Have you ever heard of Quebec City Ice Hotel Canada? It's s must if you're visiting the province in winter!
- What is the Quebec City Ice Hotel?
- What's the temperature at the Quebec Ice Hotel?
- Where is the Ice Hotel located + how to get there
- Ice Hotel pricing
- Ice Hotel Quebec opening date 2023
- Where to stay in Quebec City
- How to get to Quebec
What is the Quebec City Ice Hotel?
The Ice Hotel or Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada is built anew each year based on a new theme. When I visited during the 14th edition, the theme was legends and myths. Rooms were decorated with Viking ships, dragons, and other legendary characters.
These themes were made visible thanks to the sculptors who worked alongside the expert construction workers during the creation of this hotel made of ice in Canada.
The work of building the ice hotel in Quebec, Canada usually starts in early December when the temperatures stay below 0°C for an entire week. Each year it takes 50 people working day and night for about six weeks to finish the Quebec ice castle.
It's the only hotel in North America that is made entirely out of ice and snow. 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow, to be precise. For that, the builders don't use regular snow, but snow and ice from snow blowers as that is more humid and dense than regular snow, which allows it to become icy and ‘tight' much quicker.
When it's finished, this snow and ice hotel measures 3000 square meters, taking up more space than two Olympic swimming pools.
What fits into this space? Well, let's have a look around the ice hotel in Quebec City.
The “reception” at the Quebec Hotel de Glace
First, there's the reception. Luckily the hotel reception staff don't have to work here. Check-in is done in another (heated) building, where you'll also find the cafe, changing rooms and the registration for people who want to go walk the snowshoe trail that's located near the this frozen hotel in Canada.
The ice bar
We didn't go to that building, though, but instead walked on from the icy reception to the ice bar. This room is pretty large and can be used for receptions and parties.
The rooms and suites at the ice Hotel Quebec
The 44 rooms at the Canada ice castle are divided into suites, which are all uniquely decorated, and regular rooms, which were ‘just' rooms of ice. These are also smaller.
Some of the suites:
The killer suite:
A regular room:
The Ice Hotel chapel
Those suites are pretty neat, aren't they? But the most beautiful part of the Ice Palace Quebec still has to come: the chapel. And it's not just there for decoration, you can actually get married in the Ice Chapel in Quebec.
The fun room
When we went, there was also a room dedicated to the Disney movie “Frozen”, with an ice slide made out of ice (of course). It wasn't as slippery as we'd expected though and we had to push ourselves forward to get to the bottom.
Staying at the Ice Castle Hotel in Canada: how it works
People who stay at the Ice Hotel usually arrive after dinner. They leave their belongings in the lockers in the changing room and make use of the saunas and outdoor hot tubs (Oh I hadn't mentioned that before, had I? There are saunas and hot tubs!) before slipping into the sleeping bags provided by the Ice Hotel. There's no sleeping in (then again, could you sleep in at sub-zero temperatures?) as they have to be out of their rooms again before 8 am.
There's also a sugar shack on the terrain, but unfortunately, that wasn't open when we were there.
What's the temperature at the Quebec Ice Hotel?
This entire explanation and all of these photos but there's something I haven't talked about yet. What could it be? Let me see… ice… hotel… sleeping… snow… COLD!
So, was it cold at the Ice Hotel? It actually really was – -5 °C / 23 °F to be precise. I'm sure the special sleeping bag provided by the hotel keep you warm at night, but when you're walking around (especially when you're not wearing gloves so you can take photos with your camera and phone) it's pretty freezing cold.
A large part of that has to do with the fact the air at the hotel is pretty humid because of all the ice.
However, I asked our guide what happens when someone's too cold to spend the entire night in their hotel room and she told me that the Ice Hotel used to reserve a couple of rooms at a nearby hotel in case overnight guests wanted to switch beds during the night.
Less than 20% of them did, though, and so they dropped that option. Should someone still want to see some heat during the night, they can always go to the locker building.
Where is the Ice Hotel located + how to get there
You can find the Ice Hotel in Quebec in the Village Vacances Valcartier, which is 20 minutes north of the center of Quebec City.
Ice Hotel pricing
Ice Castle prices for daytime visitors are a bit weird as they're not just based on age but on height, if you're tall, you're out of luck.
- 29.99 CAD for people 1 m 32 / 52 in. and over
- 24.99 CAD for people between 1m / 39 and 3/8 in.) and 1 m 32 / 52 in.
Different passes apply if you want to visit in the evening, want to have a delicious cocktail included or want a behind the scenes tour.
It's also possible to get a season's pass or you can join a guided tour to learn all about how the hotel is made and see its different rooms.
Hotel de Glace price per night
The Ice Hotel Quebec price per night starts at:
399 CAD for a regular room and go up to 849 CAD for a Premium Deluxe Suite with a fireplace, private hot tub, and a private sauna.
Ice Hotel prices also include:
- a welcome cocktail served in an ice glass
- a room at the Hôtel Valcartier on the same night as your stay at the Hôtel de Glace (luggage, shower, etc.)
- access to the Nordic area with hot tubs and sauna under the stars
- access to the ice skating path, according to schedule and depending on weather conditions
- all gratuities
- a 10% discount on activity tickets bought on site at regular price
- a 10% discount on thermal experience, aesthetic care and massages at the Aroma Spa
- a 20% discount on your Hôtel Valcartier reservation the night before and/or the night after your overnight stay at the Hôtel de Glace
Note that the rooms and suites cost more if you want to have breakfast included.
Ice Hotel Quebec opening date 2023
Each year, the Quebec Hotel de Glace opens in early January, once construction is complete.
The Ice Hotel is currently scheduled to open on January 4th 2023. Make sure you book well in advance because rooms sell out quickly!
Where to stay in Quebec City
Budget: Hotel et Motel Le Chateauguay
The Hotel and Motel Le Chateauguay is located just a short drive from the city centre and features a fitness suite, indoor pool, and spa including sauna and hot tub. Guests have access to free WiFi and free parking, and the rooms are clean and cozy.
Boutique: Manoir Sur le Cap
The highlight of this hotel is its incredible location situated in the Old Town just a few minutes walk from the most popular attractions in the heart of Quebec, making it a really good value option while still feeling special. The rooms are classically furnished with authentic exposed brick and stone walls and large windows, free WiFi and a flat-screen TV in each room.
Chain: Hotel PUR, Quebec, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Hotel PUR can be found in the Saint Roch quarter, about a 15-minute walk from the city’s historic centre. Communal features include an indoor pool and 24-hour gym, a bar area and an American and Asian-inspired restaurant, while chic and modern rooms have free WiFi, a large flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station.
Apartment: Les Lofts Champlain by Les Lofts Vieux Québec
This gorgeous ground-floor apartment is furnished in a crisp and contemporary style, fitted with a fully-equipped kitchen (including dishwasher and oven) with all the trimmings. The comfy furnishings will make you feel at home within seconds, and the great news is that it’s just a couple of hundred metres from some top tourist sites like the Basilique Cathedrale Notre Dame de Quebec and the Quartier Petit Champlain.
How to get to Quebec
The airport of Quebec welcomes flights from all over the world. Check Skyscanner for an overview of your flight options.
PIN FOR LATER
We received complimentary tickets to visit the Quebec City Ice Hotel and write about it. I'll always share my honest opinion on comped experiences like this one.