About the Hotel
Imagine the feeling of living in ice shelters, sleeping on ice beds, and eating on finely ice carved dining tables! Add to that a bit of skiing, snowmobiling and sledging, and some heavenly scenery around, and you have a recipe of experiences to remember for a lifetime. Get all of this, and more, at a single place. Nestled in the icy peaks of the Fagaras Mountains and perched amongst clouds, is Transylvania’s Hotel of Ice. Called the Balea Ice Hotel this marvellous piece of creative architecture is set 2000 meters above sea level in the beautiful country of Romania. The Ice Hotel of Balea was founded in 2005. Initially it was just a building hand carved by skilled and local craftsmen, which was a huge success then. Eventually features like the Ice Bar, Ice Restaurant and the heavenly Ice Church were added to elevate the experience of the tourists to another magical level, which made the Balea Ice Hotel a globally appealing destination. The stay in Hotel of Ice is an experience of extreme comfort and utmost level of satisfaction, made possible by the amazing service given by the warm hearted hospitality staff.
Initially, Hotel of Ice was built for religious tourism. Mr. Arnold Klingeis, the man behind this magnificent architecture, made the Hotel in a Cross Shape and mounted an Ice Church next to the hotel. Soon when the Ice Hotel began to gain fame, Ice Restaurant and Ice Bar were added to triple the pleasure of tourists and visitors. The Ice Hotel at Romania is situated in the heart of Balea Lake. Every winter, when the lake freezes, local craftsmen transform and re-design the lake into uniquely and intricately carved ice sculptures. Hence, Hotel is only open and available for stay during winters.
The Hotels boasts a number of Snow Suites and private Igloos which are sculptured from ice and some mind-blowing interiors. Also, there’s impressive lighting which sends you in reverie once you stay at the hotel. Temperatures in the Hotel vary from -2 to +2 degrees, which surprisingly doesn’t hamper your comfort even a bit. Warm sleeping bags are offered, apart from soft mattress, sheets, blankets and comforters filled with reindeer fur, to keep you warm and pampered.
Suites and rooms are theme based. Every year, the hotel brings in a new theme, which adds to the aplomb and appeal of the hotel. You’ll find most of the cutlery used in the hotel made of ice – cups, glasses, saucers, plates, even dinner table and chairs are all made of ice.
The Hotel of Ice is just not a remarkable piece of architecture but also rich in terms of the heritage value of its location and all the landmarks around. The Ice Church, which is just next to the main Ice Hotel, holds a few ceremonies like Orthodox and Catholic service, Baptism and Weddings. So if you’re planning your dream fairy-tale wedding, the Ice Hotel is exactly the place which can make it come true.
To add more, other than the Ice Restaurant, Chalet’s Balea Lac Restaurant is another place to spend your evening in a delightful way, which is in the vicinity itself. It offers a treat to your taste buds with Transylvanian and Romanian dishes. It’s sinful to be at the restaurant and not check out the venison specialities and fresh trout. You can also take a hot shower with some hot food served at this restaurant while enjoying your stay at Hotel of Ice.
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December to March is the buzz-time at the Balea Ice Hotel. Every month brings in unique experiences; here’s a guide on which month offers what unique sights and sounds.
- December – The festive season kick-starts at Ice Hotel with Christmas and New Year celebrations around the corner. Fireworks, events, shows, bubbles – all make the celebrations special.
- January – January is a perfect time to witness the new re-designed and built ice sculptures, and not to mention, the charming medieval towns and huge landscape.
- February – February is probably the best time to be at Ice Hotel as the Ice Church and chilling private igloos are built, designed and themed completely. Also, not to be missed day in February is the Valentine’s Day, 14th February because of all the warm and thrilling celebrations that take place.
Because of the icy construction of the hotel, and the rather isolated location, it’s imperative that you are prepared for the experience, so that you enjoy it to the fullest. The following pointers shall help:
- If cold is a concern for you, you are recommended to carry extra warm clothes for your trip.
- If you’re planning to do activities like snowmobiling, skiing, sledging, etc., do check with your travel insurance company about the coverage, before you even plan the trip.
- Toilets are situated at quite a distance from your sleeping hubs, so make sure you are done attending to nature’s call before you sleep, unless you want to enjoy a walk in the chill in the middle of the night.
- You can upgrade to an Igloo after reaching and checking the availability with Hotel authorities.
- Don’t forget the must-haves for a trip to ice cold places – torch, apt winter-wear, gloves, thermal/woolen socks, basic travelling kit, prescribed medicines if any, etc.
- You should enquire about the theme that the hotel is offering in the particular year that you’re planning to visit.
- Rooms are allocated on first come, first serve basis. Earlier you reach, wider the range of options to choose from.
From the moment you reach the hotel, you’ll be taken care of as a special guest by the hospitality staff. Private air transfer, luggage handling, accommodation, bi-lingual guide, itinerary, food – absolutely everything is taken care by the hotel authorities. All you need to do is carry some right warm clothes for yourself and keep yourself open to the sensational scenery around and the amazing stay you’re going to experience.