What’s It Like To Sleep At An Ice Hotel? My Hotel de Glace Review
Quebec City is home to rich history and plenty of activities, but it’s shining star is North America’s only ice hotel. The Hotel de Glace has been on my bucket list for several years now, so when I was offered the chance to sleep at the hotel and experience this wonder of ice and snow, I jumped on it! What’s it like to sleep on an ice bed and how did I not freeze during the night when the temperature was -15C? I’ll tell you!
Check-in time is quite late for a hotel and it was recommended that we arrive anytime after 8 p.m. I was originally staying at the Four Points by Sheraton which is just a 5 minute shuttle ride from Hotel de Glace, so the ride over was quite fast. Once I checked in I was provided with my own locker in the main building, where I stored my backpack before heading over to check out this exquisite locale which was lit up from the inside out.
The hotel’s Ice Café, serves drinks in ice glasses which can be “recycled” in a special ice recycling bin once you’re finished. They serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks here. I decided to stay with the theme of things and drank a -52 while watching the evening’s activities. Sunday evening was themed “Western Night” and many of the guests made there way to the ice dance floor to learn some new steps. Afterwards, there was a workshop of sorts, teaching how to carve your own glass out of ice.
After 40 minutes of fun, I found myself getting a little chilly, so I head back to the main building and sat by the fireplace where I caught up on some work via WiFi. Each evening, the hotel holds 2-3 information sessions where they explain how to stay warm and sleep on top of the ice bed. No you don’t wear your coat to bed! PJs are sufficient as long as they are made out of a synthetic material.
First, you take a dip in the outdoor hot tub or the hot sauna. It isn’t required, but it’s a smart thing to do and recommended especially if you’re already cold. The heat warms you up so that you’re nice and toasty before you get into your sleeping bag. The main building is equipped with change rooms and blow dryers to use after your dip. Once you’ve changed into your pyjamas or long johns, it’s time for bed!
Each room is provided with a sleeping bag that is rated to -30. Inside that sleeping bag is a liner that you enter first before slipping into the bag. You need to make sure that the drawstrings are pulled snugly around your face and your body otherwise the cold WILL sneak in. I felt it after the first 10 minutes and was sure to readjust myself before going to sleep. Believe it or not, I slept like a lamb and didn’t wake up until the morning.
The worst part of the entire experience was getting out of the sleeping bag to get dressed in my jeans and coat. The chill certainly wakes you up!
Breakfast is served in the main building from 6 AM and on, so you don’t have to eat in the cold and there are showers inside as well.
The details are quite incredible and it was such fun to meet Olaf in person. I also had the chance to interview the hotel’s CEO Jacques Des Bois and learned quite a bit about the hotel.
We also toured the hotel’s chapel. Did you know that 15-20 weddings are held here every season?
If you want to visit the Hotel de Glace, you’ll have to hurry as they are planning on closing next week, but will re-open again in December/January.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary accommodations courtesy of Disney during the “Frozen” Media Tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.