Ever since my friend Lori sent me the link to a Groupon for a night stay in an igloo, I was excited to take on this adventure! I mean, seriously – a night in an igloo in the Austrian Alps? It was definitely an experience I could not pass up (even though it was quite a bit more than I would ever spend on a “hotel,” and that’s with the Groupon discount!) So, for a little one-night getaway, John and I dropped Caesar off at a sitter’s, and made the 4-hour trek south to the Austrian city of Kühtai for our night in an igloo. The drive flies by once you hit the German alps because the scenery is amazing! You spend so much time looking around, you forget how long the drive is!
We arrived on time for the 5 p.m. check-in where they give you a rundown on the how they make the igloos (unlike the ones made out of blocks of ice, they use a balloon-like apparatus in the shape of an egg and pack the snow around it), how to stay warm in the sleeping bags (even though it seems smart to wear layers, the sleeping bag+fleece liner is so warm that anything beyond one layer will leave you sweating) and the evening’s activities (cheese and chocolate fondue dinner, optional snowshoe hike and drinks in the igloo bar.) John and I opted to upgrade to the “romantic” igloo, so we had the place to ourselves (I had read the Groupon wrong, apparently we had the basic package where we would share it with one other couple…not being hostel people, we opted against this and chose the upgrade!)
After the introduction, we were given the keys to our igloo. (We got 11 – which I took as a good sign. Come June, John and I will have officially been together for 11 years!) The igloo is a bit sparse…just a big block of ice with a mattress in the middle, with a huge lambskin throw and the sleeping bags. They gave us a small bottle of prosecco, which we opted to save for warmer temps!
We made our way back to the bar/dining room for dinner and enjoyed the fondue while chatting with fellow igloo patrons. The fondue was actually perfect while eating inside an igloo…and it was helped by Glühwein! 🙂
After dinner we warmed up in the hotel bar. The igloos are associated with a hotel right next door, which also had a bar, so we enjoyed a little bit of heat (and a beer) before we made our way to the igloo for the night. I must say – sleeping in an igloo is a novelty that wanes a bit at 2 a.m. when you wake up having to go the bathroom, only to remember that to do so, you have to get out of the incredibly warm sleeping bag, put on your boots and coat and slip into the frigid temps to make your way to the communal bathrooms at the very end of the village. (Growing up camping, the communal baths didn’t bother me, the cold, however, did!) The next time I woke up, it was 6:30 a.m., and I started the countdown to when we could get up, change, and have breakfast in the heated hotel! 🙂
Overall, John and I agreed that it was definitely an experience – although maybe not the warmest/most comfortable one we have ever had. I’m still really happy we did it, although a nap was definitely needed once we got back home! 🙂