Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or living in a cave for the last eight years, you’ll have at least heard of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones – both the books and the hugely successful HBO show, currently working on their eighth and final series.
Indeed, it’s hard to go anywhere on the planet right now and avoid some kind of reference to the show or some of its more popular characters, with a huge commercial industry has built up around its success. T-shirts, comics, video games, desk ornaments and now, even hotels.
About 120 miles above the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, the country’s northernmost region lies the Game of Thrones Ice Hotel, a fitting setting for something based on Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’, built in collaboration with HBO Nordic at the Lapland Hotels Snow Village.
Made from 350,000 kilos of natural ice and 20 million kilos of snow, the SnowVillage is sculpted into something new every year and consisting of a Snow Hotel, Ice Restaurant, Ice Bar (complete with carved ice glasses) and Ice Chapel, it covers an area of 20,000 square meters.
Now in its 17th iteration, that theme is Game of Thrones, with a life-size iron throne, Braavosi Hall of Faces and blue-eyed White Walker – couples can even get married there.
Given that it’s still essentially a hotel made out of ice, the whole place is kept at about -2 to -5° Celsius, so guests are provided with high-quality thermal sleeping bags and fleece lining bags. If you’re not a fan of the cold, though, then you’ll want to cut your stay short!
If you want to enjoy this masterpiece, however, you’ll have to hurry up as it’s only open until April 8th, with standard double rooms starting at $270 and ‘snow suites’ at $360 per night.
While the thematic hotel is naturally the main attraction, Finnish Lapland is not short of things to do for the adventurous and if you already made it all the way there, it would be a shame not to try your hand at things like reindeer sledding, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing.
SnowVillage is located in the Western part of Finnish Lapland, in close proximity of Ylläs and Levi ski-resorts and easily reachable from the airport of Kittilä. There are regular tours by car or snowmobile from the resorts of Levi and Ylläs to the SnowVillage.