It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour a hotel made completely out of ice! Paul & I were lucky enough to experience this last weekend at Hotel de Glace in Quebec City. Although we weren’t brave enough to spend the night, our 2 hour visit during the day was exciting enough.
We booked the “Behind The Scenes” Tour for $30.50 each which included an in-depth look at how they make the hotel, a visit to the ice workshop where we got to make our own ice glass, and a free drink at the bar. We arrived almost an hour before our tour started, and were allowed access to the hotel so we could look around before the tour began. As soon as I had the hotel in my sight I instantly forgot how cold I was! The fact that a hotel of this size is build completely out of snow and ice is incredible.
When the tour started we we’re taken behind the hotel to see how it’s made. Every winter, 6 weeks before opening, a crew begins construction on the hotel. They use large metal structors to sculpt the shape of the main hallways by blowing snow overtop of the metal. After the snow freezes they use chains to remove the metal base, leaving behind the snow. A crew of 50 people work 12 hour shifts, 24/7 until the hotel is complete. Professional sculptors around the world are hired to create the stunning interior of the hotel.
After learning how the hotel was made, we headed to the ice workshop where we used a drill press to make our own ice glasses. After we finished in the workshop, our tour was completed and we were free to go to the ice bar where we could get a complimentary drink in the glasses we made. If you wanted another drink, most were priced at $8.50 or $9. They had a decent selection of shots and specialty drinks.
After our drinks, we explored more of the hotel on our own. The “lobby” of the hotel was most impressive, with a 600lb chandelier made out of ice! There were 44 rooms in total, some of them were quite small and just had an ice bed and a table. Suite are also available, and these rooms each have a different them. The detail that goes into the decor of these rooms is amazing. The headboards made out of ice we’re my favourite. Other cool features included an ice slide and a chapel.
For those that are brave enough to sleep at the hotel, you gain access to your room at 9pm. You store your belonging in a locker in the nearby heated building, where you can also shower and change. Once it’s time to go to bed you’re given a Nordic sleeping bag, and you head to the hot tubs and saunas to raise your internal temperature. Whatever temperature your body is when you go into the sleeping bag, is the temperature you stay at all night.
Your reservation also includes a room at the nearby Sheraton Hotel… so you can take the shuttle to the Sheraton in the morning to shower and eat breakfast. You can also head to the hotel in the middle of the night if you just can’t take the cold anymore.
Although I don’t think I would ever be able to sleep at Hotel de Glace, my time spending touring the hotel was a memorable experience. If you’re interested in visiting, there’s a number of different packages available for daytime visits or overnight stays. One of the sweetest packages is the “Marriage Proposal Package” that includes a ring box made out of ice! Regular tours start at $18 per person, and overnight packages start at $269 per person. Book your Hotel de Glace adventure here.