Once you have first taken the trouble to travel all the way to northern Norway, you might just as well go the whole way: put on your thermals and your woolly hat, climb into a sleeping bag and sleep like an angel in a room constructed of snow. Because Sorrisniva has a 2,500m2 igloo hotel, located just outside the Northern Lights city of Alta, where you will be ideally positioned for seeing the Northern Lights.
Decorations in ice
Each year the Igloo Hotel is decorated to reflect a special theme. The themes used so far include Sami culture, the Vikings, the Alta River and “life in the Arctic”. The decorations used in the bar, gallery and communal areas are thus coordinated to reflect the featured themes. The ice hotel is open from around December to April, during the period when the temperature in Alta is always below zero.
Genuine ice bar
Ice bars are popular in large towns and cities. The ice bar at Sorrisniva is a genuine, environmentally friendly bar because it does need to be frozen artificially. The bar is made from solid blocks of ice, usually designed to reflect the annual theme, and drinks are served in ice glasses. It goes without saying that the drinks served will be stiff drinks, otherwise they would freeze.
The chapel is a real chapel. It is consecrated each year by the bishop and is decorated with ice crucifixes and ice angels. Around 20 couple are married each year by local ministers from Alta.
Sleeping in an igloo
Spending the night in an igloo is not as cold as you might think. It is recommended that you should wear woollen underwear, thermal leggings and a top with long arms. A good quality woolly hat is also a good idea because your head will be sticking out of the top of your sleeping bag. Apart from this you will not need to wear much. The hotel's sleeping bags are designed to cope with temperatures down to -30oC, and the indoor temperature in the mega igloo is around -4 to -7oC, even if the outdoor temperature drops to -35oC.
Hunting for the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights city of Alta has a dry, stable winter climate and a high viewing frequency for the Northern Lights. Sorrisniva is located well outside Alta and there is little light pollution to interfere with viewing the Northern Lights. Anyone hoping to see the Northern Lights can therefore participate in a dog sledding trip on the frozen Alta River or join a snowmobile trip into the mountainous landscape around Sorrisniva during the early evening. If the Northern Lights should make an appearance while you are eating your dessert in the restaurant, you can happily leave the table and then end your evening in the hot tub. If you spend most of the evening outside under the open sky you will be able to experience everything which occurs in the sky.
Sorrisniva is also one of the best places to eat in western Finnmark and our head chef selects his ingredients in accordance with the natural produce available in the area. Fish is the best option during the winter, so freshly prepared cod from the Alta Fjord is a favourite dish. Reindeer meat is available throughout the year, while lamb is best during the autumn. The chef discusses the menu with guests upon arrival.