Stay Cool in these Ice Hotels Around the World
Near or far, a night’s stay in one of these magical hotels is a unique experience
These beauties pop up in the winter and poetically melt away come spring, only to be carved, chiselled and rebuilt anew the next season.
Hôtel de Glace
Quebec City, Canada
Likely the most renowned icy abode in our North American neck of the woods, Hôtel de Glace is an enchanting work of art. Only 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City, the hotel has been open to winter-loving guests—and maybe some skeptics—since 2001.
Each of the 44 rooms and suites is originally designed, some with beautiful sculptures, fireplaces and even a private spa. All guests spending the night can access the Nordic relaxation area from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. to take advantage of the spas and sauna under the stars before they retire to their ice bed. Not interested in staying the night? Take a tour of the hotel and sit down at the ice bar (for a cocktail served in an ice glass, obviously).
About a 20-minute drive or dogsled ride from Kiruna, Sweden (the closest airport), you’ll find yourself at the original ice hotel. The pioneer of the snowy-stay industry, ICEHOTEL, founded in 1989, covers 5,500 square metres and is nothing short of a winter wonderland.
The Nordic dream is complete with beautiful fur throws, icy blue columns and snowy sculptures. Choose from cool rooms—as in cold, but also cool—or warm, where you sleep in a heated chalet (perhaps too boring?). Cool rooms, made of ice and snow, range from (not-so-standard) standard to the deluxe suite, which has in-room sculptures and a heated ensuite bathroom and sauna. There’s also an ice church—in case you feel compelled to tie the knot in a fairy-tale setting.
Soon, you’ll even be able to experience this ice hotel in the summer, thanks to the ICEHOTEL 365 addition that’s slated to open in late 2016. The new building will house ice-sculpted luxury suites, a bar and an art gallery year-round, and will actually be kept cool by solar panels capturing the region’s near-constant daylight during the summer months.
Ice fishing, northern lights, resident reindeer, huskies—what more can you ask for in an arctic adventure? Maybe a night’s stay in a glamorous igloo-like room, the walls decorated with three-dimensional artwork. This Norwegian hotel has an Icebar, a warm lounge for hot drinks and a restaurant with huge windows, a peaked wooden ceiling and communal tables. Hotel tours are also available, which you may opt to pair with a dogsled outing, a snowmobile tour in search of the aurora borealis or even a king crab fishing expedition.