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Hotel de Glace – Ice Hotel In Quebec -- Opens January 5th through March 22nd, 2015

The famous Ice Hotel, located just 45 minutes outside of Quebec City, celebrates the winter season. This crystalline snow bastion with cathedral ceilings is made entirely out of 15,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice. Visitors can opt for a day tour or elect to spend the night in a magical atmosphere resembling the Narnia Ice Queen's palace. Generally closing in the early spring, the hotel reopens each winter for an extraordinary cold-weather experience.

Staying in the Hotel de Glace - Ice Hotel

Upon entering the Ice Hotel in the evening, visitors are greeted by intricately carved glassine ice columns that span from floor to ceiling on both sides of the arched interior. A large and flawlessly sculpted and assembled ice chandelier of changing pastel hues resides in the middle of the archway leading visitors to the hotel's various quadrants.

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Within the hotel’s interior, guests will find the Ice Bar, Ice Cafe, art gallery, ice chapel for weddings, ice slide and sleeping rooms. These rooms, exquisitely sculpted in snow and ice, form different designs with carved ice sleigh beds emanating a blue sapphire sheen that illuminates the entire room in a soft glow. The actual bed tops are constructed with a sturdy frame and fleece-covered, thick foam mattress pad to separate and insulate from the cold ice. Guests sleep in a protective -30 degree C mummy sleeping bag that is completely warm and cozy.

Guests eagerly spend their evenings in the dazzling Ice Bar, dancing to disco music on snow-covered floors with flowing spectral colors illuminating the crystalline pillars and transparent, sculpted furniture and tall ice tables. Or, partake in events such as ice-carving contests while sipping cocktails out of an ice glass. Then for the contemplative, just strolling around the hotel and photographing the multitudes of elaborate designs, wall art and ice statues in the muted silence is another panacea.

Before heading off to bed, guests are encouraged to relax and warm up in the hot tubs located in the Nordic relaxation area just outside the main sleeping quarters. Upon awaking in the morning, it time for a warm shower in the Pavilion Talik situated outside of the Ice Hotel. Then, enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast at the Auberge Hotel Duchesnay, located up a staircase past the Pavilion.

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With 36 uniquely designed rooms and suites, the hotel can accommodate up to 88 people per night. Over 4000 intrepid adventurers spend the night in the Ice Hotel with 65,000 visiting the hotel during the day. Each year, master sculptures create a new hotel theme and room designs offering a completely different environment and structure for the open season.

If you want to experience a unique, magical winter escapade, visit the Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada, it will be an amazing adventure to remember for a lifetime.

Station Touristique Duchesnay

An added bonus of staying at the Hotel de Glace is the wonderful and numerous activities located adjacent to the hotel. The Station Touristique Duchesnay offers outdoor ice-skating, dogsledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. In addition, the Duchesnay features a lodge, cabins and a regular hotel for all seasons, as well as a top-rated gourmet restaurant, the Auberge.

Patrice Raplee is an experienced travel photojournalist and editor of Travel Excursion and Seattle Spotlight for Positively Entertainment magazine. In addition, she writes a monthly travel column for the award-wining site Offbeat Travel. She is a member of North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), International Travel Writers Alliance (ITWA) and the Recording Academy. Her photographs and articles have appeared in numerous international publications, as well as NW newspapers such as the Seattle Times, the Stranger, Seattle Weekly and the Oregonian. As a freelance photojournalist, she has also worked with acclaimed musical entertainers, such as Santana, Billy Joel and Steven Tyler. Patrice travels the globe to cover destinations that feature fascinating culture, art, culinary, history and soft adventure.

Photos by Patrice Raplee

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Updated: November 23rd, 2014