Thermal suites: ice and snow rooms

What is an ice room?

At a spa day, cold experience rooms can be anything from a corner of a heat experience area with an ice fountain (a chute which delivers ice into a bowl) to a fully sealed room with solid ice on the walls, ceiling and floors. They’re also sometimes referred to as snow rooms, these normally have lighter, fluffier snow you can pick up.

If you’re in a sealed room, the cold temperature may be enough to bring your body temperature down. In others you rub the snow or ice into your skin – be as brave as you want!

Why is the cold good for you?

Generally, cold experience rooms are used in tandem with hot experience rooms as part of a thermal experience. You’ll spend 10 minutes in the sauna before using very cold water, snow or ice to bring your body temperature back down from being very hot. This combination of hot and cold (fire and ice) is thought to boost your blood circulation, increase overall wellness and has been tried and tested by the Swedes for years (think a hot sauna followed by rolling in the snow).

Cryotherapy, a more extreme cold (we’ve seen places that offer cryotherapy down to -84 degrees!), is used by athletes and celebrities including Mo Farah and Demi Moore. Proponents claim that the health benefits are both physical and mental and it can do everything from healing injuries and strengthen the immune system, to slowing down the signs of ageing. 

Before you go

Be braced for the shock! If you’re stepping into an ice-lined room or ice cave you may not realise quite how cold it is, but jumping into an ice bath or rubbing snow on your skin will certainly wake you up from the heat.


You should not use an ice room if you:

  • have a history of heart or respiratory problems
  • have problems with your circulation
  • have diabetes or an infection
  • have any other medical condition, or are receiving treatment of any kind
  • have had any alcohol
  • have a fever.

If you’re in any doubt, please check with you GP first.

A snow or ice room can be a great way of having fun in a spa, invigorating fun! Just remember to keep your flip flops on when you go in!

* If you fancy visiting the snow cave pictured at the top of the page, you can find it at Lion Quays Hotel and Spa.

  • Author

    Summer Spy

  • Age 30s
  • Skin type Oily/combination

Spa Likes

"Warmth and sunshine; spas which take me away to another country; fruit infused waters; beach-worth pedicures; deep tissue massages."

Spa Dislikes

"High footfalls; treatments that over promise and under deliver; heavy lunches; loungers drapped in used towels."