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Travel: HBO’s Winter is here! Finland’s Game of Thrones ice hotel is back.

If you’re not already sick of the freezing weather, there’s a perfect place to bask in the freezing temperatures, play in the snow, and celebrate everything that is winter. It’s a “Game of Thrones” ice hotel, and you’ll find it in Finland.

Lapland Hotels SnowVillage, in collaboration with HBO Nordic, has brought back their Game of Thrones-themed hotel made entirely of snow and ice (previously, SnowVillage used to draw themes from the surrounding nature). Located in Finnish Lapland near Kittilä, well into the Arctic Circle and an hour-and-a-half flight from Helsinki, the SnowVillage took just five weeks to build. This year’s GoT-themed snow suites were designed by professional ice sculptors from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland – and they are all sorts of amazing.

The impressive 200.000-square-foot hotel is made with over 44 million pounds of snow and over 770.000 pounds of ice. By the time spring comes around, this Lapland hotel will have all melted away.

Within the hotel, there are “Game of Thrones”-themed features like the Hall of Faces, just like in Braavos, giant ice dragon sculptures, and even an Iron Throne made of ice.

For the insomniacs, there’s also an ice restaurant and ice bar where you can warm up on drinks served in carved ice glasses. Then it’s probably time to take on the dragon ice slide and explore the icy hallways lined with incredible sculptures. There’s even an ice chapel should your romantic side get the better of you.

Moreso, the ice hotel’s 25 rooms are decked out with carved, medieval-looking features that will make you feel like you’re a Lord or Lady of the North. Be forewarned, the hotel doesn’t have indoor heating — or else there wouldn’t be a hotel at all.

Celebrating (or perhaps mourning) this year’s final Game of Thrones season, they’ve let the imaginations of professional ice sculptors from Russia, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Lithuania and their own native Finland run wild – with spectacular results.

And while the minus-five-Celsius room temperatures may send a chill down your spine, they pale into insignificance against the ice-blue-eyed Night King, White Walker and WunWun sculptures looming over expansive ice cube beds. Don’t worry too much though – toasty fur-lined sleeping bags and hot berry juices help keep the cold at bay and the owners advise a one-night stay should sate your inner ice before moving into one of the cosier cabins on site.

New for this year is the ice movie theater showing a short film detailing how the hotel was made over five short weeks – an awe-inspiring education in itself.
Plus, even if you aren’t a series fan, the SnowVillage is the perfect place to observe the Northern Lights, go on a husky safari or take a reindeer ride.

Joe Wehinger
Joe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to:
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