Although the thought of spending a night on a bed of ice may immediately send some running from their worst frostbitten nightmares, the Hotel de Glacé (Ice Hotel) in Quebec should be a notable exception.
Torch-like lights flicker warmly from the turquoise walls transporting visitors to a frozen fairytale realm they are not soon to forget.
It is about a 30 minute drive from Quebec City and public transportation is not accessible here, so renting a car is your best option. Quebec City has many rental options.
For a day trip, tours vary in cost depending on your chosen activity. Basic entrance is $20.99. To add a drink in the ice bar your new total is $27.99. If you want to try your hand at making your own ice glass, it will set you back $34.99.
To spend the night at the hotel prices start at $219/ Night.
When to Visit:
Artists lovingly sculpt each room from real snow and ice. This means that the hotel is only open seasonally from late December until early March. Accommodations are booked up well in advanced. So plan ahead if spending the night is on your bucket list.
The hotel complex is made up of several buildings. A main hall is the first logical stop, with elaborate ice sculptures and seemingly precarious chandeliers carved into the ceiling.
Visit the ice chapel next. This is where couples can opt to exchange vows with onlookers sitting on frozen fur-lined benches.
Tour several rooms which are available for nightly stays (some are for display). There is an ice bar which serves winter themed drinks in carved glasses made from, you guessed it, ice.
I did not spend the night on my visit and instead chose to visit during the day. I did both a self and guided tour, which included a signature drink in the ice bar afterwards. The guided tour added some additional information about the building process, but I found that it was nothing more than I could’ve researched myself. I much preferred wandering about at my own pace.
As much as I enjoyed the art and wonder of the ice hotel, it is important to note that it is located behind a large resort. Although for some, this might be an added bonus. There is a heated indoor waterpark and an outdoor selection of snow slides and activities. But for me, these items took away from the isolated igloo experience that I was expecting.
Overall, the scenic 30 min drive from Quebec City is worth the visit. The amount of detail and dedication that the artists put into every inch of the walls and furniture is fantastic. A night in the hotel is definitely bucket list worthy. How many people can say that they have slept on a bed of ice?