A Cold Yet Cool Reception This Winter at Sweden and Quebec’s Ice Hotels

December 2, 2009 at 11:06 am | Posted in Canada, Quebec, Sweden | 1 Comment
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by David Paul Appell

That time of year again — starting next week, chilly chic is back again, thanks to those clever Swedes (followed by crafty Quebecois). First up, from December 10 to mid-April, the Swedish Lappland town of Jukkasjärvi, up north of the Arctic Circle, will be the site of the 59,200-square foot (5,500-square-meter) 20th edition of the original ICEHOTEL (you fly into Stockholm, then connect onward to Kiruna; British Airways can also whisk you direct to Kiruna from Heathrow, believe it or not). For rates from 1,350 krona (US$197) a night per person, you can sleep in one of the 80 artist-designed rooms and suites carved from snow and ice (with thermal underwear and sleeping bags, of course), or in a more conventional, heated hotel annex. While you’re up here, activities include sauna, snowshoe, snowmobile/dogsled tours, ice sculpture lessons, and visits with the local Sami people. If you can’t make it this time around, they’re planning to open it a month earlier next winter.

Meanwhile, for those on the other side of the Atlantic, in Canada’s Duchesnay winter resort area a half hour from picturesque Quebec City, the Hôtel de Glace marks its tenth winter this January 4 to April 4. It’s quite a bit plus petit (32,000 square feet/3,000 square meters), but just as, er, cool as its Swedish inspiration, with similar amenities and activities (but no Sami, of course). An overnight in one of its 36 rooms and suites starts at CAD 219 (US$208) per person, or you can just stop in for a tour and a bracing gulp at the ice bar. A votre santé glâcée!

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