following question: where are showers and toilets?! (The question can seem stupid, but I am certain that you also wonder the same thing). And of course, they are in a
connected part with the hotel, which is naturally warmed. I find showers really practical. A simple curtain and not really a room to change. There is also a big building where you can have dinner and breakfast, and where a rest room, with WiFi, is available.
As for the meal, for my part it was excellent, everybody had the same menu (if you have an allergy, etc. do not hesitate to inform them). I had a tartar of reindeer as a starter, for main course: salmon with its sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes. For dessert an ice-cream with a raspberry coulis.
Now I am going to tell you what I thought about this amazing experience!
About the snowmobile tour, I was a little disappointed. We did not go very far from the hotel and we’ve circled back on ourselves. Apparently when there is a tide on the path, which we have to borrow, the water overhangs the ice and the path is thus impracticable. On the other hand, the guide was very competent. There are lots of other activities which are proposed, click the link to have an overview.
Dinner and breakfast were excellent, nothing to add.
Just extraordinarily beautiful, it is really well done! Beds are comfortable (you are not sleeping on ice), and sleeping bags are very warm. Everything is implemented so that you had a good night’s sleep, and it is really the case. I have a mixed feeling about my night, but it depends on the sleep of each one. Anyway I have not been cold! I was lucky enough to stay in a room for 4 people while I was alone, a small rather nice luxury! Corridors are also magnificent and not very long to cross (I thought that it is an important point haha). The reception hall where we can find the ice bar is also magnificent!
The welcome and the staff:
A staff which really cares about your comfort, they are all smily and it is really pleasant! They are very attentive and accessible. It is very easy to discuss with them. They are really kind. You can also come to the snowhotel to visit it. It is 150 Nok for the entrance, or you can also come to have dinner. It is unique experience to live if you pass by Kirkenes or even in Norway (it is very fast to travel from Oslo to Kirkenes). It is also very easy to join this small place of Lapland from Sweden, Finland or Russia!
I wanted to thank Kirkenes Snowhotel for having answered my demand and for having invited me. What an opportunity for a young blogger as myself to be able to live this unique experience! My opinion is objective and sincere, and I invite you to try the experience and to send me your feedbacks. 🙂