ICE HOTEL: Hôtel de Glace – Quebec City, Canada

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I still to this day remember over a decade ago when I first heard of the Ice Hotel in Quebec City. Does something like this actually exist? Ever since that moment I’ve wanted to visit and finally I had the opportunity to set foot in the Hôtel de Glace during Quebec City Winter Carnival.

Located just 5 km north of Quebec City in Charlesbourg borough, the Ice Hotel itself is a phenomenal work of art and mastermind engineering. Featuring 51 double beds made of ice the hotel has a three month lifespan each year (from January to April). Taking over a month to build, 50 workers use 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice to set it up completely!

Our favorite moment, aside from checking out all of the theme rooms, was to sip on a cranberry vodka cocktail from our ice cup in the ice bar. It’s one of those places that totally lived up to the hype and needs to be experienced in person to be fully appreciated.

We are in a winter wonderland today also known as the Ice Hotel here in Quebec City. Let me take you in.

Have a seat while you wait to be checked in.

The vortex of time!

Welcome to the Spa. This is where you come to warm up right before going to bed. Or when you need to pee.

It looks like a sauna in there.

Woah. We’re going to ride the grand slide. If you don’t fall down first.

We’re going to enter the bar and drink in glasses made of ice.

What do you got in your hands? Vodka cranberry.

Mmmmm.

And my lips didn’t get stuck because they prepared the ice a very special way. I couldn’t tell you how but it is a special way.

Cheers! Salut!

Welcome to the Medieval chamber.

I slept here two weeks ago. What happened? I survived. I’m alive. Hey, you’re here. And well! So basically like I told my husband I looked like a beached whale. Okay.

Because you’re in your sleeping bag except first of all you go in the saunas, you go in the spas to warm up and then afterwards you go inside and there is a whole section towards the indoor pavilion reserved completely only for our roomed night guests.

Where they have locker rooms, lockers for their stuff, etc.

So once you’re done with the spa and the sauna you go inside and you dry off and then you put on what you’re going to need to sleep. And it is basically a little spandex thing or it has to be artificial like fleece. It has to be artificial, not artificial but synthetic fibers. Nothing cotton.

So no white socks. Like I’m wearing right now.

Basically, you then come into your room. Access is from nine PM to nine AM. We don’t give out rooms. We don’t do early check ins or late checkouts. Okay, because we have visitors. All of our clients have to mingle well throughout. So basically we arrive in your room and there are two candles or a fire place going and it is to take the humidity out.

The fireplace obviously there is no heat. We would have a meltdown. Okay.

The sleeping bags are in huge pouches and they’re thermal sleeping bags. You are basically looking like a Mummy. Okay.

Then you get on the bed. This is the fun part. You get on the bed, you get in to your liner of your sleeping bag and then you get in the sleeping bag and then they tell you you have to change your pair of socks.

If you’re all quiet there is no sound. It is phenomenal to sleep here. You go to bed around midnight and then we wake up people at eight in the morning because you’re sleeping that much. Now you’re going to say Majole, what about the three AM pee pee?

The only iffy part is the three seconds you put your boots back on. That’s the only thing that was cold because you’re leaving it outside. You don’t put anything on any ice. I didn’t put my glasses on the ice because it would go in. Literally. Okay, you put everything in your boots or in the pouch.

So basically in your sleeping bag pouch. Your coat, you open it up, you put it on your bed and then you’re sleeping on top. So it gets your body heat. Inside your thermal sleeping bag it goes up to twenty four degrees. At one point you’re in the night unzipped everything and I needed to breathe. I really, it’s a good thing that there are showers here in the morning. That could also be a sign of hypothermia you know? No, but it was really everybody you’re really hot. The minute you unzip you see the vapor coming out. Okay. It is a sleep that you cannot have anywhere else. The oxygen that you’re breathing in is phenomenal.

And we couldn’t leave without checking out the maple sugar shack. You lead the way.

Well, I didn’t come away empty handed. Check out this. I’ve got two different maple syrup products.

This is part of our Travel in Canada series. We’re making a series of videos showcasing Canadian culture, Canadian arts, Canadian foods, Canadian religion, Canadian cuisine and Canadian people.

Proudly presented by: http://nomadicsamuel.com & http://thatbackpacker.com

All photos and video taken by Samuel Jeffery (Nomadic Samuel) and Audrey Bergner (That Backpacker).

Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network