Have you had it with tropical vacations? Tired of those margaritas and pina coladas? Do you consider yourself more of an adventurer and trail blazer? Then the Hotel de Glace, a magnificent ice and snow architectural wonder, might give you the unique experience you’ve been craving.
This boutique hotel located in Sainte-Catherine-De-La-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, Canada was first created in the frosty winter of 2001 and is reborn every January through March annually. Five weeks in the making, it takes 500 tons of ice and 15,000 tons of snow to create this entirely frozen structure inspired by Inuit igloos.
Each of the 36 rooms and suites is a captivating work of art, including original snow & ice sculptures and designs preserved in room temperatures of -3 C to -5C (Yikes!). Now, I’m not usually a cold weather girl (though I do live in MN), I opt for sunshine and SPF any day. However, the thrill of sleeping on a bed made of ice, surrounded by archways of frozen water and Nordic-inspired wall art is, well, too crazy an experience to turn down. Luckily, the Hotel de Glace provides rooms with heat sources to keep you toasty. You can enjoy log fireplaces and a sauna right next to your bed (a bed made of an ice base, covered with a mattress). Think that sounds too chilly? No fear, every evening a special arctic sleeping bag is delivered to your room to keep you in snug Nordic cocoon, snoozing (and alive) all through the night. You can see from the photos below, the rooms truly make you feel like you're a Viking, surviving the frozen tundra.
Tip: You'll find you are surprisingly warm, but just make sure to follow the hotel guidelines.
So the rooms are magical, but what better setting for a fairytale wedding? I didn’t see one while I was there, but I’ve seen pictures of past celebrations and they do it right! The hotel will throw out the red carpet and deliver you to its magical chapel in a horse drawn carriage under a display of fireworks. You can toast your guests with special ice flutes. Talk about an experience to remember.
From amenities to activities, Hotel de Glace can keep you so busy you forget you’re in the cold. They have Nordic style relaxation area with 3 hot tubs, a sauna, and a nightclub with… an ice bar (a very cool place to get a drink!). Quebec is also a short 40 miles away and a great city for a day at the museums, shopping or restaurant hopping. You can choose a hotel package that fits your accomodation and activity interests the best. The basic one night stay starts at around $350/night/per person and other packages go all the way up to $700+.
Tip: If you are looking for more adventure, make sure to sign up for the package that lets you go dog sledding through the beautiful countryside. This is the perfect activity to complement the ice palace/winter wonderland experience.
So next year, when those snowflakes start to fall, reserve your special room at the Hotel de Glace for an experience that proves you are as unique as the hotel itself!