Once again, one of the most ambitious projects in North America opens its doors to those who dream of having a memorable winter experience: the Hôtel de Glace, in the city of Québec. An extraordinary attraction during the coldest season of the year and only ten minutes from downtown, this amazing work of art made completely out of crystalline ice and snow, impresses all with the fascinating décor and it is the only one in the Americas.
The Hôtel de Glace begins to take form in the month of December each year in preparation for its opening to the public in the beginning of January. Five weeks, 15,000 tons of snow (that the hotel makes artificially, using a special mixture that adjusts to humidity), and 500 tons of ice for the wall structures that are up to four meters thick, are needed for the construction of this ephemeral ice structure, which is set up under the care of 60 workers, who with the aid of cranes erect the steel structure, leave it for a few days to harden, before removing the cranes.
Over half a million people from all over the world have already visited the hotel since its grand opening during the New Year’s celebrations in 2001, in Montmorency Falls Park on the outskirts of Québec city. Since 2002, it has been built at the Duchesnay resort. For the 2013 season, it will be “standing” from the 5th of January to the 24th of March, with suites starting at CAD$199.00
The hotel has many types of rooms where all the furniture is made of ice, themed suites, an art gallery, a cozy lobby, two exhibition rooms, a movie theatre, the famous N’Ice club, an “Ice Café”, and a bar (and room service) that serves on ice trays. The Hôtel de Glace also offers a 20 meter slide and a chapel described in the Canadian media as one of the “10 dream wedding locations”.
Located 5 km north of Québec city, near the Laurentian Mountains, in the neighbourhood of Charlesbourg, the Hôtel de Glace has a life span of four months, before it gets taken down in April. When it was inaugurated in 2000, the hotel had 22 beds. However, as it was successful throughout the years, the last edition had 85 beds, all made out of ice, all lined with deer fur, and covered with mattresses and sleeping bags from the Arctic. The bathrooms are heated and located in an isolated structure, besides the outdoor Ofuros.
The hotel has been described as a “hotspot” for tourists. It’s supported by Québec’s Tourism Department, which in the first year of activity sponsored the enterprise to the tune of CAD$125,000, of the $350,000 total cost of the complex. It is open to the public for excursions, seven days a week during which English and French are spoken. After the fourth season, official statistics calculated 220 thousand visitors and 10,500 overnight guests.
For more information and reservations, go to: http://www.hoteldeglace-canada.com or call: 418-623-2888.