Located about 30 minutes west of Quebec City you will find the Ice Hotel. Each winter the hotel is rebuilt on the grounds of the old Quebec Zoo.
The Ice Hotel is, obviously, made of ice and snow. That is, EVERYTHING is made of ice. Here’s the breakdown:
Each room is different, but all include a bed that consists of a block of ice covered with a thick foam mattress and fleece sheet. The hotel provides sleeping bags that you then unfurl on top of this; the hotel also provides modified sleeping bags for children so they are able to warm up more quickly. The suites are themed and creatively carved. The theme varies every year, this year it is Rivers. Some of the suites even have fireplaces or hot tubs. Because of the thick walls, the ambient temperature only varies a few degrees inside, between -3°C and -5°C, (23°-28° degrees Fahrenheit,) regardless of the outside temperature.
The ice hotel has a wedding chapel that is extremely popular. It is beautifully carved and offers seats covered in fur for warmth.
Set in a courtyard of the hotel, the bathrooms are specially designed and heated!
One of the courtyards, only accessible to overnight guests, includes a sauna and hot tubs. There are also three bars, where all drinks are served “on the rocks” (a.k.a. in glasses made of ice). The Ice Hotel’s Website contains a list of items you are expected to pack if planning to spend the night. Upon arrival, you’ll partake in a half-hour long orientation that includes how to use your sleeping bag, where to stow your gear (if you do not have a backup room) and what to do in case of an emergency. After orientation, dinner is served in the Auberge, followed by drinks in the bar and hot tub/sauna time.
The Ice Hotel is open from the first week in January until the last week in March, or when the building melts, whichever comes first.