I was snugged inside my sleeping bag sweating from my neck down but my face was freezing. I reached for my ski-mask and slept with my face covered and a tiny opening where I can stick my head out from the sleeping bag. I was sleeping inside a SnowCastle at -5 degrees Celsius / 23 degrees Fahrenheit in Kemi, Finland.
Inside the castle made out of snow are 18 SnowHotel rooms. There were doubles, singles, groups, and honeymoon suite rooms. Many of the walls in the rooms are carved out of snow with artwork done by students in the area.
My room was illuminated by a dim light that rotated into different colors every couple of minutes. It freaked me out at first when I was laying in bed so I immediately turned off the light. The room was still dimly lit by the light coming from outside the hallway.
By Finnish law, every hotel room needs a smoke detector installed and the SnowHotel was no exception. What could possibly turn on fire inside a room made out of snow I have no idea.
The sleeping bags were surprisingly warm and comfortable. In fact, I had to wear just my longjohns and longsleeve shirt otherwise it would have been too hot. The sleeping bag is designed to keep the warmness from your body inside the bag. I’m not sure what the science of this was but from my neck down I was not cold at all. My face however was another story. Because I needed to breathe, I couldn’t really cover my whole face. I used a ski mask to cover my face but it was uncomfortable. When it comes to sleeping in cold weather, it’s important to keep the forehead warm. I also like to move around a lot in bed which became a problem because I felt trapped by the sleeping bag. Still, the mattress itself was very comfortable. Eventually I started to actually enjoy the cold and fresh air of the room and I fell asleep peacefully with the ski mask on.
My biggest issue though was going to the restroom. I have a bladder problem that usually sends me to the restroom twice every night for as long as I could possibly remember. The restrooms were not even inside the SnowCastle which makes sense really. They were located outside near the lounge. So that meant I had to walk past the Angry Birds room, the dragon room, through the main hallway of more snow statues, and then outside the SnowCastle. It was incredibly creepy to walk by at 3am with all the lights on and no one else around.
If you’re staying at the SnowCastle, my advice is to take pictures once the castle has been closed to the public and only available to the guests of the hotel. You’ll get a lot more time and room to take pictures especially if you have a tripod.
- SnowCastle entrance is only 10€ for adults
- Dinner is between 38€ to 47€
- SnowHotel ranges from 115€/night for a double to €275/night for a honeymoon suite. Most people only stay for one night to experience it.
Most people stay at the SnowCastle for only one night and I think that’s a perfect amount of time. It’s a great experience and I definitely recommend doing it. It was a very unique and you won’t get the opportunity to sleep in a room made out of snow very often or ever again.