Located in the Laurentian Mountains northwest of Montréal in Quebec, Canada, is the year-round ski resort, Mont-Tremblant. It sits on the shores of Lake Tremblant and not far from the Mont-Tremblant National Park.
It has also become a destination favorite since our recent romantic weekend getaway there. From Newark and La Guardia airports, it’s about a 5 hour flight, with one stop, on Air Canada and about a 7-hour car drive from NYC. In other words, it is really close, although once you arrive, you feel like you are a world away.
Hubby and I took the first flight out on a Friday morning and were pretty sleepy the entire way until our connecting flight flew over the tree tops of the forest. It had snowed and the snow topped trees were so picture perfect and beautiful that I felt myself waking up from the excitement.
We arrived right after a snow storm has passed leaving behind all its snowy glory.
An hour-long shuttle from the small airport took us through winding, snowy roads that we were more than happy to not be driving on ourselves.
Where we stayed
There are many lodging options to choose from, whether they are home rentals, economy hotels or more luxury stays, on or off the mountain. We stayed at the lovely Fairmont Mont-Tremblant.
I’ve been a little obsessed with the Fairmont brand since my stay in the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui. The Fairmont in Old Quebec City is on the top of our list too. It is gorgeous! It is a luxury hotel that offers all the amenities and comfort I enjoy with any ski resort visit.
What skiers will love is the ski in/ski out access. The hotel has a center where guests can drop off their skis after a day out right at the lower level. This area is where the gym is and all of their pools, as well as a cute little café where you can relax and enjoy a warm cup of cocoa.
In addition, there are two restaurants to choose from and in-room dining which is a must for any romantic weekend escape.
There’s a spa, and even golfing for warmer weather. Though my husband and I were alone, we also saw a lot of families enjoy the hotel.
When you visit, make sure to say hello to Umi, the Fairmont Tremblant mascot who is usually in the lobby ready to great you and happy to go for a walk with you if you’d like.
It would be difficult to not leave the comfort of the hotel if there wasn’t so much to do outside of it!
What we did
Because we didn’t ski (I don’t enjoy it and hubby is still recovering from an injury) we filled our limited days with a ton of other activities.
Snowshoeing and Fondue Dinner – These two things that I absolutely love in one activity. What could go wrong? You take the gondola up to the summit and then snowshoe down to a cabin in the woods where there is a warm fondue dinner waiting for you! The hike down is a bit of a work out. On the day we went the snow was deep, so there were so spots that were a bit tricky. It’s meant to be a casual experience, but when you book your tour, let the guides know if you have any knee problems or if you tend to be a slow hiker.
There is an opportunity to break away from the slower group at the beginning of the trek and take on a more challenging course, if that’s your thing, but I would still point out if you are not an avid athlete when making your reservations so that the leading guides know exactly who they are catering to and can lead you in a way that guarantees you have an enjoyable experience. If, after dinner, you would rather not take the hike down, just let your guide know and they can arrange to have a snowmobile take you down the mountain (though the hike down at night is also pretty lovely).
Hiking through the forest to the cabin was dreamy, like walking through a scene of Narnia. If you happen to arrive after a huge snowfall, definitely schedule a snowshoe hike or any excursion that will take you through the woods. It is truly magical up there.
Dog sledding – Just outside the resort is Expedition Wolf. This is an entry-level activity that the family can enjoy, though it requires a bit of physical participation. The experience itself is about an hour-long and your participation is from beginning (harnessing the dogs) to end (taking the dogs back to their resting spot).
I fell in love with each one of the dogs, many of them rescues left at the doorsteps of the organization by those unable or unwilling to car for these very active, very strong animals. The minute the dogs see you, they know what you are there for and immediately start calling for attention to be chosen for the ride.
Each person in the couple will get a chance to lead and push the sled. Be ready to run with the dogs (to help them push up hills) and even fall – hubby and I both tipped our sleds over, which wasn’t a big deal as we landed on soft snow.
The adrenaline rush is amazing and the views along the trails are spectacular. The crew of volunteers and staff that work there are great at helping you grasp all the information and at encouraging you through it. It was probably one of the most fun things I have ever done on a trip.
Plus, the doggie kisses just can’t be beat.
Scandinavian Spa – Snowshoeing. sledding. Needless to say we needed a spa break. We headed into the woods to the Scandinave Spa in Mont Tremblant. (They also have one in Montreal!) This was exactly what my skin and body needed. From chill waters to hot steam rooms to quiet lounging areas by the fire. You can stay as long as you want and I swear we wanted to be there all day long. There is no loud talking, no phones, and no photography (I was allowed for the purpose of this story, but it is strongly frowned upon). It is the complete disconnect and relax retreat.
Dining and games – There are so many great spots to dine in and around the resort. We had great beer and sausages at the Microbrasserie La Diable. We really enjoyed the Thai and Chinese cuisine at Wok (admittedly we were surprised by this as well). We indulged on some beaver tails and made sure to stop into Smokes Poutinerie for some yummy poutine.
A fabulous lunch at O’Wok Thai and Chinese restaurant.
But our favorite dining experience by far was at Casino Tremblant’s Altitude Casino and Grill. From appetizer to dessert this was the epitome of romantic dinner experience. We started our evening at the bar on the lower level, where we got to chat with our bartender, Guy, who upon finding out we were visiting from New Jersey, proceeded to share his favorite beach destinations along the shore. He knew a lot more about the Jersey Shore than we did and I made him promise to take us on his boat some day. I mean, such a knowledgeable sailor with a knack for good conversation and good drinks? What’s not to love about the man?
Our bartender, Guy, can tell you all you need to know about the Jersey Shore.
Then we headed over to the beautiful second floor of the casino to dine at Altitude. We couldn’t appreciate it much during our evening visit but the casino is different from most in that it has huge windows surrounding the space that lets in the beauty and light of the outside so that you can enjoy both your gaming and the mountains. It is practically unheard of and very cool.
We were seated by the fire next to a large window and with a direct view of the evening’s entertainment. We dined on the seafood plate which included grilled salmon, tempura crab legs, roasted lobster tail, shrimp and scallops served with vegetables, rice, spicy mayonnaise and a ginger and lemon grass garlic butter. Ah-mazing. I have to give a shout out to our server Randall who was top-notch and kept the wine flowing!
Lastly, The Village – The pedestrian village of Mont-Tremblant is a picturesque replica of a beautiful European town straight out of a story book. It’s cobblestone streets and bright colors bring cheer even on the cloudiest of days. Cozied up against the Laurentian mountains, hubby and I delighted in walking around shopping, people, watching, and simply taking in the sights of skiers and ice skaters on the lake, as well as families and other couples.
Three nights is not nearly enough time to do everything. It certainly doesn’t leave any time to road trip to beautiful Montreal less than 2 hours away for more fun, but now we know and we can’t wait to return.
In the meantime, I am making a list of all the festivities happening throughout the year, such as the International Blues Festival in June and the Wanderlust Festival in August and planning our return. We might even take the kids.
Want to see more of our weekend in Mont-Tremblant? Check out our video!
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