The world’s northernmost 4-star hotel offers unsurpassed views of passing icebergs and the ethereal Northern Lights
Activity adventure | Natural world | Northern Lights | Winter
Hotel Arctic is situated on a small hill a short walk from the centre of Ilulissat and offers spectacular views of Greenland’s Disko Bay and the Ilulissat Ice Fjord. The northern hemisphere’s most productive glacier, the Ilulissat Ice Fjord deposits a staggering 20 billion tons of icebergs into Disko Bay every year. Some of these icebergs are over a kilometre in height, their tips rising 100 metres or more above the water. As a guest at the hotel, you’re almost guaranteed to see them drifting past your window. If you’re here in winter, you’re also ideally located for spotting the Northern Lights, while in summer you’ll be bathed in the perpetual glow of the Midnight Sun.
The hotel offers a range of comfortable rooms, all with harbour views. The newest and most highly recommended are the Umiaq DeLuxe Rooms, which come with king-size beds, a two-seater sofa and an armchair. However, if you’re going to fly all the way to the top of the world, you may as well grab one of the best seats in the house. These would be the hotel’s five two-person igloos, which sit perched on the edge of the Ice Fjord, offering unrivalled views of the passing icebergs. The igloos are inspired by the classic Eskimo igloo in shape and design but instead of being made from ice they have an aluminium frame, meaning that when you step inside you’re greeted by the comforts of a modern hotel room: a double bed, electric heating, radio, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, and a small bathroom with a shower.
Don’t let Hotel Arctic’s remote location trick you into thinking you can’t eat well here. The hotel’s Restaurant Ulo is recognised as one of the best in the whole country, serving up a range of Greenlandic specialities such as baked halibut with Greenlandic dashi, mizo emulsion, bacon and burned heather; cod poached with crab soufflé, served with lentils and smoked cauliflower puree; and fillet of Greenlandic lamb served with deep-fried sweet breads. For something more causal, pop into Café Ferdinand for tea and cake, a light meal or a cool drink.
Greenland is all about the wild outdoors and the Arctic Hotel can help you explore it safely. A huge range of activities is available, including helicopter trips across the Ice Fjord, sailing among the icebergs, Greenlandic village visits, hiking and whale-watching in summer, and dogsledding, ice fishing and cross-country skiing in winter. The hotel also provides a free shuttle bus into town, which dates from the 18th century, when the Danes established it as a trading post.
Stay here on these holidays
There are very few places in the world – if any in fact – where you stand a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights than in Greenland, a country where dramatic fjords and towering glaciers make up one of Scandinavia's most spectacular winter landscapes.
Combine the colourful city of Reykjavik with the Iceberg town of Ilulissat in Greenland. The Ilulissat Ice Fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in addition due to the town's location north of the Arctic Circle it’s a fantastic place to look for the Northern lights.
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