The Thrill of the Chill: Ice Hotel Québec-Canada

At 9 p.m., a sub-zero sleeping bag is delivered to your room. These sleeping bags keep you warm in temperatures as low as -22° F (-30° C), or so my group was told during orientation.

Last year when I went with a friend, the Ice Hotel was completely full on a Sunday night in February. At the mandatory orientation, a staffer explained how to use the narrow sleeping bags called “mummy bags,” going so far as to get into it. To everyone’s complete disbelief, she claimed the best way to sleep in it was in the nude.

An intricate reception desk, made entirely of ice, stands in the front entry.
An intricate reception desk, made entirely of ice, stands in the front entry.

Considering that during winter in Québec the outside temperatures can vary from 13° F (-25° C) in January to 41° F (5° C) in March, this was a little hard to swallow. She swore it was true, though, explaining that if you sweat inside the sleeping bag it creates moisture, which would then make you cold and truly miserable.

The hotel has 34 rooms and theme suites, ranging from a children’s room with a slide connecting two beds to doubles to full-size beds. Prices start at US$ 515 (CAD$ 595) per couple and include dinner, a drink in the Ice Bar, breakfast, a tour and sleeping gear (as well as a back-up room at the lodge). Add-ons are available, such as dog-sledding and ice skating, for additional fees.

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