Darkness fills the room. Lying completely still in your sleeping bag you listen to the silence. Or rather, the sounds of silence.
What you hear is barely audible â€“ an abstract, minimalist concert. Dry and frosty little creaking noises. A sudden snapping counterpoint. This is the sound of the ice. It has been an enchanting day. Overwhelming. First arriving at Kiruna airport at twilight. Then travelling by dogsled through a landscape so crisp and white, so pure and quiet that every now and then it felt as though you were moving in a state of weightlessness toward the small village of JukkasjÃ¤rvi.
Check-in at the absolutely incredible ICEHOTEL. Every bit as amazing as you had hoped it would be. Double rooms and suites constructed entirely of ice, an ice lobby, a chamber of ice pillars and the famous Icebar, where you ordered a whisky on the rocks of course. Everything has a bluish sheen, as though you were staying in a glacier that had just calved.
But best of all was what happened later last night. You witnessed one of natureâ€™s greatest dramatic performances. The thermometer showed -20 degrees and the fir trees were like black coal silhouettes against an endless starry sky, and then came the Northern Lights. Luminous, heavenly curtains of blues and greens billowing in a cosmic wind.
You think about all the classic luxury hotels, smart boutique hotels and minimalist designer hotels around the world. All beautiful, grandiose and well worth the price. But there is only one truly unique hotel, only one once-in-a-lifetime hotel. The ICEHOTEL. A frozen dream.
What about the beds? They are made of ice too of course, but the chill doesnâ€™t get through to you thanks to a bed base comprising wooden slats, a mattress and a thick reindeer skin. You feel surprisingly warm, maybe because of the down-filled sleeping bag or maybe because you sleep wearing a fur hat. You hear new sounds â€“ the sounds of morning activity as the day begins. Staff and guests moving about. Muffled voices. After a while, a maid comes into your room bringing you a hot, steaming lingonberry drink.
Today youâ€™re going on a snowmobile safari to the pastures where moose graze in the winter. The last group that went out spotted 32 moose!