Ice Ice Baby!

Built with ice - chilled by sunlight

ICEHOTEL is the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow. Founded in 1989, it is reborn in a new guise every winter, in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The Torne River, the arts, and creating a setting for life-enriching moments are at the heart of it all.

Until now, this unique tourist attraction has only been built and in operation during the winter season, but all that is about to change. The next challenge is to turn the ICEHOTEL into an all-year round venue constructed on the water and powered by the sun, with the aim of becoming carbon dioxide negative. Volvo machines play a major role in this transformation with the mammoth tasks on site executed by Volvo wheel loader models L60E, L35B, L30B and a 1992 L50.

An ice cold idea
“When I first moved here, people told me that the winters are dark and cold. Even the tourist manager was convinced that nobody in their right mind would come to visit Jukkasjärvi during winter. He called it a ‘cold hole’,” says Icehotel founder Yngve Bergkvist. “I wanted to change that image, and started to think about how we could use the cold in a productive and exciting way,” he continues.

Volvo wheel loader at icehotelNatural cycle
From a sustainable point of view the ICEHOTEL does play in a league of its own. The natural ice is cultivated and harvested from the Torne River, which flows past the ICEHOTEL. Come spring, most of the hotel and all the artwork melts and returns to the river again. This minimizes wastage and emissions as the ice is not transported from source to storage and any ice that is not used also returns to the river in spring. 

"I have a background in environmental science and have always believed that you should be able to utilize and recycle every part of what you build," Bergkvist says.

The new all-year hotel
The new all-year ICEHOTEL 365 is scheduled for the end of 2016.  There will be 20 rooms, a 200-square-meter ice bar and a large art hall with sculptures and exhibitions, all available 365 days of the year.

Read the full article on the Volvo website.


700 million snowballs
The 35 000 cubic meters of ‘snice’ (a mixture of snow and ice) used to build the venue equates to the volume of 700 million snowballs.

-5°C /21°F
This is the average temperature in the ICEHOTEL, thanks to the insulating effect of the snow. Outdoor temperatures range from 20°C/68°F in July to -40°C/-40°F in January.

300 beds
With 150 warm and 150 cold beds, the ICEHOTEL complex also houses an ice church, ice bar, ice-sculpting studio and pillar hall, two heated restaurants, a lounge, four meeting rooms and two wilderness camps.

Volvo machines on site
Volvo L60E, Volvo L35B, Volvo L30B and Volvo L50.


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