The AMAZING Kirkenes Snow Hotel
You only visit your last country on earth once, right? I wanted to do it style. I had dreamed of this moment for years, 11 years to be exact, since I started my quest to every country in the world. So now, in Norway, surrounded by family and close friends, let’s finish this thing in style. Finishing in Norway was cool, but finishing in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, cooler still. Finishing up by sleeping in a snow hotel in the Arctic Circle, now that’s the coolest. So I headed directly to the amazing Kirkenes Snow Hotel to make it happen.
So all of us flew to Oslo, then connected with Norwegian Airlines up to Kirkenes, right in the North of Norway, sitting on the Russian border, where it’s freezing cold and the chances of catching the Northern Lights are high. This was bucket list stuff. Staying in an ice hotel or a snow hotel has always been right high up my list of things to do before I die, but I wanted everyone to experience it with me, so we threw ourselves in at the deep end and booked six rooms in the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. And it was every bit as amazing as I had dreamed, and worth every single cent.
Waiting for my celebratory champagne in the ice bar….
WHAT IS THE KIRKENES SNOW HOTEL?
There are a couple of ice and snow hotels in Norway, but the Kirkenes Snow hotel is the most luxurious, and being just 15km from Russia, it really gives you the feeling that you’re exploring the Arctic Circle. The Snow Hotel is built each and every winter when the weather is cold enough, using ice artists from Finland and Japan. Then when the winter draws to an end, it starts to melt and you have to wait until the following year to check-in again!
There’s also a super fun ice bar where we popped some champagne In the bar, the seats, the cups, everything is carved from ice. No fridge necessary! The 20 bedrooms too are also carved from ice, then the room is a dome packed with snow. You have a mattress covered in reindeer hide to sleep on, then a crazy warm sleeping bag to sleep in, after all that you’re good to go.
The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is more than just the rooms though. For a start, they have gorgeous cabins you can sleep in if you can’t face the snow hotel (although come on, you’re in the Arctic Circle, you’ve made the effort to come this far, take the plunge!).
WHERE IS THE KIRKENES SNOW HOTEL?
In Kirkeness! Ok ok, you’ve never heard of that either. On the northern Norwegian coast, deep in the Arctic Circle, 15km from Russia. Check it out on the google map, you might have to zoom out for some context, it’s seriously out here.
THINGS TO DO IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, AT THE KIRKENES SNOW HOTEL
So the hotel is so much more than 20 snow hotel rooms. For a start there’s a great restaurant (with an unreal breakfast!), there’s also a guest area to chill where you can drink and chill. The bar, of course, is spectacular, if a little chilly! And then there are the activities. Wow. The Kirkenes Snow Hotel can organise all your trips directly from their reception, I’ll blog all about these specifically but what a trip – husky riding, king crab fishing, snow mobiling….
A restaurant with a view…..
HOW MUCH DOES THE KIRKENESS SNOW HOTEL COST?
Not cheap, but bucket list stuff rarely is, and this one is worth it. It equates to just shy of $500 per person per night. It includes a stellar breakfast, and depending on the package, includes an amazing dinner too. Also your transfers are covered to Kirkenes town, or to the other hotels in the town, or to the airport. This is the most money I’ve EVER given to a hotel in my life, and I havent thought about the price since. But I have thought about the memories that’ll last a lifetime. The hotel, the bar, the dinner with a view, the northern lights, the activities, the whole thing was just out of this world.
So if you’re wanting to do something out of the ordinary, something exciting, then head to Norway. Then go further still, to the Arctic Circle. Then wrap yourself in a sleeping bag and nap in the snow hotel. Then ride a snowmobile across a glacier. Life is meant to be lived, make it happen. See you on the road!
PS A massive thank you to all my friends and family who made the effort, spent the money and lived it up with me here. I know it was pricey, but it was a pleasure and an honour to celebrate the biggest moment of my life with you guys (Mum, duff, paul, laura jaa, carl, anthony – thank you all!)