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Icehotel is back: Take a look at this year's amazing art-themed frozen rooms

Sweden’s famous Icehotel has reopened for its 26th winter and is brimming with hand-crafted, ice-sculpted art.

Visitors to the hotel – located in Jukkasjärvi, Lapland – can choose to sleep in an art-themed suite, including one featuring a 3m (10ft) tall elephant carved out of snow.

Nineteen of the Icehotel’s 50 rooms feature the unique pieces of ice art created by architects and designers from all over the world.

You can see some of the suites in the photos below.

Artist Lena Kriström has also crafted a large outdoor sculpture on the banks of the river Torne as part of the Icehotel initiative, with the piece pointing skywards as a symbol of hope, light and energy.

Construction on the hotel begins every year as soon as temperatures drop below zero. Around 4,000 tonnes of natural ice are harvested from the river and the amount of snow used could make 700 million snowballs. Chandeliers for the rooms are made from 1,000 hand cut ice crystals.

Building work takes two months, culminating in the creation of a connected ice church for the hotel.

The hotel is dismantled when temperatures rise in April.

Visitors to Icehotel this year can participate in Nordic skiing, Swedish sauna rituals – including an ice plunge and thermal starlit bath – and an Arctic wilderness survival course.

Next year, the developers are planning to open an additional, smaller hotel adjacent to the original. However, there will be one key difference: the new structure won't melt. The power of Jukkasjärvi ‘s midnight sun will be harnessed to keep the building cool all year round.

Explaining the reason for the new project, Icehotel artist and creative advisor Arne Bergh said: “Ice has an interesting effect on creativity. As it’s not permanent it makes you dare to try ideas that you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s very liberating. The idea of a project that marries this transient tradition with a semi-permanent, year-round element is very exciting.”

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FEATURE: Design – Icy reception

Sweden’s famous Icehotel has reopened for its 26th winter and is brimming with hand-crafted, ice-sculpted art. Visitors to the hotel – located in Jukkasjärvi, Lapland – can choose to sleep in an art-themed suite, including one featuring a 3m (10ft) tall elephant carved out of snow. Nineteen of the Icehotel’s 50 rooms feature the unique pieces of ice art created by architects and designers from all over the world. You
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