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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Finnish snow hotel offers cold comfort

The Web site for this icy destination promises that the 41-degree guest rooms will give you sweet dreams and a memorable sleeping experience. Memorable indeed.

Rooms at the Snow Hotel
The Snow Hotel: don't forget to pack your footsie pajamas! Snow Hotel

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.

Snow Chapel
The nearby Snow Chapel offers a place to sit, meditate, and shiver. Snow Chapel

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.