North America is joining the ice bar trend. Begun by the Absolut vodka company, the first ice bar opened in Sweden’s Ice Hotel in 1994. The rooms, constructed of all ice, are kept at a constant 23-27 degrees Fahrenheit, the perfect temperature for serving vodka. Even the glasses are made of ice. Since then, ice bars have sprung up all over the world, in London, Hong Kong, St. Petersburg, and even Dubai. There are now three ice bars in North America.
IceBar in Orlando
The first ice bar in North America opened in Orlando in 2008. Now, it’s the largest permanent ice bar in the world. Guests enter the “cool” spot, carved out of 50 tons of ice, for 45 minute stays. Each person gets a thermal cape and gloves. Inside, the seats are made of ice as are the glasses. Decorative ice carvings adorn the walls and tables. IceBar Orlando, located near the Orlando Convention Center, is open daily from 7:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. You must be 21 to enter.
8967 International Drive in Orlando
Minus 5 Ice Bar in Las Vegas
Even the desert has an ice bar. Minus 5 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas also opened in 2008. Like IceBar in Orlando, all of bar’s walls, furniture, art, and glasses are made of ice. Guests are outfitted in Eskimo gear–parkas, gloves, and boots–before entering. Minus 5 is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Guests must be 21 years of age. (Minus 5 on the Celsius scale is equal to 23 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Minus 5 Ice Bar
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
3930 Las Vegas Blvd South in Las Vegas
Ice Bar at the Hotel du Glace in Quebec
Canada’s contribution to the North American ice bar collection is fittingly located in Quebec City, home to the annual Winter Carnival. This ice bar, inside Quebec’s Ice Hotel (Hotel du Glace, in French), is located about 10 minutes from the center of Quebec City. Unlike the previous two establishments, this ice bar (and the hotel) are rebuilt each winter season. Open from early January to late March, Quebec’s Ice Bar is open to the public as well as hotel patrons.
Hotel du Glace
9530, rue de la Faune in Quebec
Other Travel Articles by Sandy Mitchell
Paris off of the Tourist Track
One-Day Getaways from Phoenix
Winter Festivals in and around Columbus, Ohio