Looking at pictures of the Snow Hotel in Kemi, Finland, sent chills down my wimpy California spine. The Web site promises that the invigorating 41-degree guest rooms will give you sweet dreams and a memorable sleeping experience. A night of chattering teeth and blue lips does indeed sound memorable, though not the kind of sunny vacation memories I personally long for.
Nonetheless, some people (those, say, who feel a strong kinship to the Snow Queen in "Chronicles of Narnia") will undoubtedly enjoy the novelty and trendiness of igloo-like accommodations made entirely of snow.
The hotel has single, double, and group rooms, and even a honeymoon suite, ranging from about $176 a night to $420 a night. Fortunately, those prices include a thermal sleeping bag and daily shuttle pick-up for guests who want to grab a steamy shower at another local guest house that isn't made of snow.
The hotel is part of a larger icy getaway by the Gulf of Bothnia that includes the Snow Castle, which showcases snow art and architecture and hosts events like concerts and magic shows. Nearby, there's even a Snow Chapel for brides who aren't too attached to the idea of a sleeveless wedding dress.
But you don't have much time left to visit the site this year. High season will be over in a matter of weeks, weather permitting, and the Kemi hotel--and other snow and ice hotels like it--will be gone until next winter.