Could you imagine spending the night outside, in the middle of winter, with nothing but walls of ice and snow to protect you from the elements? No ordinary igloo, Hotel de Glace or 'Ice Hotel', is a fully accommodated hotel made entirely out of ice and snow. Ice beds, ice tables, ice chairs, ice cups, all surrounded by ice cold walls; this arctic attraction is sure to leave all its brave visitors chilled to the bone.
Hotel de Glace is located right outside of Quebec City in Canada and is open only during the winter months (surprise, surprise!). So the hotel is rebuilt in a new and unique way each year. All of its structures and furniture are made from about 15,000 tons of snow and 500,000 tons of ice, with 60 architects and artists working around the clock for a month and a half to build it up. To create the building, the workers make their own special snow mixture, which is blown by a snow-blower onto metal support frames. After the snow is given time to harden, the metal structures are removed and the walls are completed!
The Hotel de Glace has 36 rooms and suites, along with a wedding chapel, disco, cafe, bar, spa, and a giant ice slide! It receives about 70,000 visitors each winter season. Those that wish to spend the night are subjected to a constant temperature of -5?C, or about 23?F. Upon arrival, guests check in and then attend a training session on how to survive the cold, and then are set free to enjoy their stay!
Although the prospect of sleeping on an ice bed in an igloo may not sound the most appealing, guests may be surprised to learn that their room would not be what they expected. On top of each ice bed is a wooden support frame, covered with a mattress, an isolating sheet, and a pillow. The Hotel de Glace also provides a North Face sleeping bag designed to withstand temperatures as low as -30?C or -22?F. Those that pay for a suite are also treated to an in-room fireplace!
For those who are not quite as brave, l'Hotel de Glace offers daytime tour packages so you can get a taste of what the ice hotel is really like. There you can have lunch at the ice cafe, a drink at the ice bar in an ice cup, and view all the intricately designed rooms and suites without having to tough out the night. For me, I think that's the route I'd take! Would you be willing to brave out a night in the Ice Hotel?
Author's Note: Sources: http://www.hoteldeglace-canada.com/index.php