Let's travel together #69 - Hotel Of Ice, Balea Lake (Hotelul de Gheata, Lacul Balea)

in travelfeed •  7 months ago

If you are a fan of Frozen(the movie), I'm sure you are going to love this trip we are going into today.
The world was blessed with so many beautiful destinations which are looking forward for your trip so they can introduce you into a different reality - and we all need this from time to time.
(more or less - I'm in the category of people who need such kind of adventures more than air)
So today I have the pleasure to invite you in a trip to a torn place in the story of a little ice kingdom.


The Hotel of Ice is located on over 2000m altitude in the Fagaras Mountains from Romania, on the Balea Lake.
Balea Lake is located on Transfagarasan and no matter what the season is, the lake represents one of the most visited places from Romania, not just because of it's beauty and charming vibes but also because during the winter when the access on the road gets restricted due to many risks of avalanches, it becomes a place torn from a fairy tale.
Every winter when the Snow Queen comes over and covers the place with a cold blanket of snow and the lake becomes frozen, there is build up an entire world of ice with natural blocks of ice right from the Balea Lake.
This little ice kingdom is located right over the lake and year by year many tourists from all over the world come here to create some special memories or just to have fun.

Depending where are you coming from, you might need to wake up very early - as I did.
For a few years I wanted to visit this place but due of living a little bit away from Fagaras Mountains, I was spending many hours on the road and I was getting here yet too late.
That wouldn't be a huge problem if I wouldn't depend on needing to get into a cable so I can arrive at the Hotel of Ice; but as the access on Transfagarasan is forbidden the only way to get to the little wonderland is with the cable.
So why do I need to wake up so early?
Because if you are not in the first 40-50 people waiting to get in the cable, you won't have any chance to visit this place due to the queue that is created very fast by the tourists waiting to either visit this place or just to spend a night on the hotel, which by the way - the people who will sleep there and are not just visitors have priority in getting into the cable.
I remember seeing queue extended on several floors and even outside the building, which is awful and totally hopeless.
So yeah, better wake up on 3-4AM as I did and take a trip to this place, IT'S REALLY WORTH IT!!


So while we are in the cable making our way to the little kingdom, literally floating over the fluffy snow blanket that embraces the nature, we are slowly getting introduced into the adventure which is screaming for new curious visitors.
The view is going to leave you speechless in just a few seconds while being surrounded by the many majestic mountains which are approaching very shy to you.

Now that we've finally arrived and the inner us is screaming for running from a place to another, taking lots of pictures, creating as many memories as possible and having fun, we have on the list to visit the hotel of ice, the bar & restaurant, igloos and a church. (all of them made of ice)

To get access to check out these places you will need to firstly pay a tax of:

  • 15 RON for adults (3.2 EUR)
  • 10 RON for children (2.1 EUR)

Once you paid this tax you won't need to pay anything else for visiting the rest of the place, nor for taking pictures or filming your journey.



The Hotel Of Ice represents the main attraction of the little ice kingdom as you can actually sleep here.
Yep, that's right. If you are not a chilly person you can have the adventure of your life sleeping in a very cold, cold place, on a bed created by blocks o ice and oh well, literally everything made by ice.
On the bed you will have some natural furs of animals to keep you warm during the nigh but you will also receive a sleeping bag.
The price for spending a night on the hotel of ice is 100 EUR.
It's also important to know that if you decide to spend a night here, the hotel doesn't have a bath neither a toilet, so you will most probably need to walk through the snow to one of the chalets that are nearby.
Due to the crazy cold weather that is in the hotel (there was a case when tourists slept on -21 Celsius degrees), people need to sign a contract on their own responsibility that they assume the risks to sleep in this place and that they are able to withstand to this crazy experience.
The rooms of the hotel are every year different depending on what is the theme; I've been there when the theme was "The world of music in the ice", which was really cool.



The bar & restaurant represents a happy place to go to whenever you feel hungry or need a hot drink to warm up.
The restaurant is very appreciated by the tourists not just because of its design made entirely of ice, but also because of the delicious food that is prepared by high skilled cooks.
When I said that the restaurant is entirely made by ice, I meant it - as you will serve your food and drink on plate and glass also made of ice. This is how many tourists decide to spend their day after a lot of fun and many memories created. But keep in mind that the bar & restaurant is open between 9:00 – 21:00.

For those of you who are a romantic kind you also have the opportunity to offer a frozen rose or sing at the piano - also made out of ice!



The church is created according to the model used on the old church from Malancrav and it completes the ice kingdom just right.
The altar, chairs, and everything is created only with blocks of ice taken from the Balea Lake and it represents a very peaceful place where tourists like to spend a few minutes.


At the beginning of this post I told that you also have the opportunity to have fun in this place as there are many activities that you can enjoy.
If you love skiing or snowboarding, be sure to bring your snowboard as there are many locations where you can have some crazy adrenaline.
But you also have some other opportunities you can take advantage of:

  • renting a snowmobile; (100RON/21,42EUR per person - 15mins)
  • taking a journey on the banana while trying not to fall; (20RON/4,28EUR per person - 2 rounds)
  • rent a water coil and test out the slopes. (5RON/1.07EUR per person - 1 round)


Some more details about the prices:

  • the the round trip with the cable costs around 60 RON/person (12.85 EURO/person) ;
    The cable is open between 09.00– 17.00 and it starts with no less than 10 persons. When it's too windy outside or the cables are freezing, the cable won't work until the weather gets better.
  • one double camera at the hotel of ice is 200RON (50EUR);
  • one igloo is 350RON (75EUR);
  • one room at the Balea chalet starts from 290RON (62EUR).
    You can also schedule your trip and pick a room from here depending on how many adults and children are or the type of the room you wish.


So how to arrive to this place?

The most accessible and recommended way to get here is by using the cable, due to the forbidden access on Transfagarasan.
The cable station is located right next to the Hotel Balea Cascada and to get to this hotel you can drive the car with no fears as the road is always cleaned of snow.


It's often said that the nature itself has so many surprises for you just to make your stay even more beautiful, so this is what happened.
Due to the hight altitude, in just a few minutes the whole place of fairy tale got hidden by the majestic game of the clouds.
This is how we've got surrounded by lots of clouds who transformed the location into a very pure and heavenish place but also so charming and beautiful.



WhatsApp Image 2018-06-12 at 6.21.16 PM (5).jpeg


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This post is so cool, my toes got frostbitten


Haha. Thank you 😊

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Congratulations, great work @gabrielatravels

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Very interesting photo and information! Great post 👍😊


Thank you! 🤗

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Wow that's awesome. I read about these hotels and for some reason thought even though it's all ice it was still reasonably well insulated. Signing a waiver for staying sounds like it isn't worth that trouble hahaha....

Very cool pictures of the cloud cover as well.


Hehe thank you! :)

Wow. A great and interesting contribution. I like the hotel very much and my daughter (big frozen fan) would make eyes when she sees such beds. Which temperatures do you have to expect there? Best regards Maika


I wrote in the post that there was a case when they registered -21°C. It's pretty cold and I won't recommend you to sleep there with your daughter, it's too dangerous 😊
Better take a room at one of the chalets that are nearby and visit the hotel during the day ✌️

That's insane! I actually saw a hotel in Finland that shares the same idea. I really like the way your project your article to the readers. It's very clear and interesting at the same time. The photos really do help you to channel your story even more. I am probably going to Finland this end of the year or beginning of next year. Hopefully, I'll find something similar over there too. Keep it up :)


Thank you so much 😊
I do try to catch the attention of my readers and help them discover new places. I'm sure you will enjoy the castle from Finland and I can't wait to see the pictures 😃

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