More February 22: Sorrisniva Ice Hotel







Nord-Norge Adventure Part 4: Sorrisniva

The final event of the trip was sleeping in the ice hotel, Sorrisniva. We weren’t actually sure that we were sleeping there because of miscommunication by email, but we arrived ready for adventure and we got it!

They build the hotel every year when the cold and snow arrives, then open in January. This is the 19th year of operation. Each year has a new theme, this year it is Viking sagas–perfect!

Inside is the main hall with ice sculptures, a chapel for weddings and baptisms (they are quicker than in a church!), and a bar that is staffed on request so that an employee doesn’t have to stand there all the time. There is one special alcoholic drink that was a tasty blue concoction, and one non-alcoholic apple drink, served in an ice glass. Nora wanted to take hers home, but that wasn’t happening!


Off the main hall are 2 corridors to the sleeping rooms. The entrances to the corridors were ice decorated in the dragon and ship themes. Very cool.







Our room, not a fancy suite. The 4 of us slept together in our sleeping bags on this bed. Ted and I pointed our heads toward the open side, away from the snow walls.

The ice hotel is open for anyone to tour every day (for a fee) until 8pm. The cruise ship passengers that went for the dog sled ride came to Sorrisniva to check it out later in the day, for example. They said that locals come every year to see the new theme, and the restaurant is top-notch, so it is a fun local outing to come for lunch or dinner and see the ice hotel.

Freya’s room (I think). Nora is inspecting the ice book on the table.

If you are staying overnight, it’s fine to get your room to yourself after 8pm, because you aren’t going to hang out in your room and read a book, at least not for long. There is electric light, but it’s a challenging setting for photos and not adequate for much else.

There are many plain rooms like the ones that we had, with a large flat sleeping space and a fabric curtain door. Then there are about 8 suites, really just an outer room and fancier decor, with Norse god themes this year. They were beautifully done, as you can see.

Odin’s room


Thor’s room






Entrance to the ice hotel after a late night bathroom trip.











And yes, it’s cold! During the day it was in the 20’s F (-4 to -6 C) and at night in the teens (-9 to -11 C). It’s slightly warmer inside the hotel than outside, but only by a few degrees. The hotel provides modern cold weather sleeping bags and pillows for everyone sleeping in the hotel. We met people who had slept there the night before and complained of waking up with a frozen nose, so we were sure to snuggle in deep!

There is a large main building with the restaurant, bathrooms, luggage area, sauna, and a common room. It is cozy, but not large or luxurious by any means. People tend to stay one night, so they are set up for coming and going and a lot of the activity happens outside. It was a fun one-night experience.

Attached to the hotel is a snow-garage for the snowmobiles too. The kids also had a blast on the steep sledding hill. There were sleds, snowshoes, and sparks (kick sleds) for anyone to use.

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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.
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