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In one of those stories that sound too amusing to be true, it transpired last week that the Ice Hotel in Sweden had been under strict orders to install fire extinguishers. In a health-and-safety-world-gone-mad scenario, local regulations decreed that the annual structure, sculpted entirely from ice, may be a fire hazard for its occupants.

Just to add fuel to the fire, one guest has already set off the alarms. A guest, who tried to sneak a quick cigarette in a cupboard full of cleaning products, was left shame-faced when his quick puff led to a full scale evacuation.

Every year, the entire hotel, including all the furniture inside is, is re-constructed entirely from blocks of solid ice. This description does not do it justice as it is elaborately carved into beautiful shapes and cathedral like domes and vaults. It is set near Jukkasjarvi, Jiruna, 100 miles from the Arctic Circle, and the ice is chipped from the nearby river.

Hotel staff were a bit taken aback by the request to comply with fire regulations, but they willingly complied. They accepted that some soft furnishing, like the reindeer throws, bed linen and mattresses may be inflammable. They did have a problem, however, finding smoke alarms that could withstand the extreme cold temperatures inside the structure.

The Ice Hotel opened in 1990 and is still the only ten of its kind in the whole world, it is truly unique. It is also impermanent and only open between December and April when it is melted down again. In the Ice Bar, they even have a piano made out of ice.

To go there, and sleep on a slab of ice, may send shivers down the spines of some, and rapturous dreams of being a Snow Queen for a night to others. 100 guests can be accommodated. For anybody really dreaming of a white wedding, you can even get married there in the Ice Chapel, and many do.

Just to be crystal clear, it is bitterly cold in there. The average room temperature is minus 5 Celsius. There are polar-standard sleeping bags, but there is no plumbing. No TV, or minibar, no wardrobe, not even the ubiquitous Bible in the bedside drawer. It is kind of starkly, barely, basic. However, how often do you stay in a room that may look and feel like a fridge but is actually a work of art?

They say the cold makes you soporific and sleep comes easily, no doubt some latent hibernation response. As it's dark by 2pm you may find you go to bed quite early too, but in the morning they will bring you a nice glass of lingo berry juice. For lovers of creature comforts; you can camp out in the more conventional (warm) hotel next door and just scurry in when it is time for your icy encounter.

All the usual Lapland snow adventures are on offer, from dog sledding to visiting nomadic Sami communities, and of course, there is always the chance to catch the Northern Lights.

While there might be "fire in the sky" you should feel reassured that it is not now going to break out in the Ice Hotel.

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