Ice Hotel, Quebec Canada

When I committed to spending a night at the Ice Hotel in Quebec, Canada, I pictured a cozy well-lit room with warm beds and a fireplace.

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In reality, the bed is a giant block of ice, fitted with a thin layer of wooden box spring and a mattress.

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topped with deer skins.

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Instead of doors, the rooms have curtains to provide just enough privacy, while enabling hotel staffs to check on you every few hours.

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And unless you are in the Arctic Spas Suite, or one of the premium suites, you can forget about fireplaces.

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For a visitor, Hôtel de Glace is the perfect fairy-tale winter wonderland.

Built entirely of ice and snow, it comes with beautifully sculpted hallways

with an ice slide

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A bar

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A gallery

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An ice sculpture exhibit

A chapel

And many themed rooms and suites – the theme changes each year

such as the Owl Suite

the Chess Suite

the Polar Bear Suite

the Citadel Suite

And the Igoloo Suite

Spending the night in the hotel, however, where the outside temperature hovers about -20°C and the inside temperature between -3°C and -5°C, is not for the faint of heart.

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Upon checking in, a 45-minute orientation was given to help us prepare for the extreme conditions. And should we decide to bail out last minute (as I was seriously considering), there’s always a leather couch and a warm living room in the lobby of an adjacent building, on a first come first serve basis. Unless of course, you paid the price for a backup room at the Valcartier Hotel during booking, which is not necessarily a bad idea.

My night began at the Ice Bar, where I received my complimentary cocktail, served in an ice glass.

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There weren’t many people at the bar. I quickly retreated to a corner where I found a knife and a block of ice and started to chisel. I worked on it for a while, couldn’t set my mind on a design, lost interest and eventually gave up.

Then, as instructed, I took a hot shower, tipped-toed to the hot tub outside (in the snow), where I enjoyed a peaceful moment under the stars all by myself, before joined by several other guests.

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Alternating between sauna and hot tub, chatting with people from around the world, my body warmed up. It is time to head to the room.

The room was cold. I quickly stripped down to my thermal underwear, slipped into the arctic sleeping bag – taking care to keep my nose and mouth outside of the bag, so I don’t breath damp air into the bag – and after a few minutes, dozed off.

I slept like a baby.

The next morning I woke up staring at a hole right above me on the (snow) ceiling, where a beam of day light crept through. It must have been around 7AM. Realizing where I was, I touched my nose, it seemed frozen but, still attached.

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On my way to breakfast I passed several rooms in the hallway. It was obvious – from the untouched sleeping bags, which only got delivered when there were guests in the room – that some guests had chosen to spend the night elsewhere.

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But I did it! I had just spent a night at one of the coolest place on earth! And the thought of that was exhilarating!

Hôtel de Glace 
Address: 1860 Boulevard Valcartier, Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, QC G0A 4S0, Canada
Phone: +1 418-844-2200
Webpage: https://www.hoteldeglace-canada.com/

Click here to see where I have stayed around the world.

Coming up next in the Travel section: Rouen, France

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78 thoughts on “Ice Hotel, Quebec Canada

  1. I’m so happy your nose was still attached! I don’t like cold that much but this seems great fun – for a night. When I was a child and houses weren’t heated that much, winters, even in my moderate climate country, could be really cold. Step into bed with almost frozen sheets, don’t move for a while and when warm, indeed!, doze off. To expirience that again I seem to need to head for Canada. I very well might do that. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WOW, I have never heard of this hotel and am sitting here feeling cold just reading your post. 😲 THe hotel is amazing and beautiful! What an experience and kudos for staying all night, this chalks up as an adventure you will never forget. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m getting to an age where I enjoy the creature comforts. This sounds thrilling for the younger set, but kudos to you for trying it and sticking to it. An experience you’ll likely remember forever!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations for sticking it out! I kept reading wondering if I was going to hear you tell us it was “too cold!” I had seen a show on these ice hotels and was wonderfing WHO would be crazy enough to actually spend the night in one. SMILING! I was glad to hear you actually slept all night! Thanks for the GREAT photos too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, you won’t. The sleeping bag holds the temperature pretty well. Just don’t go to bathroom over the night, as it requires you to get out of the sleeping bag, put on your cold clothes (likely to freeze by that time) and do it all over again. Not a fun activity.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great adventure! I’d want to go and tour the place and take photos, then head for a hotel for the night. I did snow camping one night in my early 20s and that was enough for me. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

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