“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”
The world's coolest hotel
One of the most unusual hotels anywhere exists for only part of the year.
Located more than 100 miles above the Arctic Circle in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, just seven miles from Kiruna Airport, the Icehotel is exactly what its name suggests. It is a frozen fantasyland decorated with ice artwork imported from around the world that has opened each winter for the past 20 years. Guests in its 80 or so rooms spend the night on an ice bed, tucked snugly in a thermal sleeping bag that rests on layers of reindeer hides.
Construction begins in November, when workers blast metal frames with snow guns to create an icy shell. Once it is frozen solid, the supports are removed. The interior structures are then formed from blocks of ice cut the previous spring and stored during the summer. Construction of the hotel, which opens bit by bit as sections are completed, concludes by the end of December.
The Icehotel (www.icehotel.com) closes in late April as the roof starts to melt, but the operators offer traditional accommodations nearby in warmer months, when visitors can take a three-day ice-sculpting class.