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Spending the night in an igloo, in the Alps. Sounds cool, but is it?

A guided snowshoe hike toured a glade between ski runs.

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(CNN) — Spending the night in an igloo sounds cool. And it is, though mainly literally.

As my family sat in a restaurant-sized igloo at the base of a ski resort in the Austrian Alps in late December, eating a dinner consisting solely of bread and hot cheese (read: fondue), my 10-year old daughter summed up the adventure we were having.

“It’s for some people,” she said, her breath visible inside the “restaurant.” The key question that remained at that point was: Are we “some people?”

I was dubious at first sight. The igloo village of mounds at the bottom of the Kühtai ski resort in the stunning Tyrolean mountains near Innsbruck, looked like the “Star Wars” architecture of Tatooine, relocated to the frozen planet of Hoth. I’m not sure why I expected something different (maybe it was the fictional smoke coming from the company’s cartoon igloo logo?), but it was very, very cold.

Standing before the ice bar in the restaurant and greeted with steaming cups of glühwein, tea and hot chocolate, our toes started to feel numb standing on the icy floor, just minutes into our stay.

Once all the guests had arrived, our host greeted us and explained how the night would go, in German. We were the only English-speakers and while it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to speak our language, the translations we got at the end were nonetheless condensed CliffsNotes of what was relayed to the other guests.

“Put the next day clothes at the bottom of your sleeping bag, ok?” the host translated for us. “And very important: No sleep anything wet.” We nodded. Good tip.

A guided snowshoe hike toured a glade between ski runs.

David Allan/CNN

There was an outdoor activity after check in. A guided snowshoe trek through a glade between two ski runs was under a tall peak dramatically lit by crescent moonlight. While my younger daughter passed on the hike after I tried to attach the footgear to her boot and made her sore toes hurt too much, my older daughter was game.

It was a beautiful, and warming, hike. I also now posses a skillset of strapping on crampon snowshoes and trudging in them uphill. But again, the tour was detailed in German and reduced to “Easy way, go there. Hard way, go there,” in English.

At dinner we were never given a menu, so…

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