You are climbing to your room in snow shoes and seeing the stars through a hole in your igloo! No, you are not in Alaska or on expedition in Antarctica, you are at the Iglu Hotel and ice bar in Andorra. Located in the Pyrenees, between France and Spain, Andorra is just two hours by car from Barcelona or Perpignan. Recently, Europeans have come to Andorra for the snow (skiing) and shopping. It is home to Granvalira, one of Europe’s largest ski resorts. But the highlight of the area has to be the snow
palace that is the Iglu Hotel and Bar, and this year the white winter wonderland has announced they are going green!
The igloos at Iglu Hotel and Bar are 2300 meters above sea level with fantastic views of the Pyrenees mountain range. Here, guests can enjoy untouched nature, clear nights with gleaming stars while snuggling up in a high tech sleeping bag. Your cold comfort on ice room offers no running water but they do have a hot bath. Fur blanketed beds are equipped with sleeping bags that are used by National Geographic explorers in the coldest of temperatures. Each room is decorated individually with ice sculptures. Inuit artists are invited from Canada to craft sculptures inside each village. With minimal tools such as an ice pick or shovel, these artists produce sculptures of seals, arctic wolves, polar bears and whales as well as swirling designs and patterns illuminated by candle light.
There are two igloo ice bars with hot toddies to quench your après-ski thirst. Husky sled-dog sleigh rides and snowmobile rides are an additional attraction. Some other snowbound activities include mushing, tubbing, buggies, igloo building, snow rafting, panoramic helicopter flights and many more exciting sports that most of us have never heard of!
The hotel announced this year that they want the nature experience of guests staying at the Iglu Hotel to be greener. More specifically, the goal of founder and CEO Adrian Günter is to make the Igloo hotels completely carbon neutral. And energy provider, BKW Energy, will help the igloo villages meet this ambitious goal. Since it takes more than just energy efficiency measures to become carbon neutral, Iglu Hotel plans to reduce CO2 emissions by using green electricity and obtaining certificates from MyClimate, a climate protection organization. The company has not yet decided which projects it will support through these initiatives, but they are considering becoming involved in the area of hydroelectric power. This would make sense since the hotel structures start out as water and then become water again each spring.
The hotel is open from 25 December to April and there are only 26 rooms. Booking far in advance is a must and yes there may be a waiting list. This resort is perfect for taking the kids on a ski holiday in Europe that they will never forget.
Written by Carla Scott for EuropeUpClose.com