Hotel de Glace - a Unique Ice Hotel Experience
- September 17, 2021
- By Prasad Gopinath
When to do Hotel De Glace?
Welcome to the magical world of snow and ice. Each year Hotel De Glace opens January to March to present guests with a unique experience that they can never find anywhere else on North America. A stay in a hotel completely made from ice and snow.
Hotel De Glace situated about 40 kilometers, north of Quebec City, in the village of Sainte-Gabriel-de-Valcartier at the Village Vacances Valcartier. If you are wondering how to get here, you can fly into Quebec City or Montreal (it’s a lot longer drive) or arrive ion Quebec City by VIA Rail and catch a cab to transfer to Valcartier. Of course, my favorite would be driving.
Hotel de Glace – how do you build a hotel with ice & snow
Starting from scratch, the Hotel de Glace is completely redesigned and built from the ground up each year. 50 builders and 18 sculptors create the hotel each year in approximately 40 days, packing snow tightly to trap body heat of the people inside the rooms, a skill learned from the Inuit people of Canada. The snow and Ice are also molded into pointed arches for sturdy supports and high ceilings (a trick learned from Gothic architects). Over 10 kms of wires are embedded in the floors and the walls. Although the exterior of the hotel looks almost same year over year, the inside carries a different theme each year.
What is unique about Hotel de Glace?
The Hotel de Glace has everything from an ice restaurant to an ice bar, an ice slide and even an ice chapel? First thing you see when you arrive at the Hotel de Glace is the Bar area where you can order cocktails in glasses made of ice. Over 200,000 Ice glasses will be created and used at the bar each season. Do not worry about your ice glass sticking to your lips. They don’t because of the special process used in making them. There are also a fireplace to warm your hands. There’s the Grand Hall, a room filled with many ice sculptures. Included in your stay will be a delicious cocktail made by one of the hotel’s amazing bartenders and a visit to the rooms and suites.
Hotel de Glace – Ice Rooms
Hotel de Glace offers standard rooms that imitate a igloo. The largest Premium Deluxe Spa Suite has a fireplace and private hot tub and sauna! Beds are platforms of ice topped by an insulated mattress. The rooms at the Ice Hotel are strictly for sleeping. If you were imagining ice closets with ice hangers and ice bathrooms with ice toilets, think again.
Room Access - Room access is from 9 pm to 9 am. No early check-ins or late check-outs at Hotel de Glace.
Room at Hotel Valcartier - Guests can use the back-up room held for them at Hotel Valcartier. Check in at Hotel Valcartier will be at 4 PM and check out at 11 AM. This means, guests have access to the back-up room at Hotel Valcartier anytime during their stay post check in. Guests must also store all their luggage and belongings in their back-up room at Hotel Valcartier. Hotel de Glace has no facilities to store luggage and belongings.
The rooms are open to tourists during the day. The bar remains open until midnight, and you might as well put some fire in your belly. Guests are provided with thermal sleeping bags designed to withstand temps as low as -30° Celsius (-22° F). Get on the bed, get into the liner of your sleeping bag and then you get into the sleeping bag, and once you are inside the sleeping bag. You must change your socks before you get into the sleeping bag so there is absolutely no humidity.
How to prepare for the night.
On arrival at the Hotel de Glace, there is an “Information Session” all guests are required to attend. Guests are also required to go through the Overnight Preparation Guide. Overnight guests have access to the onsite outdoor spas and saunas. Put on your bathing suit and soak up in one of the hot tubs. Make sure your body is thoroughly warmed up before you go to sleep. Completely dry yourself off and change into your layers of dry clothing. Do not wear clothes you wore during the day. Put on what you going to wear something made from synthetic fiber. Do not wear anything made of cotton. And do not to go to sleep with wet hair as it might freeze.
Cell phones can be brought into your Hotel de Glace room and stored inside the sleeping bag. Try and not bring any other electronics into your ice room as the batteries will quickly die from the cold temperatures. Overnight guests have access to a hotel room at the Hotel Valcartier with proper washrooms. Your room at Hotel Valcartier come with full washrooms and can be used to store belongings including luggage. Guests can also retreat to this rom in the event it becomes way too cold to bear in your room at Hotel de Glace. You don’t put anything on the ice. You put everything in your boots or in your sleeping bag pouch.
It’s a sleep you can have nowhere else. The oxygen you breathe is phenomenal.
Valcartier – A Winter Playground
Valcartier is a Winter Playground offering a variety of winter activities. Village Vacances Valcartier where Hotel de Glace is located is a huge Family Resort with many indoor and outdoor facilities. Adjacent to Hotel de Glace, they have a Winter Playground with many snow-slides that are open for guests day and night. Slide down the beautiful Skateway, which is also illuminated in the evenings. Have fun snow rafting, sliding down the steep Himalaya at top speed. Experience the Tornado, a one-of-a-kind slide unique to Village Vacances Valcartier. Celebrate the joys of winter with family and friends.
And of course, enjoy the indoor waterpark at Hotel Valcartier, the “Bora Bora”. Its 102,000 sq ft of summer fun at Bora Bora Parc all year long! This Polynesian-style park features a gigantic wave pool, over 14 water Vslides, a family pool with water games, a river of adventure with many activities, a double surf wave attraction, a restaurant with terrace and private rooms.
This Polynesian-style park offers a Bora Parc is the only indoor waterpark in Québec, designed to provide people of all ages with a tropical paradise playground - come. Rain or shine!
Check with us for our Hotel De Glace Package for you and your family.