BY LINDA LUONG
ABOUT THE HOTEL
The only ice hotel in North America, and inspired by the Ice Hotel of Sweden, construction on the Hôtel de Glace begins each December, when the structure is built from scratch in preparation for the season (approximately January to March). The process involves 30 workers and 15 sculptors who use 30,000 tons of man-made snow, which is more humid and dense. Snow is then blown into metal molds of different sizes and shapes, including arches and domes. A wooden wall helps to strengthen each shape; it can take several days for each piece to solidify.
Ice blocks that each weigh about 300 pounds are then brought in to create the furniture, ranging from tables and chairs to the ice bar.
BY THE NUMBERS
Size Spread across 32,000 square-feet, and built from 30,000 tons of snow and ice blocks
Rooms 44 rooms and themed suites
Price $199 and up per person for an overnight stay. Guided tours are $18.25 adults, $16.25 seniors and students, $9.25 children (ages 6-12), children (up to 5 years) free, $45.75 families
Facilities The hotel can be booked for corporate events and weddings
There’s a Nordic relaxation area with a hot tub and saunas for a soak beneath the stars that is open from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Though romantic and idyllic, this area serves a practical purpose as well: overnight guests are encouraged to warm their bodies before going to bed.
The Celsius Pavilion contains lockers for storing personal items. There is also a dining area here where breakfast is served from 7 to 9:30 a.m.
An ice bar, ice chapel and a grand ice slide are also part of the premises.
The Hôtel de Glace is affiliated with the Four Points by Sheraton Québec; depending on your hotel package, some guests may have access to the Four Points’s outdoor spa and breakfast.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR STAY
A special training session is provided for overnight guests with knowledgeable guides. A three-layer technique is recommended, which includes undergarments that allow for humidity to escape your body. A middle layer of wool, flannel or polar fleece to isolate air and control humidity forms the second level of clothing, while the exterior layer includes wind-proof apparel that will still allow you to move around. Plus, hats, scarves, gloves or mittens to cover exposed parts of your body, as well as boots.
Guests are advised to bring a second set of clothing that includes a hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, socks and long underwear.
9500 rue de la Faune, Québec City, Québec, 1-877-505-0423; hoteldeglace-canada.com