Friday, December 26, 2014

Minus 5 Ice Bar New York: Is it worth it?

minus 5 ice bar NYC
Yup - I wore my ugly sweater hat for our entire NYC day
Minus 5 ice bar is another theme bar with everything made of ice - Ice glasses, Ice sculpture, Ice chairs, and the actual Ice bar itself. After completing the Ugly Sweater Run in the morning with Brian and Larissa from The Traveling Mortician, and grabbing am amazing lunch, we decided to continue on with the winter/Christmas theme of the day and experience this Ice bar first hand. We were no strangers to the ice bar experience, having stayed at Hotel De Glace in Quebec earlier in the year and witnessing their amazing ice art first hand. 

I had low expectations to start off since I knew it could never compare to the amazing spectacle that was Hotel De Glace, but unfortunately Minus 5 still managed to disappoint. We arrived around 3:30 and though there were a few people paying to go in, it wasn’t really crowded. For a basic $20 entrance fee, Minus 5 will provide you with a basic long blue parka and a pair of thin white gloves. (There are other more expensive options which include drinks and a fur coat upgrade if you wish)

The parka must have been one size fits all because it in no way fit my tiny 5’0 self - I looked like I was drowning in it! We were also instructed to put all our belongings in a locker provided - thankfully for no additional charge, and cell phones, cameras, etc were strictly prohibited. The main reason for this is so that you can’t take your own pictures and therefore are forced to buy professional photos at $20 each - (yes you read that right, it really is that much!) 

Once inside we walked around the whole bar, which was a single room with some ice chairs and 4-5 ice sculptures. Since we paid the minimum entrance fee we had to then purchase our drinks inside. There was a menu with about 6 choices, all $15 each, bringing our per person total to $35 each without pictures. We each tried a different one, I had the ice cappuccino - which consisted of espresso vodka, Kailua and milk, and I admit that it was very good, maybe the best part of the experience. 

It took about 15 minutes for the photographer to make an appearance and by that time the bar started to get crowded. He snapped 3 pictures of us and we felt like we had experienced it all, so we left - all in all spending about 20 minutes inside.

minus 5 ice bar NYC
Best Ice Sculpture in the Ice Bar

minus 5 ice bar NYC

The pictures are available online and I will give them credit for the fact they do let you share for free, albeit if you want the “do not copy” watermark removed it will cost you $20 a pop - so for the clean version of these photos I would be out another $60.

I think the experience itself is pretty cool, pun intended, if this is your one and only opportunity to ever go to an ice bar. However, the sheer corporate greed surrounding the photo pricing makes it so I can’t recommend spending full price at Minus 5 when Hotel De Glace is amazing and just a few hours (ok maybe 7 haha) North in Quebec City. If you can find a Minus 5 Groupon (I checked and no luck) it may be worth it. Otherwise, save your pennies and visit Hotel De Glace instead, it’s worth the $$ and the drive!

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