Just 45 minutes from Montreal, the Laurentians offer visitors an array of magnificent landscapes to discover. The region’s inspiring surroundings and bustling villages make it the perfect destination for a successful business trip. And here’s the proof.
Come enjoy a vacation or getaway in a fabulous setting, surrounded by nature! The Laurentian region is renowned for its gorgeous Nordic spas, expansive parks, and top-quality establishments, not to mention its residents’ zest for life. The spectacular fall colours cover the region as far as the eye can see, and the distinct character of the landscape will take your breath away! When winter comes to the mountains, snow-covered forests, hiking trails, and ski slopes, it’s time for some snow sports! Here’s what’s new in the Laurentians for the 2017-2018 fall/winter season:
Interviews and writing by Lyne Branchaud
In the events sector, some projects require organizers to get out of their comfort zone and push themselves—and their partners—to the limit! These companies in the Laurentians rose up and met the challenge with gusto.
Here are two accounts of such challenges from Olivier St-Arnaud, Executive Chef at the Casino de Mont-Tremblant, and Carole Tétrault, Director of Sales at the Manoir Saint-Saveur.
Interviews and article by Lyne Branchaud
What are the latest meeting and conference trends in the Laurentians? To find out, we talked to three representatives who work in the area: Marie-Chantal Thibault, Sales Manager, Groups & Conferences for the Tremblant Resort Association; François Desrochers, Convention and Services Manager at Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant; and Line Latour, Sales Manager at the Estérel Resort.
They say children have a huge influence on their parents when it comes to choosing a holiday destination. That was certainly the case in our family, when our two teens practically begged us to book a family suite at the Super 8 hotel in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts! Why were they so insistent that we choose that 74-room hotel midway between Saint-Sauveur and Mont-Tremblant?
Was it the indoor pool with its 24-metre water slide and water jets? The suite featuring a themed room for kids with bunk beds, TV and Xbox game console? Or the crispy waffles served with the free continental breakfast? I suspect it was also because we were able to bring our dog along on the trip, because the Super 8 hotel accepts pets. And probably because, like us, our children have great memories of our stay at the Super 8 in Saint-Jérôme. In the 81-room complex there, we had enjoyed the same amenities and services and discovered a host of attractions and a wide range of restaurants in that city, which is just teeming with activities.
This time, we took advantage of the proximity of downtown Saint-Agathe-des-Monts with its shops and the beach on Lac des Sables, which make the Super 8 an ideal location. Not to mention the other activities we did as a family, from hiking to cycling through the Le P’tit Train du Nord linear park, and the comedy show at the famous Le Patriote theatre.
Our kids were absolutely right to choose this resort: both the one in Saint-Jérôme and the one in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts provided perfect places for family getaways that were memorable, and also incredibly affordable, thanks to their great rates and the fact that children aged 17 and under stay for free!
To mark my birthday during a getaway together, my friends had the brilliant idea to book the “girls’ day out” package at the Hôtel Spa Watel in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. While it’s true that the wide range of body care treatments offered there – including massage therapy, heated pools, dry and steam saunas and hot tubs – were definitely a factor the next time I was deciding where to stay in the Laurentians, that was not the only one.
As lovers of great food, the outdoors and cultural activities, we were thrilled with this four-star hotel on the mountainside and its breathtaking panoramic view. With its 31 beautifully decorated rooms and suites offering spectacular views of the lake, friendly service, quality facilities and dream location, what more could we ask for!
Between the Swedish massage, the facial and relaxation time lounging on one of the seven patios with spas and fireplaces, we took advantage of the nearby cycling trail. After our ride, we settled down on the beach right in front of our hotel. Besides swimming, I tried out sailing on the majestic Lac des Sables, while some of us chose other, non-motorized water activities.
After a very full day, we went back to the comfort of our rooms to enjoy the bottles of champagne included in our packages, while preparing for the evening. Relaxed and refreshed, we couldn’t resist the call of the fondue – a classic on the menu at Uno restaurant – which helped us hold onto that feeling of relaxation we’d enjoyed since our arrival. After that, we headed over to the Le Patriote theatre, within walking distance of the hotel, where a highly entertaining comedy show awaited us.
I will never forget this special time celebrating my birthday with my friends in this charming hotel, which has won several awards, for the quality of service and facilities, and for its environmental responsibility. A real gem that you will enjoy discovering any time of the year, for any occasion!
It was at a large family gathering that we discovered Blueberry Lake, a resort 25 minutes north of Mont Tremblant. This treasure spread over 300 acres of forest with 60 chalets close to the lake strikes the perfect balance between authenticity and amenities, tranquility and activities.
Next to a peaceful natural lake surrounded by a wild landscape, we could not have wished for a better place to gather, celebrate together, and spend quality time with family. The calm, quiet setting is perfect for relaxation and friendly conversation, and everyone enjoyed the wide variety of activities. We had a ball competing in friendly tennis and beach volleyball tournaments, with the young ones taking on the adults! After all that exercise, it was wonderful to go for a swim, either in the outdoor pool or in the lake. Some of us also ventured out onto the lake in canoes, kayaks or pedal boats. And I couldn’t resist the temptation to enjoy the ultimate relaxation with a massage and spa treatment at the superb facilities next to the lake.
What better way to top off our days than by sharing a delicious meal around one big table? To make sure everyone got the most of their first evening, we hired a “chalet chef,” who happily cooked up a storm for us in the comfort of our luxurious log chalet. With its spacious interior, panoramic windows, large stone fireplace, modern facilities, billiard table and outdoor Jacuzzi, we spent a memorable evening, pampered with totally customized service.
Many other family members have gone back to Blueberry Lake as I have, for a romantic getaway or family vacation. The next time we go, we will take full advantage of this dream location to discover more of the countless activities available in the vicinity, including golf, cycling, events organized at the Tremblant Resort, the Casino, and more…
We knew Mont-Tremblant was a dream location for enjoying the outdoors, attending cultural and sporting events and spending quality time with your partner, family or friends, but we have now discovered that it is also the ultimate cycling destination. Whether you’re a road bike or a mountain bike enthusiast, you’ll love the circuits and trails for all skill levels, offering truly breathtaking views!
Twenty road bike circuits give you wonderful opportunities to enjoy the region’s natural and historic attractions, taking you along the Rivière du Diable and through pleasant villages. Some 380 km just waiting to be explored, including two bike trails, one of which is in the famous Le P’tit Train du Nord linear park with its many picturesque stops and old railway stations converted into cafés or exhibition centres. It was so much fun for the family to ride part of the long trail running next to the old railroad and have a picnic on the water! We also took the paved La-Villageoise-de-Mont-Tremblant route, which connects the village area to the Tremblant Resort, passing experienced inline skaters along the way.
The kids also enjoyed the three new pumptracks that run right through the wilderness near the Mont-Tremblant Aquatic Complex. With their bumps and banked corners that allow you to build up speed, these closed circuit courses are a delight for cyclists of all ages and levels.
On our next trip there with friends, we will explore some of the 50 km of mountain bike trails on Mont Tremblant, along the Rivière du Diable or at the Domaine Saint-Bernard ecotourism centre. A new section more than 2 km long has also been added to one of the trails. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just a beginner looking for the perfect getaway, you’ll find something for you.
We still have plenty of bike trails left to explore and so many other outdoor activities to discover in Mont-Tremblant, and we’re so glad to have the Ondago app. Using our smartphones and tablets, we can view interactive maps for mountain biking, road biking, hiking and even canoeing!
Of course we knew about Hotel Le Chantecler through its reputation: this gem is located on the shores of Lac Rond in the Laurentians, and has hosted guests from Canada and abroad since 1938. But we had never had the chance to stay there when it was a small country hotel of 45 rooms. Over the years, it was transformed into a magnificent 3-star holiday resort boasting 179 rooms and suites. It turned out to be a great idea when we chose one of the packages the hotel was offering for an unforgettable romantic getaway weekend!
Everything was orchestrated so that we would experience a dream stay: a spacious room with a balcony and all the conveniences you could wish for; postcard-perfect panoramas; and staff that were pleasant and attentive to our every need. A true sensory experience awaited us at every turn: massages and body treatments provided at the hotel spa, epicurean delights offered at Nämos gourmet restaurant and terrace, considered one of the most beautiful in the Laurentians! We discovered amazing cocktails there and international-calibre cuisine prepared using fresh local products, all the while enjoying a superb view of Lac Rond.
What made our stay so delightful? The hotel’s warm and relaxed atmosphere and its enchanting setting, the quality of the service, as well as the sheer quantity of activities available on the premises and on the outskirts of the resort. An indoor pool, sports centre, sauna, hot tub, tennis, volleyball and squash courts, a golf course, and a private beach with non-motorized aquatic activities complete its recreational facilities. There are also a number of sports and cultural activities in the surrounding areas added to the attractions, including trails for hiking, cycling and horseback riding, and other golf courses. Add to this the restaurants, art galleries, festivals, and warehouse stores in Saint-Sauveur that we were delighted to discover less than 15 minutes from our hotel.