Inside the incredible Game of Thrones ice hotel in Finland
A new Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Finland is letting fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire to become immersed in the epic fantasy tale – or at least in the ice part.
The hotel can be found at the SnowVillage in Lapland, nearly 200 kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Each year visitors can check out a snow hotel with snow-filled rooms and suites, an ice restaurant, ice bar, ice chapel, and more.
Each year the sculptures that adorn the premises change in theme and design. This year, the hotel has teamed up with HBO Nordic to give a Game of Thrones-boost to the icy creations. That means White Walkers emerge from the snow-covered walls, icy visages hang in the Hall of Faces, and a frozen dragon stands threateningly in the bar.
Janne Pasma, operations manager at the village, told Lonely Planet that as a fan, Game of Thrones was an easy choice for theme as it is “amazingly rich and unique with their scenarios, themes and art”. When HBO Nordic agreed, it was time to make the hotel a reality.
Thankfully, you don’t need an overnight reservation to go and check out the snow and ice sculptures – visitors can pay to enter the village just to see what it has to offer and even head up to the bar for an ice cold drink. Those who want a Game of Thrones suite room are wise to request it, according to Janne, and for anyone who isn't a huge fan of the series, there are rooms and portions of the village that aren't centred around the show.
SnowVillage is located in the western part of Finnish Lapland, near to the ski resorts of Ylläs and Levi. Travellers can reach it from the airport of Kittilä, and there are tours by car and snowmobile available from the resorts. While the thought of hanging out in the cold may be enough to scare off even the most die-hard Game of Thrones fans, temperatures inside the ice structures actually hover around -2 and -5 C, regardless of how frigid it is outside, so proper winter clothes can ward off the chill. Learn more about SnowVillage here.