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.
Book a room / Read reviews on TripAdvisor
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.
Compare prices / Book a room / Read reviews on TripAdvisor
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.
Compare prices / Book a room / Read reviews on TripAdvisor
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.
Charley W says
This place looks amazing! And that chapel – so gorgeous. It’s a photographers heaven for sure. I wonder how the staff do being in the cold all day every day?
They wear ski gear:) also there’s not a lot of staff at the hotel during the day as visitors can wander around freely. We did have a guide and I believe you can book one, but it’s not compulsory.
Sand In My Suitcase says
It’s cool to know Canada (our home country) has an ice hotel :-). We’d love to see it (and maybe warm up at its bar on a spiked hot chocolate). But we probably would find it too darn cold to sleep there overnight! Great photos, BTW…
I don’t think the bar serves hot chocolate as the glasses are actually made out of ice as well. I’m guessing things would get messy if it did :D
Thanks on the photos!
Hahhah! Love it. I’ve been wanting to try this for years but haven’t although it’s only a few hours away from home!
Oh you should totally go! You don’t even have to spend the night. You can just go and visit as well if you like.
The Guy says
I must admit to being quite envious of you here Sofie. I’ve always fancied trying one of these in Scandinavia so am pleasantly surprised to see them in North America too.
Sleeping bags for sleeping sounds sensible. But are you sleeping on a hard surface? I guess mattresses won’t work in that cold temperature climate.
I love the slide too, it looks like fun.
BTW I see you’ve been tinkering with the design again on the site, it keeps looking better and better. Keep up the great work.
They actually do have mattresses. You’re not sleeping on solid ice, that’s for sure:)
I actually haven’t changed anything about the design anymore. What did you think looks different?
Sonja at Breadcrumbs Guide says
Cool post! (sorry for the pun) Seems odd they want you out by 8am especially with mosts guests arriving late. Don’t they want people to stay longer or is it just too cold?
My Dad and sister just went to an ice bar in Argentinean Patagonia and they gave everyone warm hooded capes and booties to stay warm. I’ll have a post on my blog about it at some point!
I love the pun:-)
It’s because the day-time visitors can come pretty early and so they want to tidy up the rooms and all before those people arrive.
Either way I don’t think you could really sleep in (as in, long) there.
That’s so nice that they gave out warm clothes! But “booties”? You mean boots? ‘Cause I ain’t ever seen anyone handing out a bootie :D
Sonja at Breadcrumbs Guide says
Ha! Yes, they were like boots. Not the kind of booty you were thinking!
Of course not:p
Susan Moore says
It looks beautiful! I have been contemplating a stay at the ice hotel in Quebec for a while now, perhaps this winter season I will make it happen. I am from Canada but living in Austin TX for many years I believe I have acquired an allergy to winter :)
Well, you’ll never know until you try! :)
And surely you don’t want to regret not having visited later?:)
the paper boat sailor says
Beautiful photos and architecture. There’s a similar place in Dubai of all cities, though it makes so much more sense for an ice hotel to be located in an Arctic zone!
I’m wondering what they DON’T have in Dubai :D
When have you been there? I was in Quebec City a few days ago but was told it was closed :( I wanted to visit the hotel as I have never seen an ice hotel before and it sounds cool (in every sense!)
Anyway I wouldn’t sleep there because I like warm cozy bedrooms :)
Also, I like that they have Ancient Egyptian drawings on the wall of a suite :)
I was there in March this year. As I’ve said, the hotel is built again each year beginning of December, so I’m afraid you went a bit too early to visit it :(
I was super glad that I could visit it without having to sleep there :D
The sculptures at the Ice Hotel are really impressive. Especially when you know that when we went, they’d already been there for four months and so many people had already touched them.
Oh Lord!! Ok, it LOOKS awesome, I love the pictures, the whole idea is awesome but the idea of sleeping in a freezer and pay for the privilege it’s not appealing to me :)
I hate the cold, I barely survive on temperatures below 22 degrees… but I know a few people who would love to sleep in there!
Haha, I’m with you on the freezer sentiment!
Maybe you should send those people this post? It might make them go for it!
WOW It’s magnificent. Really, I love it, and it’s such a special place to go! Sofie, I’m glad you shared these photos, they’re so great! How wonderful! Thanks!
Thanks so much Badtunna! I’m happy you like them:)
Leyla Giray Alyanak says
I LOVE this! I lived in Canada for years (in Montreal) and for some reason I wasn’t aware of this… or perhaps it was built after I left… I’m thinking of returning to Canada for a visit and now I want to spend the night here. I had hoped to do this in Scandinavia but that hasn’t happened – so Canada it will be. It really does look stunning – and I won’t be visiting the locker room to keep warm!
Hi hi hi :)
If you go, please come back here and let us know how it was to sleep there!
Suzanne Fluhr says
It looks like Iike one of those places I’d like to see, but not inhabit—even for one night. Being of a certain age, there’s usually at least 1 WC visit during the night. TMI?
Oh you don’t have to be of a certain age for that. I need to pee at least once a night too :D