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Montreal is Cold Chillin' with its Snow Village

January 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM | by | ()

Last winter we proved we don’t wuss out when it comes to the cold, so when we heard about Montreal’s new Snow Village, we strapped on our snowshoes (ok, not really), and headed to the Great White North.

Montreal’s latest attraction is a five minute ride from the downtown area on Sainte-Hélène island. This area hosts an annual winter festival in its Parc Jean-Drapeau, but this year it goes over the top with the addition of the Snow Village, three giant igloos forming a ice hotel complete with restaurant, bar, conference center, and chapel to rival Quebec City’s famous seasonal structure. It opens this evening and is set (hopefully!) to remain in place until it’s deconstructed on March 31st.

In addition to the pod-like Polar igloos and standard rooms, there are 10 themed suites named after the city’s loves, such as Cirque du Soleil, Formula One, and International Jazz Festival. Though dramatic enough, guests won’t exactly sleep on a block of ice. The bed base is made of ice, but a wooden frame holds a mattress and thermal sleeping bag, good for temps up to -30 C (that’s -22 F). But we’re told the rooms will be kept at a near balmy 41F (5 C) at all times.

But before you bed down for the night, there are drinks to be had at the Ice Bar. Amarula is a sponsor and bottles of the creamy South African liqueur line the shelves, waiting to be poured into one of the ice shot glasses. After that, move to the chic, 60-seat Pommery Ice Restaurant, with its fur-topped seats, for three-or-five course dinner. And if you’re still not ready to call it quits, there are the outdoor hot tubs to warm you up before shutting it down.

Staying at the Snow Village comes with a list of items to bring with you. One of them involves sleepwear, though unofficial word is the sleeping bags are so efficient, one could sleep naked and still be warm ---though outside bathroom visits might be a challenge (Protip: go easy on the cocktails!).

If staying the night sounds like pure lunacy (check back with us to see how we fared), there’s always the day/evening visit for tickets starting at $13CAD.

Overnight rates start at $195CAD per night for a Polar Igloo, and includes a welcome drink, access to the hot tub and Continental breakfast.

[Photos in Story: Snow Village Canada; Photos in Gallery: HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

This is the subject.

That place is absolutely breath taking. I'd love to know how long it took to construct, but I'm satisfied just knowing about the bar!

Looking forward to the second installment!

So cool!

The pictures are really beautiful, especially the carved ice blocks. Can't wait to find out how it was...and how long it took to thaw out!