This Valentine’s Day my fiance surprised me with a one night stay at the Hotel de Glace outside of Quebec City. At first, I didn’t really get what or where the hotel was because my French still isn’t that great. He explained that it is an ice hotel and the only one in North America. My immediate impression was why the heck would anyone want to stay overnight in a large block of ice? Then I looked on Instagram and was blown away – it’s an actual hotel that you sleep in.
Every year the hotel is rebuilt and constructed with about 50 rooms during Canada’s winter season. Each of the suites has unique ice sculptures and wall art. Our room was exquisite having an under the sea theme with coral and seashells. If you don’t want to stay the night, you can pay an admission fee to tour the hotel and each suite between 10 am and 8 pm. For adults, the fee is $20.99, seniors and children $15.99 plus tax.
When you book a stay at the Hotel de Glace you are given 2 rooms – one in the Valcartier Hotel and your room in the ice hotel. The room at Valcartier is great for storing your belongings, taking a shower, changing your clothes and relaxing before you check in and after check out of your room at the ice hotel. You are able to check into your ice hotel room at 9 pm. You can do some of your own ice sculpturings or have a drink at the ice bar beforehand. You are given access to the hot tubs exclusive to Hotel de Glace guests from 9 pm until 9 am.
Before we checked in we were given a brief on what to expect and how to properly prepare. We got some great tips. As the temperature in the hotel is between -5 to 0 degrees, you’ll want to do the following:
Tips for Hotel de Glace
- Do not change in the ice hotel. It is much easier to do it in your Valcartier room
- Wear a toque on your head while you sleep as heat escapes easily from the upper body
- Put clothes in your sleeping bag with you that you may want to put on later if you get chilly as they will be warm already from your body heat
- Make sure your hair is completely dry before you go to bed as you can get a head cold
- Use the washroom facilities close to the ice hotel and not the ones in your Valcartier suite which are closer
The sleeping bags they gave us were quite warm. In the middle of the night, I had to take off some layers. The sleeping bags can handle temperatures up to -20. They are washed each time a new guest uses them and are comfortable where if you need to rotate your body you can do so with ease.
Some of my favourite suites