Nestled between the icy peaks of the Fagaras Mountains and veiled by clouds, the remote Ice Hotel stands 2000m above sea level and can only be accessed via cable car. Each winter, once the Balea Lake freezes over, the locals cut and drag blocks of the icy lake to the location of the hotel, which is set against a magnificent backdrop. Hand carved by local craftsmen using traditional techniques, the frozen Balea Lake is transformed into the beautifully intricate structures of the Ice Hotel and its magical Ice Church, the theme of which changes each and every year.
With 14 beautifully lit bedrooms carved from ice no two rooms are the same but will always feature ornately carved ice fireplaces or intricate statues and impressive sculptures. For something extra special you can even choose to sleep in your very own igloo which are larger than the standard ice rooms and based away from the main hotel making them more private and exclusive. Untravelled Paths clients will always get priority over any other guests staying at the Ice Hotel that night.
Although temperatures in the Ice Hotel typically waver between -2 and +2 degrees, guests find themselves enjoying a surprisingly cosy night’s sleep, particularly those who have indulged in a nightcap before bed. Ice beds are covered with insulating reindeer fur then topped with mattresses for extra comfort. They also have coloured lights embedded into the ice creating a stunning, magical atmosphere when lit up at night. Bedding, further furs and specialist sleeping bags are all provided with storage and bathroom facilities located nearby in the Balea Lake Chalet.
One of our top highlights is The Ice Hotel Dining Experience which takes place in the main hall of the Ice Hotel and represents the world’s first and only Ice Restaurant. The fairytale evening meal is set within the Ice Hotel itself with two of four courses served on plates of ice at your very own frozen table and fur-lined thrones of ice.
What: Hotel made entirely of ice
Where: Bâlea Lake, Cartisoara, Sibiu, Romania
When: 6pm check-in, 9am check-out
Why: For something completely different, for the bucket list
Who: The Friends, The Family
Untravelled Paths Ltd is a UK registered company. Registered Address: 24 Ferncroft Avenue, London, NW3 7PH.