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“great sight/broken rib”

Snow Village Montreal
Ranked #169 of 393 things to do in Montreal
Attraction details
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“great sight/broken rib”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

We first learned about ice hotels from a gorgeous Nat Geo documentary; then we learned of Rami Kurtakko and team's work in Montreal. We were vary excited to see Snow Village (tho we chose for financial reasons not to spend the night). We arrived on a Friday at dusk with gentle snowfall. After paying the $12 admission, we learned that there was to be a tour; after listening that it was in French (understandably), we didn't want to bog the group down by having to translate for the just us two, so we opted out.

The Snow Village engineering did not disappoint; the long corridors of sci-fi arches are a delight. The NYC-themed snow-and-ice-sculpted rooms range from nuanced (clever use of LED lighting; "minus degree" room numbers) and thrilling (King Kong; The Village Vangaurd) to several perfunctorily Snow Village™ logo branded rooms, but overall terrific.

However, this visitor had a few observations about what i perceived as several marketing/management missteps – one serious. Approaching the complex, you see the village structures surrounded by glaring white flood lights, giving the "village" an industrial/construction site feel. An outdoor projection screen surrounded by loud techno-thumping speakers, suggested a dance area completely abandoned throughout our visit. So our first impression was to wonder if the Snow Village was a FAIL and we had fallen into a tourist trap.

It isn't, but someone was not paying attention to visitor experience.

Then there is the ice slide… with a poorly maintained deep RUT at the end of the slide. And there i picked up my Snow Village souvenir, a painful, fractured rib.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank jleonyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
79 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Nice Experience”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

If you want to see something different and unique visit the Snow Village, Ice Hotel. The Igloo bedrooms fun to visit. The bedrooms were awsome with different themes. The carvings on the walls and ice sculptures were also amazing too see.

The restaurant was really cool, unfortunatly it was closed during the day..The Ice Bar was also neat to see, was a bit disappointed as they did not have any ice glasses, in which we did not order a drink.
There was also dog sledding on sight but needed reservations. Some great maple toffee and maple donughts as well.

It was a great experience and do reccomend it..

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank anxioustobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
58 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fun Day Trip”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

The snow village was so much fun. It was definitely a spectacle and wonderful to see all of the detail that was carved into the snow and ice. I spent many hours peeking into all of the rooms and suites and loved having the warm up room to go into when my feet got cold. I definitely didn't dress for the cold, I went to check it out thinking that it would be much smaller and have a lot less excitement. Next time I visit, I would be sure to wear good winter boots! I capped off my afternoon/evening of visiting the snow village with a couple of drinks at the ice bar. It was so fun inside and you were able to see into the restaurant. I would love to dine at the restaurant next time because the smells from the restaurant were tantalizing.There was a big snow/ice slide as well as dog sleds that were fun for families. I went to the bathroom trailers and was pleasantly surprised at how clean they were and BONUS! they were heated to at least 80 degrees (even warmer than the warm up tent). I loved my day trip to the snow village and would love to stay overnight sometime.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Kara N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
37 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Unique experience but not all it was billed”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I agree with most of the comments below. We too got the gourmet package and whilst the atmosphere and experience is unique there are a number of things that could be done better.

It is not well signposted and our taxi driver had to go around in circles for ages.
The hotel reception and showers were a long way from main hotel complex.
The 'warm' room is not actually warm, rather just 'less cold'.
No ice glasses for the cocktails.
Food OK but definitely nothing special, although credit to the staff it was hot. Restaurant could have done with having some blankets to provide to diners as my husband found it too cold to sit and had to keep going to warm-up.
Snowshoeing - no guide, just sent out with the words 'go wherever you want'....not very exciting!
The spa is just a collection of 4 tubs which you book for 30mins - we lucked out and got one to ourselves, but most had to share with strangers.
Our briefing session was a joke and again mostly in French (we speak a little, but there were others who were totally confused!).
Did feel like it was a cool discoteque at times - the staff were young and seemed to enjoy hanging out at the bar after work. I'm not that old, but I felt out of it.
Showers are in the swimming complex.
Overall I'm not sure it is worth the money, but we won't get to go again so....

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Hong Kong Rats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Hyped, scam, I really wanted to like it...”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I'll keep this simple and brief: I got the Gourmet Package for 2 for an overnight stay. (3 course meal, 2 bar drinks, snow shoeing, and a room are included in this package)

Upon arriving, there were no signs of where to go. We finally parked out front of this main building and inside it was empty. The front desk guy checked us in and we got passes. Then they just sent us on our way to do whatever. I thought it was going to be more structured.

First off, DON'T get the Gourmet Package. Get the cheapest package you can get.
The included "snow shoeing" is just them handing you a pair of snow shoes to walk anywhere you want. There is not a guided tour of any sort and I thought it was a huge rip off.
The 3 course meal was not worth the money. I only ate it because I paid for it. The service was good and they treated us nicely at the restaurant during our meal BUT...they were rude at the end for asking me to tip them more. That was a BIG NO NO.

Also, the 2 included drinks voucher you get with your plan is a huge rip off. We tried to redeem the drinks at the Ice Bar and was told it will only get us vodka and Sprite. We watched the bartender pour a drizzle of vodka into our plastic cups (because they ran out of ice cups, rip off again) and then pour very FLAT Sprite soda on top to fill the small cup. It tasted gross so we just left it.

Walking around the hotel, you notice instantly there aren't many staff around. They are definitely under staffed so if you get lost or don't know what to do, you are so out of luck. The hotel itself looks cool, especially at night though.

Oh and the "spa" access is just 4 hot tubs that you will end up sharing with other people. It is ridiculous you have 30 minutes only and you end up sharing. The sleeping bags were ok and I thought the info session was useless. They did not even have enough chairs for everyone to sit at the info session. The girl giving the presentation spoke French the whole time.

Overall, I was disappointed. We only did it because it was cool and the idea of staying in an ice hotel/igloo was nice. The whole hotel is so fragmented. You have to walk 5-8 minutes in snow from front desk reception to get to the Snow Village. And you leave your luggage at the front desk area so everytime you need something, you run back and forth. Bathrooms were gross as well. They were in a trailer park in the back.

The wow factor of the ice sculpted walls wears off fast.

MY ADVICE? If you want to do Snow Village to get the snow hotel experience...
1. Get the cheapest package
2. Don't pay for any of the extra add-on packages
3. Eat/drink off the hotel grounds in the city
4. Bundle up!

Otherwise, I recommend you try the Quebec City ice hotel. It is more legitimate and a lot more worth your money.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank 747ChrisB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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