The igloo has been around since pre-historic times going back to the First Nations People – Inuit. The word igloo known as iglu to the Inuit means “house” but to the rest of the world the word igloo is more known as the “Snowhouse”. The Igloo’s were built to shelter in the harsh conditions such as snow blizzards of the tundra. Due to lack of other materials the shelters were built out of the ever so abundant snow and ice.
The original Ice Hotel was built in the 1990’s in Jukkasjârvi a village in Sweden’s northern Lapland. Since then the Ice Hotel has went on to Quebec in Canada and elsewhere in the world.
Every winter there is a team of 50 including engineers and artisans in Quebec, Canada that work flat out over a month and a half building and preparing an architectural ice wonderland known as Hotel de Glace. As you can imagine the weather plays an important part. The 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice are held together with metal frames each year. As well as this structural feet the designers work on creating a unique theme each year and these are shown throughout the interior structure and the unique designs in each of the 44 rooms and suites.
Its very romantic and dream like inside each of the nomadic igloo rooms, cosy with a good sized ice bed covered with animal skins to keep you warm in the sub zero temperatures. The premium suites have a fireplace that adds to the magic and ambiance. Something that we didn’t think of when visiting was where was the bathroom? The bathroom block is located outside the rooms area. Also the doors are curtains! But don’t worry the ice walls are up to 4 inches thick. Although you might get a surprise during the night, when some poor sole gets lost on the way back from the bathroom!
If you are an over night guest don’t miss the Nordic relaxation area with its outdoor spas and sauna.
Don’t forget to visit the Ice Bar and have one of the many delicious cocktails on offer in an ice glass!
Experience your own niche escape in this winter wonderland between January 5th to March 22nd in 2015. The hotel du Glace hosts tours, overnight stays and marital ceremonies. Great place to pop the question ‘Coolest’ place in the world’!
Getting to Quebec;
British airways, Air Canada and Virgin offer direct flights from London Heathrow.
Historical Quebec is located 25 minutes by car from Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport. While staying at the close by Hotel de Glace why not visit some of the many highlights of Quebec. See the mighty St Lawrence river frozen and the coast guard ships plough through and clear the shipping lanes. Taking the local ferry from one side to the other not only gives you the opportunity to see the mass of ice slabs but also the winter skyline of Quebec.
Did you know you can have high tea at the Houses of Parliament? Please pre-book to avoid disappointment.
Visit the Chateau Du Frontenac or even better stay in this magnificent hotel with all its incredible history. Some of its residents include Sir Winston Churchill and president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Watch your step as you walk through the old town as you may miss the cannonballs!
If you are visiting Quebec between January 30th to February 15th 2015 go see Bonhomme at Quebec Winter Carnival, the largest winter festival in the world. The Opening of carnival starts with a bang on January 30th. Then the night parade takes place on February 7th and 14th. Something for all the family! You can buy your effigy throughout the city. You can see all the effigy’s of Bonhomme since his first appearance in 1955 Observatoire de la Capitale as well as the panoramic views from Quebec’s tallest building.
As well as the Hotel du Glace and le Chateau Frontenac there are Ski Wooden Chalets and condo’s available for holiday lets in Quebec and close to Mont Tremblant for skiing.
Have you visited Quebec? Stayed at one of the Ice Hotels? or do you have a niche escape you would like to share? We would love to hear from you.