3 icy getaways for warm hearts

3 icy getaways for warm hearts

by Nicole Rice
Stripes Europe

Swoon your beloved by whisking him or her away to a romantically chilly destination that will surely warm the heart. Visit these igloos and ice hotels this winter, and book now for Valentine's Day.

1. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Saariselkä, Lapland, Finland

Very long nights make for plenty of starlit skies at this icy location, north of the Arctic Circle. With a variety of accommodations from which to choose, you and your love will certainly find just what you’re looking for.

At Hotel Kakslauttanen, the log cabins, Honeymoon Turf Chamber and traditional Lappish farmer log house are all equipped with private bathrooms and saunas. You can enjoy the natural surroundings in your own hot tub outside one of the spacious queen suites. The Honeymoon Turf Chamber is the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. The room was built using stripped birch covered by turf, which provides warmth even in the coldest of winters. The cozy fireplace, Finnish sauna and swanky bathroom, featuring an illuminated starry ceiling, give this room all the warmth and comfort you need.

For those who want to be one with nature, the snow igloos in the Igloo Village are the perfect setting for a memorable experience. Completely surrounded by snow, the temperature inside the igloo remains between -3°C and -6°C. You’ll be provided with warm down sleeping bags, wool socks and a hood to stay warm. Cuddle up close and enjoy a quiet night’s sleep!

If you’re looking for something near to nature, but with a few more comforts of home, the glass igloos provide a rare opportunity to enjoy the starry skies and the Northern Lights, all from the comfort of a warm glass accommodation. Every igloo is also equipped with a toilet and luxury beds, so you can take refuge from the cold for as long as you’d like.

During the day, there are many exhilarating activities and breathtaking excursions in the area to keep your adrenaline pumping. From karting around an icy track to riding an icebreaker across the northern gulf, taking a Husky safari through the winter scenery or plunging into nearly freezing waters, you’ll have no shortage of exciting adventures.

To warm up after a long day of outdoor activity, relax in the world’s largest smoke sauna. Then, have dinner and drinks in one of the four restaurants on the property before settling back in for the night.

2. ICEHOTEL - Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Each winter for more than two decades, artists in the village of Jukkasjärv have taken water from the Torne River to create a work of art called the ICEHOTEL.

In and around the ICEHOTEL, there are many activities to keep your warm blood pumping. You and yours can take ice sculpting classes; venture out snowshoe trekking or cross-country skiing; experience the Sami culture on a reindeer excursion; or end your day on horseback catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights … and perhaps even moose!

Once back at the hotel for the evening, have a drink or two at the ICEBAR. This work of art features a frosty counter serving up libations in glasses made of ice. With a dance floor made of ice and snow, you’re sure to beat the cold while dancing the night away!

For sleeping, the ICEHOTEL offers both warm and cold accommodations. Double and twin rooms as well as chalets that sleep 3 to 5 people are available for those preferring warm accommodations.

If you plan to stay in a cold suite or room, you will check in with a guide and receive information to make your stay comfy and cozy. Don’t fret too much about the negative temperatures in your room because you will be provided with warm clothing as well as tips on how to sleep well in the cold. Snuggle up inside of your thermal sleeping bags, which lay atop a mattress covered with reindeer skins. Enjoy a good night’s rest surrounded by artwork made of ice and snow. In the morning, you’ll be awakened with a hot cup of lingonberry juice before you head out to warm up in the sauna, or enjoy a hot breakfast in the warm building.

The ICEHOTEL is not merely an igloo resort. It is an eco-friendly work of art that will have you saying “oooo” and “ahhh” every way you look. 

3. ALPENIGLU Igloo Village – Söll, Austria  

Not only is SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental the largest interconnected ski resort in Austria, but it also provides one of the best igloo experiences in Europe. This snow village of 18 igloos is located at the Hochbrixen mountain station and is easily accessible, even for those who do not wish to ski. For those who do, SkiWelt is also the largest nighttime ski resort in Austria, offering more than 13 kilometers of slopes for night skiing.

At the ALPENIGLU Igloo Village, you’re in for more than just a night in an igloo. After a scenic ascent up the mountain, you’ll be officially welcomed with a drink. The fun begins with an ice-carving workshop, where you and your love can freshen up on your sculpting skills. Next, you’ll enjoy fondue at an ice table, browse through the ICE LAND exhibition and take a romantic torch-lit hike through the enchanted forest, all before you begin your unforgettable night in a cozy, furnished igloo with mattresses, comfy reindeer furs and warm sleeping bags. In the morning, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet inside of the warm restaurant.

To add a little extra spice to your night, additional options at ALPENIGLU Village include a candlelit dinner in which you and your honey can share a bottle of wine over a table separate from other diners or romantic “honeymoon” decorations and candles in your igloo.

You’ll certainly wish time would stand still so that you can enjoy your stay at ALPENIGLU Village a little longer. 

Other winter adventures in Europe:

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