Quebec's Ice Hotel
In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary on July 1, we’re bringing you 150 Travelzoo Tips — one per day until July 1 — to help you explore and enjoy this great land. For tip 23, keen traveller Lauren Yakiwchuk writes about a very cool place to spend the night. Find more from Lauren on her blog, Justin Plus Lauren, or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Do cookie-cutter hotel chains leave you cold? Warm up to the Hotel de Glace, the only ice hotel in North America! Located near Quebec City, this temporary lodging -- it's open from the beginning of January until the end of March -- is made completely out of snow and ice. It has 44 rooms and suites, and there are spectacular ice sculptures everywhere you look.
Each year, the Hotel de Glace is newly constructed with a different theme. This year's theme is “Northern Perspectives,” aiming to explore the enchanting Arctic Circle and North Pole through icy visual representations. There are three ice bars, an ice chapel, an ice slide and numerous rooms with unique carvings.
If you're a little worried about sleeping overnight in a room made of ice, you're not alone. Thankfully, there's an information session where you learn how to prepare for your stay. Every guest is provided with a sleeping bag that covers you from head to toe. Though the rooms always stay between -3 C and -5 C, the sleeping bags are rated for winter camping trips that are much colder. Be sure to soak in one of the hot tubs or saunas to warm up your body before you go to sleep. Bundle up in dry, warm layers of clothing -- and don't forget to bring a hat and scarf.
Don't let worries about lasting the night keep you from checking in. Guests also receive access to a regular room at the nearby Valcartier Hotel. It's only steps from the Hotel de Glace, should you need a bathroom break or a warm bed.
For those who don't want to stay overnight, you can visit for the day to marvel at the stunning ice creations. I recommend combining your visit with a trip to the neighbouring snow tubing park at Village Vacances Valcartier. It's a thrilling adventure to spin and glide down those snowy hills.
The Hotel de Glace is one of those bucket list items that every Canadian should experience. There's nothing like embracing this magical winter world of snow and ice.
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