Have you ever heard of the Ice Hotel in Quebec Canada? It's s must if you're visiting the province in winter!
- At the Ice Hotel in Quebec
- The Ice Hotel's temperature
- Where is the Ice Hotel located + how to get there You can find the Ice Hotel in the Village Vacances Valcartier 20 minutes north of the center of Quebec City. Ice castle rates
- Ice Hotel Quebec opening date 2020
- Where to stay in Quebec City
- How to get to Quebec
- Pin for later
At the Ice Hotel in Quebec
The Ice Hotel or Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada is built anew each year based on a different 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 the hotel. The work of building the ice castle in Quebec city usually start 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 ice castle hotel.
It's the only hotel in 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 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 this icy hotel.
The “reception” at the Quebec Hotel de Glace
First, there's the reception. Luckily the hotel staff doesn'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 Hotel de Glace Quebecl.
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 Hotel de Glace rooms
The 44 rooms 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 Hotel 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 a slide made out of ice (of course). It wasn't as slippery as we'd expected though and Siemen and I bought had to push ourselves forward to get to the bottom.
Staying at the Ice Hotel: 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 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.
The Ice Hotel's temperature
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 bags 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 that 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 room and she told me that the Ice Hotel used to reserve a couple of rooms at a nearby hotel in case 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.