The Coolest Hotel: Hôtel de Glace

on December 20, 2013

Hôtel de Glace themed room

Do you consider yourself an urban adventurer? A bucket-lister? A true winter lover? Then the Hôtel de Glace is definitely for you!

Every winter since 2001, the Hôtel de Glace (9530 rue de la Faune, Quebec QC) gets designed, built – and eventually, melts. Located just 10 minutes from Quebec City (and a weekend trip from Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto), it’s the first and only hotel in North America built entirely with ice and snow: over 500 tons of ice are used and 15,000 tons of snow. It contains 36 rooms, a hot tub and sauna area, an ice bar and a big ice slide. There is also a cafe, which doubles as a wedding chapel.

Included with your stay is a tour of the hotel, a free drink from the ice bar, a large locker to put your belongings in, complimentary breakfast at the nearby chalet (which also has washrooms and showers), and a comfy sleeping bag for your night on a bed of ice (though to be clear, the bed frame is made of ice, with a wood springboard and a regular mattress). Some rooms have themed sculptures on the walls, and some have fireplaces (for ambiance only, not for heating).

Temperatures inside the hotel stay at around -3°C and -5°C, regardless of the outside temperature (the thick ice and snow walls keep the wind away and make for pretty good insulation). The hotel website has a list of what you need to wear to stay comfortable. For hanging out, layers are recommended, with the first layer being thermal underwear that keeps moisture away (synthetic or wool, but not cotton, as cotton tends to retain humidity). A middle layer of wool, flannel or a polar fleece sweater and a warm, comfortable jacket, hat, gloves, and scarf on top. Thick socks and boots are also recommended. For sleeping, just a light insulating layer will do, as the sleeping bag is designed to keep you warm.

Nearby there are all kinds of winter activities, including skiing, skating, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. There are also a number of restaurants and the City of Quebec is just 10 minutes away.

A night at the hotel won’t come cheap – but it will be the ultimate winter/overnight experience.

  • Enjoy with: With an ice princess or prince… or someone to snuggle up and keep warm with!
  • Cost: Promotions start at $199 per person, with the regular price at $269 per person.
  • Hours: The Hotel will be ready for visitors on January 5, and through to March 23, 2014.
  • Visitor tips: The rooms are only for sleeping, but you can hang out in the common area and watch TV, go to the ice bar, and definitely go to the hot tub before going to bed (it will warm your body). But don’t drink too much – getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night will be chilly!

Find this author on twitter @MirabelVega.