It may sound like a far-fetched April Fool’s Day joke: the hotel constructed almost entirely of ice that requires fire alarms. But for a hotel rebuilt every winter in northern Sweden using only frozen water, it is absolutely true.
The ICEHOTEL, located in the small Arctic town of Jukkasjaervi, has announced that it would install fire alarms this year. It says it is following a request by the authorities to guarantee the safety of its guests. “We have to apply for building permits every year,” said Beatrice Karlsson, a spokeswoman for the hotel. “When the rules change, we need to adapt to the new rules obviously.”
We were a little surprised at first, but the reason is that there are things that can actually catch fire, like pillows, sleeping bags or reindeer skins”.
“To us the most important concern is the safety of our clients, so we will comply,” she added. “When we explain to people, I think it makes sense.”
The hotel will open from December 6 to April 13, with prices ranging from 1,900 kronor ($286) for a single room to 7,500 kronor ($1,369) for the most expensive suite. Tourists come from all over the world to sleep on an ice bed in temperatures as low as -8C (18 degrees Fahrenheit).
This year will be the ICEHOTEL’s 24th incarnation, and includes work from a range of designers from Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, and Brazil. The alarms, which were installed and tested last winter with the local fire department, have made construction of the hotel, even more of a challenge. “The environment is humid, and ice and snow… move, so [that] had to be taken into account,” Karlsson said.
As for the fire alarms, Karlsson said there had been “no incidents so far.”
“It went off once, but when the supervisor came down it turned out it was just one of our guests who’d snuck off to the cleaning closet and had a cigarette.”