Located just outside Quebec City is the Hotel de Glace, the only ice hotel in North America. Modelled on Sweden’s Ice hotel, this frozen palace is created from 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow every year. It takes some 50 very talented people around site weeks at a cost of around $1 million.
In addition to its 44 rooms and themed suites, the Quebec Ice Hotel boasts an ice bar, an ice wedding chapel, a Nordic area with hot tubs and a sauna under the stars, and even an ice slide. Since the hotel first opened in 2001, they have played host to some 55,000 overnight guests. Pretty impressive given that visitors will only spend one night here.
Updated for 2021. The Hotel de Glace is open for 2021. Social distancing measures and face coverings are mandatory. Visits must be booked in advance.
Although the majority of guests at the ice hotel are adults, hundreds of families have also stayed here overnight. We didn’t get the chance to sleep at the Hotel de Glace but we did visit and enjoyed an excellent tour of the hotel. Here’s all you need to know about staying at the Hotel de Glace – with or without kids.
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Hotel de Glace
There are some 44 hotel rooms on offer at the Hôtel de Glace ice hotel from simple double rooms to elaborate themed rooms complete with a fireplace. The hotel annoys a different theme every year. Previous themes have included Rivers, Ancient Greece and the History of Quebec.
Themed suites enjoy intricate designs carved along snowy walls from polar bears and a skidoo to a woolly mammoth and fish. The craftsmanship is simply incredible.
Every room features a bed with a solid ice base and a mattress on top. A small bedside table stands alongside. The premium suites are larger and some come with a fireplace.
There are no other amenities in the rooms and the bathrooms are located in a different building.
Staying at Quebec’s Ice Hotel
Rooms are available to staying guests from 9pm only as the hotel is open for tours during the day. Once you arrive, you are given very detailed instructions on how to prepare yourself for a night in your ice bedroom and how to keep warm. Sleeping bags, bed sheets and pillows are provided and you’re told exactly how to use them – essentially you cocoon yourself into your sleeping bag so that only your eyes can be seen!
After you have received your sleeping instructions, guests are invited to mingle at the Ice Bar and enjoy a cocktail served in a glass made of ice. Guests are also encouraged to enjoy the hotel’s hot tubs and sauna under the stars.
Various packages are available and prices depend on what type of room you would like; standard rooms are the cheapest and the elaborate carved suites are the most expensive. Despite the price tag, however, the fancy high-end suites always get booked up first.
Staying at Quebec’s Ice Hotel with kids
Can you visit the Hôtel de Glace with kids? Absolutely! There are no special dates dedicated for families and children are welcome at any time throughout the season. Here’s what you need to know.
- There are no age restrictions for children staying at the Hotel de Glace; the youngest guest to stay at the hotel was a six month old baby.
- There are modified sleeping bags for kids. You receive detailed instructions for your overnight stay when you book your room including details on what to wear and what to pack to bring with you.
- Depending on what package you book, a back-up room can be had at the Four Points by Sheraton. So, if the worst comes to the worst and you (or your child!) freak out in the middle of the night, there’s a bedroom with heating waiting nearby.
- Once the lights go out, the rooms are dark! Some guests say that the darkness and silence is incredible and resulted in their best sleep ever.
- In addition to the ice slide in the hotel, kids can enjoy snow tubing and the snowshoe trail.
- Particularly good times to visit for families include the Normandin Spring Break, between February and March. During this time special activities are organised for kids such as tubing, face painting, outdoor games and more.
- The Closing Weekend is also good for kids with outdoor activities for families.
- At other times during the season there’s the Godin family Sugar Shack, where kids can get their maple taffy fix! Open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Booking a stay at Quebec’s Ice Hotel
- Check the website for when booking opens for the next season
- Prices start from CA $399.50 per person for one night at the Hotel de Glace.
- Various packages are available including Adventure, Discovery, Romantic and The Ultimate Getaway.
- Discounts are offered on Sunday night bookings.
- Bookings can be made either by phone or via their website.
- The Hotel de Glace is open from January to March.
Tours of the Ice Hotel
If sleeping on a bed of ice just sounds a little too chilly then you can always take a tour of the hotel instead.
Village Vacances Valcartier and the Quebec Ice Hotel, is located 20 minutes north of Quebec City.