Magical. Inspiring. Unreal. We managed three words, though most people will be at a loss to describe the wonder that is Sweden’s annual pop-up Icehotel.

Icehotel Main Entrance ∏ Photo Credit Ragnar Th Sigurdsson

The Icehotel is a great location to view the aurora borealis. Photo © Ragnar TH Sigurdsson

Think of it as the world’s largest igloo, or a grandiose Frozen sequel. Every winter, when the waters of the river Torne freezes, a hotel unlike any is sculpted out of the ice itself. The Icehotel, in the pristine wilderness of Swedish Lapland – around 200 km north of the Arctic Circle – is the “coolest” cold place to visit.

A total of 16 suites were built, plus a bar, and all manner of winter activities like husky sledding and snowmobiling are just outside your room. This is the 25th year the Icehotel has been created (and gradually dissolved), and it’s this enigmatic state of renewal and regeneration that makes this one of the most surreal places to visit.

Spring Wilfred Stijger Edith Van De Wetering Photo Paulina HolmgrenForty two artists from around the world were invited to design the pop-up hotel. This art suite is Spring by Wilfred Stijger & Edith Van De Wetering. Photo © Paulina Holmgren

Icehotel Winter Sweden Lapland

The 7,5°Rø suite is inspired by Danish astronomer Ole Christensen Rømer, inventer of a thermometer that measures in Rø units. The 12 frames are angled to create an illusion of infinity; this room is the work of artists Wolfgang Lachow, Sebastian Scheller and Anja Kilian. Photo © Paulina Holmgren

Booom Wouter Biegelaar Viktor Tsarski Maurizio Perron Photo Paulina Holmgren

Where you’ll be spending a lot of your time: the hotel bar. There’s a rapturous sense that ice has exploded inside the dome, and when it gets too much, sit on the ice sofas or head to the dance floor. Photo @ Paulina Holmgren

Hot Type In A Cold Setting John Bark Charli Kasselbnck Photo Paulina Holmgren

Hot Type in a Cold Setting by John Bark & Charli Kasselbäck. The walls and ice will become clearer the closer you get to spring. Photo © Paulina Holmgren

Borderland Tomasz Cjazkowski Eryk Marks Photo Paulina Holmgren

The interior temperature is ingeniously kept at a constant -5°C. This is Borderland by Tomasz Cjazkowski & Eryk Marks. Photo © Paulina Holmgren

Two As One Jose Carlos Cabello Mill†n Photo Paulina Holmgren

 Two as one by Jose Carlos Cabello Millán. Photo © Paulina Holmgren

Want to visit? You’ve got till April 2015 before it all melts away. Here’s how it’s built (previous edition).

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