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Igloo Hotels: A Seriously Cool Winter Experience

By Blane Bachelor
January 17, 2013; 8:48 AM ET
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Craving a winter adventure guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience that will also (pardon the puns) earn you an avalanche of cool points? Then pack your thermals for an overnight stay in an igloo or ice hotel.

Believe it or not, bedding down in such frosty accommodations is a trend that has warmed up considerably over the years. The opening of ICEHOTEL, in Sweden's Lapland region, two decades ago has been followed with the construction of other icy lodging options, mainly in Europe. Most are built seasonally and melt in the spring.

While novelty is certainly part of the draw for these snow-centric spots, several have created a following among the ski set because of their proximity to the pistes: Guests can strap on their skis and hit the slopes long before the lifts have even opened.

But even if skiing isn't on your agenda, an ice or igloo hotel offers a unique experience on its own: Though conditions aren't as harsh as they might sound, you're not likely forget trekking to the bathroom in pre-dawn, sub-freezing temps. Here, a few places where you can make like an Eskimo for a night or two. And to save some of your (extremely) cold, hard cash (some properties don't accept credit cards), consider weeknight stays.

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