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Unique Lodgings for an Extraordinary Winter Wonderland

City Slicker

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If a winter wonderland of ice and snow is your idea of a great winter getaway, there’s still time for you to tick these unique winter lodgings off your bucket list!


Whether you enjoy your cup of tea inside an igloo at -5° C, or you prefer to sip it in front of a crackling fire, here are some of the best-of-the-best winter lodging experiences.


Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Undoubtedly one of the “coolest” places to stay is the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi. Founded in 1989, this first-ever attraction is reconstructed with a new theme every year. Claiming another first, the team that created it has opened the first permanent ice
hotel –  Icehotel 365 – cooled in the summer months by solar panels. (Who knew that was even possible?)


The hotel has warm and cold beds, and heated areas including two warm restaurants. The average temperature inside Icehotel is -5 C°/21° F, thanks to the insulating effect of the snow. Outside temperatures drop to -40° C/-40° F in January!


You’ll want to take a guided tour of the ice artistry throughout the hotel, and you might even want to join a class with one of the hotel’s ice sculptors! Active outdoor activities include dog sledding, skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, as well as fishing, midnight sunning and Northern Lights safaris.



For an alternative North American getaway:
Hotel de Glace, Quebec, Canada

This one-of-a- kind North American hotel is made entirely of ice and snow, and it’s rebuilt each year as a stunning work of art and architecture. Choose your uniquely designed bedroom, enjoy a drink served in a glass made of ice, and relax in the outdoor hot tubs and sauna.


Experience dogsledding along the snowy forest trails. Spend a day at one of North America’s largest winter playgrounds with more than 35 snow slides. Or enjoy yourself, Polynesian-style, at the Indoor Waterpark with balmy temperatures year ‘round.


Holmen Husky Lodge, Alta, Norway

Imagine a dogsled ride at dusk, spending the night in a modernized Sami lavvo (kind of like a teepee), and catching sight of the Northern Lights above your glass-fronted lavvo room! Sound magical? Then the Holmen Husky Lodge is definitely the place to go!



For an alternative North American getaway:
Winter Camping in Ontario, Canada

Open from September through the first weekend of May, Ontario Winter Camping offers a rustic, uncomplicated nature experience. You’ll sleep on a deep bed of evergreen boughs in teepees or yurts in private locations. From the base of the Bruce Peninsula, you’ll enjoy guided trips, shore skiing to Cabot Head, snowshoeing the Colpoys Range, cave exploring, and escarpment and forest adventures.

Dine in the Lodge’s beautiful renovated barn and then head for bed in your insulated teepee bungalow, where your double bed comes with heated blankets, just in case, and a wood-burning stove for falling asleep in front of a crackling fire while watching the stars.


Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland

If it’s up-in-the-air winter accommodations that speak to your adventurous heart, then how about taking your adventure to the treetops? Enjoy locally roasted coffee in the morning while enjoying breathtaking views of the northern skies from your cozy Arctic Treehouse suite. All suites offer tranquility, set atop a steep wooded hill. Private saunas promise to remove the chill from your bones.


When it’s time to explore what’s just outside your private retreat, head for the almost-adjacent SantaPark, a Christmas theme park, or experience a husky or reindeer safari by connecting with local operators.



For an alternative North American getaway:
Amish Country Treehouses at Berlin Woods, Berlin, Ohio

These tree houses are 30 to 40 feet off the ground, giving you a great view of the surrounding countryside, home to the largest Amish settlement in the world. Tour the Amish community, shop the many local area craft and antique shops/malls, enjoy Amish family-style dining, attend quilt or livestock auctions, or just relax and enjoy the peaceful countryside.


Kakslauttanen Hotel, Saariselda, Finland

Can’t decide which winter lodging is right for you? Hotel Kakslauttanen is a winter wonderland in Finnish Lapland. This hotel has expanded its options to include two separate villages of cozy log cabin chalets, glass and snow igloos, hybrid log-and-glass igloos, and restaurants. Any of these choices give you a front-row seat to the Northern Lights and other incredible views.


You’re practically guaranteed spectacular and extreme winters, so enjoy it all with activities such as panning for gold and reindeer and husky sled rides. You’ll also find traditional winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobile and snow-tank rides, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.


The dinner menu offers unique options as well. Where else could you get unusual offerings like reindeer and fish soup?



For an alternative North American getaway:
Mirror Lake Inn, New York

The Mirror Lake Inn is in Lake Placid, the only U.S. town to host a Winter Olympics twice. Lake Placid's Olympic venues are still in full swing and many are available for you to try. Slide the bobsled, skeleton or luge tracks, try out the biathlon course, ski the Olympic Mountain of Whiteface, or even ski jump!


The Inn provides complimentary snowshoes for walking a trail or even going straight out over Mirror Lake. Skaters of all levels will enjoy the two maintained ice rinks on Mirror Lake, right in front of the Inn’s Cottage Café. Take a break with a hot toddy or hot chocolate by the woodstove at The Cottage.


Enjoy backcountry skiing or snowshoeing along the Adirondack High Peaks, just at your doorstep. While sipping hot cocoa, explore the wonders of the Olympic Village from a horse-drawn sleigh. If you prefer to complete your special day with a ride through town in a lantern-lit sleigh, cover yourself and that special someone with a cozy blanket, and enjoy the Adirondack skies. You might also want to visit the dogsled mushers who set up shop along Main Street when Mirror Lake freezes over.



All of these fun activities, plus chocolate chip cookies and afternoon tea, are among the winter treasures you can find at the Mirror Lake Inn.

Plan your unique winter wonderland getaway and make your impression in the snow!




All content provided in this blog is supplied by Christina Johnson and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.



Credit: Photo Asaf Kliger.  © ICEHOTEL


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