If you are traveling to Quebec City, Canada a visit to Hotel de Glace is a must!
Located 20 minutes north of Quebec City, Hotel Valcartier is known as the location site for the incredible Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) and you will find plenty of additional adventures on the property to fill your day from sun up to sun down, whether you are an overnight guest or just visiting for the day.
Take a Tour of Hotel de Glace
First things first, let’s start with a tour of Hotel de Glace. It’s the only hotel of its kind in North America.
The Ice Hotel is rebuilt each winter and is open from January until late March. Construction for Hotel de Glace takes 6 weeks and starts mid-November.
The overall decorative theme at Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) changes each year giving guests an excuse and incentive to return the following year to see what the incredible artists and ice sculptors come up with next.
You can take a guided tour in French, English or bilingual or you can opt to explore the hotel at your own leisure.
I recommend visiting the Ice Hotel during the day and at night if you can so that you can experience the different effects the lighting has on the ice.
When touring the hotel, it’s best to wear layers, including snow pants, a hat, and gloves. If you plan on purchasing a drink at the ice bar during your visit you can save money by purchasing the cocktail package.
If you plan on visiting the Ice Hotel more than once during the winter season, a season pass is a great option priced less than two admission tickets and comes with additional savings for shops, restaurants, services, and overnight stays.
The Ice Chapel
A popular location for weddings and special services, the Ice Chapel at Hotel de Glace looks like something reimagined brought to life from the movie Frozen and is a wonder both day or night as the lighting highlights all the intricate craftsmanship.
Enjoy drinks from the Ice Bar
How many times can you say that you’ve had drinks in a glass made of ice inside an ice hotel???!!!
Each individual one-time-use glass is made from ice and created at the workshop inside the Ice Hotel. Depending on when you visit, you might be able to watch them being made during your tour.
For a local favorite, try the Caribou (made with red wine, hard liquor (usually whiskey), and maple syrup or sugar or try one of the other creative cocktails from the list….don’t worry your mouth won’t get stuck to the glass.
Relax by the Fireplace
After you grab a drink at the Ice Bar, stay for a while and relax with your drinks at the seating area filled with ice tables and chairs.
There are coverings on the seats so that you won’t be too cold and this is also the only section of the ice hotel with a REAL fireplace where you can warm up.
Ride the Slide Made of Ice
There are a few strategies to make sure that you experience the fastest and most comfortable ride down the ice slide. First, you definitely want to wear snow pants when you visit the Ice Hotel, that extra layer will keep you dry and add a little cushion.
Next, if you lean back you can pick up a little speed on the way down, otherwise, you will probably travel pretty slowly down the ice slide.
This ice slide is not just for kids, it’s really FUN for adults too!
Admire the Ice Sculptures
The closer you get to these incredible ice sculptures, the more you will be amazed at the amount of detail and skill level involved. The chandelier is even made from ice!
(Check out all of the detail on the ice sculpture with the little boy fishing pictured above. You can even see a “water line” made within the ice.)
There are plenty of photo ops throughout the Hotel de Glace so make sure that you bring your camera not only to show that you were there but also because it’s a bit surreal as you take it all in.
Unique Bedrooms in the Ice Hotel
As you walk the hallways be on the lookout for the red curtains because they are an indicator that the room has a unique one of a kind design theme. Each year the hotel has a general theme and each individual room is a unique expression of that theme.
There are more than 40 rooms inside of Hotel de Glace. Overnight guests can select either a themed or non-themed room that comes with a welcome cocktail, access to the Nordic hot tub and sauna, and discounts for additional nights in hotel and the activities.
*The fireplaces inside some of the deluxe themed suites are for decoration only and do not provide heat.
As you navigate the hallways, the rooms with blue curtains are non-themed and look the same. There are a few non-themed rooms available with two beds.
Tips for Sleeping in the Ice Hotel at Hotel de Glace
If you are feeling extra adventurous you can even sleep overnight in the Ice Hotel.
Don’t worry, the overnight guests are sent a detailed email with what to expect before their arrival.
When you book a room at Hotel de Glace, you also get a room at Hotel Valcartier so that you have a place to store your luggage, shower, and relax…. along with another sleeping option if you decide that don’t want to sleep in the Ice Hotel the whole night.
Overnight guests at Hotel de Glace have their room from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. so that the public has an opportunity to see the rooms from 10 am -8pm.
Even though the base of the bed is made from blocks of ice, you still have a comfortable mattress resting on top of a wood base to lay on. Each overnight guest is given a sleeping bag specifically designed for cold temperatures between (5°F to 22°F), bed sheet, and pillow that is delivered to their room.
This is again where layers are key. The temperatures in Quebec range from (-13°F to 41°F) in the winter which is why your gear is everything.
Overnight guests have a required mandatory training session to help ease and assure guests the best practices for their safety and comfort.
Hotel de Glace recommends a three-layer technique.
Start with an undergarment made of synthetic clothing or a mix of wool and synthetic material. Avoid wearing cotton because it retains humidity.
For the middle layer wear wool, flannel or a polar fleece so that you can control the humidity. Your exterior layer needs to shield out the wind and humidity but still allow for comfort.
It’s recommended for Hotel de Glace overnight guests to use the Nordic Area with outdoor hot tub and sauna to warm up their body and dry thoroughly before sleeping in their room.
After an overnight, there are still so many reasons to stay on property.
Go Snow Tubing on The Largest Winter Playground in North America
With over 35 snow slides to choose from you can enjoy all the fun of snow tubing without the work of walking back up the slopes thanks to the tube lift.
There are so many winter activities that separate groups based on ability level but snow tubing is really perfect for families and friends who enjoy staying together during an activity.
You can ride a snow tube as single, link up your snow tube with friends, you can experience snow rafting with 4-12 riders, or you can ride a Circular Tornado boat snow that holds 3-8 people.
For extreme adventurers make sure that you try Everest, the highest acceleration slip in America that is 33.5 meters in height that can slide 2-4 people on inner snow tubes.
Guests can also go ice skating and younger guests can burn off energy on the winter children’s playground with 11 slides, games and tunnels to crawl through.
Warm Up at Bora Parc the 102,000sq. ft Indoor Waterpark
Bora Parc is a nice retreat from the winter weather if you also want to experience the tropical side of vacationing. The Indoor Waterpark, Bora Parc at Hotel Valcartier has something for all ages and thrill levels.
The wave pool, lazy river, and hot tub are perfect for those who enjoy a slower pace and the waterslides and the Flowrider surf simulator are great for thrill seekers who love a challenge.
There is a large locker room where you can store your items and guests are asked to shower before entering the waterpark area.
The Indoor Waterpark has two shifts so you will want to plan the time of your visit accordingly. It’s recommended to purchase your tickets online so that you get your preferred time before the park fills up.
There are several restaurants on site that can cater to your dining style and cravings. For a 4-star dining experience check out O’Grill. If you prefer a casual option that is family friendly try Resto Safari. We visited both of those restaurants during our visit.
From fast casual to sit down, you won’t need to look beyond the property for any meal during your stay.
Relax at the Aroma Spa
Another option for guests is to enjoy the services at the Aroma spa. You don’t have to be an overnight guest to take advantage of the massage, skin care, and thermal experiences.
There are several shops on site if you forgot an item or if you want to take home a unique souvenir.
I love souvenirs that are both practical and attached to a memory which is why we purchased a shot glass and an ice cube tray that will allow us to make our own glasses made of ice at home.
Our Room at Hotel Valcartier
During our visit, we stayed in the King Room that had a King-sized bed and a Queen-sized Murphy bed. There were two TVs in our room, coffee maker, mini fridge, and a heated floor in the bathroom.
Hotel Valcartier has rooms and deluxe suites that work for families or couples and they even have dorm style rooms that are a great option for groups.
You can save on your hotel room here.
We really enjoyed our first visit to Hotel Valcartier. It had all of the elements of a perfect getaway from unique experiences and adventures to plenty of opportunities for relaxation.
You can find more information on Valcartier from their website.
Thanks again to Quebec Tourism for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.
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