Are you looking for a winter vacation out of the norm? Tired of the same old trips down south? Get ready for an amazing experience. Why not try an Hotel Du Glace during the next three months? Before you dismiss the idea of staying in a cold place during the cold months, read on and you might be surprised.
Ice hotels are lovingly hand crafted each winter by expert designers from around the globe. There are several opportunities for this unusual getaway in Europe and one in North America located in Québec City, Canada. There are also two ice hotels in Norway and Finland and one each in Sweden & Romania.
You can have the experience of a staying inside an igloo or relax in your own frozen private bedroom completely made of compacted snow and ice. Temperatures inside each room are always well below freezing but there are also suites that include gas fireplaces (all well vented) should you need to warm up. Some even offer an ice chapel should you want to tie the knot in a setting like none other.
Other activities include indoor ice slides for the kids, awe-inspiring ice sculptures and ice cocktails made for sipping from a glass made of ice. At night ice bars are transformed into discos where you can dance the night away (and stay warm at the same time).
The first and original Ice Hotel (and the most luxurious) is in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. It is located 200km north of the Arctic Circle. It has 60 unique guest rooms with a private sauna. Each “art suite” has been designed by celebrated artists from around the world.
Some rooms feature a colorful Aurora Borealis light show projected on the ceiling above the bed. Both “cold” and “warm” rooms are available. The hotel’s activities include horse tours, Northern Lights viewing, fitness/wellness programs, snowmobiling, dog-sledding and more. They are currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.
If Sweden is perhaps a little far for you, Québec City, Canada has it’s very own Hôtel Du Glace open from January to March. Located just 15 minutes from the historic downtown part of Québec City, you have nearly the same experience as the ice hotels in northern Europe without the long flight.
Hôtel du Glace has an ice chapel, ice bar, cafe, spa & sauna, and a sugar shack. Its 44 rooms and suites (cold only) are decorated around individual themes and spectacular lighting. This year, the hotel is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the theme “Space-Time,” that takes visitors on a dazzling journey through successive areas, where past and future remain frozen in time.
If you’re squeamish about the cold, or not sure you can commit to a full night on ice, there are day tour options available. Either way, I highly recommend visiting an ice hotel for something completely original. It’s an opportunity to make the most of winter while immersing yourself in luxurious artistic creations.