Arctic: Aurora outposts

These incredible hotels come with an added bonus — a perfect view of the Northern Lights, writes Tom Mulvihill.

ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, Iceland

Set in the magical lava landscapes of the Unesco-listed Thingvellir National Park, this uniquely designed hotel is constructed very much with nature in mind, not least for catching sight of the Northern Lights that frequently streak across the Icelandic sky. The surrounding expanse of moss-speckled lava fields is remote and captivating, dotted with specific natural attractions such as waterfalls, the Silfra diving area and Kerid, a volcanic crater that is now an attractive lake.

● Rooms from $742.

Treehotel, Swedish Lapland

The Bird’s Nest? The UFO? The Dragonfly? The choice of accommodation is tree-mendous at this Harads hotel. Located in a pine forest, it offers far-reaching views across the Lule river and the lack of light pollution makes this a perfect spot for observing celestial displays. The hotel even runs Northern Lights photography excursions, in addition to pursuits that include moose safaris, ice fishing and dog sledding.

● Rooms from $754.

Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska
This Fairbanks hotel offers nightly snow coach tours in search of the Northern Lights. Departing at 10pm, guests travel to a height of 790m — the higher the better when it comes to viewing this elusive phenomena — where a heated yurt awaits. Accommodation is provided in the form of cosy wooden cabins, while warmth is always attainable via the natural hot springs for which the resort is named.
● Rooms from $308.

Kirkenes Snowhotel, Norway
Kirkenes Snowhotel, set in the remote Finnmark region of northern Norway, is well-placed for spotting the aurora, and also offers overnight bus tours in pursuit of the often-elusive lights. The hotel is divided into two sections: an ice hotel bedecked with ice sculptures and a hillside of traditional Sami cabins that define the word hygge. Activities include husky trips, ice fishing, snowmobile safaris and reindeer feeding.
● Rooms from $480pp.

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finnish Lapland

Guests can snuggle up for the night with the Northern Lights dancing above them at this igloo village in Finnish Lapland. The igloos are made of glass, and have been designed so that windows don’t frost over or steam up. Each has a comfy bed and en suite bathroom, providing a cosy viewing area from which to observe the stars or, conditions permitting, the aurora. During the coldest part of the season, the accommodation range extends to traditional snow igloos, providing the option of a more authentic Lapland experience.

● Rooms from $305.

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