The Eye

Sweden’s Fantastical Icehotel Features a “Love Capsule” and a Giant Elephant Sculpture

“Fractus” by German artists Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A. Lüchow is a suite of icy physics-inspired molecules and fractals.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A. Lüchow/Icehotel.

The first photos of Sweden’s spectacular Icehotel 26, which opened Friday, include a room with a nearly 10-foot sculpture of an African elephant looming over the ice-framed bed, a 1970s-influenced “Love Capsule,” a room inspired by molecules and fractals, and a suite that’s an homage to the 1920s silent horror cult film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Flying Buttress
The “Flying Buttress” suite designed by AnnaKatrin Kraus, a California native and graduate of Humboldt State University, and Hans Aescht from Germany is inspired by the hotel’s iconic catenary ceiling arch. By creating a forest of Gothic-like ice pillars, they sought to transform it into an intimate ice cave.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of AnnaKatrin Kraus and Hans Aescht/Icehotel.

The Power of Love:
German artists Sebastian Scheller and Kristina Möckel conceived “The Power of Love” as “the machine room” of love, they say, with giant ice pipes and a “love barometer” that captures the energy in the room.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Sebastian Scheller and Kristina Möckel/Icehotel.

Cesare’s Wake
“Cesare’s Wake,” designed by Greek artists Petros Dermatas and Ellie Souti, was inspired by the 1920s silent horror cult film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Petros Dermatas and Ellie Souti/Icehotel.

Every March, some 5,000 tons of natural ice is harvested from Sweden’s River Torne and stockpiled until temperatures fall. And in the eight weeks leading up to Christmas, the ice-carving elves of the Icehotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi chisel the world’s most spectacular ice hotel from ice and snow.

Elephant in the Room
“Elephant in the Room” by Swedish sculptor AnnaSofia Maag, is a nearly 10-foot-tall African elephant that looms over an ice-framed bed.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of AnnaSofia Maag/Icehotel.

Live your time:
The “Live Your Time” suite is designed by Spaniard Jose Carlos Cabello Millán and Argentinian Javier Alvaro Colombo Matassa.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Jose Carlos Cabello Millán and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa/Icehotel.

Under the Arctic Skin
Father-son duo Rob and Timsam Harding from Spain’s “Under the Arctic Skin” is a Mediterranean interpretation of the Arctic, inspired by the way living in a cold climate affects day-to-day life.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Rob and Timsam Harding/Icehotel.

The hotel features 19 suites designed from the frozen dreams of artists from around the world, a bar decorated in chandeliers made from 1,000 hand-cut ice crystals serving cocktails in glasses made of ice, and an ice church that opens around Dec. 25.

Show Me What You Got:Tjasa Gusfors, David Andran
“Show Me What You Got.” designed by Swedes Tjasa Gusfors and David Andrén, is inspired by the grace of a peacock, with the underlying message that one is most beautiful when brave enough to show the world our true colors.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Tjasa Gusfors and David Andrén/Icehotel.

Eye Suite
Designed by Frenchmen Nicolas Triboulot and Cédric Alizard, the “Eye Suite” has sharp angles inspired by crystal and the sparkling, pure characteristics it shares with ice.

Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Nicolas Triboulot and Cédric Alizard/Icehotel.

Love Capsule

The “Love Capsule,” by Frenchmen Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison, is a groovy ice suite inspired by iconic 1970s fashion, design, and disco.


Photo by Asaf Kliger. Courtesy of Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison/Icehotel.

In addition to freezing their asses off, guests of the hotel can look forward to Swedish saunas featuring an ice plunge and thermal starlit bath; cuisine including sashimi on ice and reindeer with chocolate sauce; and an Arctic wilderness survival course for beginners that teaches basic skills such as how to move in deep snow, boil and drink pine tea, or spark a fire.