Kirkenes Snowhotel opened first time in 2006, since then they are giving to their guests a wonderful experience in one of Norways most beautiful surroundings. Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is like a small treasure. The rooms are five metres in diameter, and they are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable night. Every year they use about 15 tonnes of ice for the hotel bar and rooms. Kirkenes Snowhotel have a cosy wilderness restaurant next to the hotel. The bar and the sculpures are different from year to year. It is always exciting to see what the artist find inside the ice.
Kirkenes Snowhotel uses the snows insulating abilities. Snow is a very good insulator, when it is minus thirty degrees outside it will still be relative warm inside the snowhotel, a stable minus five degrees celsius. This special ability of the snow is also known by mother nature, the Ptarmigan makes caves in the deep snow during winter and thus saves a lot of energy inside this shelter, the same can bee seen with the Husky dogs they let them self snow down to keep warm.
All of their 20 snowsuites have a different theme from arctic culture or nature. The lighted ice sculptures gives the snowhotel a very cosy and special atmosphere. The beds are framed with ice blocks and the beds have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees celsius.
Humans produce a small amount of heat and moisture through breathing, That’s why the rooms have curtains instead of doors, to make the air circulate. In every room there is decorations and sculptures made from ice and snow. These arts are created by artists from the chinese city of Harbin.
In their restaurant “Gabba” you can get a taste of the best produce from this region of Norway. The restaurant building is shaped like a Sami tent, but built in russian style of pine timber. The restaurant is circular with an big open fireplace in the middle. This fireplace is where they cook all the food.
The menu is mostly fish whitch is in abundance in this region. Cod, salmon and arctic charr. The Arctic charr comes from their own fishfarm, and this have won a price for best seafood in Norway in 2009. And their menu includes also reindeer meat.
Preparations begin already in December, at this time the ice on the lake next to the snowhotel is thick enough to use for construction, about 20 centimeters. This ice continues to grow with 2 cm every day till it reaches about 70 centimeters thickness.
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