One night while dining with friends and feeling adventurous and oh so Canadian, Ryan mentioned that Hotel De Glace or the Canadian Ice Hotel in Quebec City had a deal. A hotel we have had at the TOP of our wish list to visit for years! With just a little hesitation, we booked. Our only concern was “What will be the temperature be?” We settled on a 1 nights stay in the Hotel De Glace and a weekend in one of our favourite Canadian cities Quebec City. Joined by our friends Liz & Steve who have been on this blog many times, from our adventures working weddings together and our trip to Italy last spring, we set off on the 10 hour road trip to the ice palace we would call home for a night.
Its a unique experience for sure to stay in a building made of ice and snow. There is no sound because there is really nothing in the hotel to make sound accept people, LED lights (which are very quiet) and the fridges for the bar. That is it! There are no alarm clocks or phones in the rooms, no windows and no doors just a curtain! The walls are so thick that the sound of your heart beating beneath your arctic sleeping bag is strangely loud. When you arrive at the information centre, it literally looks like any tourist office with pamphlets and a gift shop. Your bags are chauffeured to the hotel where they are stored in large lockers that you can access any time you like. Guests walk down a snowy path towards the hotel. There is music playing, and frozen maple syrup to eat. They have a cafeteria in a large building that is heated with sofa’s and bathrooms and a guest services staff available to you at all times. If you get cold in the night you can hide out in here. Part of the stay at the hotel involves a 25 minute class on how to stay warm at their regulated temperature of -15. The staff answer all your questions, and help you to understand that you “WILL NOT DIE” during your stay at the Hotel De Glace from freezing, hypothermia or any other freezing related issues if you follow their instructions. For 1/4 of the mandatory class you get to watch an entertaining tutorial on how to get into your sleeping bag. And as they wiggle around you cannot help but laugh.
Once the course is done you get to explore the hotel and visit the bar, and enjoy the activities the hotel has to offer. We saw every suite they offered which is decorated with themes carved into snow and ice. They had blocks of ice and chisels for guests to create their own ice drinking cup. Mine looked like a volcano! But probably the most fun we had was gathering people of all ages (literally couples from age 25-70 years old) and encouraging them to abandon their fears and the worries of life and take a trip down the ice slide with us. We had so much fun! However one week after the trip mysterious bruises were showing up all over my body from the slide LOL! We ended the night off in the hot tubs and saunas.
Then like good boys and girls we all snuggled into our beds and slept the night away in our thermal sleeping bags, inside our personal igloo style hotel rooms. Oddly it was warmer inside the hotel than out as the “polar vortex” was peaking that night in Quebec City. It was a magical experience. If you are brave enough, and fun enough, we hope you will visit this hotel. It is only open for a few months of the year so don’t delay. Here are some of the images we took during our stay. They even do weddings here in their charming chapel of ice. So if you are an adventurous couples getting married at Hotel de Glace in Quebec City we would love to hear from you and talk about all the amazing photos we can take of your Hotel de Glace Wedding in Quebec City.
Erika & Ryan