It’s natural to crave warm environs this time of year, but if you’ve ever been curious about visiting the coldest places on the planet, then at least make sure you’ve got a cozy room waiting for you at the end of the day.
Grand Hotel Rica in Oslo, Norway
Scandinavia is pretty cold overall, but Norway’s capital city is especially frigid. From December 2012 to March 2013, the temperature in Oslo averaged 25.1 degrees Fahrenheit. According to U.S. News, the best place to hunker down in Oslo is the Grand Hotel Rica. Located in the heart of the city’s downtown area, this elegant palace has hosted dignitaries and VIPs for more than a century. There are three restaurants, two bars, and an on-site spa and treatment center. Lodging at the Grand is a little on the spendy side, but when that wind chill kicks in and you’re still cozy, you’ll know where that extra money went.
Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
In Mongolia’s capital city, the average annual temperature is 28.2 degrees Fahrenheit. At the time of this writing, the temperature is registered at -24 degrees Fahrenheit. So essentially, a visit to this city anytime of the year will warrant warm accommodations. The Kepinski Hotel Khan Palace has got you covered, both figuratively and literally. Guests can choose from more than 100 rooms and suites, the on-site spa and sauna are open until 11 pm, and the in-house restaurant serves a mean breakfast buffet.
Sterkh Hotel in Yakutsk, Russia
You may recognize the name Yakutsk from the board game Risk, but this Russian town just a couple hundred miles from the Arctic Circle has earned the distinction as the world’s coldest city. The coldest month to visit is January, when temperatures average roughly -37.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Yakutsk is home to more than 250,000 people, so visitors actually have a few lodging choices. The Sterkh Hotel, which was remodeled eight years ago, is equipped with a hot drinks facility and decked out in animal skins. There’s even in-room Wi-Fi, if you’re so inclined.
Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska
According to The Daily Beast, Fairbanks is the coldest city in the United States. The winter temperature averages -0.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but this number can drop below -40 during the coldest weather spells; the city also receives snowfall nearly 40% of the year. Pike’s Waterfront Lodge is situated on the banks of the Chena River; when it’s not freezing outside, guests can enjoy a meal on the large waterfront promenade. Interestingly enough, Pike’s was the first establishment in Alaska to utilize hydroponic growing methods to produce fruits and vegetables in its on-site greenhouse.