World travel

The World’s Top Hotels for Viewing Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis – or “dawn of the north” – is a stunning natural phenomenon that every traveller should have on their bucket list. From Greenland (home to one of the world’s most northerly hotels) to Finland’s Lapland (where cosy glass igloos await), HotelsCombined offers plenty of incredible sky-gazing opportunities to experience:

Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland

Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland

While the various log cabin accommodations at Hotel Kakslauttanen are all amazing, it’s the property’s distinct glass igloos that have really put it on the map as an Arctic hot spot. In these toasty little units, guests can observe the stars and Northern Lights from the comfort of their own beds.

Alyeska Resort, USA

alyeska-resort-usa
Alyeska Resort, Alaska, USA

One of the state’s top-rated hotels, Alyeska Resort is located 40 miles outside of Anchorage and is surrounded by lush forest and towering mountain peaks. Its relatively remote location makes it a great spot for viewing the northern lights and staff are happy to arrange wake-up calls so guests can enjoy them in all their glory.

Hotel Arctic, Greenland

Hotel Arctic, Greenland
Hotel Arctic, Greenland

Thanks to its one-of-a-kind setting at the mouth of an ice fjord, this unique hotel boasts stunning waterfront light shows. There are a number of distinctive rooms and suites to choose from, but the quirky igloo accommodation (a two-person cabin with an aluminium exterior) is our favourite.

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Norway

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Norway
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Norway

Carved entirely out of ice, this exceptional hotel looks like something straight out of Disney’s Frozen – and at night, it has the amazing Aurora Borealis just outside its doors to boot. Celebrating its 16th anniversary this winter, Sorrisniva has a short lifespan; opening in January, it will welcome a limited number of guests before melting away in the spring.

Blachford Lake Lodge, Canada

Blachford Lake Lodge, Northwest Territories, Canada
Blachford Lake Lodge, Northwest Territories, Canada

A rugged, picturesque hideaway that is only accessible by bush plane, Blachford offers Aurora viewing from mid-August to the end of September and from December to mid-April. Guests can choose to stay in the main lodge or, for a truly Canadian pioneer experience, in one of five charming log cabins complete with lake views, outside camp fire pits and woodstoves for heat.

Ion Hotel, Iceland

Ion Hotel, Iceland
Ion Hotel, Iceland

Set amidst a stunning backdrop of mountainous lava fields about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, the Ion Hotel is a great base for exploring Iceland’s unique environment. And with its floor-to-ceiling windows, the hotel is also the ideal place for taking in the Northern Lights.

Lyngen Lodge, Norway

Lyngen Lodge, Norway
Lyngen Lodge, Norway

Located high above the Arctic Circle, Lyngen Lodge is an intimate refuge that houses a maximum of 18 guests. No matter how frigid the weather, visitors will stay warm thanks to geothermic heating, a sauna, and a large open fireplace in the main lounge – and guests can even view the Northern Lights from the comfort of the outdoor Jacuzzi.

30 thoughts on “The World’s Top Hotels for Viewing Northern Lights”

      1. ever had a bucket list (things I MUST do before I die -kick the bucket). This is absolutely the best article I’ve read. Pictures of Thermal Igloos drew me in. I’ve always wanted to see Aurora. I’m Norwegian and thinking of making it a 2 for 1 to visit my homeland.

  1. Wow! Truly impressive! Thanks for putting this together. I want to find out what a few nights will cost. I’d love to sit out there and watch the very best beauty this earth has to offer!!

  2. If these photos can leave my eyes wide open, I can only imagine what a viewing in real life would accomplish. I would love to know where the best viewing spots in the northern United States are.

  3. I like to know what months of the year does this Aurora Borealis northern lights occur?
    what about in Bode in Norway, can it be viewed from there too? What are the native inhabitants of Norway called?

    1. The best time to view the Aurora Borealis is apparently from late August to mid-April – the skies are not dark enough during the summer months. Theoretically, its possible to see the northern lights from all over Norway. But the best places are above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway or the Svalbard Islands.

    2. the very best time is close to the equinoxes, end of september or beginning of october, or march. nights are shorter than during winter, though. however, weather conditions are the most critical ingredient!

      1. Seeing the Aurora has nothing to do with the seasons on earth. The solar wind coming from the sun reacts with the upper atmosphere of the earth. Its going on all the time, but we can only see it at night. I live just north of Chicago, Illinois and have seen the northern lights here three times. When the sun is more active we see the aurora more often and further south. Hope that helps.

      1. I live in Central Illinois (USA), where is the closest place for me to travel to see the lights? Also, you said the best time to go is Sept & Oct? Thank you for your help.

  4. I am so delighted with the kind of images included here. It made me recall my own experience of the northern lights as I visited Iceland. lot of people from various parts of the globe are truly enthralled by the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Some people are fortunate enough to observe them can definitely attest to its beauty and mystery – these natural spectacles are absolutely mesmerizing. With the clear skies and plenty of good fortune I was able to capture a beautiful green light across the skyline.

  5. Awesome pics! Planning on taking my 11 yr old daughter to try to see them in March of 2017. We live in Texas and she is obsessed with them! Which hotels have fun activities to do along with the aurora sightings?

    1. Kayla, please let me know what you decide and who you book with. We are planning a trip as well and we live in Alabama. So hard to choose when there are so many options!

  6. It is my mom’s 50th bday in OCtober and I want to take her there. Anyone going around 20th October and please suggest which would be the best place/hotel to choose where I can take mum on an adventure trip too! I am from India.

    1. We’re in Alaska now (arrived 2 days ago. We stayed in Talkeetna at Talkeetna Denali View Lodge for 2 night) and were treated to a spectacular light show last night).

      On our way now to the Alyeska for an additional 4 nights. The forecast is good for another few nights of brilliant lights!

    2. Also missing from this list is Chena Hot Springs Resort, a great destination outside of Fairbanks Alaska. A little less accessible than Alyeska but you can watch the lights while in natural hot springs!

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