Log cabins, cold rooms – you name it, they have it.
Welcome to Kirkenes Snow Hotel, Northeasten part of Norway. Before I bring you into the realm, let me talk about the origins of Kirkenes.
*This article does not receive any endorsement fees from Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Below is an extract from GoWhereTravel traveller based on his personal experience.
According to Wikipedia, Kirkenes is a town that is situated 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. It was used to be occupied by the Nazi Germany after series of air raids. Today, there are evidences of World War Two from the civilian air raid shelter “Andersgrotta Bomb Shelter“.
Picturesque view of Kirkenes during winter
Wilderness in Kirkenes
Upon arrival at Kirkenes airport, you will have to take a bus to town, stopping at Thon Hotel. From there, there will be a complimentary pick up at the lobby. Remember to check allocated timing with the hotel reception If not; you can flag down a taxi at the airport to Kirkenes Snow Hotel which costs about NOK300-NOK400.
If you arrive by Hurtigruten ship, you should be stopping by Thon Hotel. Check with the friendly crew.
So, here I am! The moment I step out, I can smell the rustic nature.
The reception warmly offer to take me on a tour around the perimeters. She shows me the elks and reindeers and the arctic dogs.
Adorable Arctic Dogs
I thank her kind hospitality and decide to take a quick lunch. There is a small restaurant around the corner serving delicious arctic-styled hot soup and bread (paid about NOK160 to NOK200). I like it because of the chilly weather.
My lunch – arctic bread and soup
After getting my hunger filled, it’s time to check out my room. I can’t help but snapped photos of the cabins. Luckily, it’s not Christmas yet. The snow encompasses the backdrop; at a glance, the outlook is special, resembling several logcakes.
Up the stairs….
In the night
Extremely “homely feel”, cottage-styled – facing you is the snowy hills. Think of how your childhood stories come to life with white flakes raining down and here you are, completely free of city life! There are free tea bags for you to sip, relax to enjoy the view.
More to come – I make my way to the entrance of the ice hotel….
The beds are covered with sheepskin to reindeer skin Sleeping bags are provided. What’s special is that every room has a theme.
There is olaf!
And where the King sleeps
Corridors are quiet, I just walk gently and slowly….
A light casts on the ground, showing glimpses of a christmas tree
How about a round of drinks?
The ice bar will be open from 9pm. Dinner is served at about 7.00pm (provided by Kirkenes Snow Hotel)
The washroom is not too far ahead and one is able to deposit your belongings in the room.
I head back to the recepton to check out their activities. There is hiking, dog sledging, King Crab trip and Northern Lights tour. I choose the King Crabs as the thought of eating the freshly caught crustaceans appeal to me.
Off I go with a snowmobile – the guide will take you to a spot and demonstrate how King Crabs are captured alive, right from the bottom of the arctic waters.
There is a string attached to the net beneath that contains the bait
Voila! Big, juicy crabs!
The guide drives the rest and myself to a hut. He will boil the crabs with hot water, takes about 30 minutes on average. Served right out from the pot.
It’s a great time to chill at Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Certainly, it has left a deep impression in me, especially the cosy rooms in the cabins. In fact, if you are lucky, you may be able to catch hold of the Northern Lights at the right time.