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If you have read my About Me page, you know I love any and all Hallmark movies. I love how formulaic and predictable they are, especially since real life is rarely like that.
We’re all coming off a Hallmark Christmas movie hangover, and without missing a beat, the “winter” movies have started, to hold us over for a few weeks until all the Valentine’s Day movies start. This past weekend’s movie was called “Winter Castle,” and the location was utterly intriguing.
Nearly all Hallmark movies are filmed in Canada, even ones that are supposedly located in much warmer climates. One movie from last fall that we found particularly amusing was “set” in St. Simon’s Island with the Hallmark go-to plot of a prince from a European principality who is hiding his identity in America and falls in love with an unsuitable American. He then gets the call that it’s time for him to ascend to the throne and has to take said unsuitable American to his tiny country and convince his cranky mother/queen to like her and that he is still fit to rule.
We went to St. Simon’s Island for our honeymoon and I don’t remember mountains there and one thing I DO remember was prolific Spanish moss. Not a strand in sight in this movie. 🙂 But that’s okay, Hallmark. We still love you.
The winter movie this past weekend was no exception on a Canada location. BUT. The location for this movie was WILD. It was filmed at the Hotel de Glace in Quebec. We started Googling this place about five minutes into the movie. I think we all need to plan trips to check this place out!
Hotel de Glace is an ice hotel located in Quebec, Canada and describes itself as an unforgettable Nordic getaway. While there are other ice hotels in the world, this is the only one in North America. Everything in the hotel is made from ice, including the glasses in which drinks are served.
And since it’s made entirely from ice, it disappears every year when the snow melts and flows into the river! There is something about that idea that I really like. It’s ephemeral and once it’s gone, it’s gone. No two winter visits would ever be alike.
The hotel has to be rebuilt every year from 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow. It was first built in 2001, and is rebuilt every year around December when the temperatures are consistently low enough to ensure everything stays frozen. It is only open from roughly December to March each year. It takes about six weeks to build each year and is 32,000 square feet with 42 rooms.
The temperature in the rooms is always between 23° and 27° Fahrenheit, regardless of the temperature outside. Even the beds are made from ice! So just how does this work?? According to the hotel website, each bed has a wooden base, an insulating mattress, and comes with a winter sleeping bag, as well as an insulated sheet and pillow. There is a “preparation guide” that gives you the information you need to know about spending the night.
I just am so fascinated by the fact that a room made entirely of ice can yet somehow have a fireplace inside. And speaking of “entirely of ice,” just how does the restroom situation work? I don’t think I would enjoy using an ice toilet. 🙂 It does not appear as though there are restrooms in each room, but there is a spa on the property with heated restrooms. I would think you would want to try not to need to use the restroom during the night.
Guests who don’t wish to sleep in the ice hotel can stay at the nearby Valcartier Resort. I think I would want to spend at least one night in the ice hotel just for the experience. Plus, I’m hot ALL. THE. TIME so I might really like it. I am even thinking I might want to get a job there. 🙂 Too bad they’re not open during the hot Texas summers.
The basic package for a one bedroom starts at $349 per night and includes a welcome cocktail in a glass made from ice, access to the spa and sauna, access to the skating trails, and discounts on spa treatments and activities in the surrounding area. A room with two beds starts at $479 per night, as do the one bedroom suites. Suites with a fireplace start at $549 per night. Rooms with three beds start at $604 per night. A deluxe premium suite with a fireplace, private sauna and spa starts at $749 per night.
The hotel offers behind-the-scenes tours where you can learn about how the hotel is constructed and maintained. You can also learn how to make your own ice glass, and you can enjoy a drink in it at the ice bar at the end of the tour. If you don’t want to actually stay at the hotel, you can purchase day passes to take a tour of the facilities during appointed hours.
And as was the case in the Hallmark movie, you can get married in the chapel at the Hotel de Glace! Can you imagine a wedding in an ice chapel? That’s so Frozen. 🙂
The chapel accommodates up to 40 people and wedding packages start at $2,795 for ten guests, and up to $7,395 for forty guests. And I also discovered you can get a proposal package starting at $599 that includes a jewelry box made of ice! I can’t imagine how beautiful an engagement ring would look in an ice jewelry box. Just take a look at some of the wedding photos couples have shared from their weddings on the chapel website.
I just really love the idea of a hotel made of ice. If you are looking for a unique place for a winter vacation, I can’t think of a better place to try than the Hotel de Glace Ice Hotel. If you go, let me know and share all the details of your adventure!
Hallmark movies are always a pleasure to watch, but this “Winter Castle” movie was especially fun and different. If you haven’t gotten on the Hallmark movie watching bandwagon, join us! You’ll love it. And don’t forget these. 🙂
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