- Old friends are best. John Selden
Stay in an Ice Hotel
How to sleep there ?
Dress for the occasion
You will always need to pack thermal clothing and plenty of warm layers when you travel to northern countries during winter, and it is absolutely essential that you do when planning a trip to an ice hotel or an igloo. No matter how cold it gets outside, the temperature inside remains almost constant. But that still means that it’ll be around -5 degrees centigrade in your ice suite. The best advice on how to sleep in the cold is to wear lots of layers. This traps more air around the body, which is then warmed by your own body heat, thus retaining warmth around you. Also recommended are long-johns, fleeces, a woolly hat, scarf, thick gloves and thermal socks. Tall, insulating snow boots will keep your feet warm and protected when walking around the ice hotel. It is often the case that the resort will allow you to borrow certain items of clothing such as down jackets and suitable footwear, so check with your travel advisor before you go.
Refrain from drinking too much before you go to bed
Many ice hotels and igloo resorts have their own bars, which stay open quite late. Often, they are open to the public too. However, your ice suite will not have any bathroom facilities so to avoid that niggling feeling in the middle of the night, make sure that you don’t drink anything just before you go to bed. There will be bathrooms for guests to use in a warm building close by, but it will involve leaving your nice, warm sleeping bag and trekking through the frozen corridors to get there.
Collect your bedding from the reception and snuggle up tight
Thick sleeping bags and bed sheets are collected by guests before they retire to their ice suite or igloo. There is sometimes a choice between single sleeping bags or double ones. Staff at the resort will also give you further tips on how to sleep in the cold. The base of the beds are often made from blocks of ice, sometimes there are mattresses on top, sometimes there aren’t. Especially in Scandinavian countries however, there will be insulating reindeer hides covering the beds, which are soft and comfortable. Between those, the sleeping bags and multiple layers of clothing, most people do not feel any cold at all during the night.
Wake up, warm up
A member of staff will usually come to wake you in the morning with welcome cups of hot juice for everyone. Warm up on the inside, before making your way over to the sauna to warm up on the outside too. Guests then head to the resort’s restaurant for a hearty breakfast.
Enjoy the day
Now you know how to sleep in the cold, find out what there is to do during the daytime. There are always plenty of outdoor activities to try when you stay at an ice hotel or an igloo resort, especially in countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland. Snowmobiling and dog sledding are two of the most popular pastimes to try, but you may prefer things a bit slower-paced and opt for a reindeer sleigh ride or a snowshoeing hike instead. Other activities like ice fishing, kick-sledding and tobogganing are fun for all ages. You could even try your hand at creating your own ice sculptures like the ones you see inside ice hotels, or perhaps have a go at building your own igloo.