Snow hotel with cool comforts

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

 By their very nature, snow hotels are ephemeral.

Given the logistics in building, furnishing and operating a hotel made of snow, staying at one can be expensive.

This winter, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler in British Columbia will offer "winter glamping", a night in a custom-made snow hotel near the Pemberton Ice Cap in the Coast Mountains.

The fee, US$79,000 (S$105,370) for up to four people, includes activities, meals and round-trip helicopter transportation. Most guests stay for one night, but longer stays are an option.

Mr Doug Washer, president and chief executive of Head-Line Mountain Holidays, and his colleagues will create the hotel, drawing on 15 years' experience building snow structures in the backcountry near Whistler. It is scheduled to open this month.

Private clients have included musician Seal, for whom Mr Washer built a snow villa in which the singer proposed to model Heidi Klum in 2004. The following are edited excerpts from a conversation with Mr Washer.

How do you build a hotel from snow and make it comfortable?

The structures are very small and intimate. Small from a hotel resident's perspective, not from a backcountry perspective. There are igloos, which everyone is familiar with. There are quinzees (made from hollowed-out snow piles), which no one is familiar with, then there are ice hotels.

We fall into the middle category.

We call it a snow hotel. It is the most comfortable, warm and elaborate snow structure you can spend an evening in.

You cannot engineer snow, but we play with it and process it until we get it at a consistency we like and can build with. The buildings have enormous structural integrity, plus insulation by trapping air.

Ice has no insulation value, but snow has a great deal of insulation quality. We get snow to the point where we can build and shape it and yet design it in such a way that the chambers are comfortable.

It is a full dome and looks a little like an igloo, but it is much larger and designed in such a way that the top of the door is always lower than the bed inside. That creates a cold sink so that the cold air gets trapped in the doorway, and warm air gets trapped inside where people sleep.

So that means we are not putting people in minus 30 to 40 deg C mummy bags where you sleep alone. That is not the point of the romantic snow hotel. We pre-warm the bed with down duvets and flannel sheets.

What about basic needs? Do you build bathrooms?

We always get a giggle from people when it is time to go to the washroom because they are always surprised that the quality of the facilities in the backcountry is as good as it is.

Sometimes, we fly in facilities with flush toilets and running water on request. On a general basis, they are portables and have to be lightweight enough to fly.

Where do you build your snow structures?

We typically like to pick a spot higher in the mountains that has an overview of the entire ice cap, so you have this ice field with mountains jutting out of it.

We like to be not so much on the ice cap, but overviewing it.

What happens when the season is over? Do the rooms just melt away?

We have to cut them down or they would stay standing a long, long time. We use chainsaws to cut the roofs, which cave in.

It is a little sad, given the work and artistry we have put into them, but the fun part is you get to redesign it every year with new ideas and people have suggestions, which makes it fun for us.

- Clinton film put on hold
- Redford speaks up for freedom of speech
- Ip Man actor suspected to have died of overdose
- Gucci appoints new creative director
- Israeli nabbed for Madonna hacks
- Diversity not a Hollywood norm
- The Clash bassist turns painter
- Celebrities back campaign to free Guantanamo diarist
- Marilyn Manson still bleak, but now has the blues
- Critics target American Sniper
Top Search
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- 9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Miscarriage
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- What Is Placenta Calcification
- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- Do Not Miss Sugarcane Juice In Pregnancy
Top 10
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 3) - DHA supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 2) - Docosahexaenoic acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 1) - The science bit, Alpha linolenic acid
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - When You’re Overdue
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 14) - Baby’s Birth Presentation
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Sides (part 17) - Caramelized Baby Carrots, Roasted Garlic, Zucchini, and Onions
- Chocolate Covered Naartjies - Cauliflower Carpaccio With Watercress And Almond Dressing - Avocado Mousse Topped With Cauliflower And Bacon Crumbs (part 2)
- RECIPE Orange Cointreau jellies : Golden dessert to beat the glut
- BBQ Chicken Around The World (Part 2) - Beer can chicken
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Vegan Breakfasts (part 8) - Vegan Crepes, Tofu Florentine, Quick Hollandaise Sauc uick Hollandaise Sauce, Potato Poblano Breakfast Burritos
- Midweek Meals - These Dishes Promise Smooth Sailing (Part 2) - Lemon and thyme lamb with warm pumpkin salad
- Grill Happy Healthy Family Dinners (Part 5) - Pork and plum skewers
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Soups and Stews (part 4) - Ten-Minute Cheater’s Chili, Thai Tom Kha Coconut Soup , Cold Spanish Gazpacho with Avocado
- Winter Favourites New Ideas Cooking (Part 2) - Mac ’n’ cheese with pumpkin
- Celebrate Christmas Soon In July (part 2) - Roast pumpkin, fennel & brussels sprouts
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Desserts (part 6) - Foolproof Vegan Fudge, Cocoa-Nut-Coconut No-Bake Cookies , Cheater’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 1) - Monday - Spinach & Sausage Penne
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 5) - Friday - Rendang Beef Noodles
- Homegrown Treasures Time To Harvest (Part 2) - Beetroot & shallot tatins
- Get To Know Your Salad (part 2) - Greens & Berry Salad