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“Ice Hotel an amazing experience; indoor facilities severly lacking”
Review of Hotel de Glace

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Hotel de Glace
Ranked #40 of 102 Hotels in Quebec City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 February 2013

An amazing adventure to stay here - yes, you can see it during the day and take pictures, but its not the same as staying the night and seeing it light up and crunching down the snow halls to bed. The construction and artistry of the ice hotel itself is beautiful and an architectural wonder. It is, truly, unlike anything else you could experience. Waking up to snow walls with snowflake sculptures and snow coming in thru the ceiling was cold, but magical. We stayed on a family vacation with our 11 year old - and its a night we'll always remember as super special - staying up late and dancing in the ice bar, sipping drinks out of ice glasses, attempting ice carving, and lots of sliding down the ice slide. We splurged on one of the theme suites and it was worth it. Its a unique and singular experience. The sleeping bags were restrictive, but they did keep you comfortable. As noted by others, our noses were the only things that got cold. We were not forwarned about the "no cotton" rule for sleeping, so that meant some last minute suitcase diving to find polyester clothing - wish we'd had that stressed beforehand and we'd have been better prepared.. That's the ice hotel itself - amazing. However, the paviillion where you change, go to the bathroom, shower and eat breakfast is amazingly bad and woefully inadequate - magic certainly ends there. Believe they have added rooms to the ice hotel over the last few years so larger crowds (it was full the night we stayed) - three showers and bathroom stalls each for men and women for almost 100 people is just not sufficient. And, there is absolutely NO privacy - or even a place to keep your things dry why you shower (seems a a bench or hook outside the shower and a privacy curtain shouldn't be too much to ask - and they certainly stress how important it is to stay dry - hard when your suitcases and clothes are on the wet bathroom floor). We did not use the shower because really didn't want to walk around naked with an 11 year old in the changing area with 50 other women. We changed in the public bathroom handicap stall. Understand this is a temporary hotel, but when you have been "outside" all night, would be nice to have adequate shower and bathroom facilities and a modicum of privacy for dressing (a curtained stall with a bench would be sufficient). I have paid far less to camp at Girl Scout camps with much better shower facilities. And, as noted elsehwere, locker situation is like being in a crowded bus depot at night and in the morning with everyone crammed in a very tight area juggling clothes and suitcases. There is adequate space in the dining area to expand some changing facilities/locker areas and would make the entire experience MUCH more pleaseant. Oh, yes, and be warned, there is no onsite food for dinner and the breakfast was absolutely awful - hard croissants, stone cold pancakes, canned institutional fruit - not the warm toasty breakfast you'd like after a night in the cold. No, you are not here for the food, but a basic hot breafast shouldn't be that hard to get right. Again, just as with the changing area, seems food could be improved for little cost and, along with some modest reconfiguring in the locker/dressing area, would generate a big payoff in customer satisfaction for little investment.. Then maybe the magic of the Ice Hotel wouldn't end once you come inside to change.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank daeusc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 February 2013

A truly unique experience. We only went for a tour and lunch, not for an overnight stay, but we probably would have gone for that in our younger days! The ice carvings on the walls, columns and ceilings are incredible and the suite rooms are all different with individual ice art. They had separate English and French tours so we did not have the problem of a previous reviewer. We stopped off on our way for a later flight and they were very accommodating in storing our luggage in a secure area while we toured the hotel. Definitely worth a visit if you appreciate art or unique experiences, but dress warm.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank SaundraDA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

We visited this hotel and took a "Behind the Scenes" construction tour. It was great, and our guide was wonderful. The only constructive (haha) criticism I have is that Pierre (our guide) had to speak in English and French, and that made the tour twice as long. The entire ice hotel is built on a metre of ice/snow, so you can imagine how cold that is! We had two children with us ( ages 7 and 3) so they did not appreciate the extra tour length. I would go back next year, although I have no desire to stay overnight in the hotel. I would recommend the deluxe tour though. It is a very worthwhile place to visit.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ShaunzieClark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

My wife and I spent the night here, and while the experience was awesome and the physical hotel is incredible, the facilities are not so great. Since they cater to all the daytime visitors who come to take a tour of the hotel, your room is only available after 9pm (not that you'd want to sit in your room anyways, so that isn't a big deal). The issue we had was that there weren't any bathrooms specifically for hotel guests - you shared the public restrooms that all the visitors used. I'm not a picky person and wouldn't really care, except that the mens room smelled like pee and I wouldn't really want to use it without a hazmat suit. And the locker situation could be a lot better laid out - everyone is on top of one another at night when the spa opens and everyone is trying to change into bathing suits. For $250 per person, they could certainly make some small improvements to help make the experience better. Oh, and the breakfast is pretty lousy. Lastly, there was snowshoeing, but the 'trail' wasn't really marked. There was a little sign when you start out, and then nothing. So we wandered in a circle twice before calling it quits. That would be easy to fix with some trail markers.
Otherwise, the hotel itself is impressive. The ice sculptures are amazing to walk around and photograph. The ice slide was a lot of fun, and the bar was very well done. I would absolutely recommend coming to visit this place and spending some time there wandering around - for that I would give 5 stars. The suites had intricate snow/ice carvings that were incredible to see, and the actual construction of the hotel was really interesting.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Doug O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2013

This place is awesome. The guest rooms are all different and uniquely designed. Even the hallways are sculpted. There are at least two bars and a cool cave drinking area and a chapel. Dress warm for the party before you sleep. There is a building next door to warm up and use the shower and restroom. You also have breakfast here and they have drinks and snacks.

When you go to sleep you have your own low temp sleeping bag and you actually do sleep pretty good. My wife and I made it through the whole night. I will once again have to advise drinking before bed time.

Room Tip: Don't spend extra for a fireplace. They only look pretty. They don't give off heat.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wal-Dawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2013

My wife gave me a night at Hotel de Glace for Christmas and we stayed in February. I am glad we did it, but I agree with most prior reviews that once is enough. It DID help that we read prior reviews before coming, so we did know what to expect and what to bring. Firstly, we took lots of pictures, which we shared instantly with friends and family, so we felt like we were on some kind of documentary adventure. Got lots of responses like "wow" and "cool." But make no mistake...this place is cold. There is not much point in showing up until early evening, because the entire hotel is open to the public until 8 pm, including your room. They don't let you have access until 9 pm and then you have to be out by 9 am, for the same reason. There is a warm reception area for those staying overnight. The shortcomings of that building are mainly what lie behind our "very good" instead of "excellent" review. There is a snack bar, and the food, including breakfast, is limited. We drove out for dinner. Breakfast was basic. There are tables in the snack bar area - not a comfortable place to congregate. There is a lounge area for overnight guests, which consists of several couches and several internet stations. Capacity of the hotel is about 90....so this area was always full with no other options. The dressing room/showers were nice, but detached from 2 bathrooms - which were part of the snack bar. This was not practical for 90 guests. And I don't mean 2 bathrooms with multiple stalls. 2 bathrooms that lock when one is in use. Beyond that: The staff was friendly and accommodating. Rooms: We paid for an upgrade to a theme room with a fireplace. That took the rate from $399 to $599. Not worth it, because the fireplaces are set to burn for 2 hours and they do not put out heat - which makes sense in an ice hotel. But they also don't provide additional ambiance because all of the ice walls and beds have internal led lights, so everything glows anyway. Now we get to the "experience:" The rooms are about 20 degrees F. The beds are a block of ice with a cover, which is completely wet because of the humidity. So there really is no such thing as enjoying your room. Basically you go into your room to crawl inside a liner, which then you wiggle that inside a sleeping bag and zip up to the point where only your eyes are showing. And that is it for the night. If you have to go to the bathroom, you must extricate yourself from your bag, get dressed and go outside to either portapotties or the before-mentioned 2 bathrooms. The hotel DOES have hot tubs and a sauna going all night, but in our minds, the concept of getting wet in 20 degree weather, and then crawling into a sleeping bag seemed too much. I read a lot of reviews that said most people had fitful nights, and that was true for us. We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac afterwards, and they let us check in at noon. Then we took 4 hours naps. Which begs the question....why did we pay $600 to freeze from 9 pm to 9 am, and why are we calling the experience "very good?" I guess because it is like climbing Everest. I doubt anyone who has ever done it actually enjoyed it but if you live to talk about it....

Room Tip: The theme rooms with fireplaces are not worth the premium because when you get into your room you ar...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Stan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2013

We had a great night here, it was a must on our trip to Winter Canada. Having said that I have ticked it off the "bucket list" and doubt i would stay again.
We had a lot of luggage and staff were very accomodating and gave us an extra locker to store our stuff.
We found all staff very helpful.
We only booked a basic room as you have pleanty of time to look around and take photos of all the rooms.
It was recommended that you took a dip in the hot spas (located outside) before bed to warm up. So at 1.00am I was in the hot tub, in the snow. Very cold getting back to the warm area to get ready for bed.
We played a few games int ehevening in the bar, which was fun. We got to meet a few great people and enjoyed our evening.
It really seemed like no one wanted to go to bed and most people stayed up until 2.00am or later
For me I did not sleep well but managed to spend the night in my room. The sleeping bags are very tight.
Breakfast was provided, not gourmet but ample.
There is a dining hall in the warm area which is not anyhting special but we ate chilli shich was tasty enough.
I think it is something you should try if you get the chance

Room Tip: Don't spend the extra money on a fancy room, just take loads of photos during the evening
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank AussieDiane
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

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: £460 - £615 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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