To spend a night in sub-zero temperatures at a Snow or Ice Hotel is on many people’s ‘MUST DO’ list of travel experiences, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is an experience that you will remember for a lifetime and one that will make you the envy of your friends and family, especially once you have shown them your amazing pictures including the obligatory picture of you preparing for the night ahead, snuggled in a sleeping bag with your head peeping out of the top.


Snow Hotel Bedroom

Many people ask whether it is cold to sleep in such a property. The answer is yes, but not as cold as you expect. For example, the expert design and construction of the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes means that the temperature inside the structure is constant at -4°C. Outside however, the temperature can reach -26°C (average in winter -8.9°C) and therefore it can sometimes be warmer inside the hotel than outside.

Snow Bar

Snow Bar


The Kirkenes Snow Hotel also provides you with a thermal sleeping bag and sheet to ensure that you are kept snug and warm throughout the night. All you need to provide is your thermal underwear (leggings and a long-sleeve top), woollen socks and a hat. The sub-zero sleeping bag uses your body heat to insulate and keep you warm – the trick therefore is to wear less rather than more. I won’t lie… you will look like a caterpillar wriggling in a cocoon but, comfort and warmth soon overrides any concern for fashion.

In the morning you will awake with a sense of achievement and with the knowledge that a hot sauna, shower and wholesome breakfast awaits. Will you have had the best sleep of your life? Probably not but, the satisfaction of sleeping a night in sub-zero temperatures will last for days and will be reignited every time you share your stories and pictures.

So try it and when your friends ask, on your return, if it was cold… Tell them, No (well, maybe your nose was a little cold at times).


Rachel Jelley
Sunvil Discovery