Early opening for Lapland ice hotel

The world's largest ice hotel welcomed its first guests this week, one month earlier than usual.

Icehotel Jukkasjarvi in Swedish Lapland traditionally opens in early December, when the team of snow builders, architects and designers have finished their annual task of crafting over 22,000 tonnes of frozen matter into a fully-functioning hotel.

However, improved construction techniques meant that the hotel was completed by November 17 this year, enabling it to open for corporate guests ahead of the public opening on December 10.

This year's hotel features 60 ice rooms and is the 21st hotel at the site, which was the world's first ever ice hotel and, despite competition from Canada's Hotel de Glace, remains the largest.

It also offers a luxury suite, an ice reception desk, an ice church, an ice bar in association with Absolut and a main hall featuring a crystalline ice chandelier.

A crack team of experts is responsible for creating the 5,500 meter-square Ice Hotel, building it by shooting a mixture of snow and ice over huge steel forms which are then removed when it is set.

Specially-selected artists from all over the world then begin crafting blocks of ice harvested from a nearby river to create the interior, each participant mentored by another with previous experience of building ice and snow.

Icehotel remains open until Spring, when it is left to melt and flow back into the Torne River, from where it came.

The Hotel de Glace, a similar property and the only ice hotel in North America, is currently set to open on January 7.

http://www.icehotel.com

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