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There may be few things a skier would find
less appealing than crawling into a bed made of ice after a day on the frosty Eastern Canadian slopes. Yet the Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel), just outside Quebec City-about 45 minutes from the Stoneham, Le Massif and Mt. Ste. Anne ski resorts-has attracted more than 7,500 guests since its inaugural season five years ago. What’s the intrigue? The entire hotel is made of ice, including beds, chandeliers and the Absolut Ice Bar, serving hollowed-out ice tumblers filled with vodka. This year, its 5th anniversary, the hotel opened its doors in January and will operate until it begins to melt (usually in April). The hotel will also feature its most cutting-edge design yet, including exhibit galleries and ice sculptures. There’s also a movie theater, a chapel, a fireplace and hot tubs.
Over five weeks each winter, the hotel is rebuilt using 12,000 tons of snow and 400 tons of ice. The “indoor” temperature hovers at a brisk 23 to 28 degrees, and guests sleep inside down bags on ice slabs layered with a mattress, fleece blankets and deer pelts. The hotel also offers a checklist on how to dress for bed-a list that will sound familiar to skiers: a wicking thermal base layer, a fleece midlayer, an outer layer consisting of a waterproof jacket and ski pants, an insulated hat and warm gloves. But, if all else fails, head to the bar for a nightcap and let the vodka warm you from the inside out.
$441 per room, including breakfast. 877-505-0423; icehotel-canada.com