Honeymoon in an Ice Hotel

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My best friend Susan just got back from the most incredible honeymoon. She and here husband Mark are always up for trying new things and their honeymoon was no exception. Because it was February and they love the snow, they thought going somewhere cold would be fun and ensure they would have to stay close to keep warm. Susan always wanted to go to Alaska so that's what they decided to do. Mark had seen something about hotels made from ice and snow on television and they immediately thought that was it. Lucky for them, there was just such a place near Fairbanks, Alaska.

When they arrived at the hotel they were in awe. First off, when they made their honeymoon reservations, they were told there were only five ice hotels in the world. Just being at something so rare made them giddy. They were enthralled by the almost crystal clear ice, and the way the light danced around the interior, giving the hotel an ethereal quality. The hotel wasn't large, but not just an igloo, with only six guest rooms, a bar and ice gazebo. They were amazed by the splendid ice sculptures and a playable organ made of ice. They visited the bar for a welcome drink – vodka served in shot glasses made of ice. And when they arrived at their room the bed was made of ice.

They couldn't wait to “jump” on, or rather into, the bed. It was made comfortable by a thin foam mattress and deer skins, and two cold-weather sleeping bags that could be zipped together. They definitely raised the temperature inside the sleeping bags and decided to stay there until dinner. They ate at the hotel's only restaurant where the tables, plates and glasses were made of ice. Afterwards they took a stroll and went up the stairs to the turret, where they hoped to catch a glimpse of the auora borealis (northern lights).

Because the hotel is made of frozen water, inside temperatures don't go above freezing. That's chilly! And not fun to be in for a long time, so the hotel recommends just one night at their facility and has other accommodations (with heat) for the rest of your vacation. Susan and Mark so enjoyed the experience, however, that they made a reservation to stay on their last night as well. I think they just liked having to huddle together all the time. In between, they stayed at a bigger hotel that was part of a large resort. It offered all the amenities a vacation spot should.

If you love the snow like Susan and Mark do, Alaska is a must trip. There were so many fun cold-weather things to do that they didn't have time to do them all. One of their best days was spent at Dog Mushing School. That's right, they got to learn how to “mush' their own team of dogs on a trail. The training was for 4 hours and they loved it. Susan is a huge dog fan so any chance she has to spend with a furry friend is time well spent. The thing they remember most is getting to yell “hike' - a command that sled dogs understand to mean sprint down the trail. Before school let out, they raced each other and Susan won by a nose.

The next day they went cross –country skiing and couldn't believe the beauty around them. The snow was so white it was blinding and the sky so clear they felt like they were in a painting. The cold crisp air made them feel alive, but also tired, so they quit after a couple of hours and decided to take a guided snowmobile ride.

They remained in their ski attire and jumped on a snow machine for a one-hour guided tour along the resort's trails. It was relaxing and fun and the guide was very knowledgeable about the area and its natural beauty.

There was one spot on the trail they wanted to revisit so on a following day they rented bikes and rode back to the icy spot to take some pictures. Bike riding in the snow, you wonder. Well, these bikes had big studded tires for ice and snow. It wasn't as easy as riding on a smooth, flat surface, but Mark said they took their time and stopped to enjoy the surroundings on several occasions.

Their evenings were filled with romantic dinners by candlelight and more viewing of the northern lights – breathtaking they said. One night they took a horse-drawn sleigh ride that Susan loved. On another evening they enjoyed a snow coach tour that took them to the top of a hill to enjoy the sunset. And all of the nights were spent lying in each other's arms (Susan didn't bring all that lingerie for nothing) under warm, cozy sheets.

Susan and Mark returned from their honeymoon with glowing reports of the most brilliant vacation they could have taken. They raved about their adventures and would recommend an “icy” honeymoon to anyone wanting something different from the ordinary tropical paradise. They found paradise in the brilliant hues of winter.