Aug 2, 2009
Perched high above the five-star hotels and heated debate amongst global leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos, an igloo hotel offers the chance to chill out and enjoy life as an Eskimo might.
Set in the midst of the groomed, snow-clad ski slopes 2600 metres up, where temperatures sometimes hang around minus 20 degrees Celsius during the daytime, the cluster of igloos nonetheless takes a few liberties with the genuine polar experience
Iglu-Dorf is built out of packed snow, but the network of 15 igloos linked by tunnels looks more like a cross between neolithic caves and an eco-housing complex perched in the Alps
“We built the complex in five weeks using giant inflatable balloons which were then covered with snow,” explained Alexander Lau, one of the staff at the Davos igloos
They also offer some creature comforts that are not so common on the wild expanse of polar icecap, such as a sauna and whirlpool bath. And they were not hewn out of ice.
Once the purpose-built plastic moulds were deflated, the ideal home appeared: rooms, bathrooms, bar, restaurant, an even a conference room.
Last year, 9000 people spent a night in accommodation ranging from a more summmary standard igloo (119 euros on weekends – A$239) to the “romantik-iglu plus” (339 euros – A$682).
The igloo hotel was born out of a bet. Adrian Guenter, a Swiss snowboarding fanatic, swore he would be the first on the slopes in the morning so he built an igloo nearby. Over the years, it turned into a lucrative business