HOTEL DE GLACE, QUEBEC, CANADA

Every year around this time, the Explorateur gets a bit weepy, sort of like the way one feels at the end of the old Frosty the Snowman cartoon with Burl Ives, when "that time comes". For, it won't be long now before one of our favorite haunts disappears, never to be recreated the same way again. If you've never been to the Hotel de Glace, you're in for a real treat. It's a hotel constructed entirely of phenomenally crafted, sculptured sheets of ice. Impossible you say? Well, we thought so too at first but such a place really does exist. Each room within this magical wonderland of a complex are full of expressive innovation- with touches like Hockey-themed suites this year, a spectacular purple-lighting-infused Gothic style bar, the famous Ice Bar where you can "cool off" with your favorite libation, and even a Gaudi-inspired suite with creative carvings in the artist's quirky style etched into the icy walls. Perhaps the greatest creation this year is the fabulous toboggan-like Grand Slide, running twists and curves throughout the property and delivering child-like euphoria to one and all. The last day of the season is 29 Mar...so if you want to catch it you'll have to hurry. But fear not! If you miss it, don't worry- an entirely new , even more innovative reincarnation will appear in January 2010. Just like a snowflake, no two versions of this unique property are ever exactly alike...but that's the fun of it!

Obvious tip: Bring MANY layers of clothing...although the temps inside are warmer than one might expect, it's still pretty chilly!
theExplorateur offers travel guide contain luxury travel service in Canada also find exclusive hotel recommendations

Comment