Earth's Coolest Hotel

Montreal's Ice Village

Image: Montreal Gazette

You remember back when you were a kid and you were first exposed to the concept of igloos? They’re houses made out of ice. Ice! If you were anything like me at age 6, then trying to comprehend that idea blew out a circuit in your brain.

How can building a home out of ice keep you warmer? And if it made you warm, wouldn’t that just melt the ice and destroy your home? How is any of this possible?

Well, as confusing as the concept of igloos was to the 6-year-old version of me, igloos do actually do an excellent job of keeping inhabitants warm. As it turns out, ice is a terrible heat conductor, so any warmth you put in the inside of an igloo pretty much stays there. You can even build a campfire to heat up the place, and as soon as the ice melts the cool external air will just freeze it all back. Weirdly enough, the inside of an igloo can get up to a relatively comfortable 60° F (16° C).

Ice Village

Image: Montreal Gazette

Montreal’s Snow Village follows these principles of Inuit science to create a lavish, romantic, frost-bitten hotel made entirely of ice. Of course, the objective of the village isn’t to keep you warm – for that, you’d be better off staying at the Hilton. As you can clearly see (get it?), the whole allure of the place is that allows people to stay in a giant ice building.

Ice Dining Room

Image: Montreal Gazette

They’ve got a lot more going for them than just a giant ice dome. They’ve got ice chairs, ice tables, ice beds, and even televisions (made out of plastic) set in ice walls. LEDs set in the ice sculptures give the interior a sort of ghostly, blue hue, a bit like the aurora borealis.

With the notable exception of a thermostat, guests can pretty much enjoy any of the amenities they’d expect from normal hotel. They can enjoy a three-course meal cooked by a famous chef on ice tables, frosty drinks served at the bar (also made of ice, duh), and beautiful ice art. You can even have an ice wedding and get ice married by an ice priest in an ice ceremony befitting Narnia’s ice queen. Ice, ice, ice.

Ice Bedroom

Image: Montreal Gazette

As bizarre as the place is, I’d have to say that it looks pretty cool. It’s a great romantic getaway. The atmosphere is charming and the chilly temperatures encourage you to grab your favorite snuggle buddy and get nice and cozy for the night.

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