Ice Hotel, Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec, Canada

The Ice Hotel is located for the 1st time on the site of Village Vacances Valcartier in St-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, north of Quebec City, in the Province of Quebec, Canada. It is designed each year entirely in ice and snow with beautiful scenery. There are themed rooms and suites with beautiful sculptures. It is a unique concept hotel where you can spend a magical night and enjoy a cocktail in one of its famous ice glasses. This is a non-smoking hotel with an inside fireplace, a reception room, meeting, conference, a common lounge, sauna and indoor spa with free outdoor parking.

Tips

To get there, you have a shuttle service from Quebec City. Take it at the Place d’Armes. You will get a discount if you buy your ticket at the same time as the entrance to visit the hotel.

If you go with your family, there is a family pass (2 adults, 3 children). There is also a discount for age 55 and over and children under 5 enter without paying.

There are also  interesting packages: visit with a guided tour or not, guided tour with a cocktail or visit ‘Backstage’ in which in addition to the guided tour you will discover the secrets and procedures for the construction and maintenance of the hotel, visit the workshop where you can make your ice glass with which you will end the visit to the hotel bar drinking a cocktail served in your own glass.

 

Golden Gate, San Francisco, California USA

The Golden Gate is a California suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait which is the junction between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, linking the city of San Francisco (northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula) to the city of Sausalito (southern tip of County of Marin). Its construction took four years (1933-1937). Recognized worldwide for its orange color and the architecture of its two towers, is the most famous landmark of San Francisco. It was Joseph Strauss, German-born engineer, the director with a group of specialists. It was inaugurated on May 27th, 1937 with a ‘pedestrian day’ where thousands of people turned out for the occasion. It has 30 meters wide, six lanes open to traffic and two alleys for pedestrians on each side. They are currently working to put the bridge with safety standards in an earthquake because the area is known to be on two quite dangerous faults. The bridge is thus gradually renovated, so much so that the original steel will eventually disappear completely. The real challenge is that no one has to realize this work.

Tips

You can visit the Golden Gate Center open daily from 09:00 to 18:00 except on Christmas and Thanksgiving Action.
It is convenient to reach it by public transportation or by bike because it’s difficult to find parking.
You can cross the bridge on foot or by bicycle, but only during the day, access is completely closed at 18.30.
It is best to get information about how to pay the toll on their website before you go.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, officially the municipality of San Juan Bautista and also known under the name of the walled city, is the capital of Puerto Rico, free state associated with the United States. Christophe Colomb discovered the island in 1493. Old San Juan is located on a small island La Isleta which closes the bay, we found in its eastern part, the Puerta de Tierra district where stood the fortifications razed to the ground by the Americans who protected the city in terms of its access by land via bridges crossing a small arm of the sea. Through this small arm of the sea you can reach a bigger island San Juan which is separated from the rest of Puerto Rico by a natural channel. On the north side of the island we find El Condado district that extends eastward through the tourist district of Isla Verde in the municipality of Carolina. In the south of El Condado we find the neighborhood of Santurce. The South of the island is the old commune of Rio Piedras which is now attached to the city and we also find the district of Hato Rey (business district of San Juan). Old San Juan, seven blocks area, is an area perfectly preserved with Spanish colonial architecture and a walk through time with its narrow streets, its fortresses of the 16th century in special El Morro (6 floors, 46 m above the sea). You will find trend bistros, shops of famous designers, art galleries, churches and colonial town houses with balconies ornated with iron.

Tips

From December to April, it is the tourist season, so prices are increased and it is difficult to find a hotel. From May to December, hurricane season, it is the best season to avoid tourists. It is very rare that a hurricane affect the island but on the other hand, you may have a lot of rain. What is appropriate is to check the weather forecast before you make your reservation.
Public transport on the island is not good and it doesn’t desert all points where you’ll like to go so the most suitable thing is to rent a car, it’s not expensive and you will be more comfortable and stress-free.
If you want to get one of the best views of Old San Juan, go to the Gallery Inn, six related houses that combine to create a quirky maze with stair tiles, open patios and gardens. There’s a Wine Deck which is the highest point of the city.
For those who like Latin music and late nights, and that noise does not bother, Da House (a hotel located in an old Franciscan Monastery) is the favourite spot for salsa dancing and the influence of the Caribbean jazz.
During the day, try the good dishes in the Old San Juan while you walk. At night, head to the quarter animated SOFO (to the South of Fortaleza Street) for music and dance. The animation is guaranteed; they love to party.