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Québec City at its Best

7 Reasons to Visit the Ice Hotel in Québec City

Credit: Renaud Philippe

Québec is the perfect winter city to spend magical snow‑filled moments with family, friends, or that special someone. Although the Old City, with its authentic charm and historic cachet, is the obvious choice for tourists, there’s another winter wonderland that has already wowed over a million visitors. Hôtel de Glace (the ice hotel) is just twenty minutes from the city centre by car or via the Old Québec Tours shuttle and is open to visitors until March 25. Here are 7 good reasons to tour the hotel while you’re in Québec City:

1 Marvel at the Architecture

Built using 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow, Hôtel de Glace is the only ice hotel in North America. This fleeting architectural wonder occupies some 3,000 m2 (or 32,000 sq. ft.), with ceilings up to 7 m (23 ft.) high. Head out on your fairytale adventure along Grande Allée des flambeaux (Torchlight Way), which runs between Valcartier Hotel and the ice hotel. Take a tour or wander around at your own pace to see the Grand Hall, the chapel, the ice bar, the big slide, and the 45 rooms and themed suites.

2 Step into an Ice Circus

The ice hotel is given a new theme each year, which means visitors can come back again and again and enjoy a different experience every time. For 2018, the ice hotel’s sculptors and architects drew their inspiration from the world of the circus. In the Grand Hall, visitors are welcomed by acrobats, trapeze artists, clowns, and magicians sculpted out of ice and snow and seemingly frozen in time across the three sections of the hall.

3 Sip Cocktails Served in an Ice Glass

Take a break and warm up by a fireplace while you enjoy a cocktail from the ice bar. Try the Windshield Washer, the Ski‑Doo Crash, or one of the many other signature cocktails! Pro tip: For a VIP visit, take the Cocktail Package.

4 Admire the Winter Fountain

Watch the spectacular water fountain light up before your very eyes in the main square, even on the coldest winter’s day! It’s a magical, surreal scene right out of a Disney movie! (Starts mid‑January.)

5 Relax at Spa des Glaces

Treat yourself to a little heat with a thermal experience at Spa des Glaces. Set amidst the torches in front of Hôtel de Glace, 15 private outdoor hot tubs are available for rental by the hour. Sink in, let your thoughts drift away, and enjoy the moment!

6 Party in Surreal Surroundings

Hôtel de Glace will be hosting frosted happy hours, DJ sets, and family‑friendly entertainment all winter long. The first special evening is the Desjardins Launch Party, which has already become a classic winter event in Québec City. Come and celebrate the hotel’s official opening on January 19. There’ll be music, entertainment, spectacular circus acts, and fireworks. Watch the 2018 program.

7 Enjoy the Experience of a Lifetime

Embrace winter with the ultimate Nordic experience: a night at Hôtel de Glace. It’s a night you won’t soon forget and definitely won’t regret! Don’t worry, the temperature in the rooms hovers at around -5 °C (that’s 23 °F), even when it’s -30 °C (-22 °F) outside. With a sleeping bag that’s good up to -30 °C, an insulating sheet, hot tubs and saunas on site (to bring up your body temperature and help you relax), a preparatory information session, and breakfast at the Valcartier Hotel restaurant, you’re sure to have a pleasant stay. Just be sure to pack the right clothing (use the three‑layer rule) and don’t forget your bathing suit!

There’s More Fun Nearby

While you’re at Hôtel de Glace, be sure to try all the great winter activities at Valcartier Vacation Village, including the 35 snow slides, the ice skating paths, snow rafting and the Tornado. If you’re feeling the call of the tropics, head to Bora Park, Valcartier’s giant indoor water park!

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