Staying at an ice hotel is cool — literally and figuratively. The Daily Meal spent a night at Hôtel de Glace, a Québec ice hotel constructed anew each winter with 20,000 blocks of ice. This year the Hôtel de Glace is open until March 24.
Though ski vacations remain a popular winter retreat, vacations revolving around ice are increasing in popularity thanks to ice festivals popping up around the world, like the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival (哈尔滨国际冰雪节) and the Québec Winter Carnival, and ingenuity that has made it possible to build ice hotels anew each season.
While ice hotels are a sight to behold, what’s it like to actually stay at one? Can you really stay warm and get a good night’s rest? The Daily Meal booked a night at an ice hotel to answer those questions and more.
Open from January to March each year, the Hôtel de Glace is located 20 minutes by car from downtown Québec and features 44 guest rooms with one, two, or three beds, an ice bar, an ice slide, a chapel, four hot tubs, a sauna, and tons (literally) of ice. Some rooms feature intricate ice sculptures and hand-chiseled artwork on the walls, and a handful even have fireplaces, which don’t actually emit heat, but rather serve to provide ambiance.
Nearly everything, from the walls to the beds to the bar glasses, is made of ice, much of it backlit with neon lights that illuminate the frozen surroundings in pastel hues from pink to blue.
The hotel is kept at 25 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the ice solid and guests are treated to an ephemeral overnight experience like no other.
Lauren Mack is the Special Projects Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.