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In the middle of winter, when night cloaks the Arctic Circle in deep, persistent darkness, right there where one might least expect it, begins the greatest light show on Earth – the Aurora Borealis.
Vibrantly swirling greens and purples cross the vast canvas of the sky. The Aurora Borealis celestial spectacle draws visitors from around the globe.
All these visitors, worshippers of the night sky, need a place to finally rest their heads, and so begins the quest for the perfect Northern Lights hotel. This hotel must be a sanctuary that offers comfort, a prime location, and the luxury of unobstructed views.
Read on for the eight best hotels we found to witness the celestial masterpiece of winter. Be prepared for a journey through the frosted landscapes of the north, where the night sky is a backdrop for nature’s most mystical display.
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Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finnish Lapland
In the serene wilderness of Finnish Lapland, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers a one-of-a-kind experience in its iconic two-person, glass-topped igloos. These igloos, with their thermal glass roofs, provide panoramic views of the night skies, allowing guests to gaze at the aurora borealis from the comfort of their cozy beds. The remote location, far from the glare of city lights, ensures dark skies and the best chance of witnessing the magnificent light show. Booking for the Igloos’s best show begins in late August and goes through the end of April.
Arctic Treehouse Hotel, Finnish Lapland
The Arctic Treehouse Hotel provides the perfect meeting point of luxury and nature. The suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows, are nestled amidst the snow-dusted pine trees. Each offers a warm, elegant viewing spot for the northern lights. With minimal light pollution, this hotel is one of the best northern lights hotels, where clear nights become a window to the universe’s mysteries.
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Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
Perched on a nunatak, a peak of rock jutting out of inland ice and snow, in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater of Denali National Park, the Sheldon Chalet is much more than just a luxury hotel; it’s a love story – a legacy. To stay at the chalet, guests can watch the aurora borealis dance across the sky from panoramic windows nestled in fur blankets, all while becoming a part of the story that began 50 years ago when this place was just a dream in an adventurous couple’s heart.
Hotel Rangá, Iceland
On the edge of the world-renowned Golden Circle in South Iceland, Hotel Rangá is a weary traveling businessman’s love letter to guests in his home, his love, Iceland. This log cabin-style luxury hotel offers a Northern Lights wake-up call service. Don’t worry about missing out on the midnight display; this hotelier won’t let guests leave without seeing it! The hotel’s prime location also offers adventure activities like ice fishing and horseback riding under the winter “sun,” known as the midnight sun in this part of the world.
ION Adventure Hotel, Iceland
Near the geothermal hot springs of the Blue Lagoon, the ION Adventure Hotel stands as a modern marvel in the Icelandic landscape. Its contemporary design, complete with panoramic windows and an outdoor hot tub, provides guests with a front-row seat to the northern lights and a clear view of the star-filled night sky. Their slogan is appropriately, “Where everything meets nothing.” I recommend bringing Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness to study further the idea of human consciousness under the miracle of the northern lights while sipping French champagne.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Norway
The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, on the shores of the Alta River in Northern Norway, offers a winter wonderland experience unlike any other on this list so far. Built entirely of snow and ice, born completely anew each winter, the hotel’s clear nights are perfect for aurora viewing, but its ice sculptures and frozen art are a marvel in and of themselves.
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Eliassen Rorbuer, Norway
The Eliassen Rorbuer in the Lofoten Islands is the oldest Norwegian fishermen’s resort on the islands. Its quaint red cabins have been transformed into cozy accommodations, providing a stark contrast to the cold nights outside. With large windows facing the frozen lake, the light show of the aurora borealis is just a glance away.
The Aurora Borealis celestial spectacle draws visitors from around the globe. All these visitors, worshippers of the night sky, need a place to finally rest their heads. Their best 8 options are at these Northern Lights hotels.
Wilderness Hotel Inari, Finland
The Wilderness Hotel Inari, in northern Finland, offers not just a deluxe room but a kelo-glass igloo—a combination of a log cabin with a glass igloo. Here, guests have a good chance of capturing the light show while wrapped in reindeer hides. Guests can enjoy wonderful winter activities like cross-country skiing or dog-sledding during the day.
From glass igloos in Finnish Lapland to rustic cabins in the Lofoten Islands, these are the best hotels to see the Northern Lights. Not only do they provide the best views, but they also provide the best experiences for those pursuing the Aurora Borealis. The season, peaking in the winter months turns these destinations into a perfect place for both the seasoned aurora chaser and the first-timer. As the lunar cycle waxes and wanes, so do the aurora’s ribbons of light. I can guarantee that a stay in any of these world’s best Northern Lights hotels guarantees memories that will last a lifetime.
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