We stumbled across this hotel when looking at Ice Hotels. What made this appealing to us was that it was cheaper than the Sweden Ice Hotel, less 'touristy' and 'only accessible by cable car. We booked our stay with Secret Transylvania which I will do a seperate review on. Our cable car ride up was very scenic and we did not have to wait for this to depart although the wait back down was a bit more of a wait. It tested my nerves as I hate heights, but it was lovely to see the highway covered in snow below us.
Other guests had said that the Ice Hotel was in the midst of a snow storm and not even visible due to a blizzard, however we landed lucky and it was blue skies all the way up to the hotel. So although the hotel was surrounded by some 12ft of snow we had a great time sledging and exploring the church/igloo and hotel with some mulled wine (which subsequently 'stuck' to the ice table) and walking across a frozen Balea Lake! Jez (from Secret Transylvania) walked us through the tunnel which forms part of the highway in the summer to the most amazing views the other end and icicles in the tunnel.
We ate in the main chalet not the Ice Hotel. The food here was really, really nice. Chicken schinzel and chips, large meals and good value, with the drinks cheap too. As I recall, two mains, two starters, three beers and a tip was less than £20!
We opted to stay in the hotel as there was me, my partner and only one other guest who formed part of our group from Secret Transylvania. The other guests not part of our group stayed in the Igloos which were good, but we wanted to be in the hotel as it was almost like we had the hotel to ourselves and a choice of lots of rooms (we kept moving into the different rooms)! One disappointment was that the bar itself in the hotel was not open, probably as they didn't have enough guests so there was no music/disco and we had to keep walking from the chalet to the Ice Hotel with our drinks which was alot of fun in snow up to our knees!
Do not worry about the toilets/showers. If you book with Secret Transylvania or Untravelled Paths (the other company), then I think you will have access to a room in the chalet as we did. This meant we could use the toilet/shower in the main chalet. In he middle of the night I woke up and needed the loo. Boots back on, trousers, coat and gloves, and a five minute walk to the cable car station where it was nice and warm for the loo, albeit in the middle of a blizzard. Really nice to see the stars and ice hotel lit up, very peaceful. Unfortunately the sheer amount of snow meant we couldn't do ice skating or other activies aside from sledging. The ice church is also amazing and the 'last supper' sculpture as are the other themed sculptures.
If you are looking at ice hotels, please consider this one. It is, in my opinion, better than going somewhere like Sweden or Lapland where I understand a night in the Ice Hotel is over £200 per night and is too touristy! You can also explore other parts of Romania/Transylvania, you will not be disappointed. Go before it becomes expensive and anyone else finds out about it!
- 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
- Also Known As:
- Ice Hotel Romania Fagaras