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The BBC's Mike Fox in Montreal
"The attractions of staying in a hotel where it's too cold to get undressed may not seem entierly obvious"
 real 28k

Monday, 1 January, 2001, 20:30 GMT
Canada gives ice hotel warm welcome
Bedroom in the ice hotel
Guests sleep in ice-beds covered with skins and sleeping bags
North America's first ever ice hotel opened its doors to guests on Monday outside Quebec City in Canada.

Jacques Desbois
Company director Jacques Desbois offers guests a warm welcome
Twenty-two people booked in for the opening night, sleeping in sub-zero temperatures in ice-beds covered with animal skins and sleeping bags.

The managers of the hotel, which overlooks the St Lawrence river and Montmorency Falls, say 1,000 people have already signed up to stay in the hotel before it begins to melt in the April thaw.

The hotel is constructed like a huge igloo and is made of 4,500 tonnes of snow and 250 tonnes of ice.

All mod cons

The hotel's facilities include a cinema, two art galleries and a bar, where guests can drink vodka from an ice-glass.

Gallery in the ice hotel
The hotel contains two galleries, filled wth ice sculptures
All the furniture and decorations are sculpted from ice.

But there is one area which is ice-free - the bathroom is housed in a separate heated building.

Next year, the ice hotel plans to move to the Duchesnay resort west of Quebec city, where the new ice hotel should be able to accommodate 85 guests.

The first ice hotel was built around 10 years ago in Jukkasjarvi in Sweden.

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See also:

23 Nov 00 | Africa
Township's tin-shack tourists
28 Sep 00 | Scotland
Hotel rooms slip through net
01 Dec 99 | Middle East
World's tallest hotel opens its doors
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