If you are looking for a totally unique accommodation experience while in Quebec, look no further. The Hôtel de Glace (Just outside of Quebec City) is made completely out of snow and ice. It takes 500 tons of ice to create the walls, sculptures and furniture. Everything is carved using chainsaws, and is finished off with a torch. To make surfaces completely smooth, they use an iron.
Each room has a mattress on a block of ice and it has been specially made to withstand cold and won’t freeze. Before sleeping at the hotel you have to attend a mandatory briefing. You are only allowed to have one person per sleeping bag. The sleeping bag zips up to your neck and creates a cocoon of warmth.
Before going to bed, you are encouraged to take a dip in the hot tub featured on site. The sleeping bag will maintain whatever body temperature you go into it with. It’s important to wear what you normally wear to bed. If you layer up, you can sweat and become uncomfortable. The average temperature in the hotel is -3C to -5C , no matter how cold it gets outside.
Not ready for bed? Hang out in the bar and drink delicious cocktails out of a carved ice glass.
The hotel is famous for weddings. Above is a picture of the wedding chapel. Can you imagine getting married there? Gorgeous!
The hotel is in business for 3 months, from January to the end of March. When it’s time to take down the hotel, they don’t just abandon it and let it melt. The hotel is taken apart piece by piece. If you want to stay here, be sure to book early. The average rate of occupancy is 90%. The day I visited, they were fully booked for the next two nights.
Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a family adventure, the Ice Hotel is a perfect winter getaway. Just want to visit? Daily tours are offered for $17.50 a person.
The Quebec Winter Carnival has something for everyone. Whether you want to have an adventure or bring the whole family, they have you covered. Admission for the entire Carnival is only $15. Here are some of the things I did while I was there.
A derby is a horse race that is traditionally restricted to horses that are three years old. Over 30 teams from Canada, the United States, France, the Netherlands and Belgium participated.
This was my first time tubing and it was fun! This was a small hill (but it felt huge to me) so lots of families were going down with their kids. I unfortunestly went down backwards the whole way, so I don’t have a photo of me doing it!
3. Various activities
4. Eat a beaver tail! Beaver Tails are originally from Ottawa. It’s a fried dough pastry hand stretched to resemble a beaver’s tail, and coated in cinnamon sugar. Yum.
5. Join hundred of bystanders gathered to watch the annual Night Parade. Colourful floats, fire jugglers, dancers and more march down the street.
7. When it’s all over, head back to the Plains of Abraham to dance the night away in an igloo nightclub!
After that, we headed back to the cozy Hilton for a well earned rest.
When we first step foot into our hotel room in Quebec City at the Hilton, the first thing that we saw was the view. It was mesmerizing! We were on the 18th floor and when we weren’t exploring the city or Carnival, we were hanging out and looking out of the window.
The room is in a typical traditional style. It was very clean and comfortable. As for amenities, the room comes with a small coffee maker and toiletries. The room does not have a fridge.
The Hilton is located on the top of Parliament Hill, and only a ten minute walk from Old Quebec. The Eco Bus also has a stop right outside the hotel. The hotel has two restaurants. The more casual of the two is Allegro, offering buffet breakfast and dinners, as well as a la cart. If you want to dine with a view, head to the 23rd floor to enjoy dining at Restaurant 23.
All in all, I had a pleasant stay. This is a good place to stay if you want to be close to the heart of the city. It’s also excellent for families!
Where can you see scantily clad men and women dancing in the snow in the middle of February with Bonhomme? At Quebec’s Winter Carnival, of course.
On Feb. 16th at 2:00 pm, the Carnival hosted its annual Bain de Neige event (snow bath). It helped that the day was a cool -8 degrees under a bright blue sky. The 59 participants ran out to a large cheering crowd in three groups. Other than their bathing suits, they were allowed to wear shoes, mittens and socks.
Each time, they were encouraged to play, dance, and roll around in the snow. The groups came out in bursts, each longer than before. The first time was 3 minutes, 5 minutes and then finally 10 minutes. It was an incredibly fun event to watch and I really admired the participants! Check out a video below. ( PS: You can sign up to be part of the event for next year closer to Feb. 2014 on their website. )
Quebec City in the winter is simply ohmygosh gorgeous. It pretty much has everything you want. Romance? Check. Adventure? Double check. Foodie paradise? Charming? Yes, yes and yes. Here are some peeks of Old Quebec.
We took the Funiculaire (vertical tram) to get to the upper part of Old Quebec and it was breathtaking. It’s only $2.25 to ride! Despite all of the snow, it actually was comparable to Toronto in terms of coldness. I didn’t freeze! It was perfect.
I also really liked lots of the graffiti that I saw there. More pictures to follow from the fabulous winter carnival, restaurants and shopping!
I’m so very excited to tell you all that I’m going to be attending the Québec Winter Carnival next month! The Québec Carnival is the largest winter carnival in the world and runs from February 1st to February 17. I’ve been dying to go to this event ever since we used to have mini Carnivals and sing the Bonhomme song in elementary school. (anyone?).
So, what is the Winter Carnival? The Carnival got it’s roots from the beginning of Canada’s French colony, when people would get together with friends and family before Lent to drink, eat and have an all around good time.
I can’t wait to visit the Ice Palace, eat beaver tails, see ice carving and watch the Night Parade!