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Offbeat Traveler: Hotel de Glace, Canada’s ice hotel

Skip trying to build an igloo yourself. Canada’s Hôtel de Glace, built exclusively of ice and snow, does it for you.

At the beginning of December each year, workers build the entire hotel’s rooms and columns, furniture and sculptures out of ice and snow. For the opening this January, when the hotel celebrates its 10th anniversary, workers used 15,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice.

Hôtel de Glace opened Jan. 4 and will remain open until April 4 for overnight stays, public tours, corporate events, weddings, art exhibitions and film and TV productions.

The hotel is in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, 23 miles from Quebec City and 149 miles from Montreal. Quebec’s winter temperatures can range from minus-13 degrees Fahrenheit in February to 41 degrees in March.

-- Kelsey Ramos, Los Angeles Times  (©
The Ice Bar serves drinks in clever ice glasses. Because the thick ice walls insulate the interior, temperatures inside the hotel generally vary only between 23 to 27 degrees F, no matter the weather outside. (©
One of the ice hotel’s themed bedrooms with an in-room fireplace. All the beds have a solid ice base but are topped with bedspring, mattress, blankets and arctic sleeping bags, which resist temperatures up to minus-22 degrees F. (©
An icy chandelier, flanked by sculpted columns, hangs from a ceiling that is 19 feet at its peak. (©
The hotel has 36 guest rooms, many with hand-carved ice paintings like this one.

Rooms start at $332 per person a night, and the hotel offers special deals.  (©
During construction, workers use stainless steel molds to construct the walls and ceilings.

Snow is blown between the molds and wooden walls, and after it has frozen into place (which can take as little as 10 hours or as much as three days), the metal frames are removed.  (©
A worker sculpts an ice block. (©
Guests linger around tables and benches carved out of ice blocks. Colored lights create a vibrant atmosphere when they reflect off the ice. (©
Guests can learn how the hotel was built during the tour and zip down the hotel’s Grand Ice Slide during one of the stops.

Public tours cost $15 for adults, $8 for children ($38 for families).  (©
Another themed bedroom. Its elaborate, detailed carvings in the walls put ice party sculptures to shame. (©
Details of the sculpted columns and ice chandelier.

The limited-time offer Nordic Escape package starts at $179 per person a night (a room for two is $358) and includes a welcome cocktail, access to the hot tubs and sauna, and morning beverage and breakfast. That promotion ends Jan. 31; regular rates for a one-night stay begin at $332 a night. There are additional fees for weekend stays.

For reservations and more information, visit or call (877) 505-0423. Note that all prices on the website are in Canadian dollars.  (©