Sleeping in the Snow: Montréal's Snow Village Canada
January 23, 2013

You and your family love winter. You ski, snowboard, snowshoe, ice skate, and live for school snow cancellation days.

But have you ever spent the night in a snow hotel?

About six hours from Boston, a snow and ice marvel awaits you, the Snow Village Canada in Montréal. Now in its second year, this 25-room hotel, made entirely of snow and ice, boasts a 100-seat restaurant, an ice chapel, a bar, and outdoor spa. You don’t need to stay at the hotel, which is open mid-January through mid-March, to take a tour, have a drink, or dine, but you’ll definitely want to!

When my family heard about this snow hotel so close to Boston, we knew we had to go. After checking in at the (heated!) visitor’s center, we went on a tour of the property. Every year, a major city is honored in sculpture; this year New York City got the nod.

Themed rooms include the Big Apple, the Avengers, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, among others. We marveled at them all, even the ones still in progress on our visit.

Then it was off to dinner in the Pommery Restraurant, the only such ice restaurant in North America. Sitting on furs on top of ice benches, still bundled in all of our snow gear, we dined on artichoke and cauliflower soup, sea trout tartare, stewed Cornish game hen, and cheese fondue. There was even a kid’s menu with mac-n-cheese and hot chocolate.

So, how do you get any sleep inside a hotel where the room temperature is maintained at 5 degrees Celsius/41 degrees Fahrenheit at all times? Beds are indeed made out of ice, but are then topped with wood, then a mattress, and finally, you are provided with thermal sleeping bags rated for temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius/ -22 degrees Fahrenheit. We learned the tricks of staying warm at our after-dinner orientation (wear only dry clothes and a hat!).

We ended our magical night with a dip in one of the three outdoor hot tubs under the stars and finally bundled up in the as-promised thermal sleeping bags. We were greeted in the morning with hot chocolate and left with a certificate stating we made it through the night.

It’s an experience none of us will forget!

A family package at the hotel (starting at $475 for two adults and two children) includes a standard room;  high-tech thermal sleeping bags for the night; welcome drinks; one hour of snowshoeing; access to the Snow Village; continental breakfast; and access to a locker room for your personal belongings and showers.

Have you ever slept in a snow or ice hotel? Tell us about it!

More Ways to Celebrate Winter

Winterfest Weekends
Fruitlands Museum, Through February 23

13th Annual Lowell WinterFest
February 8 and  9, 2013

Newport Winter Festival
February 15-24


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Climb a hill or small mountain to look at the foliage. The view—and the special snack—will make for a great adventure.

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