Long before Frozen’s Elsa of Arendelle warmed her way into our hearts with her icy architectural skills, the Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel) had been imagining a frozen wonderland in Québec, Canada. This year marks the hotel’s 20th anniversary as the only ice hotel in North America and they’re honoring this milestone with the theme “20 Years of Magic.”
“Through an overview of the past 20 years at Hôtel de Glace, visitors are invited to relive the best moments of this world-famous winter attraction,” says Sylvain Lauzon, President of Calypso-Valcartier Group, the iconic hotel’s owners.
Transforming Snow & Ice into Art
The raw material for the Hôtel de Glace is more than 35,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice, collected onsite once the temperature dips below 23°F. Every December, sculptors and artisans work magic for six weeks to build stunning structures. This anniversary year, the themed suites is a retrospective of the past two decades while paying tribute to the Québec City area with a “Fun Zone” recreational space, an enchanted forest and ice sculptures emblematic of the region.
“Twenty years of innovation, beauty and eye-catching splendor – by all means, this calls for a big celebration. The Hôtel de Glace, a stand-alone attraction for our beautiful destination, has put us on the map, attracting visitors from all over the world, not to mention embodying winter in all its magical splendor,” says Benoît Pigeon, Director of Québec City Tourism.
In addition to inviting overnight guests to chill in the hotel’s 42 rooms, the Hôtel de Glace also welcomes day visitors to enjoy a Nordic area with hot tubs and sauna, a Grand Ice Slide for people of all ages, an ice chapel for weddings, an ice bar with a capacity for 400 guests and a Polynesian-themed indoor water park nearby.
Prepping for a Night on Ice
For those spending the night, the hotel has a preparation guide, recommending a “three-layer” technique of dressing for Québec’s winter temperatures. Don’t worry, you’ll be comfy at bedtime. Though the hotel and furnishings are made entirely of ice, you’ll be snug in a cozy sleeping bag on a mattress (atop blocks of ice).
Overnight stays are available through March 21 and day visitors are welcome until March 29, 2020.
For reservations and full listing of winter activities, visit the Hôtel de Glace website.
And follow the Squire’s exploration of Québec as a Winter Wonderland, Adventure Travel in Québec Maritime and Québec City Destination Guide.