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 © Renaud Philippe
© Renaud Philippe

Chill Out With a Look Inside North America's Only Ice Hotel

 © Renaud Philippe
© Renaud Philippe

If the idea of spending the winter months all cozied up indoors seems a bit boring to you, consider the Hotel de Glace in Quebec—the only ice hotel in North America.

The hotel was first built in 2001 and has been reconstructed every winter since then. The lodgings last only a few months a year when the weather turns cold enough. This winter, the hotel will accept guests from January 4 to March 28.

Construction on the Hotel de Glace begins in December, and takes about 50 people roughly six weeks to complete. The primary building material—snow—is man-made and churned to be particularly dense and humid (snowman and snowball enthusiasts know that this makes for the best packing snow).

It takes a whopping 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow to complete the structure, which contains 44 rooms and themed suites, a restaurant, hot tubs, a sauna, an ice bar, and an ice shelf.

The unique experience doesn’t come cheap, with rooms starting at $199 per person. It’s also not exactly the lap of luxury: The rooms are kept at around 25 degrees Fahrenheit, so you have to bundle up and seal your sleeping bag tight if you expect to get any quality slumber. (For those who might be wondering, the bathrooms are heated.) For a less intimate experience, guided tours are available, or you can just gaze at the stunning photos below.

© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel deGlace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel deGlace


© Clermont Poliquin, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Xdachez.com, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Luc Rousseau, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Xdachez.com, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Renaud Philippe, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Xdachez.com, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Xdachez.com, courtesy of Hotel de Glace


© Luc Rousseau, courtesy of Hotel de Glace

[h/t The Real Deal]

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Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images
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Long-Closed Part of Westminster Abbey to Open to the Public for the First Time in 700 Years
The triforium in 2009
The triforium in 2009
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

On June 11, 2018, visitors to London's Westminster Abbey will get a look at a section of the historic church that has been off-limits for 700 years. That’s when the triforium, located high above the abbey floor, will open to the general public for the first time as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

The 13th-century space, located 70 feet above the nave floor, had previously been used for abbey storage. (One architecture critic who visited before the renovation described it as a “glorified attic.”) After a $32.5 million renovation, it will now become a museum with killer views.

The view from the triforium looking down onto the rest of Westminster Abbey
The view from the triforium looking down toward the ground floor of the abbey
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

To access the area, which looks out over the nave and altar, architects built a new tower, the abbey’s first major addition since 1745. The 80-foot-tall, window-lined structure will provide brand-new vantage points to look out on surrounding areas of Westminster. Inside the triforium, the windows of the galleries look out onto the Houses of Parliament and St. Margaret’s church, and visitors will be able to walk around the upper mezzanine and look down onto the ground floor of the abbey below.

The museum itself will show off objects from Westminster Abbey’s history, such as a 17th-century coronation chair for Mary II and an altarpiece from Henry III’s reign, when the triforium was first constructed. Oh, and it will also display Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage license, for those interested in more modern royal history.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen
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A Look at One of Norway's Most Beautiful Public Bathrooms
Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen
Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen

In Norway, beautiful architecture isn’t limited to new museums and opera houses. The country also has some incredible bathrooms, thanks to a program called the National Tourist Routes, which commissions architects to design imaginative, beautiful rest stops and lookout points to encourage travel in some of the country’s more remote areas.

One of the latest projects to be unveiled, as Dezeen alerted us, is a high-design commode in the northern Norwegian municipality of Gildeskål. The newly renovated site located along the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten, called Ureddplassen, was recently opened to the public.

Bench seating outside the restroom, with mountains in the background
Lars Grimsby / State Road Administration

A view up the stairs of the amphitheater toward steep mountains
Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen

Designed by the Oslo-based designers Haugen/Zohar Architects and the landscape architects Landskapsfabrikken AS, the site includes an amphitheater, a viewing platform, and of course, a beautiful restroom. The area is a popular place to view the Northern Lights in the fall and winter and the midnight sun in the summer, so it sees a fair amount of traffic.

The site has been home to a monument honoring victims of the 1943 sinking of a World War II submarine called the Uredd since 1987, and the designers added a new marble base to the monument as part of this project.

A view of the monument to the soldiers lost in the sinking of the Uredd
Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen

Now, travelers and locals alike can stop off the highway for a quick pee in the restroom, with its rolling concrete and glass design, then plop down on the steps of the amphitheater to gaze at the view across the Norwegian Sea. It’s one rest stop you’ll actually want to rest at.

[h/t Dezeen]

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