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“Overnight at the Ice Hotel”
Review of Hotel de Glace

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Hotel de Glace
Ranked #39 of 101 Hotels in Quebec City
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Overnight at the Ice Hotel”
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Great experience, once in a lifetime!

Try to get there by at least 4pm, where you will have a guided tour of the ice hotel. The last tours are 3pm, 4pm and 5pm, so you'll have to get in for one of those.

There is then an information session for 1/2 hr to tell you the rules of how to sleep at the hotel comfortably, this is after the tour and before you sleep for the night. You must attend this as they go over how to use the sleeping bag, etc.

Really beautiful rooms and hotel. The carvings were outstanding. Really magical place! Daytime was beautiful, and when the sun went down and the coloured lights went on it was truley magical! I took hundreds of pictures!

I'm usually cold, so I chose to sleep in in a wool turtleneck top and wool long johns (light merano wool) and a second layer of thick fuzzy acrylic top and bottoms. I also slept in thick wool socks. I was comfy and warm all the night (after sitting in a hot tub first, to increase body temp, as is recommeded).

Once in sleeping bag, it was hard to get comfy. You're in a "mummy sleeping bag", so you can't move around too much. I finally settled on my back.

First thing I noticed that although my body was toasty, my face and nose got very very cold. Your face is completely exposed to the cold air. I eventually put a glove over my nose/mouth to keep it warm. You're not supposed to breath into your sleeping bag (it'll get humid inside, which will make you become cold), so have something to be able to lightly put over your nose as I heard many people complain of freezing cold noses. If I had known, I would have brought a scarf or a face mask of some kind because it was really uncomfortable. My throat began to hurt as well, from the cold. Now, a few days later, my throat still hurts and is feeling infected. So bring something for your face and mouth, to shield you from the cold.

I had a fireplace in my suite, but it was a waste of money. The fire is only on for a short time, and you're really not spending time in your room until it's bedtime (there are activities from 9-10:30pm in the bar). So after the activities, most people would take a hot tub and then go to their rooms by about 11 or 11:30. Well, by that time the fire is out anyway, as it burns really quick.

Just before I went into the hot tub, I discovered my fire had gone out and I hadn't really enjoyed it yet, so I went to the desk to ask for more firewood and they said they'd set it up for me. Once I was in my pjs, I found my fire hadn't been re-lit. So I saw my fireplace lit for a total of about 5 mins (was beautiful when lit however!). So don't bother with the fireplace, everyone gets candles which are lovely too. They charge quite a bit more for the fireplace, and you don't get anything for the extra money you've spent.

I had a hard time falling asleep, but remained warm (my body, anyway). When I woke up at about 6:30 and went to the Celcius lounge, I discovered 2 people sleeping on chairs - they didn't make it through the night. I'm not sure of how many end up leaving during the night.

Great experience! Would I do it again, no - but I am glad I did it once!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank c b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

This is not a review for sleeping overnight. We came here on a quiet winter day for a tour so it was easy to walk around the narrow corridors and not bump into many visitors. The snow carvings are quite amazing, the artists really know their craft. We only walked by one closed off, occupied room and could hear a man snoring since there was no door to lock the room, just a curtain. That wouldn't be suitable if I were to sleep overnight. Can't comment on the restaurant or sugar shack as they were both closed. The bar had one server offering drinks at 11am! I declined although you could get non-alcoholic drinks. The separate cafe adjacent to the hotel had very slow service just to get a coffee. There was a small ice slide inside the hotel and a larger outdoor one both good for kids. This was a great day tour which only took under an hour to view as there wasn't much to see. The main building is very spacious with clean restrooms. The gift shop is very expensive catering to tourists with big wallets. You could also purchase the ice shot glasses but would need a cooler to transport them home to use. To view the hotel, you need to walk down a very steep hill but it seems to have wheelchair accessibility.

Room Tip: If you are sleeping overnight, inquire about room safety as the only room doors are curtains.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank 2BoysHockeyMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pittsburgh pa
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

The Ice Hotel Glace, in QUebec City, is amazing, and abosutely a must see, for such beautiful ice carvings, however, there are things people must know, and the pros and cons....

WE SPent our first night at The Fairmont, right in town..... It was an amazing hotel, and only about 10 miles away from the Ice hotel. I wished later that we spent our first night at Ice Hotel, and then second at Fairmont HOtel, Because, check-in is at 9:00 pm., at Ice Hotel, and that leaves you in the cold all day, waiting to check-in..... There is no restaurant or place to hang out , in the Glace Hotel, unless you want to stay in the freezing Ice bar, which I am not sure what time that opens... The drinks are served in Ice glasses, that have a tiny hole, and serves only a shot, which will cost u $10 a piece.. Anyway,

I did not spend any time in hot tub area, but thinking that would only be a short time of your stay.. The rooms are exquisite.... Abolutely amazing, and be sure to walk around and peak in all rooms and get pictures. You can upgrade to a suite, , which there are actually 2 upgrades. I would do only one... the second involves a fireplace, which is only for elusion of heat, and of course distributes no heat... the suites have red drapes, so if u r taking photos, do not miss the rooms behind the red curtains.

The bar also has a slide, and beautiful ice carving tables and chairs, and etc..,, also a chapel of ice is built next door.. Really spectacular...... Dress warm, of course, and change clothes into dry, for when u go to sleep. Your room, is not one that u will spend time in, because there is nothing, but the beauty of carving to see... Candles are you light.. You will watch a person demonstrate how to use your sleeping bags, with advice, which is mandatory, before you enter rooms..

The food is horrible, and served in an aweful, buffet style in the morning... There is nowhere really to hang out, but the bar... or your room... I was disappointed there was not a restaurant and things to do, outside of the cold, ice areas.... But this is what it is... and worth it to see, however it is very expensive.... YOU can find deals online, everywhere, so check prices everywhere.... and ask about specials..... You are waken very early, and that is a bummer.. This is why, with all the cold, and being so tired, u will want a close, and comfortable room to go to that day in Quebec City... The Fairmont is lovely, and affordable... Also sign up for Presidential card, to get gorgeous room, for same price as other rooms. Just ask!!

This is a great experience, and absolutely stunning place, however be prepared, because it is uncomfortable, and cold...... bring you whisky to keep you warm...

;)ity

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank devalinaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

How to build an ice hotel from scratch? Begin with 15,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice. Just 10 minutes from Quebec’s city centre, the Ice Hotel is like sleeping in a child’s dream. Each room features elaborate carvings and furniture sculpted from ice in the style of Dr. Seuss meets Edward Scissorhands.

After prowling around all 36 rooms (guests and the public are allowed to have a sneak peek during the day), choosing the premium suite with the fireplace was a brilliant move. The cheapest rooms are generic and budget-looking with no wall carvings or mood lighting. They look like amateur attempts at igloo building. Like ice hostels. For the extra dollars (really, how many times are you going to sleep in an ice hotel anyway?) go big. If you want to go even bigger, there’s a premium deluxe theme suite with its own private hot tub. Now that’s red carpet. Bigger yet? Get married in the Ice Hotel’s wedding chapel–you’ll be guaranteed to have cold feet for sure.

The famed Ice Bar (one of two bars in the hotel) serves up Caribou (mulled red wine or port with whiskey and maple syrup) in a square glass fancily chiselled out of ice. This winter, the cavernous bar was transformed into a frozen underwater sanctuary with life-size whales, sharks and beady-eyed fish lurking overhead. The biodiversity theme stretched into the suites with elaborate feathers and frogs etched deep into the ice walls. Ambient uplighting and ice chandeliers added unexpected warmth to the frigid frontier. As though you were walking through the middle of fallen aurora borealis.

I thought we might perish in the night due to hypothermia, but, staying submerged in the “Nordic Relaxation Area” of steaming outdoor hot tubs and a sauna that looked like a giant whiskey barrel was a savvy survival tactic. The Celsius Pavilion also offered a warmer clime to regain feeling in numb feet, and to cradle wine without mitts by the fire.

And yes, the bed is made of ice! Buried in furs and hides and thermal sleeping bags with a real fire at the foot of your bed, you’ll barely take notice. Maybe, in the morning, when snow is gently falling inside the room through the small fireplace flue opening, you will remember that you’re sleeping in an igloo.

For the anxious: When you book a night at the Hotel de Glace, you also have full access to a room at the Sheraton Four Points (a 10 minute shuttle from the Ice Hotel). Guests check in at the Sheraton first as access to your room at the Ice Hotel isn’t an option until 9pm (after you have taken the strict and comical orientation of How to Survive the Night and More Importantly, How to Get Into Your Sleeping Bag). One New York couple opted to take the 24-hour shuttle back to the Sheraton, finding the -3 temperatures a bit too disturbing. Others simply crashed out on the couches in the Celsius. Cheaters.

*The Sheraton is rather remote, so you will be forced into eating at the semi-posh hotel resto, Le Dijon, unless you order in from the slim selection of pizza & chicken wing joints or taxi into “town.” The French Onion soup is warming but not enough. And the scallops come in a shot glass with a blade of grass. Not really, but, close.

You can also place delivery orders from the Ice Hotel, and the Celsius Pavilion has a snack bar leaning more towards sugary fare and the likes of hot cocoa. Better yet, pack your own snacks and booze. And Hot Shots for your boots. And Fireball whiskey.

The 2012 theme is Northern Quebec and First Nations North. Open January 6th—March 25th, 2012.

Cha-ching: Room rates begin at $200/person including use of sleeping bag, welcome cocktail and breakfast at Le Dijon, hotel room at Sheraton and basic room. Themed rooms with fireplace: $700, tax included.

Room Tip: For the additional fee, do book a theme room with fireplace over the basic rooms.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jtorti7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MONCTON, NB
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We did not stay overnight but we went to visit this hotel. This is just the greatest place to visit. Just beautiful. If you are around you need to go and spend time here, well worth the money to get in to visit. The bar was great, the drinks are served in ice glasses which were very neat. The staff was so friendly. I'm sure even staying overnight must have been a great experience.

Room Tip: Some rooms we saw had fireplaces, those looked very cozy..
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NADIADON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

My wife and I stayed here and absolutely loved the experience.

If you follow the instructions given you will stay plenty warm. Make sure to bring with you non-cotton underwear (such as a synthetic sports shirt, polar fleece, etc) and of course your bathing suit for the spa. Sitting in a hot spa in the chilling outdoors weather is really fun.

Just a "standard" room will do the trick since once you are all wrapped up in the sleeping bag, you will not see much anyway. The rooms are so quiet (walls are +-4ft thick we were told that the only thing you can hear is your heart beating ... amazing.

We are very glad to have experienced this unique place and highly recommend it to anyone who is a adventurous enough to sleep in an ice hotel. Be sure to check out the chapel ; its amazing!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Roombaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Nothing here was overstated. No touristy degradations designed to make money. The design was not infected modern rooms with all the amenities the discerning guest expects. This, in every sense of the words, was an Ice Hotel. The entire building-every wall, every entrance, hallway, room, the chapel, the entire bar, the seats, were out of ice and snow. The rooms themselves had a thin but very comfortable mattress on top of a solid bed of ice with lighting built into the base that you can switch on and off. An information session teaches you how to sleep in the rooms-which include the use of a negative temperature sleeping bag, where to put belongings to prevent freezing, etc. This session is mandatory, even for locals because-as the guide Sophie put it-when sleeping in a hotel of solid ice, you have to forget everything you know about staying in a hotel. The only belongings you really want to bring in the room with you are your boots, snow gear, and whatever you want to sleep in (they recommend synthetics, we used under armor-style thermals) any electronics have to be kept in the bag with you, and the rest, except boots, goes into a waterproof bag. The bathrooms nearest the hotel are essentially heated port-o-johns, so use the ones in the celsius building instead. How was the sleep? Amazing. Seriously. It's expensive yes, but people who didn't think it was worth the money, probably didn't spend the money. It is SO worth it. (note: the address they have listed here is incorrect. It is at the old zoo this year, in Quebec City. Also city bus 801 goes nearly right there and is only 3.00 a ticket, saves a lot vs. the shuttle.)

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cmekde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel de Glace

Property: Hotel de Glace
Address: 1860 Boul. Valcartier, Quebec City, Quebec G0A 4S0, Canada
Region: Canada > Quebec > Quebec City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Quebec City
#18 Family Hotel in Quebec City
#41 Romantic Hotel in Quebec City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel de Glace 3.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at only 20 minutes from Québec City, the Hotel de Glace is open from January until March. Enter a magical world where snow and ice are transformed into fabulous decors. Come to live a magical night in one of the 44 rooms and suites. Enjoy a cocktail and relax in the exterior hot tubs and sauna. The Hôtel de Glace is a must see attraction to be discovered in family, in couple or between friends this winter! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
De Glace Hotel
Ice Hotel Quebec
Ice Canada Hotel
Ice Hotel Canada
Ice Hotel Montreal
Hotel De Glace Quebec/Quebec City

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