Some like it Cold. Warm temperatures force closure of Romania’s Ice Hotel

biserica de gheata balea lac
Slujba la Biserica de Gheata de la Balea Lac, vineri, 26 ianuarie 2018. Inquam Photos / Ovidiu Matiu

Romania’s Ice Hotel which draws tourists from home and abroad who enjoy its chilly charms won’t be built this year due to unseasonably warm weather in the mountains.

It’s the first time in the hotel’s 16-year history when it won’t be open for tourists, Alexandru Unchesel told national news agency Agerpres on Tuesday.

“The Ice Hotel won’t be built this season because of a lack of ice,” Unchesel, who spoke on behalf of the hotel owners, was quoted as saying.

The hotel which is next to the Balea Lake in the Fagaras Mountains in Transylvania, is located at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters.

The news came after temperatures plunged to minus 17 Celsius in the area with 1.66-meter deep snow.  

The hotel usually opens before Christmas and stays open until Easter. It has become a popular place for some tourists to spend the winter holiday season into spring.

Construction on the ice hotel usually begins at the beginning of November, when managers employ 40 workers from the city of Targu Mures to craft Romania’s only hotel which is made from ice cut from the lake.

Even if there is sufficient ice to start building now, the season would be too short to make it profitable.

The hotel announced in December that it had canceled its bookings from December 20 to January 20, due to the warm weather. Romanian and foreign tourists had already made reservations.  

Before Christmas, it was a warm 11 Celsius at Balea Lake, the highest temperatures there ever recorded, according to meteorologist Narcisa Milian.


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