Hotel de Glace
Ice ice baby! Lots and lots of it. Enough to make a hotel in fact and it’ll only be there for another few weeks. A truly original (in that it’s built to a different design every year) work of art that’ll become no more than a large puddle. Oh well, at least they’ll have the fun task of rebuilding it this winter.
As you may be able to pick up from the map of the hotel I posted on flickr, it’s a huge structure that features 36 bedrooms and individually designed suites, a bar and a nightclub, a chapel, a ‘playground’, an exhibition room and of course the all important for expensive hotels; a spa & sauna.
The hotel is about 30km outside Quebec City, a bus ride through a town called Shannon and past a large firing range and Canadian army base. It’s built on the grounds of what appears to be a large ski resort. You can get anything from snow mobiling, cross country skiing and of course dog sledding (more on this later). For the pseudo-adventurous, when you book a chilly nights stay in the ice hotel, you also get a room booked for you in the nice warm, comfortable hotel next door. Phew!
I must admit to feeling a bit (or a lot) lost as I strolled around the hotel, looking for unique ways to photograph something that’d already been shot from every conceivable angle, with every possible lens and undoubtedly by people who all had their own artistic ideas and plans on how to make their shots look. As time went on and my shots were looking less and less original (and yes, I should have bought a cheap tripod), I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be getting anything previously unseen. Oh well…
It was at that point (more or less) that I began to seek booze. Off to the N’ice club . Hmm sweet booze. Actually very sweet. My memory isn’t what it used to be so I can’t remember what they called it exactly but it was a mixture of Grand Mariner and something else, served in a ‘glass’ which was actually a small hollowed out block of ice. I actually enjoyed it, once I overcame the fear that my lips would stick to the side of the glass leading to what would no doubt have proved to be a hugely comical moment.
I hope I’ve gotten a few of the better photos from the truly amazing experience in the ice hotel here. I refuse to say it was a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ because we will, beyond all doubt, return here one day. I’ve put the rest of them on flickr so you can judge if I got my selection right!