Quebec proves ice is nice as hotel reopens

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anada's "coolest" hotel is ready to open for business again. Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada will operate Jan. 1 to March 31, offering 21 rooms and 10 suites, capable of accommodating 76 overnight guests. The hotel, constructed annually, is about a 25-minute drive west of Quebec City.

The Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada will reopen Jan. 1.In 2002, hotel visitors will find inside two art galleries, the Absolut Ice Bar, a movie theater, a spa, a driving range, a skating rink and a wedding chapel. Agents earn 8% pay on all package sales. Overnight packages, from about $137 per person, double, cover accommodations, hotel service charge, an Absolut cocktail, a three-course dinner and full breakfast.

The two-night Winter Adventure plan, about $209 per person, double, covers one night at the Ice Hotel and one night at the Duchesnay Ecotouristic Resort. The stay at the Ice Hotel comes with one dinner and a full breakfast; the overnight at the Duchesnay comes with full breakfast and multiple winter activities, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ecological treks.

A package offering one night at the Ice Hotel and one night at the Quebec Hilton is priced from about $179 per person, double. The rate covers accommodations, a cocktail, dinner, breakfast and service charges at the Ice Hotel, but only the room at the Quebec Hilton.

This year, the creation of the Ice Hotel involves ceilings that stand more than 18 feet high, requiring more than 11,000 tons of snow and 350 tons of ice. The construction was to begin early this month at the Duchesnay Ecotourism Station. Clients also can tour the ice hotel without staying there.

Guests overnighting at the Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada won't be sleeping in the cold, as ice beds are covered with a mattress and a sleeping bag. The admission fee is $7.20 for those 16 and older; $6 for those 6 to 15. However, one child will be admitted free with each paying adult. Group rates also are available. Touring hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 10 a.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call (877) 505-0423 and ask for Olivier Jardret, director of sales.

A shuttle bus will operate to and from the Ice Hotel and the following points in Quebec City -- the Quebec Hilton, the Tourist Information Centre, the Ste. Foy VIARail train station and the Ste. Foy bus station. The shuttle firm also can combine a tour of the Ice Hotel with transportation. One-way shuttle fares cost about $15; about $21, roundtrip. Roundtrip shuttle fare with an Ice Hotel tour would cost about $23. Agents can earn 15% commission by using a voucher.

For shuttle information, contact Sherpa Plein Air in Quebec City, at (877) 640-7437 or e-mail [email protected]. Inquiries can be directed to Nicole Elliott.

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