Freeze summer in its tracks at the Imperial Ice Bar

Manila is known for its scorching summers, but that’s not what attracts the tourists and locals to it in droves. No, what brings people to our shores is the fact that even in the middle of the sweltering heat, there’s always a cool spot to go to chill out.

One such hideaway is the Imperial Ice Bar, the only club in the country where you can spend a short while freezing your extremities off in sub-zero conditions. I’ve heard of the place before and had wanted to go, but until about a week ago, didn’t really have a reason to. But just last week, I finally paid the hotspot a visit with fellow Philippine Network Bloggers Ted Claudio and Rafael Pekson to check out what the club goers are dubbing #thecoldestsummerever.


Where else can you hang out on a couch carved from solid ice?

Located at the ever-popular Fort Strip in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City, The Imperial Ice Bar is open Mondays through Thursdays at 9:00pm to 4:00am and Fridays and Saturdays at 9:00pm to 5:30am. On top of good music and really well-made drinks, the club features themes that change from day to day, and big parties on occasions like Valentines or the holidays.

The club can't even handle me right now... .

The club can’t even handle me right now… .

Right now, Wednesdays are my favorite days, featuring #thecoolestsummerever, sponsored by Bacardi and hosted by husband and wife team Rico Arce and Franchelle Olivia. It gives everyone an excuse (as if you need one) to try the biggest novelty about the place: is the ice room.

Oooh, baby, it's cold inside.

Oooh, baby, it’s cold inside.

Basically, you line up and get swaddled in a fur-lined jacket before stepping into what feels like Queen Elsa’s private chambers. Everything is lined in blocks of solid ice, from the floor to the walls. You can still hear the muted throb of music outside the insulated icebox, and it only adds to the excitement. At the far end of the room, there’s a carved bar where you can sip almost-frozen vodka mix from a straw after it slides down to you through a bottle carved from … what else, ice.

The sensation goes beyond brain freeze, and the almost gut-wrenching subzero temperature combined with the tingling explosion of warmth from the very potent alcohol is an exhilarating rush.

The enchanting Franchelle Olivia explains how the sweetstuff gets from the jars on the bar and into you.

The enchanting Franchelle Olivia explains how the sweetstuff gets from the jars on the bar and into you.

Watch us do a walkthrough of the whole ice bar experience, courtesy of fellow Phil. Blogger Network member Ted Claudio.

Vodka is the drink of choice for defrosting after a session in the ice room.

Vodka is the drink of choice for defrosting after a session in the ice room.

Of course, it isn't all about the vodka.  There's a wide variety of drinks for all tastes.

Of course, it isn’t all about the vodka. There’s a wide variety of drinks for all tastes.

So... do you wanna build a snowman?

So… do you wanna build a snowman?

What about a snow bunny?

What about a snow bunny?

The Verdict: Hot and happening place with a great novelty draw. A bit pricey – expect to pay at least 5,000 per table. Great if entertaining foreign visitors, or after a big business deal.

Trip tips: DO NOT miss out on a chance to try the ice room and have at least one drink. Come a little earlier than midnight, but if you’re in the area, you can take advantage of some great dining spots before hitting the club. Don’t bring a bag. Don’t stay too long in the ice room, and if you have a camera, keep it under your coat when not shooting.

Do splurge on a sofa. Go on quieter days if you have a date with you (Wednesdays are great!), and on more frenzied days when you’re chilling with the barkada.

Spread the word!

    posted on by Little Bunny posted in What's hot and happening

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