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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

Last updated on: December 30, 2011 11:58 IST

Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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The Fagaras Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for the amazing Lake Balea Ice Hotel. Its remote location can be reached only by cable car in the winter making it an exclusive 10-14 room hotel.

Set amidst beautiful scenery, the Ice Hotel is rebuilt every year - so no two years are the same.

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Image: A woman arranges the bed in a room at the Balea Lac Ice Hotel in Romania.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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In 2006, the first ice hotel in Eastern Europe was built in Romania, deep in the Fagaras Mountains, at an altitude of 2034 metres. Due to its altitude and remote location the Ice Hotel is only accessible via cable car in the winter.

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Image: A tourist poses for a photo near an ice sculpture outside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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This picturesque setting is next to Balea Lake, where each year local craftsmen wait for the lake to freeze, before using the ice to build the small 14 room Ice Hotel and its adjacent Ice Church.

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Image: A general view of the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Local artists imitate sculptures by Romanian modernist sculptor, Constantin Brancusi. Typically the hotel is completed in December and is open until it melts in late April or early May.

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Image: Workers cut ice bricks for the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Bedding, furs, specialist sleeping bags are all provided, with bathroom facilities nearby. There are also two chalets within walking distance, which also provide accommodation.

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Image: A child touches the outside wall of the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Activities such as skiing, sledging or perhaps a ride on a snow bike are on offer. For those who are more organised and adventurous you can even arrange heliskiing.

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Image: A worker carries an ice brick for the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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The Balea Lake Ice Hotel is Romanian owned, but has a relationship with a travel company Untravelled Paths Limited, based in the United Kingdom.

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Image: Tourists walk in the snow outside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Every winter since 2005 the Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras Mountains is rebuilt from natural materials.

Local craftsmen painstakingly carve huge blocks of ice that have been cut and removed directly from the Balea Lac to construct the walls and are used to raise the walls and snow from the mountain blocks is packed in to keep the walls together, says the Daily Mail newspaper.

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Image: A tourist licks the outside wall of the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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In 2010 the builders constructed an Ice Bar and the Ice Restaurant at the hotel, which typically has between 10 and 14 rooms, which is situated at an altitude of 2,034 metres, says the Daily Mail.

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Image: A worker cuts ice inside a room at the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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But this is not a place for those who feel the cold, as the temperature inside is about -4C - although the hotel offers warm and fleecy blankets for the beds, says the paper.

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Image: Tourists walk in the snow outside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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The Romanian hotel - the first of its kind in Eastern Europe - offers visitors a North Pole experience where they even sip their drinks from glasses made of ice - so there is no need for ice cubes to keep the drinks cool, says the Daily Mail.

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Image: Tourists sit at a table serving warm drinks inside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Yet while it offers pillars, tables and chairs made of ice, those wanting to use the toilet will have to leave the hotel to visit ones nearby as the hotel cannot have them inside the structure, says the paper.

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Image: A bartender arranges ice glasses inside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: , Romania

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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And it's not just blocks of the frozen stuff - local artists add beauty by carving sculptures in the style of Romanian modernist sculptor, Constantin Brancusi, in the hotel.

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Image: A worker makes an ice sculpture inside a room at the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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It even offers a hand-carved ice church nearby. But arriving at the hotel is not as simple as getting a taxi from the airport to the reception - visitors have to catch a cable car in winter as the road leading to it is inaccessible by road during the winter.

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Image: Tourists visit a room inside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Typically temperatures range from -4 to +2 degrees, the ice beds are covered with reindeer fur, with mattresses placed on top for comfort.

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Image: A view of a room.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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This all makes for a surprisingly cosy night's sleep, especially if you indulge in a nightcap at the sub-zero Ice bar where inevitably the glasses are made of ice.

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Image: Tourists have dinner inside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters
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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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There is a special Ice Hotel set menu in the evening, which needs to be booked in advance or you can defrost with a meal at the Lake Balea Chalet.

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Image: Tourists visit the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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There are plenty of activities on offer from sledging to riding on a snow mobile, and the splendid Ice Church is a short walk away for anyone in the mood for an icy prayer.

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Image: A hand print is seen on the outside wall of the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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The breath-taking views and silent nights with bright stars overhead make a visit to the Ice Hotel a truly memorable stay.

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Image: There are plenty of activities available at the hotel.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: , Romania

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Each year in December, tonnes of pristine ice are harvested from Balea Lake by local workers to create a shimmering organic structure that subtly shifts in design with each re-incarnation before gradually melting away in April.

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Image: A visit to the hotel is a memorable experience.
Photographs: Reuters

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Amazing photos of Ice Hotel in Romania

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Guests can enjoy warming, colourful vodka cocktails in ice cube glasses before sitting down to experience a four-course gourmet dinner served on specially carved ice plates.

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Image: Guests can enjoy a four-course gourmet dinner.
Photographs: Reuters
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Balea Lake (a glacier lake) is situated in Fagaras mountains (Sibiu county), the highest in Romania, at 2034 metres altitude.


Image: Tourists prepare to sleep inside their room.
Photographs: Reuters

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