The Ice Hotel is built from scratch each year, using a new design and theme. © 

What on earth had I been thinking? Although it had seemed like a good idea when we booked our stay, now I wasn’t sure. Our bed was made of ice, and the walls of our room were completely built of snow. I could see my breath in the chilly room, and the sleeping bag in my hand seemed awfully light. How we would be warm enough to sleep?

But as they say, when in Québec….

It was time to put aside my fear and savor the experience. After all, it isn’t every day that you get to sleep in a hotel built entirely of ice and snow.

The Hôtel de Glace, known as the Québec City Ice Hotel in English, is one of the most popular attractions in Québec City. Now in its 17th year, the Canadian hotel has drawn more than 1 million visitors from around the world.

The only ice hotel in North America, Hôtel de Glace is open from the beginning of January to the end of March. It is constructed from scratch each year, using a new design and theme. Construction on the hotel begins in December when the temperatures have been below zero for a week. More than 50 Canadian and European experts create the icy architectural wonder, working around the clock to make the ice hotel a reality.

The team uses more than 30 tons of snow, creating 44 unique guest rooms and suites. The hotel walls are four to seven feet thick, and some of the ceilings reach up to 19 feet tall. Snow artists create whimsical scenes on the walls, with beautiful designs and scenes.

More than 500 tons of ice blocks are added to create the crystal-like walls, furniture and decorative fixtures. Ice sculptures carve masterpieces from intricate columns to artistic wall pieces. Lighting is an ever present design element, and rotating pastel colors reflect on the ice, creating a magical dreamlike appearance.

Read the full story on Go World Travel Magazine