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“Untravelled Paths- Ice Hotel and others”
Review of Ice Hotel Romania

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Ice Hotel Romania
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fagaras
Certificate of Excellence
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Untravelled Paths- Ice Hotel and others”
Reviewed May 15, 2014

I went with a friend in January to Romania with Untravelled Paths. We had our personal guide Marius who was extremely knowledgable, helpful, and went out of his way to make our experience enjoyable, including taking us to meet his in-laws who had cooked us a traditional meal. The itinerary was very well organised and flexible.

The old cities of Sibiu and Sighisoara are breathtaking medieval towns with intact walls and stunning architecture. Well worth a visit, especially in the snow.

The ice hotel itself was located in a mountainous scenic area, and there were various activities including tubing, snowmobiliing and renting skis on offer. It was very cold at night, even with all of the layers provided, so pack warmly.

Overall a very enjoyable and different holiday, and excellent value for money.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Fay T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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hamilton uk
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2014

Have just returned from our visit to Transylvania. We stayed in the annexe building of the Guest House, and had our meals at the main house. We are a family of 4, with a 12 year old and a 19 year old. The annexe was lovely and ideal for our family with 2 double ensuite rooms and a single day bed in another room, kitchen facilities were good, however had no need of them as Di fed us SO well in the main house, her cooking really is legendary. I cannot praise Jez enough, he went out of his way throughout the 4 days that we stayed with them, from picking us up at Cluj airport (a 3-4 hour transfer), to escorting us around the various activities and even staying beside the ice hotel on the night that we slept there so that we had the use of his room to change and store our gear. He was a fantastic host, and barman, and waiter, and driver and guide, he must be exhausted by the time his guests leave. Beware though, do not believe everything that he says, he is a master of the tall but very believable tale!! Praise also to Nulutsu who drove us through the night back to the airport to catch our early morning flight, even though he had driven 5 hours during the day taking us to Bran Castle.
If you are trying to decide if you want to go for this holiday then do what I did, read the reviews and believe them, you really couldn't do better than visit this couple.
Thanks also to Stuart, Jackie, Lauren and Jane, who were the other guests during our stay, you were lovely company.
We did decide that we needed to find a negative to make the review more easy to believe, so we found a fault eventually, the pepper grinder was broken (and made a hideous squeaking noise), however when we pointed it out Jez returned 5 minutes later with another one!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank HamiltonUkLynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2014

OK, so sleeping in sub zero temperatures and having to wear layers and layers of clothes to wander around may not seem like the ideal get away that you want to pay for, but this is a unique experience that really shouldn't be missed.

Each year, the hotel is rebuilt and designed on a different theme. It really is amazing what they can do with ice and snow. There are 12 rooms to choose from - all slightly different. You will be in your room only to sleep. Obviously, as everything is carved from ice, there are no en-suites or mod cons in the room!

Sleeping on a bed of ice might seem like a daft way to spend the night; but wooden slats, a mattress, animal skins and blankets provide enough separation between your sleeping bag (that you collect from reception before retiring for the night) and the frozen h20 to keep you comfortable.

You'll probably need to sleep in some of your clothes, but I only wore one layer and in fact woke up too hot in the middle of the night. It really isn't as cold sleeping in there as you might think.

We had a nice meal in the ice hotel itself, sitting on ice chairs and eating from tables of ice.
There is a bar in the hotel too. Although this did prove to be a bit of a mixed blessing as the noise from other guests enjoying themselves well into the small hours did prevent us getting to sleep straight away when we turned in for the night. I guess the noise is inevitable as all rooms are directly off the main room of the hotel (where the bar is), and there is just a curtain hung at your doorway.
However, with some of the other residents partying until 3:30 am, perhaps the hotel should consider a bar curfew, or next time build the bar in a separate building from the rooms? I know other guests also complained of a disturbed nights sleep - ironically from the noise of other residents rather than the cold!

About a minutes stroll across from the ice hotel is a permanent chalet hotel - there are toilets here (as there are at the even closer cable car station). And we had access to a room where we could leave our bags securely and take a shower the next morning.

One night in the ice hotel is probably enough to have a unique experience; there's not a huge amount to do in the area for more than a half day or so.

This is so much cheaper than similar ice hotels in Scandinavia, and I think the experience must be pretty similar. And that's the whole point - it's a unique experience to tick off your bucket list rather than a swish hotel to relax in.

Definitely worth doing. Great fun and something completely different!

Room Tip: Go to the toilet last thing before zipping into your sleeping bag - you really don't want to be...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jono_T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

Absolutely brilliant!
Stayed here as part of a week with Secret Transylvania, everything was wonderful starting with the cable car ride, the stunning views, the sheer joy (or is that terror?) of being towed behind the skidoo in a rubber dinghy on the frozen lake, watching the braver souls who were ice climbing, walking through the tunnel through which went Top Gear's favourite road in the world.
Don't be worried about sleeping as you will be as snug as a bug in a rug in the ultra warm sleeping bags, mind you the contents of the bar probably helped the night' sleep as well!
I've always wanted to stay in an ice hotel and I'm so glad I managed to tick it off my to-do list. Do it, you'll love it but don't forget the camera!

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank AndyW59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Travelled to Romania with Wizz Air from Luton which was fab, upon arrival our guide Marius was the host with the most! Picked up from the airport and wizzed off to Bucharest for the night welcomed with a drink and a meeting to discuss the itinery. Untravelled Paths had organised everything in advance. The hotel in Bucharest (Z Hotel) and Brasov were of a great standard with very helpful staff and a good quality of service and food and location. We had a guided tour of both Bucharest and Brasov which were really worth while and great value for money as you would never do this on your own properly and learn as much from someone that lives there. Bucharest is really something, the city is so amazing we couldn't stop staring at the different types of buildings and architecture with some very sad stories behind them too the Z Hotel has a spectacular restaurant with panoramic views. Brasov is also amazing we stayed at Casa Wagner and although our room was in the attic! it was nice and clean and new, the location was superb as Brasov square is gorgeous! We toured the Peles Castle which is amazing and words just won't do it justice, set in the truly beautiful and picturesque Sinaia. Rasnov Fortress was also amazing, the views were spectacular and the people were very friendly that worked there. Bran castle, as legend has it - Dracula's Castle! was probably the least impressive due to all the hype, but very much still worth a visit. Again without our guide Marius giving his running commentary on the history we wouldn't have learnt half of the history/legends behind things. Romania is a truly beautiful country with some very harsh history. I have to say the Ice Hotel was the best experience I have ever had!! We snow mobiled! Tunnel Trekked! (Which was rather scary as the snow was so deep) Marius looked after us like we were family the whole time, he is an absolute credit to Untravelled Paths. We slid down the mountain in a rubber ring - really fast!! Inside the Hotel is like a grotto it is truly magical and I fell in love with the place. The meal at the hotel is an experience in itself, and apart from some American guests who decided to eat at short notice, meaning we had to wait till quite late for our meal everything went really well. You don't get a choice of menu but when you consider there is only a cable car up to this place you can understand why. We slept in the Ice Hotel which was rather an experience but not due to the cold, more because when you wake up it's like waking up in a fridge! White eye! We were warm and cosy in our mummyfied sleeping bags sheep skins and fleeces. We woke up got our coats on and went for a coffee in the Cabana which is lovely and warm. The cable car up and down is also an experience in itself! We then went to the Brukenthal Palace for brunch,which was first class with outstanding food and service. Last stop was Sibiu which again was a beautiful city and well worth a visit. Even though it sounds a very busy holiday, and it certainly was, we had time to walk around on our own and explore. All in all a wonderful experience and very well organised thank you Untravelled Paths x

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Deborah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2014

The Ice Hotel was a truly amazing experience and one that I have no regrets doing.

I admit a little apprehension about the experience as we arrived at the location. It was absolutely stunning and we were shown to the chalet where we had a room to put all of our belongings to keep them out of the cold. The chalet felt delightfully warm and after an afternoon out snow mobiling and playing in the snow I was no longer certain I was up to staying at the hotel.

I'm glad I didn't wimp out because it was honestly worth the experience, and was unbelievably unique. What I loved about it most was that it was a quiet place that was not over run with tourists but still had a lot of class and true beauty present. The location simply could not be beat.

It was not as cold in the room as I had anticipated. I took the advise of the professionals with the Ice Hotel and brought thermals to wear to bed in the provided thermal sleeping bag. The only challenge I faced was my rebellious arms which didn't want to stay inside the sleeping bag.. which simply meant I woke up a few times in the night a little cold, but once I drew them back into the protection I was perfectly fine to go back to sleep and plenty warm.

Additionally I had dinner at the ice hotel, which was a really cool experience, where we had a selection of cold dishes served on ice platters in addition to warm dishes that really hit the spot when the chill began to bite.

The rooms were really well decorated with ice sculptures, and of course the ice bed. I really appreciate the levels of effort that clearly had gone into building the Ice Hotel.

Best advice I can give.. litearlly is to listen to the Ice Hotel advice. Bring the right clothes. Don't chicken out and don't double guess yourself, you will have a brilliant time.

Room Tip: I preferred the rooms towards the back, away from the entrance.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JNATravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed March 3, 2014

We have just come back from the above trip using Untravelled Paths.com and couldn't fault the service, driver, and guide throughout the trip. All hotels were lovely and were centered in the main areas of the towns, although there were some organised trips (Peles Palace not to be missed!) we had enought time to venture out and sample the cafes and restaurants suggested in the excellent booklet given to us at the beginning of the tour.

The ice hotel was an experience not to be missed - fortunately no one was waiting for the cable car and the operator worked speedily to send us on our way. The Ice Church was beautiful and although not all activities were available, it seemed no problem to get out any equipment that our guide requested. The Cafe was warm and we enjoyed the freshly cooked chips (not frozen) and the more than adequate sausages. I didn't notice any litter at all as mentioned in a previous listing.

We chose a walking tour in Sibiu towards the end of our tour: which is a lovely town: and had a lovely, enthusiastic historian who brought the past to life and at a very reasonable price.

My rating is based on the overall trip and not just the Ice Hotel.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Annette W
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

Property: 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
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 
Also Known As:
Ice Hotel Romania Fagaras

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