Being in a naturally refrigerated bar doesn’t sound like the best thing to do in the winter — that is, unless it’s a super-hip ice bar where you can drink while marveling at the chilly décor. With that in mind, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Park City is debuting the Powder Champagne Ice Lounge featuring Moët & Chandon’s latest offering. Here’s the scoop on that cool spot, as well as four more places to visit.
Powder Champagne Ice Lounge, Park City
At Waldorf Astoria Park City, you will find Utah’s official headquarters of Moët Ice Impérial, a champagne meant to be enjoyed specifically on ice. Of course, you don’t have to have your bubbles on the rocks, but in this festive lounge you can partake in sparkling wine while being seated in a frozen chair surrounded by ice sculptures of igloos and penguins. And beyond the pours, the bar also serves oysters, caviar, sashimi and other succulent nibbles from the raw bar.
The Oasis, Aspen
Technically, this isn’t an ice bar, but given it takes place in the snow, we figured it should count. After all, why wouldn’t you want to go to the world’s only pop-up, ski-in, ski-out champagne bar? Situated along Aspen Mountain, this Veuve Clicquot bar is built on skis and moves around via a Snowcat each weekend, starting around Presidents’ Day. Where it is remains a mystery unless you follow the Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account of the bar’s host, Five-Star The Little Nell. Also dubbed Clicquot in the Snow, the bar serves caviar alongside all the bubbles.
Icebar, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
The first ice bar to start this mini trend opened in a small Swedish town in 1994. Each year the structure, along with suites in the IceHotel, is rebuilt anew. This season the bar is nicknamed Booom! and features the sculpted genius of artists like Maurizio Perron of Italy, Viktor Tsarski from Bulgaria and Wouter Biegelaar from the Netherlands. Though lots can capture the eye, one of the decorative touches that will have you frozen in your tracks is a sculpture of a champagne bottle in mid-explosion, with bubbles cascading down the walls. Life can imitate art when you take a seat in a roomy ice chair lined with fur and order one of the craft cocktails (rhubarb- and gin-spiked Borderland). Each beverage arrives in an ice cup and garners inspiration from different rooms.
Ice Bar, Portland, Maine
Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Portland Harbor Hotel’s annual Ice Bar extravaganza takes place January 21 through 23. Among the courtyard gardens filled with ice sculptures and bonfires, grab an ice-cold local craft beer from the outdoor ice bar or warm up at one of the two indoor bars. The weekend party, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a DJ, is also a fund-raiser, with some of the proceeds going toward children’s charities. Get your glove-covered hands on the Ice Bar package and you not only score tickets to the event but you get overnight accommodations as well.
Aurora Ice Museum, Fairbanks, Alaska
It likely won’t surprise you that a beautiful ice bar exists at the Last Frontier. Located in the Chena Hot Springs Resort, the bar can actually be found all year long inside the Aurora Ice Museum. With seamless curves and a stately frame, the lounge looks like it was carved ages ago, even though it’s only been in existence since 2005. Aside from the bar, wander around the space and see the two-story observation tower and circular staircase, all made with 1,000-plus tons of bona fide Alaskan ice. So, grab a freezing cup filled with an appletini and check out the stunning sculptures done by 16-time world-champion ice carver Steve Brice. Then, after you have had your fill of 25-degree temperatures, warm up in the hot springs next door. As a bonus, if you time your visit between late summer and early fall, you just might catch the Aurora Borealis, too.