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“Amazing location!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ice Hotel Romania

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Ice Hotel Romania
Balea Lac | Fagaras mountains, Fagaras, Romania (Formerly Balea Lac Ice Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fagaras
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

My husband and I ,both in our late sixties, went to the ice hotel as part of the Untravelled Paths package to Romania. It was a family holiday for us with my sons family. We had a marvellous time. The tour guide Christina was outstanding in the way she looked after us. The Location of the ice hotel is amazing as is the hotel itself, staying there was quite definitely a unique experience.
The other two hotels in Romania were very good too and well located. The transport was comfortable and the driver pleasant and helpful .
I have a few suggestions: I would have liked the guide to have told us a bit about Romania and its people.
Also we stayed an extra day to see Bucharest but everything was closed on New Year's Eve ! It would have been nice to have known that.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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113 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

The Hotel of Ice has been the most amazing hotel experience we have ever had. Absolutely sensational and we did it independently and at less than half the cost of the 2 main companies that feature in the reviews to this hotel.

There are is some misinformation being put about which would force people into using their services. Do not be deterred as it it can be done with a little effort and huge savings.

Firstly when you book the ice hotel you are also allocated a room at the Lac balea Cabana where you can shower and store your belongings. You do not need to book a tour to get this amenity. Secondly a number of the staff do speak English so you do not need to have a Romanoan speaking guide.

We arrived in Sibiu and stayed for 2 nights. We booked a taxi through the Villa Levoslav which took us to the cable car which transports you to the Ice Hotel. The taxi cost 200 lei (£20 each)which we thought pretty reasonable for a 1 hour 45 minute journey in the height of the winter. The road up to the cable car is not surprisingly very steep with lots of twists and turns and not for the feint hearted particularly in heavy snow. We arrived at the cable car and was probably busier than normal as we arrived at the weekend. However we I'd not have to wait long(again no no need for the fast track service portrayed by the tour companies ) and a one way trip cost 25 lei. I am not a great fan of heights but the cable car windows were frosted over so could not really appreciate how high up we actually were. The ride took about 15/ 20 minutes to the top.

We arrived in a blizzard and headed straight to the ice hotel which is approximately 25/50 meters to the left as you come out of the cable car. However you cannot check in here and we were directed to the Lac Balea hotel which is approximately 100/150 meters away. Doesn't sound far expect when trying to drag luggage in a blizzard but that was part of the adventure. We checked in at the bar and were allocated room 3 in the main hotel. We dumped our belongings and headed to the Ice Hotel which is simply stunning. There are 12 rooms with different themes all containing beautiful carvings although there are no doors but only curtains and all the rooms bar one led off the main hall

One word of caution is that during the day the ice hotel is full of day tourists who are charged 10 lei to view the hotel. However the hotel closes to tourists and is for the sole use of guests from 8 pm. You can also get a drink at the ice bar and somewhat surprisingly the prices were the same as the towns we had stayed in.

We returned to the main hotel and packed a bag for our stay. However we happened to go down for a drink to discover it was the hotel staff party. We felt a bit like gate crashers but we were encouraged to have a drink and it turned in to an amazing night There appeared to be huge respect between the management and the staff and it turned into a traditional night of Romanian dancing and signing. We were encouraged to participate and we were taught ome steps and we tried to teach them some Highland dancing!

We had been told one couple had booked a room and we could choose any of the other rooms. We announced we were ready to leave at around 11.30pm and a member of staff escorted us to the hotel with our sleeping bags. After a bit of difficulty opening the main wooden door to the hotel we discovered we were the only ones in the hotel which was amazing. We got ourselves settled in the Forgotten land room which was the only one not leading onto the main hall. There was a mattress on the bed and we arranged an assortment of blankets, sheepskins and our sleeping bags to get warm and comfy. This was a surreal but amazing experience. We both slept soundly. The only word of caution is that there are no toilets in the hotel. We had been told we could use the toilets at the cable car. However when I awoke in the middle of the night there a ful blown blizzard blowing and we had to improvise. You may want to pack an appropriate shaped container just in case!

We packed at around 8.30 am only to discover that a blizzard had left slow around 1.6meters deep and there was no way we could leave the hotel. However after around a 40 minute wait we were dug out by a rescue party who were clearing a path between the hotel and the cable car.

We returned to the hotel looking like arctic explorers. We were warmly welcomed by the manageress who kindly offered us hot coffees. We chose to retire to our room in the main hotel to shower and get ready to leave. We enquirer about arranging for a taco to meet us at the cable car. However the manageress informed us one of her staff was driving to Fageras and that she would drive us there! What customer service absolutely amazing. We headed back down the cable car which ended our trip to the simply amazing, stunning, once in a life time hotel just do it you won't regret it.

One final point we wondered what had happened to the other couple who were meant to be staying. We discovered that the lady of the couple found it too cold! Wee tip if you don't like the cold don't book a trip to the ice hotel but if you aren't fussy do it.

Room Tip: Tour the hotel during the day and decide what theme suits you best
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We travelled here in January with our 5 year old son.

The Ice Hotel is run by the hotel next to it called Cabana Balea Lac and is situation a couple of meters from the cable car. There are a number of options to think about if you are interested in this hotel. You can come as a day visitor entry is about 15 lei per person which closes to the public at about 5pm or stay over night.

The Ice hotel has 10 double beds in little rooms off of the main hall. The quality of the ice carvings is not as good as you would find in the Icehotel in Sweden. Also the floor is very slippery (be warned if you have mobility or visual impairments). If you have travelled with a firm such as Secret Transylvania or Untravelled Paths you will get to put your bag in their tour reps bedroom if you are travelling independently I would suggest leaving most of your stuff in the boot of your car at the bottom of the cable car and just bringing up a small backpack. There are no showers unless you book a room at the Balea Lac Cabana itself in addition to your icehotel room (again unless you are with a tour and then you use your rep's hotel room's shower in the morning). The toilets overnight are the ones in the cable car building. You should be aware the icehotel closes between 5pm and 7.30 / 8.30ish pm and you either have to play outside or sit in the bar of the cabana. The weather is often very poor and there are frequent whiteouts up there. There is no internet acess so bring a book ! The temperature is colder than the Icehotel in Sweden as the quality of the sleeping bags and insulation is not as good so bring several layers to sleep in.
Bedtime seems to be by consensus and the lights go out around 10ish

Food is Ok and reasonably priced but not fantastic. The breakfasts are pretty poor and the coffee awful.

So in summary The main problem in this place is getting here. Get the Hotel to organise transfers for you if you are not going with a company. If you are travelling with young children I would suggest booking a room in the main hotel as well as the icehotel. That way you have somewhere to relax other than a smokey bar, storage, a shower and toilet of your own in the morning and a TV and comfy place if the weather is awful and you cant get outside to do the activities. Bring and wear plenty of layers.
Great fun mainly Romanian tourists up there rather than other nationalities but you will always find someone who will either speak English , French or German.

Room Tip: Bit of a free for all to choose the room you want to best to get there early
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

Secret Transylvania are a local company who managed to answer all our ‘very many’ questions and their flexibility around itineraries and local knowledge was outstanding. Our initial goal had been to spend a night in an Ice Hotel, which was a brilliant experience! Being Transylvania though, we also got to do ‘the Dracula thing’. Having a wonderful night out in the Old Saxon Capital of Sibiu, visiting Bran Castle and Sighisoara (creepy old citadel where Dracula was born). All these places were a lot less ‘touristy’ then we’d imagined and S.T also got us along to a truly local market in a shepherd’s village, where we were the ONLY tourists. We came for the unique Ice Hotel experience but have left also with memories of a beautiful region steeped in a rich and diverse history. A place we will definitely visit again. Thank you the staff at the Ice Hotel and all the crew from Secret Transylvania!

Room Tip: Fly into Tigures Mures, Bucherest is an eight hour transfer!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue Hill, New South Wales, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2012

I went to the Ice Hotel as part of an Untravelled Paths package. Just when I thought my holiday couldn't get any better, we got out of the gondola. Blue sky, the mountain sparkled. Amazing.
Such an incredible set up but most of all, so much fun. The staff were lovely- very welcoming, encouraged us to explore the themed rooms and see all the sculptures.
Dinner was fantastic, a must for anyone heading up. And then we had a wonderful evening in the chalet before retiring to our room in the hotel. Slept really well, warm and cosy in our sleeping bags and animal skins.
Woke up to fresh snow the next day- an awesome end to a great experience. Will be back for sure.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

We went on the ice hotel Romania trip with Untravelled Paths for our honeymoon at the beginning of april, Was probably one of the best holidays i have ever had!!
We were driven around by a really nice guy called dravos who firstly took us to Brasov, we stayed in a really nice hotel there, then the next day he picked us up again and we drove to bran castle ( draculas castle) in transylania. Then on to the Ice Hotel WOW!! is all i can say! what an amazing experience, amongst gorgeous snowy mountains, beautiful ice scuptures, chandeliers, stunning!! next morning we were taken to a lovely town called sibiu, then we went to the town of bucharest for our last night. All the hotels we stayed in were gorgeous, and the whole experience was a dream, me and my husband had a wonderful time, and would definatly recommend it. All organised by UNTRAVELLED PATHS and really good value for money!.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oxford
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

A crowd of us had a great overnighter at the Ice Hotel in March.
No snow at the bottom of the Cable Car, so we were a bit dissapointed at first, but when you get to the top, the views were stupendous, and there was plenty of snowup there!
After spending a while watching the crazy off-piste skiers from the safety of the terrace bar we toured the site, amazed at the ice church and ice disco.
In the evening we had a great meal in the restaurant, then moved outside for the bonfire and probably too many glasses of gluewein.
Come midnight we were ready for the ice disco, then kipping down in the Hotel of Ice - much cosier than it sounds!
Many thanks to our brilliant Hosts/Guides from Secret Transilvania for a unique experience

Room Tip: Sleep in the Ice Hotel not the cozy and warm hotel - its an experience!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ice Hotel Romania

Address: Balea Lac | Fagaras mountains, Fagaras, Romania (Formerly Balea Lac Ice Hotel)
Location: Romania > Transylvania > Central Romania > Brasov County > Fagaras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fagaras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Faragas Mountains provide a perfect backdrop for the Balea Lac Ice Hotel. Its remote location, at over 2000m is reached only by cable car making it an exclusive 10 room hotel. Set amidst breathtaking scenery, the Ice Hotel is rebuilt every year and the views and silent nights make a visit to the Ice Hotel a must. The stunning Ice Church is a short walk away. Activities: Sledging, snow mobile, skiing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ice Hotel Romania Fagaras

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