Take the coolest break possible by staying at an ice hotel, complete with sleigh rides, fondues and even DIY igloos.
Seems a bit weird given most of us would probably give anything right now to be able to just whack up the thermostat and sit in toasty warmth.
However, as odd as it might sound, you’ll not regret rocking up to one of these seasonal hotels and lapping up the luxury on offer.
Hotel de Glace, Canada
Canada’s Hotel de Glace is the only one of its kind in North America. Located just outside Quebec City, the seasonal structure is a true labour of love.
Its walls are decorated with whimsical scenes, the furniture is crafted from ice and there are even fireplaces and a hot tub at the more luxurious end of the price scale.
Alongside sipping drinks at the ice bar, winter thrill-seekers can hit the outdoor sauna or crunch across the surroundings on snowshoes, with the urban delights of two city breaks rounding out the experience.
Stay: A suggested seven-night, tailor-made trip including flights, transfers, three nights in Quebec City, three in Montreal and one at the ice hotel costs from £1,695pp. frontier-canada.co.uk
Where better to live out your Frozen fantasies than the classic Icehotel in Swedish Lapland? This year sees the structure in its 33rd iteration, with design features from a coterie of international artists including the UK’s own Robert Harding.
With 12 suites, 24 ice rooms and a ceremonial hall all hand-sculpted from crystal-like ice, it’s sure to be every bit as impressive as Queen Elsa’s magical palace. Guests can have a go at ice sculpting or keep their eyes peeled for the Northern Lights.
Stay: A three-night B&B stay (one on ‘ice’, two in a regular hotel) costs from £507pp, excluding flights. discover-the-world.com
The famously posh Gstaad in Switzerland creates an Igloo Village each season. At 6,500ft, the Iglu-Dorf Alpine hideaway comes with a communal hot tub, from where you can take in views of the sun setting behind snow-shrouded peaks before the skies become peppered in stars.
Spend the waking hours on a snowshoe trek (or even build your own igloo) before warming up with a cheese fondue. Then fall asleep on a block of ice swathed in soft sheepskin rugs.
Stay: Two-person igloos around £453pn, B&B; or build your own two-person igloo from £662pn. iglu-dorf.com/en
Finland has its own take on the ice hotel experience. Like its Scandinavian siblings, the Arctic SnowHotel comes with translucent ice beds beneath ceilings carved with snowy frescoes – but while those decorations might be pretty, a solid roof hardly lends itself to spying the aurora borealis.
The answer? Split your stay between an icy cavern and a glass-roofed igloo where, with luck, nature’s green-glowing light show will brighten the almost round-the-clock darkness. While you wait for them to appear, try some husky sledding or take the edgeoff the chill with a sauna session.
Stay: Three nights’ B&B (one at the SnowHotel, two in a glass igloo) costs from £1,320pp, including flights and transfers. best-served.co.uk
In Norway, near the Arctic town of Alta, you’ll find the world’s northernmost igloo hotel at Sorrisniva. Unlike the original Icehotel, this one is crafted by a crew of local artisans but there are parallels in the sculptures, style and incredible design.
Each igloo is individually decorated with fairy-tale or Viking themes, creating a strong sense of contrast with the modern architecture of adjacent Arctic Wilderness Lodge, whose huge glass windows frame a snowy landscape that’s ripe for exploring on cross-country skis, snowmobile or deer-drawn sleigh.
Stay: from £405pn in the Igloo Hotel (sleeps up to six) or £67.50pppn. sorrisniva.no
The cold standard in ultra-cool hotels
For a bargain alternative to Scandinavia, Transylvania comes up trumps. As well as offering an ice hotel, this wildly romantic Romanian region has stacks of step-back-in-time appeal.
Take in buzzing Bucharest, mysterious Bran (or Dracula’s) Castle and the cobbled streets of medieval Brasov before heading for a night under ice in the Transylvanian mountains.
And with the Ice Hotel being built to a thicker, more robust design this year, it’s set to have a long season.
Stay: A four-night break costs from £349pp, including two nights in Bucharest, one night in Brasov and one night in the ice hotel. Flights extra. untravelledpaths.com