Because seeing the northern nights has been on my bucket list for years, Joe and I have considered staying at an igloo hotel where the aurora borealis might be seen. You know, something like Finland’s Kakslaittanen.
Besides the lure of possibly seeing the northern lights, the thought of staying in an igloo, “just because I can,” sounds really cool (well, cold), too. Anyway, in my searches of igloo hotels, I eventually also discovered ice hotels.
Most ice hotels are in Europe and the surrounding area. Austria. Finland. Norway. Sweden (that latter one is the home of the very first ice hotel – it opened in 1989). However there’s one ice hotel in North America and, not surprisingly since it’s the dead of winter, it’s just re-opened for the season on January 4th.
The Hôtel de Glace (trans: “Hotel of Ice,” a.k.a. “Ice Hotel”) is located outside Quebec City, at the Valcartier Vacation Village, a large family resort in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier (the Hôtel Valcartier is right next door, and within walking distance to Hôtel de Glace). The entire hotel (walls, chandeliers, beds, artwork, nearly everything) is made of ice and snow (roughly 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow, to be exact), and is rebuilt every year from scratch, so it never looks the same from year to year.
The hotel is open from January through March. It has several “basic” rooms that sleep 2, but also offers rooms and suites that sleep up to 6, and/or that are themed (winter, music, hockey, etc.) with ice and snow sculptures, and may have options of fireplaces, private hot tubs, etc.
The rooms are an average of 23F to 27F, but they do give well-insulated blankets to help keep you warm overnight.
All stays include:
- A welcome cocktail served in an ice glass
- A room at the Hôtel Valcartier on the same night as your stay at the Hôtel de Glace (for your luggage, shower, etc.)
- Access to the hotel’s Nordic area with hot tubs and saunas under the stars
- Access to the ice skating path (based on schedule and depending on weather conditions)
- 10% discount on services at the Aroma Spa
- 20% discount on your Hôtel Valcartier reservation the nights before and/or the nights after your overnight stay at the Hôtel de Glace
The hotel is opened in phases:
If you’d rather not stay at the Hôtel de Glace, but still want to take a look, the public areas and rooms are also open for tours (tours of the rooms end at 8pm, when they’re only accessible to overnight guests).
Hôtel de Glace gets an average of 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor.
Feature Image: Hôtel Valcartier
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