If you want to experience the adventure this winter, try Lake Balea Ice Hotel in Romania.
The Fagaras Mountains in Transylvania provide a perfect backdrop for the stunning Lake Balea Ice Hotel. Its remote location, at over 2000 m can be reached only by cable car in the winter making it an exclusive 10-14 room hotel. Set amidst breathtaking scenery the Ice Hotel is rebuilt every year – so no two years are the same.
According to its website, the hotel is entirely built from ice from a glacial lake. Since 2005 every winter the Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras Mountains is rebuilt, namely from the materials offered by nature: huge blocks of ice, cut and removed directly from the glacial Lake Balea are used to raise the walls, the snow gathered across the mountain slopes, is used for fixing the ice bricks and for finishing the walls.
Every year brings a new story from the Hotel of Ice. Each season another new structure is added and tells a new story. 2011 story is a musical one which is transposed in the architecture and design of the rooms, the Ice Bar and the Ice Restaurant. The news about 2011´s Hotel of Ice is a separate complex of igloos next to the hotel.
Typically temperatures range from -2 to +2 degrees, the ice beds are covered with reindeer fur, with mattresses placed on top for comfort. Bedding, further furs and specialist sleeping bags are all provided, with bathroom facilities nearby. This all makes for a surprisingly cosy night’s sleep, especially if you indulge in a nightcap at the sub-zero Ice bar where inevitably the glasses are made of ice. There is a special Ice Hotel set menu in the evening, which needs to be booked in advance or you can defrost with a meal at the Lake Balea Chalet.
The place are also offering a plenty of activities from sledging to riding on a snow mobile, and the splendid Ice Church is a short walk away for anyone in the mood for an icy prayer. The breath-taking views and silent nights with bright stars overhead make a visit to the Ice Hotel.
A “must do” experience for anyone visiting the Ice Hotel with 2 courses actually serviced on Ice plates! The food is surprisingly delicious and the atmosphere is truly unique; smoked salmon egg cream, Dijon mustard sauce and toast, cream of carrot soup with croutons, medallion of beef, in a white wine sauce, peppers, sprouts and mashed potato with rosemary are only few of the Ice Hotel menu’s choices.