Shimla Ice Bar Lounge – One-of-its-kind bar in Himachal constructed entirely of ice
SHIMLA- After the Johnnie’s Wax Museum, Shimla has another cool attraction for tourists in the ICE BAR LOUNGE opened at the Pine View Hotel, Kaithu. The bar lounge constructed entirely of ice is a minus 15-degree igloo worth enjoying a glass or two of refreshing alcohol.
Himachal Watcher had an opportunity to visit this one-of-its-kind bar in Shimla and the experience was astounding.
The Ice Bar Lounge (first ice bar north of Delhi) is in the premises of Pine View Hotel. Post arriving at the hotel’s reception, we were graciously led to the Ice Bar by the hospitable staff members on behest of Mr Yatish Sood, owner of the property.
The Ice Bar Lounge, Yatish tells HW is an interpretation of an ice bar he had visited with his wife in Barcelona.
The lounge has a minimalist entrance – taking a small flight of stairs you are led straight into a room lit with mood enhancing lights, which is suppose to be the acclimatizing room.
With pebbles on the floor, and a few tables laid out, the room reveals nothing of what you are going to witness in the adjoining room.
Everything until here is free of cost. The entry into the ice bar lounge is however reserved at Rs 750 per head for 30 minutes. At the reception here, you make the payment and you will be provided with a special Quechua Jacket and led to the door – you still cannot guess what’s behind this closed door.
There it opens and gushing breeze of chill hits the head. Now, you began to realize there is something different in there.
Eyes gaping, chill seeping into the bones and there you are in a 800 sq m. room of ice. A bar with seating capacity of 15-20 persons has everything just so perfectly placed for amplified ambiance.
The walls are made of ice (floor is pebbled and ceiling is of normal sheets), the counter made of ice, the pillar in the room covered with ice, the tables and chairs and couches everything made with ice. There is so much ice you wonder how on earth is it so perfect!
And just when everything was sinking in with the color changing lights enhancing the mood, we were reminded we had to get over the aura and understand how the ice is kept intact.
We were informed that the lounge is kept dry and room temperature is maintained between minus 5 to minus 15-degree Celsius using a room cooling insulator – and then the eyes went to the only turn down in the room, the air conditioning vents that are placed visibly in one corner of the ceiling.
We had been in there for about 15 odd minutes now – the fingers had begun to freeze and the face could feel the chill. While the torso was well protected in the Quechua jacket, we could feel the knees numbing inside the denims. There was chill in the air, but it was a perfect setting and we were enjoying every minute of our time in there.
Yatish informed, the large blocks of ice for construction have been sourced from Ludhiana, but all the carving and designing has been done on site by Him Chatterjee, head of department of fine arts, Himachal Pradesh University.
The ice bar is a result of 15 months of persistent hard work and dedication and the result is a place worth every buck you spend.
The bar has been operational for about two weeks, but is only serving mocktails and snacks for now. Yatish has applied for a license and the bar should start soon.
After 25 odd minutes inside the ice bar, capturing every possible detail, we were out – bones felt chilly, lenses on the camera and eyeglasses fogged – this was when we realized the importance of the acclimatizing room.
We were asked not to take off the jackets they had provided, immediately. Waiting in the room (acclimatizing) we clicked a few shots of the room and a couple of pictures of the temporary staff off the ice bar. Then took off the jackets after 10 odd minutes and bid adieu to the ice bar lounge.