Confession: I suffer from a condition known as ‘I’m always colditis.’ Maybe it’s poor circulation? Or low iron? But, nonetheless, I am always freezing! If you see a girl wrapped in blanket, sitting in front of a fireplace, there’s a very good chance that it’s me. From this ridiculous ailment, Kevin finds endless opportunities to make fun of me. Incessant shivering while under covers, check. Wearing two pairs of socks to go outside, check. Closing the garage door before exiting the car to prevent draft, check. Consequently, cold weather is not my best friend.
Despite my inability to stay warm however, when we started to plan our trip to Quebec City, the famous Hotel de Glace was a must see. The only problem, I wasn’t quite sure if I was brave enough to spend the night. Irrational fear of turning into a block of ice over night move aside! As a result of the ice hotel’s iconic popularity, visitors (like me) have the option to explore the property during the day without needing to book a night’s stay. So, for all those wanting the perfect sneak peak of a hotel literally built out of ice and snow read on…
Where The Cold Things Are
L’Hotel de Glace today is approximately 30 minutes from Quebec City near the Valcartier Vacation Village. Over the years however, the hotel has existed in a number of different locations. The first construction was near the famous Montmorency Falls, which we will feature in another post. It wasn’t until 2016 when the CEO and founder of Valcartier invested $70 million to incorporate the ice hotel into their village that it was moved further from the city. If you don’t have a car (like we didn’t), tours are available from the Tourism Office near the Frontenac. Our booking included transportation to the hotel and admission for visiting the property. So, upon arrival, our guide led us to the entrance and from there we were free to explore the site.
Rooms Below Freezing
Open from January to March, the hotel has 44 rooms and suites. Each room has a distinct theme and design. This is the result of a longstanding contest where architect students create unique concepts out of ice and snow. I couldn’t help but scurry down the halls to collect pictures of all of them. So, we’ll let the photos below do the rest of the talking because some of the designs are jaw droppingly amazing!
A night at the hotel begins with a pre-arrival instruction list to ensure that you are well prepared for your stay. Think, how to pack and what to bring! Once you check in, guides then review details so that all patrons are warm and comfortable. Then, starting at 9:00pm guests have access to outdoor hot tubs and saunas. What could be better for true nordic relaxation.
Also within the complex is a chapel. No, that is not a typo. To date they have welcomed and married over 200 couples from around the world. Picture magical ice chandeliers and a snowy setting; the perfect romantic winter wedding. Lastly, the property finishes with an ice lounge. This large space is complete with a bar, dance floor and custom frozen apple cocktail tables. We can only imagine how much fun this spot would be! How many people can say they danced the night away at an ice bar.
What struck us the most about the tour was the sheer size of the building. From the front it doesn’t appear overly large. However, once you enter, the hotel is a maze of hallways and corridors. Down each one something new to discover. Even though we didn’t spend the night, we had so much fun, navigating the twists and turns to uncover what was inside this majestic snow castle.
Although my case of ‘colditis’ hasn’t disappeared yet, after touring the property we would highly recommend staying overnight to enjoy the full experience. Despite it’s hypothermia inducing appearance, it really would make for an amazing story to share with friends and family. So, if you are as brave as a polar bear, do it, and then tell us all about it. We can’t wait to hear!
Please note this review is in no way affiliated with the Hotel de Glace. All comments are therefore our honest opinion and are the result of a personal experience that we wanted to share with all of you.