From the Road: Staying in an Ice Hotel, Quebec, Canada
In the past few years many ice hotels have popped up all over the place. In the world of themed hotels, staying in an entire hotel made of ice and snow ranks right up there with the best of them. In January, 2009 I was in Quebec and decided to go and check out an ice hotel, appropriately named “Hotel de Glace”
Entering the hotel I felt like I was either entering Narnia or a Disney movie and had an unexpected amount of excitement. The doors open wide like that of an ancient castle and you immediately feel like you are in a different world. Everything, from the roof to the front desk to the chairs and the walls are made of snow and ice. The entire feel is mystical and the way the place is lit and presented is truly magical.
Adding to the charm are warm fur blankets and rugs and warm coats for the guests. Each room is themed slightly different, some with bears and wolves and some with eskimos and trees. All carved into the snow walls of course. The beds are made of ice and snow and are covered in layers of warm fur blankets to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. Some rooms even have wood burning stoves to keep the room extra toasty.
The real fun is found in the hotel bar where guests congregate to drink warm concoctions and even take a turn on the slide, all made of ice, which spits you out right at the bar. Guests wear big oversized fur coats, sip their drinks out of ice glasses and take part in a variety of activities the hotel staff put together each year.
The ice hotel is built each and every year and is open for only about 10 weeks total before it gets too warm to exist and melts away into a puddle when the spring comes. Each year the designers work hard to chose a theme and design an equally enchanting and amazing hotel as the last year. Rooms start around $175US for a night and for that price it is definitely worth it for the experience and the memories. And, if you are feeling exceptionally unique, book your wedding at the Hotel de Glace, it would be a fantastic way to remember your special day.
TIPS: This one might seem fairly obvious but bring extra socks and a warm hat. Yes the hotel is made of ice and so are the beds, but the blankets do a good job of keeping you warm, however, you won’t regret having a hat and extra socks handy if you get a bit cold. Even better yet, bring a close friend, husband, mistress or your dog to cuddle up with and keep warm, after all you are sleeping in a glorified igloo.
Other famous ice hotels around the world include:
1. Alta Igloo Hotel, Alta, Norway – http://www.sorrisniva.no
2. Kemi SnowCastle, Finland – http://www.icehotel.com
3. The Aurora Ice Hotel, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA – http://www.chenahotsprings.com