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So cool: Sweden's latest Icehotel unveiled

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Image 0As winter looms on northern horizons, Sweden's Icehotel is making its comeback.

But after 26 years is this frozen institution still cool?

It might be too early to judge, but its creators have unveiled new designs they hope'll keep their guests chilled out.

Among them, a life-sized ice elephant.

Due to open its doors in Jukkasjarvi, northern Sweden, on December 11, the Icehotel is rebuilt each year to a new blueprint using 5,000 tons of ice taken from the nearby River Torne in March and cold stored over the summer.

It melts away in spring.

This year, the hotel's creators say a bumper ice harvest has yielded blocks that are 10 centimeters thicker than usual.

They've also unveiled the latest designs for the 19 suites that are described as both boutique accommodation and "ephemeral art project."

Art suites

These include "Elephant in the Room," a suite featuring a life-size African elephant carved from ice -- the work of Scandinavian sculptor AnnaSofia Maag.

There's also a Russian imperial-inspired theater set and the 1970s-themed "Love Capsule" where guests can cling to each other beneath reindeer skins.

Spain-based Rob and Timsam Harding will be crafting a Mediterranean interpretation of Arctic life, but at -5 C (23 F).

So how do guests unwind in subzero temperatures?

There are thick capes, high-quality sleeping bags, luxury fur throws and -- in one suite titled "Counting Sheep" -- frozen ewes and rams to help them nod off.

The hotel also has warm rooms and chalets for guests unwilling to subject themselves to a night on ice.


September 9 2015, 10:16

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