To stay in accommodations carved out of ice, you usually have to travel all the way to Sweden or Norway. North America has its very own ice hotel, however, and it’s a doozy: the Hotel de Glace, in Quebec City.
With 44 cold rooms and suites to choose from – starting at $199 and running to roughly $725 US per night – this is a proper hotel, not just one or two rooms carved in ice. It is created out of 15,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice, and remade each year. Rooms feature 19-foot ceilings, most of the furniture is carved out of ice blocks, and there are of numerous rugs, blankets, sleeping bags, animal furs, and more to keep visitors warm. Rooms also feature fireplaces and custom ice sculptures. Many of the walls are carved with elaborate winter animals and fictional creatures.
An ice candelabra, lit by fiber optics, hangs in the main lobby. The hotel also boasts an ice café, where guests sit on ice chairs fitted with fur sipping cappuccinos and hot chocolate, and an ice bar for adults. There’s also an elegant ice chapel, since in the 15 years it’s been open, the hotel has become a popular destination for weddings.
As a seasonal ice building, a rotating series of artisans remake the hotel year to year. For 2015, the theme of the hotel is “Space-Time,” with a design meant to capture moments frozen in time. “With representations of the ancient past or of a possible future, the Hôtel de Glace invites visitors to explore facets of reality as they travel through time,” notes Pierre l’Heureux, the new artistic director of the Hôtel de Glace. “Along the way, fascinating ‘time bubbles’ – from the Big Bang to space travel – are featured throughout the hotel.”
Each year this unique hotel attracts some 150,000 visitors, so if you decide to give it a try, be sure to make your reservation well in advance. The Hotel de Glace is open from the first week of January through the last week of March.
*Photos courtesy of Hotel de Glace