By Elly Leavitt

Published on January 17, 2018

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Photography by TUOMAS KURTAKKO

Fans of Game of Thrones will no longer have to wait until 2019 to get re-immersed in their favorite TV show—a GOT-themed hotel made entirely from ice and snow just opened in Lapland. Lapland Hotels SnowVillage teamed up with HBO Nordic to create this stunning architectural feat. Between now and April 30—at which point the hotel will begin to melt—guests can stay in what the hotel’s website is calling “a magical world of ice and snow,” but what we are calling “an invitation for frostbite.” Pack your sweaters.

 
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Photography by TUOMAS KURTAKKO

Built using approximately 350,000 kg of ice and around 20 million kg of artificial snow (as natural snow is not compact enough for usage), the ice hotel is an annual recurrence. Construction begins in November, and no two hotels are ever the same. A team of international designers were selected for this project, with Finnish designer Janne Pasma being the one to come up with the idea of incorporating the iconic TV show into this year’s design.

 
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“[The] idea of creating a Game of Thrones-themed Snow Village was already in my head at Spring 2017, because it is amazingly rich and unique with [its] scenarios, themes, and art. After season seven, our design group gathered around one table, collecting ideas [for the] upcoming Snow Village. Around this table were Rami and Tomi Kurtakko, the brothers who were in charge of the construction. Tomi loved the idea from the beginning, but Rami did not know the series,” explains Pasma of selecting the theme of the hotel. “After a moment of going through the pictures I had in my mind, Rami was sold as well. I have been a Game of Thrones admirer since the beginning of the series!”

After securing cooperation from HBO Nordic, the team set about creating what is possibly the most unique hotel design we’ve ever seen: Twenty-four guest rooms, all made of ice and snow, and encompassing both standard rooms (if we can really call bedrooms carved out of ice “standard”) and suites, all adhere to different themes and designs.

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Elements from the show include a life-size iron throne, complete with swords, and a replica of Braavos’ Hall of Faces. Pasma and the team also created three dragons—one situated inside the Ice Bar, another behind the Ice Bar counter, and a third functioning as a slide for children.

“I really love all the features inside the hotel, but personally for me, the Night King’s Dragon eye is most fascinating,” says Pasma of his icy creation. “It’s so huge and [is such a] lookalike, it still gives me chills when I walk past it.”

 
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The bedrooms are pretty starkly decorated, largely featuring beds made of ice and thermal sleeping bags. One includes a giant carving of a White Walker suspended over the bed—which seems low-key terrifying, but is a design element die-hard fans of the show are sure to love.

 
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The entire hotel is kept at a chilly -5 degrees Celsius to keep it from melting prematurely. Balancing the weather and time efficiency proved to be the biggest challenge with building the hotel, according to Pasma.

“Our hotel has to be ready for the first guests in the beginning of December, and this year, we got to start on the 9th of November. We had three weeks to finish everything inside the Snow Village,” he says, crediting the 40 to 50 professional snow and ice workers with getting everything done on deadline.

 
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The hotel is, in fact, only part of the impressive 20,000-square-meter Snow Village, which also includes a 120-seat Ice Restaurant, Ice Bar, and Ice Chapel—the latter of which seems pretty perfect for a Westeros-themed wedding. An Ice Theater provides indoor entertainment to beat the cold.

Of course, one of the real draws—besides the Game of Thrones theme—is the vast wintry landscape of northern Finland. The Snow Village is located 90 minutes away from Helsinki, and ski resorts are in close proximity. This is definitely one winter vacation you won’t soon forget. 

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Photography by TUOMAS KURTAKKO

Book your stay today at the Snow Village, where rooms start at 165€ (about $201) per night. Be sure to follow the hotel on Facebook and Instagram.

See more travel:

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