The Ice Hotel – Romania’s Best Winter Destination

The Ice Hotel at Balea Lac, a unique tourist attraction in Romania

In the county of Sibiu, somewhere in the Mountains, at over 2000 meters altitude, there is a beautiful glacier lake called Balea. This sight attracts tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

In the summer, visitors come to Balea Lac when crossing the picturesque Transfagarasan road. Or when they are trying to conquer Moldoveanu, the highest mountain peak in Romania.  In winter, after the temperatures fall below zero degrees Celsius, they reach Balea Lac in particular to visit the famous Ice Hotel. This is the only hotel made 100% of ice blocks in Eastern Europe!

The Ice Hotel in Romania

About the Ice Hotel

The daring project was born in 2005. Then the hotel owners decided that every year should come with a new design and different decorations. Practically, the hotel appears every December and closes at every end of March. It is built using only ice and snow, both as building materials and for furnishing and decorating.

The raw material for building this amazing palace is provided from Lake Balea, located at an altitude of 2034 meters. The constructors cut out ice blocks from the frozen lake and start building the hotel. They stick the blocks together with snow. The hotel is located close to Transfagarasan, one of the most beautiful roads in the world!

the Balea lake

How to get to the Ice Hotel

In the winter the access road to Balea Lake is closed. However you can still reach a lower point by car: the Balea Cascada Hotel. This is where the cable cart station is. The cable cart connects Balea Cascada to Balea Lake and it is by far the most convenient and recommended way to get to the Ice Hotel.  The cost of an ascending-descending ticket for the cable car is 30 RON for adults, and for children 15 RON. It runs daily between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Balea Cascada Hotel
the Cable Cart

Those who have a lot of energy and feel in shape can get to the Ice Hotel by trekking from the Balea-Cascada area to Lake Balea. However, this method is recommended only to people who are experienced in mountain hiking during the winter, especially climbers and mountaineers. Please note that the distance and the level difference are quite high.

walking on the frozen lake

What is there to see at the Ice Hotel

First of all, you need to know that in winter the hotel operates both as a tourist destination and as a place to stay. However, because it has a very small number of rooms, the reservations must be made in advance. You can find more information here. If you do not get a room in the Ice Hotel, you can opt for accommodation at Chalet Balea – Lac or Chalet Paltinul.

The hotel is basically a set of ice buildings, including the hotel’s main building, with 12 accommodation rooms. The complex also includes the bar and the restaurant, other igloo-style accommodation and an ice church.

Even if the rooms and furniture are made of ice, you do not have to worry about freezing to death. Accommodation conditions are optimal for visitors’ rest. Beds, even though they are made of ice, have mattresses and sleeping bags that will provide a restful and careless sleep. In each room there is a table with chairs (also of ice, of course) besides a double bed.

the Ice Hotel
the Rooms

Restaurant and bar

For the visitors to have a complete experience, the administrators of this fascinating place thought of a unique way to serve them a meal. In the restaurant and at the bar food is brought on ice plates and drinks in ice glasses.

the Ice Restaurant
Restaurant inside the Ice Hotel

The Ice Church

To complement this amazing ice complex, there is an Ice church next to the hotel. This was built according to the Malancrav Church model, which is an emblematic walled church in southern Transylvania.  The church features an impressive altar, embellished with ice sculptures in alto-relief.

the Ice Church
the Last Supper – ice sculpture
the Ice Altar

Each year a different Theme

From the very beginning the Ice Hotel was built around a main theme every year. After analyzing several ideas, it was decided that the theme of this year’s Ice Hotel to be “Frozen Love”. So this season promoted love and passion for nature, fresh air, mountain hiking and the Fagaras Mountains during the cold season.

The main rooms have the names of places and points of interest in the Fagaras Mountains area. So visitors of this season will have an idea of the sights they can reach from the hotel:  the Suru Peak, Avrig Lake, Negoiu Peak, Valea Doamnei, Podragu Chalet , and more. The theme continues in the igloo complex, where the rooms are named “Arpăşel Reservation”, “Moldoveanu Peak” and “Poiana Neamţului”.

Hotel Rooms

Year 2018 was the year when Great Romania celebrated the Centenary. So the organizers of the Ice Hotel Project in Bâlea Lac thought to mark this important national event. As a result, it was decided that for the first time the restaurant of the hotel will be named “King Ferdinand I of Romania – the Encloser”. King Ferdinand is the King of Romania who sealed Great Union from Alba Iulia. Both he and his wife Queen Mary have beautiful ice sculptures at the entrance in the hotel.

our group

Final Info

The Ice Hotel can be visited daily between 9:00 and 17:00 for a fee of 15 lei. In order to sleep in a double room, visitors have to pay 400 lei, but if they want to stay in an igloo room, the price is 600 lei per night.



March 8, 2019
Am tot zis că ajung acolo... :) Superb blog, Bravo.

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