Sweden is the ninth most visited country in the world, and this Scandinavian destination spot offers its visitors much more than meatballs and Modernism. For one, Sweden is home to some of the most unusual hotels, many of which have been sites for eccentric design: the Tree Hotel can literally put you up in one of several suspended private pods, each individually crafted and schematically furnished. For those who prefer to be more comfortably grounded, there is the former silver mine in Sala that now invites travelers to tunnel 155 feet below ground and relax in a private catacomb after cave diving and drinking champagne.
Out in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, hospitality comes chilled. Surrounded by the Torne River, a brisk arctic climate, and the Northern Lights, Sweden’s ICEHOTEL rebuilds itself every winter like a frosty version of Burning Man to deliver “sensuous, inspiring and unique experiences within art, nature, accommodation and gastronomy” until the architecture melts away. More than just a hotel, ICEHOTEL is an “ephemeral art project,” and this season they have summoned French artist and designer Antoine Weygand and architect Roland Toupet to design “Diamond Genesis,” a name fitting for a celebrity’s child or a hip-hop EP but bestowed upon ICEHOTEL room 339.
Guests in room 339 can sprawl upon a mattress set on a chiseled bed of ice and marvel at the kaleidoscopic geometries carved into the walls of Weygand and Toupet’s luxury igloo. Crystalline walls of icy brick surround the spacious vault, and illuminated ice sculptures shaved into comically large diamonds are strewn upon the snowy ground. But don’t be fooled by the fur pelt bed spread and other posh allusions: travelers who want to experience a hotel made of ice will get exactly that, and the triumph of having survived the -5ºC indoor temperature is likely the only thing you can take home from these glacial lodgings.
[All photos © Moa Karlberg, via]