It’s spring break and for all you winter lovers it is one of the last chances to grab a snowy getaway before the warm weather descends.
If you are still looking for one of those quick and easy getaways, I would definitely recommend Mont Tremblant, Quebec. We recently went back and loved it! There is so much for do. Boredom is not on the itinerary.
Here is a quick run down of our trip. Hopefully, it will help if you are planning a getaway to the Mont Tremblant resort area.
It couldn’t be easier. From Toronto, a flight is about 50 minutes to the Mont Tremblant International Airport. The airport is the prettiest one that I have ever seen. It totally sets the tone for the whole trip. To get from the airport to your hotel, “complimentary” shuttles are available for transfer to & from participating hotels in and around the village. Meaning, the transfer is “free”, but a $35.00/person departure fee is collected at the airport. The transfers can be easily booked through the Mont Tremblant International Airport website.
To meet your specific transfer, a reception desk is set up in the arrival area. Provide your name and the hotel you are staying at to the representative. They in turn will provide you with the pick up time on your day of departure. If you’ve checked any bags, you may pick them up outside the terminal and bring them to your identified transfer van. The driver will load your luggage into the trailer that is towed behind your van.
This trip we stayed at Hotel Quintessence. It is a 5 star hotel located across the street from the Mont Tremblant Village. It is stunning. It is also fairly expensive. But, we went to celebrate our anniversary, so we decided to splurge.
To make it even more special, my husband booked us into a 200 year old cabin that is on the property called Clagett’s cabin. It is so quaint. As you can see by the photos, they have preserved the rustic beauty of the cabin, while adding the luxurious touches that nice hotels offer.
Now, because I always appreciate honesty in trip reviews, I need to include what I didn’t love about the cabin. First, there was only a bathtub. It was nice and charming, but for a girl who has long hair good luck washing it easily in a tub. I would have liked a shower that weekend. Also, our cabin wasn’t made up until around 4:00 each day. It seemed to us that the cabin was not a priority on the housekeeping’s daily agenda. Second, we only had turn down service once out of our 3 night stay. Lastly, my husband arranged to surprise me by having champagne and flowers in the cabin upon our arrival – this was not done. All of this may sound like I am being picky or hard to please, but when you are paying for a 5 start hotel, in one of their more special accommodations, the lack or inconstant service is not what is expected.
Last year we stayed at the Westin and had an amazing experience. There is also a Fairmont in the village. Given the option of selecting between one of these fine hotels and Hotel Quintessence, it would be hard to recommend this Hotel Quintessence to anyone.
Also of note, when you stay at a hotel in the village, there are perks included, such as: free skating & skate rental at the church pond, free pass for tubing and as far as we could tell the prices for food and beverages are controlled, so they are much cheaper.
By far, the highlight of this trip was the snowshoeing excursion! We would 100% recommend this! It was so fun!
For $80 each we received our snowshoe rental, lift ticket (exclusively for the snowshoeing), guided tour and a fondue dinner (including alcohol).
We met at Boutique Explore shop at 3:00 pm, where we were outfitted with our snowshoes and head lamps. After everyone was present and set up with their gear, we headed as as group over to the lift and made our way to the summit. Once on top of the mountain, we put on our snowshoes and started our trek through the woods. It was incredibly beautiful.
The group was made of young professionals to retirees. The pace was comfortable so everyone could enjoy the day.
After about 40 minutes, we came to a fork in the trail. Here we were given a choice. One, take continue along a trail that will take about an hour and a half to get to the cabin where dinner would be served. Or, take the much shorter trail and get to the cabin in about 30 minutes. The only catch was that those who took the shorter route would have to wait for dinner until the others joined, but wine and beer would be served while we waited. Hmmm, shorter trail please!
So, we arrived to the cabin, known as “Trappeur du Refuge” where we were greeted to a warm cabin, cool water and generous servings of wine.
The “refuge”, as it is commonly referred to, is truly a rustic hideaway on the side of the mountain. There is no electricity or running water. Light is provided by gas lamps, heat is provided by the stoked wood stove and the washrooms, well they’re outside. Yes, I mean outhouses. But, the lack of modern amenities did not and does not take away from the special place.
The cabin is decked out with communal dining tables. It was a great way to bond to others and we certainly did. At our table, we met people from the UK, Malaysia and Australia. For the next three hours, we sat a chatted with our table mates like we were old friends. A really fantastic group of people.
After a dinner of cheese fondue, salads, chocolate fondue and fruit…along with the serving from a seemingly unlimited wine cask, it was time to bundle up and continue our trek down the mountain.
By this time it was around 8:30 pm and dark. No problem, we were each supplied with headlamps to guide us through the brush. In about 1 hr 45 minutes, we were at the base of the mountain and saying our good nights to our new found friends.
During the trek down the mountain, one of our guides put it best when he said, “its just a different way to discover the mountain.” We couldn’t agree more.
I must add that it was -27 celsius that day. But, you are protected by the trees and snow along the trails to help break any wind.
A tip to keeping your hands and feet warm are to put hand and foot warmers in your boots and mittens. Yes, mittens not gloves. Also, place the hand warmers on top of your hands where your veins are closer to the skin. The heat from the pad will absorb into your body much quicker.
Of course, walking the village shopping and eating is always a great way to spend the afternoon!
Last but not least the food. SO good! You put me in a place that I can have nachos as an appetizer, poutine for the meal and wash it down with a cold beer and I’m in!
The food offerings in the village restaurants is mostly comfort food. But that’s okay, we aren’t putting bikinis. Here it’s all about the cute snow suits. So, indulge without compromise.
There are a few places of note if you are looking for some good eats and atmosphere. The bar lounge at the Fairmont is a must. You can cozy up to the fire place or grab a seat by the window that overlooks the mountain. If your looking for a nibble, the fondue plate for 2 and the chocolate lava cake are highly recommended.
You must have a pure maple syrup pop, while in Mont Tremblant. They pour boiled maple syrup onto clean snow. You wait 45 seconds and roll the cooled maple syrup onto your stick and enjoy! I haven’t had this since I was a kid and I can’t wait to have another one next year! For $2.50 each it is a must get treat!
Just as easy as it was getting there, it was just as easy to get home. Remember the shuttle?
On our day of departure, we met our driver in the hotel lobby. From there, our driver provided us with our luggage tags for our checked baggage. Our bags were essentially checked and we didn’t touch them again until we returned to Toronto. Our driver loaded our luggage into the trailer and we boarded the van. Such a great service and I expect would be a dream for families; no more having to balance the kids and bags.
Mont Tremblant gets top marks for anyone looking to get away for a winter holiday. It is a fantastic destination for couples and families alike. Plus, as you have read, there are other ways to “discover the mountain’ besides skiing. No doubt we will be back!