The Ice Hotel Bedroom

The Ice Ice Hotel with a Remarkable Marketing Difference

In Hospitality Outlets, Hotels by Freddie FramptonLeave a Comment

The Story behind the worlds first Ice Hotel

The IceHotel is the world’s first ice hotel and is located in the village of Jukkasjärvi, north Sweden, 17 kilometers from Kiruna. Japanese ice artists visited the area back in 1989 and created an exhibition organized by Yngve Bergqvis, followed by another exhibition the next spring with a French artist called Jannot Derid in a cylinder shaped igloo. The exhibition by now had now become quite a tourist attraction and the small village was unable to provide accommodation for all the visitors, so those without rooms had no other option but to ask for permission to stay in the igloo. They were provided with some reindeer skins on which they placed their sleeping bags and tucked up for the night, unwittingly knowing that they were actually the first guests of what is now known as the IceHotel.

Northern Lights at the Ice Hotel

IceHotel under the Northern Lights

The Torne River is the provider of the raw materials ice and snow, from which the IceHotel is built. The snow is used to build the structure and the ice for the interior design, even the bedrooms, beds, and chairs are made from ice. The temperature is constantly -5 and reindeer skins are still used for bedding along with polar certified sleeping bags. If you like to be pampered then this probably isn’t the place for you as there are no bathrooms, these are located in a modern building situated close by but if the cold becomes too unbearable you can always take a dip in the hot tub outside.

Building the Ice Hotel

Building the Ice Hotel

Yngve Bergkvist, founder of the Ice Hotel

Yngve Bergkvist, founder of the Icehotel.

The whole point of this article is to give kudos to Yngve Bergqvis, the founder of the words first Ice Hotel, because he recognized an opportunity and acted upon it. Sometimes you don’t have to think outside the box to come up with an original concept, the best ideas could well be staring right at you. Yngve had identified what we call in marketing a Remarkable Difference, that what truly makes your concept unique and stand out from all others, it is from hear that all your other ideas can flow. And to prove my point that is just what Yngve did, you may never have known about the IceHotel but I will bet that you have heard of the IceBar, his next business venture with Absolut Vodka.

The IceBar in London

The Ice Bar in London

The Hotel De Glace Rewarding Creativity

Not long after the IceHotel the more luxurious Hotel de Glace was born. It is located on the slopes of the Laurentian Mountains in Duchesnay, just 10 minutes from downtown Québec City and constructed out of ice and snow. Open for just 3 months it is rebuilt every December and opens in January before being shut down again in April. Not only is it constructed entirely out of ice and snow, it disappears every spring. It takes 50 workers to build the hotel, making their own snow using a specific mixture to adjust humidity. Cranes are used to assemble metal frames for the base to support 4 foot thick walls created from 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice. If first opened in 2001 with just 11 beds and now houses 51, after the 13th season of opening it was reported that they had welcomed over a million visitors with 43,000 overnight guests.

Bar at the Hotel De Glace

Bar at the Hotel De Glace

The thirty-six-room facility always maintains a temperature of 5 degree Celsius and only the bathrooms are heated in a separately insulated structure. Each highly original room features artwork with ice-or-water-related themes, like mermaids and polar bears. Grecian columns carved from ice and snow add to the magic, even the furniture and glasses are manufactured with ice. Your stay is not complete until you try a ride down the ice slide and explore the inside of the largest igloo on Earth.

The Hotel de Glace Interior

The Hotel de Glace Interior

Ephemeral Architecture Contest

What I really love about the design of Hotel de Glace is that they run an annual competition for upcoming architects to come up with an original concept for a themed suite using just ice and snow. The winners of the competition then get to see their ideas bought to life by the sculptors who create the next edition. Not only does this fuel creativity in a word where originality is often overlooked, it also gives budding students a chance to earn some well-deserved recognition.

Table Carving at Hotel de Glace

Table Carving at Hotel de Glace

About the Author

Freddie Frampton


A progressive and operational, British National, strategist and trusted consultant with a rich mix of Business Development & Marketing experience spanning over 20 years of international work experience (Middle East and Europe) as a leading business professional in the hospitality industry.

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