Freeze in fashion

Freezing, it appears, is very much in fashion. Here are a few destinations where you can chill out in style.

When it comes to the latest travel trends, cold is hot.

First there was the Ice Hotel in Kiruna, Sweden. Since it was created in 1989, the hotel has been featured in many travel magazines and television programs. The entire hotel, with the exception of the beds, is made of ice blocks made from the River Tome. Open from November to May, the hotel features more than 60 room and suites, reception area and chapel.

The Canadian version, Ice Hotel Quebec, is located in the village of Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, about 30 minutes west of Quebec City, and three hours northeast of Montreal. It is constructed anew each winter on the grounds of the Station Touristique Duchesnay, a recreation resort with snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, skating, ice-fishing and dog sledding.

The Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada opens its doors each year at the beginning of January and closes them in early April, when the spring sunshine makes its appearance. Suites offer a warming fireplace, and one even has a hot tub. The bed consists of a block of ice covered with a thick foam mattress and a sleeping bag. Washrooms are located in a modular building in the courtroom.

Other cool destinations
The SnowCastle of Kemi in Finland. Constructed every year since 1996, the Kemi SnowCastle is the largest of its kind in the world. The highest towers have been over 20 meters high, with walls stretching over 1,000 meters long. Some years the castle has included three-storey buildings. The SnowRestaurant has ice tables and seats covered with reindeer fur, and the SnowChapel is a popular destination for weddings and offers a honeymoon suite with ice decorations.

Igloo Village in Gstaad, Switzerland. Intrepid guests can stay in a two-to-six person igloo before hitting the slopes at this prestigious resort. And if you’re still not cold enough, you can drop in at the 24-hour Igloo bar.

The CryoTherapy Center at the Aqua City resort in Poprad, Slovakia. Spa treatments at this resort in northern Slovakia offer guests a whole new method of chilling out. Wearing only a headband, shirt, shorts, socks, clogs, gloves and a face mask, guests are asked to enter two chambers. The first is cooled to 76 degrees below zero F for 30 seconds to a minute, the second to 184 below zero F for two minutes. (The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth was 128.6 below zero, in Antarctica.) After enduring such frigid conditions, guests are then guided through a 20-minute medically supervised aerobic workout. The subsequent release of endorphins is said to help alleviate depression, stress and pain.

Source: The New York Times

Photo credit: The SnowCastle of Kemi


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