Tag Archives: ice hotel
Escape the annual humdrum this Christmas and indulge in a four night festive celebration at the Ice Hotel in Romania. Untravelled Paths is offering an exclusive Christmas package for £389 per person through the frosty countryside where you’ll discover secret Saxon towns, mysterious castles and a palace made of ice.
Christmas Eve: After a night in buzzing Bucharest, you’ll be whisked away to the frosty Transylvanian countryside where you’ll discover the decadent interior of Peles Castle followed by a spine-chilling tour of Dracula’s Castle. Then it’s onwards to the medieval town of Brasov, where you can get into the festive spirit wandering around the square with its traditional Christmas stalls, nativity scenes and twinkling lights.
Christmas Day: Wake up the next day to a crisp, white Christmas morning, before wrapping up warm and ascending the Carpathian Mountains up to the magical Ice Hotel. Take advantage of the winter playground with some snow-based activities like sledging and ice-skating then sit down on thrones of ice to a Christmas dinner like no other!
Boxing Day: Enjoy a Boxing Day brunch at Brukenthal Palace, dubbed the ‘Eden of Transylvania’, before exploring the medieval, chocolate-box town of Sibiu. Take your time as you amble through the snow-dusted cobbled streets, past rows of rainbow-coloured houses and decorative bridges, discovering cosy little cafés nestled between secluded alleyways. Then it’s back to Bucharest for a final night of merry-making.
Get your White Christmas here. Ho-Ho-Hope you can make it!
4 Night Christmas Getaway to the Ice Hotel, Romania (23rd – 27th Dec) from £389pp:
- 4 nights accommodation and breakfast
- All transfers (in-country & airport)*
- All day trips & excursions
- Private, bi-lingual guide
*Flights not included but start from £48.99 from London Luton with wizzair.com
If you want your white Christmas guaranteed, email Marion at firstname.lastname@example.org or just us a jingle-bell on 0871 662 9521.
A bucket list essential. A once in a lifetime experience. A wish-list topper. The ultimate box-ticker. A ‘must-do’ before your time on this magical world comes to an end.
Yes, I think we all agree that sleeping in an ice hotel is definitely ‘up there’ on most people’s lists. But how can you make the experience one you’ll treasure for the rest of your life? Well, for a start, make it short and sweet. More than one night sleeping in an ice hotel is not as glamorous as it sounds although it’s something clients ask us all the time. So here are the reasons why you shouldn’t sleep more than one night in an ice hotel.
1. The smell
Unless you want to get very, very cold, you should refrain from washing whilst staying at an ice hotel. This is because washing strips the body of the natural oils it needs to keep you warm. So if you’re planning on sleeping multiple nights in the cold you’re likely to get more than a little bit stinky. You could always choose to have your daily shower, although you’ll end up fighting the cold.
2. The cold
The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of those of us visiting ice hotels across the world are not eskimos. We don’t like being too cold. So although the prospect of sleeping in an ice hotel is incredibly exciting, enthusiasm is likely to dwindle significantly after the first night. We much prefer the idea of snuggling up the night after an icy adventure in a cosy boutique hotel room in a big fluffy duvet. Don’t you?
3. The boredom
So you’re up at the Ice Hotel for the third night running. You’ve just about exhausted all the activities on the mountain within the first couple of days. You’re pretty tired and all you want to do is have a nap in your little hotel room. Unfortunately, your hotel room is made of ice and it’s not somewhere you can relax the afternoon away. Unless you want to ‘chill out’ to the extreme, it’s unlikely you’ll be looking forward to yet another night in sub-zero temperatures either. One night is enough. Trust us.
So if you should only be sleeping in an ice hotel for one night, how the heck are you meant to make the experience a holiday and not just an overnight stay? Well, listen up. That’s why all of our handpicked trips to the Balea Lake Ice Hotel are bundled into a range of holiday boxes that include trips to medieval Transylvanian citadels, visits to spooky castles said to have been occupied by terrifying vampire-counts, city-breaks in buzzing Bucharest and, of course, the icing on the cake: one night in the Ice Hotel at Balea Lake in Romania.
It may only be one night at the Ice Hotel but, by gum, is it a night to remember!
I reckon Joanna and Bernard have a lot to answer for. It’s one thing to decide to have your wedding overseas and invite your friends and family to join you. It’s quite another to haul them over 2,000 metres up a snowy mountain and stick them in a chapel made completely of ice.
As if churches weren’t draughty enough anyway.
We’re atop the Fagaras Mountain within the Carpathians and there’s a blizzard going on, not perhaps the first choice for a wedding you might think, but then again it certainly gives you something to talk about. Joanna, as it happens, looks amazing – a proper snow queen, Bernard however, a little incongruous in full tux and top hat, pays no heed to the sub zero temperature as he poses for pictures out in the blizzard.
The chapel is directly opposite the Ice Hotel, a 10 room structure rebuilt every year once Lake Balea freezes over. This is the signal for great chunks of ice to be cut from the lake and carved into the intricate shapes from whence the hotel emerges. The outside looks like a giant igloo, however I trudge across the snow and look inside to find an extraordinary interior; A narrow restaurant replete with ice tables and chairs, a fully stocked ice bar, and along each side, 5 bedrooms each with a unique theme. I’m invited to pick a room for the night and, guessing the happy couple want the honeymoon suite, I choose the Rock Music room, which comes complete with suitable neon lighting and ice guitars .
Fortunately, the nearby Lake Balea Chalet is a warm and cosy hostelry for those not brave enough to sleep in the Ice Hotel with a hot meal available when needed. I on the other hand, plumb for the full fine dining ensemble in the Ice Hotel; a rather tricky place to hold a knife and fork elegantly when you’re wearing thick gloves and a parka. That said, at least my whiskey doesn’t need any ice!
Having wined and dined, I turn in for the night having been given an arctic sleeping bag to put in my room and a tip to leave my hat on. For the record, I do leave the hat on and everything else too including my boots, with the temperature inside the hotel a steady -5. Mind you, as the blizzard rumbles on, the outside tumbles to -20. Here inside though it is incredibly quiet and the ambient lighting makes the whole thing rather magical. With my bag zipped up over my head, I go to sleep praying I don’t get a full bladder in the middle of the night.
Morning dawns and I peer out. The sun is shining in the impossibly blue sky and the view across the snow covered peaks hidden during yesterday’s blizzard, is simply stunning. I feel on top of the world. I feel a sense of achieved adventure and celebrate with a hearty breakfast over in the Chalet before making my way down to earth in the cable car.
Untravelled Paths is a specialist independent travel company which has exclusive access to Romania’s Ice Hotel, a winter adventure experience which I will certainly talk about for many years to come. It is much more affordable than the Ice Hotels in Sweden or Canada and you get to see some of Romania’s other sights as part of the tour; the bright lights of Bucharest, the wonderfully gothic twisty cobbled streets of Brasov and even a glimpse or two of Dracula’s Castle.
As for Joanna and Bernard, they passed on their honeymoon suite in the ice hotel and spent the night in the warmth of the Chalet! And they say romance is dead.
You need to know one thing. Quality travel is in my DNA. I have written about places and people all over the world, some good and some bad, but the bottom line for me that a place has to have a signature. It has to have something about it that will be worth the effort of going there. I’ll inform, perhaps amuse, certainly educate and hopefully entertain. But above all, I’ll deliver a snapshot that will either give you that signature or leave it unsigned, and you know what that means… Andy has been writing about world travel destinations for over 10 years and during that time has experienced his fair share of highs and lows. Never one to shirk his responsibilities, he always delivers insightful, honest pieces that just simply tell it like it is.
Easter is just around the corner, the sun is shining and the daffodils are out in full force. If you’re thinking of doing something extra special with the family, why not jet everyone out to the Ice Hotel for some fun and frolics? Go on.
Untravelled Paths is offering an exclusive, family-friendly four night package to the Ice Hotel in Romania. Prices start from £415 per person and include a once in a lifetime stay and treasure hunt at the fabulous Ice Hotel. Children under 12 go half price.
Tucked away between the peaks of the Faragas Mountains and veiled by clouds, every inch of the Ice Hotel is hand carved by local craftsmen every year against a magnificent backdrop. The fairytale magic of the Ice Hotel captivates from the outset with a cable car ride up through the clouds past snow dusted mountains to a four course winter wonderful evening meal served on plates of ice with frosty glasses and frozen furniture.
Families have an array of activities to enjoy together during their stay, from sledging down the mountain in a flurry of snow to carving beautiful shapes on the ice rink, learning and embarking on a mountain treasure hunt; there’s something for everyone. Aside from the Ice Hotel, the young and young at heart will enjoy exploring the spooky corridors of Dracula’s forbidding castle as well as re-constructing the crumbling ruins of Rasnov Fortress into the impressive structure of its former glory.
Celebrate Easter with a fun-filled adventure that the entire family will enjoy.
Get involved everyone! For more info, give us a buzz on 0871 662 9521. We look forward to hearing from you.