WHY IT'S DIFFERENT?
A once in lifetime stay at the Hotel of Ice in Transylvania, which is also home to the legendary Dracula’s Castle.
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Based on two people sharing, not including flights learn more
Sleep in the Hotel of Ice
Redesigned each winter, every single room is individual and boasts unique snow sculptures fitting the yearly theme. Enjoy warm bedding and a professional sleeping bag for a surprisingly cosy night's sleep!
Visit Dracula's Castle
Perched up tall and ominous, with narrow corridors and hidden staircases, the Bran Castle certainly fits as home to the legend of Dracula. It also offering some stunning views of the surrounding area.
Dine in the Ice Restaurant
Highly recommended. A magical four-course candle lit dinner with the starter even on plate of ice! You'll dine at an ice table, sitting on an ice chair under the beautiful, colourful lights of the Ice Hotel's restaurant.
Brasov's old town offers snow-dusted, cobbled streets, sleepy houses and the crisp, wintery mountain air in what is a truly a fairytale like setting. It also has a number of very good restaurants recommended in our booklet.
“Excellent, fabulous, stunning views, are all words that can be used to describe this experience but do not do it justice, we loved every second.”
T. Jones - Guest
NEED TO KNOW
|SEASON||December 29 2019 - Jan 2 2020|
|GROUP SIZE||18 people (20 during peak periods)|
|FLIGHTS||For more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.|
|VISA||UK, EU & US not required|
Arrival in Bucharest followed by an airport transfer to your boutique accommodation in the Lipscani district where you will be greeted with a coffee or glass of wine, before you head out into the old town to explore and discover the plethora of restaurants and bars.
Morning transfer to Transylvania via Sinaia with a visit to the magnificent Peles Castle before heading on to the medieval town of Brasov just in time for lunch. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Brasov’s charming old town.
Travel through the Fagaras Mountains to the cable car which will transport you up to Balea Lake and the Ice Hotel. Enjoy the afternoon on the mountain with a range of snow-based activities including the unmissable Tunnel Trek before getting ready for your big night in the Ice Hotel, which kicks off with the Ice Hotel Dining Experience and drinks at the Sub Zero Ice Bar.
Head back through Transylvania stopping for a visit at Bran Castle, known to many as Dracula’s Castle before travelling back to Bucharest for the final night.
Transfer back to the airport in time for the flight home.
A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.
With all our hotels located in or near the Old Town of Lipscani, you will be right by amongst the hustle and bustle of the heart to the city. Typical Accommodation: The Rembrandt, Grand Boutique or similar
All our hotels are located a stone's throw from Brasov's Old Town Square so you'll easily be able to explore Brasov's quaint, cobbled streets. Typical Accommodation: Bella Muzica, Casa Wagner or similar
Hotel of Ice
The Hotel of Ice has two different room grades, the standard Ice Hotel room or you can upgrade to an igloo room (subject to availability) which is bigger and more private. Let our team know if you are interested in upgrading.
Balea Lake Chalet
For those who don't like the cold, you can always get a room in the chalet. A room is made available for guests to leave their luggage and freshen up in but for an extra fee, you can have your own room for more privacy.
WHERE YOU'RE GOING
Ask most people what comes to mind when they think of Romania and you’re likely to hear something along the lines of Dracula, vampires and gypsies. Yes, the spooky castles pitched on rocky hilltops are certainly vampire-worthy but the only real fangs you’re likely to be exposed to here are those belonging to the wild bears, wolves and lynx that roam the Carpathian Mountains. Once you place the stereotypes aside for a moment, you’ll soon understand how misunderstood, overlooked and vastly underestimated this country is.
"If possible we recommend decanting just what you need into a one overnight bag for your night on the mountain to avoid having to lug your big bag around. You may leave the rest of your luggage on the secure bus."
Cristina - Untravelled Paths
Keep warm in the Ice Hotel
Thermals, a fleece, warm hat, scarf to cover your nose and thick socks will keep you nice and warm overnight. And remember you can always warm up in the chalet if necessary.
Given the high altitude, sun cream and sunglasses are essential to protect your skin and eyes from harsh sunlight, the cold temperatures and strong winds.
Nothing better to keep the cold at bay than a good shot of the Romanian firewater. Be careful, though, it's strong stuff. As they would toast in Romania "Noroc!".
Be careful on ice
Sensible footwear with good grip is essential as unsurprisingly there is a lot of ice around! You'll need to be careful where you step and watch out for hanging icicles.
As a tour operator we are not able to offer inclusive flights as part of our experiences however we are more than happy to help you find the most appropriate incoming and outgoing flights for you. All the listed airports fly directly in and out of Bucharest with multiple different airlines to choose from. We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
In order to be fully covered on your trip should anything happen, we suggest getting an insurance before you travel. We recommend True Traveller, designed especially for adventure travel, who will be able to tailor an insurance package based on your needs. You can find out more here.
Our prices are based on people sharing, for solo travellers who would prefer a private room the price per person will include a solo occupancy fee.
If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.
Book your trip in five easy steps.
Once you’ve chosen the dates you’d like to travel on using our availability calendar all you need to do is head over to the booking page and fill in the enquiry form.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
We will get back to you answering any questions you might have and confirming availability. If all is good, we can hold the places for you for 48 hours while you book your flights. Please note that this stage does not represent a guarantee of the booking.
Once you have booked your flights, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details, flights and other relevant information.
PAY FOR YOUR TRIP
As you fill in the booking form, you will also be asked to make the payment through a secure link; if you are travelling in less than 8 weeks, the payment will be paid in full, otherwise only a 35% deposit will be taken.
Shortly after you pay, you will receive a confirmation invoice, followed by a personalised itinerary and digital booklet. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!
Please note deposit is non-refundable. The balance will only be refundable if you cancel with more than 8 weeks in advance. More information about the cancellation policy can be found in our Terms & Conditions. We highly suggest getting insurance before you travel to avoid any problems. Our personal recommendation is using True Traveller.
Although Romania is a member of the European Union, it does not use the euro (€) but has its own currency - the RON / Leu. The official currency is most commonly referred to as the plural ‘lei’ although some banks and exchange offices list it as the RON. One leu divides into 100 bani with banknotes coming in various denominations normally 1 leu, 5 lei, 10 lei, 50 lei and 100 lei and less commonly, 200 and 500 lei notes. Coins come in 50 bani and 10 bani pieces, which can be useful for small tips or donations.
The easiest option is to head to a cash machine once you’ve checked into your hotel in Bucharest to withdraw funds. There are plenty of ATMs around so it’s quick and convenient to get hold of your holiday cash
If you want to come prepared beforehand, the Bureau de Change in M&S is, strangely, one of the only places that dispenses the local currency. You can also purchase currency online and collect it from your local post office or even have it delivered straight to your door. Ordering currency online with the Post Office is commission-free and available for next day delivery. Obviously the more you buy the better rate you’ll receive.
However you choose to get hold of your spending money, just make sure you either spend or convert your RON before you leave.
Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Romania’s main towns and cities. You’ll have no problem using your card to pay for drinks or dinner in Bucharest or Brasov using your card however you may like to carry some cash on you for smaller purchases and any activities taking place away. Ensure you have plenty of cash on you for the night at the Ice Hotel for activities and other expenses. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.
As a general rule, you’ll be able to have a good lunch for around £10 a head and will pay around £15 a head for a nice evening meal. Naturally, the type of establishment you choose to eat in and what you order will dictate the cost of your meals. Be aware that ordering imported wines can cause your bill to sky-rocket so drinking local wines is advisable. We reckon around £70 for lunch, dinner and drinks for two people is plenty per day. Please note that these are rough estimates and you can always choose to spend more or less depending on your budget and preferences.
Tipping is not obligatory in Romania although rounding up taxi fares and adding 10% in restaurants is polite and common practice. If the service has been poor please don’t feel obligated to leave a tip.
The average temperature during the winter hovers around -3 degrees although temperatures in rural areas and up in the mountains can drop well below -15 degrees so it’s best to prepare for the worst. That said, it’s not unusual to find yourself enjoying a coffee outside in a Transylvanian town’s café with the sun beating down with surprising strength onto both your face and the snow-covered streets. So wrap up warm but don’t forget sun cream!
You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you travel, you will also receive a personalised itinerary with the contact details of the local manager in Romania should there be any problems. Your guide will be on hand throughout the trip as well, so you're in safe hands.
Our digital booklet, which you will receive before travel, contains all the information you need about optional activities. Simply drop us an email letting us know what you'd like to do during your trip, and we'll take care of the rest. Please note that the payment for the optional activities will be taken locally in cash.
Balea Lake and the Ice Hotel are not generally as cold as people might imagine but we do believe that it’s safer to prepare for very cold temperatures, as it is not uncommon for the temperatures outside the Ice Hotel to hit -20 degrees. We would recommend bringing some good waterproof shoes, a warm hat and some gloves to keep yourself warm. Some clients prefer to wear waterproof trousers or a ski suit to protect them from the snow and ice; however aside from technical wear, layering your clothes is just as effective.
Alongside standard luggage, we recommend clients bring a smaller bag and transfer essential items into it for the overnight stay at the Ice Hotel, as it can be awkward lugging bulky suitcases around on the mountain. The big suitcases will remain locked in the car overnight, so ensure you take any valuables with you up the mountain.
The temperature inside the Ice Hotel isn’t actually as cold as you might think. It usually wavers between -2 and +2 degrees although the temperature outside can sink well below freezing. The Balea Lake Chalet is super warm and toasty though so you can always make your way over there to defrost between courses or before bed.
Before you tuck in for the night, your guide will give you pointers and tips on how to keep warm. Most of our guests feel quite toasty in the sleeping bag they receive before going to bed. However, there is always the option to book an additional room in the warm chalet in case you fear you won't make it through the night.
While there are no toilet facilities inside the Ice Hotel, the guests can use those in the cable car building just behind the Ice Hotel. We do recommend using them before going to sleep to avoid having to get out of your cosy sleeping bag overnight. In the morning, showers will also be available in the chalet.