Quebec’s ice hotel celebrates 20 years

Published: December 20, 2019

Have you ever dreamed of staying in an ice hotel? Well, Quebec’s iconic ice hotel—the Hôtel de Glace—turns 20 years old this year. To commemorate the anniversary, the hotel is preparing sculptured ice rooms and communal spaces that celebrate the themes of past years and pay tribute to Quebec City. (The hotel is located just north of the city.)

Visitors can expect to see an icy enchanted forest, enormous ice sculptures, and frozen re-creations of local attractions, such as the architecture of historic Old Quebec, the Saint-Louis gate, and perhaps the most well-known symbol of the city, Bonhomme Carnaval.

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Pricing starts at about $400 for a one-bed room and for that you get access to the outdoor hot tubs and saunas (“under the stars”), use of the ice skating path, welcome cocktails served in an ice glass, and an additional (non-ice-sculpted) room in the adjacent Hôtel Valcartier, for luggage and showers—and to warm up, we imagine. Some rooms have two or three beds, so you could always team up with friends for some frigid frivolity.

There will also be 20 themed suites available and each will represent different aspects of the 20 years of the ice hotel. If you want to really splurge, go for the themed suite with a fireplace and private hot tub and sauna. And don’t worry, every room comes with a winter sleeping bag and insulated bedding.

The hotel says that regardless of the weather outside, the ambient temperature in the rooms will be between -3°C and -5°C. That’s pretty chilly and obviously colder than most people are used to for indoor conditions, so guests are required to take a mandatory training session when they arrive for their stay. Lesson one, we imagine: don’t lick the walls.

Check out the gallery for photos of the ice hotel from previous years.

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