The Ice Hotel’s “Playing Card Room”

The Ice Hotel’s “Playing Card Room”

Ever payed cards in an igloo? How about an entire hotel made of ice? Join us for a spell, in the famous Ice Hotel’s playing card room.

The Ice Hotel

The Ice Hotel, in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, was first opened in 1989, and since then almost everyone has heard of it just because it happens to be a world first: it’s an entire hotel built in ice and snow, frozen in the winter and harvested from the nearby Tourne River.

Amazingly, the hotel used to get built and re-built between December and April every year to make way for the season, but more recently they keep it up year round with the use of solar cooling system in the summer. And, although all the rooms used to be in the cooler, newer editions include indoor accommodations as well.

Artists are usually invited to lend their hand to the yearly new seasonal creations in the ice hotel, and that’s part of the real magic of the place; while you know the basics of what you’re going to get, every artist has a new and different take on each year’s hotel.

Luxury Stay, On Ice

How luxurious can things really get in an ice hotel?

Well, it has everything you can think of: restaurants, bars, beds, seats – there’s even a church within the hotel. True to its name, everything inside the hotel has also been crafted from ice, including the glasses for your drink. (Unless, we guess, you prefer something like hot chocolate or steaming coffee…)

If the first question on your mind is how you’d stop your butt from getting cold on ice, the beds are usually equipped with very (very, very…) warm sleeping gear so that you don’t freeze during your stay. Many visitors will be pretty glad to know that there’s a sauna if things get a little too chilly.

The Playing Card Room

Rooms in the Ice Hotel are usually designed by invited artists, and it’s the 2016/2017 version of one of the Ice Hotel’s rooms that caught our eye.

This room was entitled the “House of Cards” and was put together in the style of a stacked house of cards that’s instead made from ice – and it’s really spectacular to behold, especially if you’ve ever tried to build one out of, well, actual cards!

The room was designed by two artists and product designers, and pictures are available on the Ice Hotel’s official website if you’d like to take a closer look.

The description for the room from the Ice Hotel website says:

Playing cards is an international language. Anyone can play and everyone can be an architect, trying to build a house of cards; perhaps as high as possible or in as many variations imaginable. This cold structure consists of illuminated cards with engraved Nordic animals.


By Alex J. Coyne

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

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