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Ice Hotel celebrates 20 years of magic

For 20 years, overnight visitors to Quebec’s Hôtel de Glace have been enjoying a truly unique and memorable Nordic adventure at the gorgeous Ice Hotel. Located in the Greater Quebec City area at Valcatier Resort. This year’s theme is 20 Years of Magic.

Ice Hotel celebrates 20 years of magic

“Through an overview of the past 20 years at Hôtel de Glace, visitors are invited to relive the best moments of this world-famous winter attraction,” says Sylvain Lauzon, President and CEO at Calypso-Valcartier Group.

“The Hôtel de Glace 2020 offers the best of each past edition. We wanted to pay tribute to the best moments from the past 20 years, but also try something new by giving our artists even more creative freedom.” 

With the support of Quebec City Tourism, several artists will pay tribute to the Greater Quebec City area, creating a vast recreational space including a Fun Zone, an enchanted forest, ice sculptures and themed rooms which evoke the beauty of the region.

“The Hôtel de Glace, an iconic, stand-alone attraction for our beautiful destination, has put us on the map, attracting visitors from all over the world, not to mention that it perfectly embodies winter in all its magical splendor,” says Benoît Pigeon, Director at Québec City Tourism.

Every year, about 100,000 visitors come to experience and enjoy North America’s one and only Ice Hotel. Over the past 20 years, nearly million tours and close to 70,000 overnight stays. Between late December and March 29, 2020, visitors can see the anniversary edition of the themed suites, ice bar and ice chapel. January 17th marks the Grand Opening featuring an outdoor performance by the popular music band 2Frères. At around 9:00 p.m., visitors onsite can feast their eyes and ears on the impressive firework show to kick off the 20th season of Hôtel de Glace.

2019 Ice Hotel photo by Valcartier Resort/Ice Hotel

Other upcoming events include a story-time visit with Bonhomme Carnaval on January 24, Singles Night on February 14, and Arctic Spas’ spring awakening, a family-friendly activity to be held on the last weekend of the season, March 28 and 29.

It’s important to note that an overnight stay at the Ice Hotel includes a warm, cosy room at Valcartier Resort onsite. Your hotel room is where you leave your luggage and change. The hotel also provides a mandatory safety/readiness session to prepare you for your stay at the Ice Hotel.

2019 Ice Hotel photo by Valcartier Resort/Ice Hotel

Having stayed at the Ice Hotel last year, it is a bucket list experience you will be talking about for a lifetime. I can imagine that the first guests who stayed there 20 years ago are still bragging about it!

After enjoying an icy cold cocktail in a glass made of ice at the Ice Bar (where everything is made of ice, including the seats which are covered with blankets or fur), you change into your swimsuit and head to the Nordic spa for a hot soak. Then a quick run just steps back to the main hotel to your room to change into a base layer or warm PJ’s (a base layer is recommended).

Once in your room at the Ice Hotel, where again, everything including the bed is made of ice, (the bed is covered with a pad/plank for protection), you put your boots, purse, glasses, etc. into a special bag and climb into the liner of the provided cocoon-like sleeping bag and settle in for the night. I was warm and cosy all night, other than my face feeling a bit chilly.

2019 Ice Hotel photo by Valcartier Resort/Ice Hotel

The question arises; what do you do when you have to go to the bathroom? Located just outside the Ice Hotel are heated outhouses. Or, you can just take your room key with you and slip back inside the resort and sneak back to your room!

Valcartier Resort offers so many things to do and see, you will have difficulty fitting it all in.

2019 Ice Hotel photo by Valcartier Resort/Ice Hotel

It’s like a fun theme park, both indoors and out, with a tropical indoor experience at Bora Parc indoor water park, while a winter wonderland awaits outdoors, with tube rides and outdoor slides and a skating path.

You will also want to leave time to visit the ice chapel and tour the 20 themed rooms where artists showcase their extraordinary work carved in ice. In addition to the themed rooms, there are ice rooms of all sizes and descriptions to accommodate singles, couples and families. Make sure to visit the “honeymoon suite” which boasts an indoor fireplace, a giant ice bed, plus a private outdoor hot tub!

2019 Ice Hotel photo by Valcartier Resort/Ice Hotel

For more information on Valcartier Resort and the Ice Hotel visit valcartier.com

story by Laurie Wallace-Lynch

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