Igloos, as most of us know them, are shelters built from compacted snow to provide insulation to their occupants. They are generally associated with the indigenous peoples of the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland who are culturally similar and are collectively known as Inuit. However, in Canada and the United States “Eskimo” was the term used to describe them.
Little did the early Eskimos know that igloos, a shelter for them and their families from the harsh Arctic elements, would one day become luxury tourist attractions with glass domes for star gazing and witnessing the erratic but spectacular Northern Lights – the Aurora Borealis.
Glass igloos are scientifically built with decent amenities and perfectly insulated interiors guaranteeing the comfortable temperature of any five-star hotel room on the coldest of nights.
Occupants can immerse themselves in the wonders of the northern skies including nature’s most spectacular light show from the comfort of their circular space – a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience for most.
We have shared below our top three choices of Arctic resorts for the perfect Arctic holiday.
Arctic Snow Hotel and Glass Igloos – Rovaniemi, Finland
Located 26 kilometers from central Rovaniemi on the shores of Lake Lehtojärvi in the Finnish Lapland, the Arctic Hotel and Glass Igloos offer a number of well thought of packages, rooms, and igloos to suit various tourist types. Visitors can opt for a stay in one of the ice hotel rooms or a glass igloo or opt for a package deal and enjoy both.
The unique Arctic Snow Hotel offers rooms made of ice and snow and, in case you were wondering, have electric lighting too. Add to that, onsite facilities such as a snow sauna, an ice bar, and three restaurants by the serenely picturesque Lehtojärvi Lake and you’ll be looking at a satisfying-to-the-core and unforgettable Arctic holiday.
The glass igloos on this Arctic paradise are equipped with dedicated showers and toilets and are available in two different sizes designed for couples and groups of four. Also, each igloo has its own refrigerator, electric kettle, and hair dryer.
- a. 34x Glass igloo for two (roughly 20 square meters)
- b. 5x Glass igloo for a maximum of four occupants (roughly 33 square meters)
The electrically heated glass dome and under the floor heating with excellent insulation keep the heat trapped and evenly distributed. The thermal glass melts away the snow and ice from the dome keeping it clear at all times for an uninterrupted view of the sky. Motorized beds allow you to maneuver them for optimal viewing or comfort.
The main building serves breakfast and hot drinks and has an open fire place for guest comfort. Each of the arriving guests receives an overnight package including a top quality sleeping bag.
Igloos are available from November 20, 2017, to 31 March 2018, the best vacation time for Aurora chasers.
The three lakeside restaurants serve Lapland specialties, which you are most likely to take to, made from locally sourced ingredients.
In addition to the onsite snow sauna and ice bar you can even enjoy a dip in the outdoor hot tub should you fancy it.
The hotel has a special alarm system that alerts hotel and igloo guests of the appearance of the Aurora so that they don’t miss the mind blowing sky show – something most of them, if not all, have traveled great distances to experience.
Guests can indulge in fun activities such as ice fishing, ice sculpting, and snowshoeing at the site itself.
Although November through March is the best period to witness the blindingly white snow, the Aurora Borealis and Kaamos light shows, other seasons in the Arctic have their own attractions to boast. Summer for the mystical Midnight Sun and Autumn for “Ruska” – the colors of Autumn – are also great seasons to visit this remote, surreal Arctic destination.
Official Website: http://arcticsnowhotel.fi/
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Igloos and Chalets
Located in the Saariselkä Fell region of Finnish Lapland, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers glass igloos and traditional wooden chalets surrounded by nature in a pleasantly unique color. The property boasts the world’s largest smoke sauna and has free WiFi.
The igloos on the property are made of thermal glass and feature luxury beds. Guests can opt for one with a personal bathroom and sauna or choose from the more economical igloos with shared shower facilities.
The chalet comes with a seating area and a fire place, a kitchenette, and a private sauna.
Two on-site à la carte restaurants serve local specialties including reindeer and salmon.
The property boasts a total of six saunas each with a relaxation room and an open fireplace with a handy ice hole for chilling – literally.
For fun activities, there’s nothing better than Husky and reindeer safaris and ‘snowmobiling.’
All in all, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is another great place to experience the magic of the Arctic.
Official Website: http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/
Sixteen kilometers from the town of Ylläsjärvi and 20 km away from the Ylläs ski resort, the Snow Village is a 3-star property featuring creative ice art and sculptures; frozen rooms and suites with sleeping bags; and 2-6 person cabins with Television, hot tubs, and kitchenettes.
- Corridors lined with great snow and ice art
- Free breakfast and guided tours of the resort
- An ice-restaurant
- A traditional Lapland eatery
- A slide
- A chapel
- An onsite hot-tub
- A candle-lit ice-bar