Thermal suites: ice and snow rooms

What is an ice room?

At a spa, 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. 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 it thought to boost your circulation and has been tried and tested by the Swedes for years (think a 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 it can do everything from healing injuries to slowing down the signs of aging.

Before you go

Be braced for the shock! If you’re stepping into an ice-lined room 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, 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."