Sleeping in a frozen zoo

Trip Start Feb 21, 2012
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Trip End Mar 03, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hotel de Glace Quebec City
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Monday, February 27, 2012

     Well, not really a zoo. The site of the Hotel de Glace is located where the old Quebec Zoo used to be. this gives them ample land while maintaining a location still inside the city, which is what they wanted. 550 tons of specially made ice and snow shipped in from Montreal is what the people use to make it. First they craft the shell in an enormous stainless steel mold brought in on skis, then master craftsmen of all kinds get to work handmaking everything. the result. This place cannot be overestimated. Nothing here was overstated. No touristy degradations designed to make money. The design was not infected modern rooms with all the amenities the discerning guest expects. This, in every sense of the words, was an Ice Hotel. The entire building-every wall, every entrance, hallway, room, the chapel, the entire bar, the seats, were out of ice and snow. The rooms themselves had a thin but very comfortable mattress on top of a solid bed of ice with lighting built into the base that you can switch on and off. An information session teaches you how to sleep in the rooms-which include the use of a negative temperature sleeping bag, where to put belongings to prevent freezing, etc. This session is mandatory, even for locals because-as the guide Sophie put it-when sleeping in a hotel of solid ice, you have to forget everything you know about staying in a hotel. The only belongings you really want to bring in the room with you are your boots, snow gear, and whatever you want to sleep in (they recommend synthetics, we used under armor-style thermals) any electronics have to be kept in the bag with you, and the rest, except boots, goes into a waterproof bag. The bathrooms nearest the hotel are essentially heated port-o-johns, so use the ones in the celsius building instead. How was the sleep? Amazing. Seriously. It's expensive yes, but people who didn't think it was worth the money, probably didn't spend  the money. It is SO worth it. (note: the address they have listed here is incorrect. It is at the old zoo this year, in Quebec City. Also city bus 801 goes nearly right there and is only 3.00 a ticket, saves a lot vs. the shuttle.)

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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