InterContinental Montreal: Stay in from the Cold

I recently rolled into Montreal for the first time, smack amidst a huge and blinding snowstorm. (Or, as this eastern Canadian city might simply call it: “Winter.”)

I’d booked a room at the InterContinental Montreal, and fully intended to put my suitcase down, splash a little water on my face, and head out to explore.

What I did instead was to indulge in a beautiful, relaxing and cozy stay, while outside, the city was steadily buried in a blanket of white.

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Spending (Most of) the Night at Quebec’s Ice Hotel

When I had the recent opportunity to stay at Québec’s Hôtel de Glace, the only ice hotel in North America, I jumped at the chance.

The only problem with combining “jumping” and “ice”:

No matter how beautiful your surroundings, you’re bound to wipe out at least once.

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Quebec City: French for “Canadian”

Rue Saint-Louis in Old Quebec City

After traipsing across a freakishly wintry Europe back in the early aughts, I would have thought I was done with snow, ice and city wandering in the same trip. 

But I hadn’t yet been to Québec City.

Sure, it can easily dip into negative Fahrenheit, but with 400-plus years of history, a passion for fairy lights, a cuisine based largely on pies and a slew of magical apertifs, the whole city pretty much had me at “bonjour.”

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Quebec Winter Carnival: Vive Bonhomme!

A giant knuk and Bonhomme at the Quebec Winter Carnival's Day Parade

When’s the last time you both rode a Ferris wheel through a flurry of snowflakes?
Or wandered open-mouthed through a pavilion of glittering ice sculptures?
Or whooshed down an icy hill in a rubber raft, catching air and squealing with pure delight?

Might be time to get yourselves to the Great White North for Quebec’s Winter Carnival, going on now through February 13!

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Off to Quebec

Bonhomme, the official ambassador of Quebec Winter Carnival

This morning finds me half-awake in the Toronto Airport on a 4-hour layover, cozy and increasingly caffeinated in Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge.

Thanks to my Star Alliance miles, I’m flying coach; thanks to a generous fellow travel blogger, though, I’m hooked up for first-class lounge access on my journey to Québec City.

Later today, I’ll meet up with yet another fellow travel blogger to revel in the Winter Carnival, go snowshoeing on the Fields of Abraham, check out North America’s only ice hotel, and even drive to Montreal for a one-night stay.

I’m looking forward to some (temporary) freezing fun and trying Québecois specialties like the Caribou, a four-spirit cocktail guaranteed to make you not mind that it’s, well…zero degrees Fahrenheit.

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