Ice hotels are a kind of destination hotel found in northern climates. The Quebec Ice Hotel (French: Hôtel de Glace, oh-tel de glass) is the only one in North America.
The notion of staying in an ice hotel may be a romantic one (possibly the word "cosy" comes to mind); but what are the cold, hard facts of staying in this arctic accommodation? Let me answer some of the most common questions about staying at the Quebec Ice Hotel.
Address: 9530, rue de la Faune
Toll free: 1.877.505.0423 (Canada and U.S.A.)
The Ice Hotel itself is set just apart from a simple lodge where guests check in and leave belongings in a locker room.
How Cold is it inside the Ice Hotel?
The temperature inside an ice hotel runs between -3°C and -5°C. Like an igloo, the 4-foot thick ice walls insulate the interior and protect guests from the wind.
For an additional cost, tours can include transportation to and from hotels in Quebec City.
What Are the Advantages To Staying Overnight at the Quebec Ice Hotel
Another advantage to staying at the Ice Hotel overnight? Don't underestimate bragging rights. "I stayed at the Quebec Ice Hotel" is a statement bound to intrigue and impress.
Certainly, there is a novelty and indeed a magic to staying in an ice hotel. I'm glad I did it. Would I do it again? Not a chance.
Do I Actually Sleep on a Bed of Ice?Yes, but you are separated from the solid ice base by a wooden boxspring and mattress.
What about Going to the Bathroom?A heated structure adjacent to the outdoor hot tubs and sauna has electricity, male / female changerooms, flush toilets, hairdryers and lockers.
Do the Rooms have Doors? Lighting?
Beds have a light switch built right onto the bed for convenience.
Where Do We Eat?Meals - if they are included in your package - are served just up the road at the Auberge Duchesnay. The meals we had there were excellent.
How Should I Prepare for Staying at the Ice Hotel?First decide whether a night at the Ice Hotel is really something you want to do, or is it just a romantic notion. I saw some shivering, shell-shocked people in the locker room and lobby at 6 am, who, when I talked to them, were just not versed in the realities of staying overnight in an ice hotel. Remember, a tour and a drink at the Ice Hotel is an option (and there's a glorious and warm lodge just a stone's throw away from the Ice Hotel for accommodation).
If you decide that staying at the Ice Hotel is what you want, check out the promotions and packages available online. Most packages include a delicious dinner and a room at the neighbouring Auberge Duchesnay (a kind of insurance policy against the cold). Promotions are more bare-bones.
What's Included in Staying at the Ice Hotel? What is the Cost?Promotions and packages vary in price and in what they include. Overnight stays include an Ice Bar cocktail, access to the *hot* tubs (not too hot the night we were there!) and sauna, gear to sleep in the Ice Hotel rooms (thermal sleeping bag and camping pillow) plus instructions on how to stay warm, and hot morning beverage. Many promotions also offer a hot breakfast at the Auberge Duchesnay, just a 3-minute walk up the road.
Packages are more comprehensive in their offerings, including a room at the Auberge Duchesnay - either as back-up or primary accommodation - and dinner at the Auberge restaurant. Packages generally have themes, such as romance or adventure.
Rates run from about CAD$200 - over $500 per night, per person plus taxes.