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Winter novelties – Ice Hotels

Ice restaurant

The winter season is usually associated with snow, ice, cold and all the activities or traditions related to it. Depending on where you live, snow sports can be important or special festivals might take place during the winter to celebrate something. Amid this plethora of skis, snowboards, sleds and variously cured meats, there is one novelty concept that has grabbed attention, and that concept is the ice hotel.

That is exactly what it sounds like, hotels made out of ice, obviously these have to be rebuilt year after year but this has not stopped the idea from spreading all across the countries in and nearby the Arctic Circle, but also to more southern places as well.

The concept of the ice hotel became something more than a novelty, or became more popular, after an ice palace appeared in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day. As with any novelty concept, once more and more people became aware of it and started flocking to these types of establishments, the more the ice hotels had to change and offer increasingly interesting attractions as part of the experience.

For instance the Hotel de Glace in Quebec City will be upping the ante by moving its Grand Ice Slide outside and building it considerably bigger. The slide is made completely from snow and ice and is sixty-four feet long and twenty feet high, at those numbers it is the longest covered slide of its kind.

Finland is doing something different with the concept as well, however it isn’t much of a stretch, the igloo disco is the place to get warmed up in Finland’s Snow Village. This is an extension to the IceBar and features an illuminated ice dance floor, and you won’t need any ice for your drinks in this place, the glasses are made from ice.

Staying in Finland for this next ice building related fact is the Snow Castle of Kemi which builds the biggest snow fort in the world each year, some of its towers reaching more than twenty meters tall and with walls stretching up to a kilometer. It is adjacent to the snow hotel where visitors can stay overnight.

For our next fact about ice hotels we shall travel a bit south, to a temperate place where during the winter the Hotel of Ice that is built there comes with the protection of higher powers. In Romania, the Hotel of Ice features a four-meter high church made of ice, that can fit around fifty people. Nothing strange or special about that, many ice hotels have small chapels meant to be used for weddings and such, but the thing about the Romanian church is that the ice used in its building was created from sanctified water.

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