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Sleeping At The Igloo Villages Gives Travelers A Real Chill Experience

By Sharelle Burt

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For most travelers, the perfect hotel room consists of a bed, a TV with cable, a clean bathroom, a nice view, and decent rates. For others, however, the standards are a little different.

Nowadays, travelers are paying almost $500 a night to stay in a room that has no bathroom, no windows and most importantly, no heat. Doesn’t sound like the ideal hotel? That’s because it’s not. It’s actually an igloo hotel made out of snow and ice.

The Igloo Villages in Switzerland draw hundreds of travelers who want to experience what staying in an ice room feels like. Each fall, about three or four weeks worth of snow is gathered on top of huge balloons to build the structure of the igloos. After the snow settles, the balloons go down and workers start to carve away to shape the rooms and built-in furniture. Artists come in afterward to carve ice sculptures, with each hotel featuring a different theme like ancient Rome, Nordic mythology, James Bond, or sea creatures.

RELATED: The Black Expat: ‘A Bad Breakup Led Me To Love In Switzerland’

Each of the hotels has 11 rooms consisting of beds carved from blocks of ice and topped with fur throws, and bathrooms shared in a wooden structure at the end of the snow-ridden hallway. Lit up by bright LED lights, some rooms have private baths, and one has a private hot tub. Temperatures stay at a degree or two below or above freezing, but the hotel manager still thinks the rooms are cozy. “Snow provides really good insulation,” manager Marius Mosimann said. “If it’s minus 10 or 20 outside, when you come in you feel like you’re walking into your apartment, even if the thermometer shows it’s zero degrees centigrade.”

With other locations in Austria and Germany, each hotel can hold up to 48 guests in a suite, double, or dorm style room. Prices are relatively fair, starting at $160 per person in a room with six beds, including breakfast and dinner. The food is cooking in the kitchen that is also an igloo.

How are they serving hot food? Guess we’ll have to book a room and find out.

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