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 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.
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…
With its Roman looks, its idyllic location and highly competitive prices, the Auberge de La Tour du Lac was the perfect place for the two of us to escape to celebrate our anniversary. But little did we know what the owners, Mario and Nathalie, had in store for us. We could see how delighted they were to welcome us into their inn with its old-fashioned charm. Aficionados of small tourist establishments and good food themselves, they bought this old bed and breakfast in 2003 and turned it into a real success!
Everything about the place encourages relaxation and romance, from the magnificent, restful site to the comfortable, country-style rooms with hot tubs, fireplaces and every amenity one could wish for, including the continental breakfast delivered in a basket to our room. Not to mention the spas, the sauna, the outdoor fireplace, and the excellent six-course set menu dinner we enjoyed at the Auberge. Possibly the best flank steak I’ve ever tasted! Refined dishes prepared from local ingredients, served by smiling, attentive staff, in an absolutely charming vintage interior. The countless treasures from the past preserved in this old-time beauty were a true feast for the eyes, from the dining room to our room overlooking the majestic Lac des Sables.
It’s hard to know where to begin when describing the warm, attentive service we received from Mario, who seems to take care of everything down to the last detail! It may have been the famous 50% discount offered year-round from Sunday to Thursday that first caught our attention, but we will be coming back for everything else. Because nothing can match the excellent value offered by the Auberge La Tour du Lac – except the warm antique decor, the restful ambiance, the amazing food, and the warm welcome given to us by our hosts, who treated us like family members!
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!
It was after going to the Estérel Resort for a convention that I had the idea to take my wife there for a romantic getaway, because the dream location and upscale facilities of this prestigious hotel complex make it an ideal holiday destination. Who could resist the charm of this special place that served as an inspiration for the painter Jean-Paul Riopelle! After getting an impressive facelift in 2012, this Laurentian jewel stands proudly in the heart of the Laurentian wilderness, surrounded by three navigable lakes and kilometres of forest.
With 200 suites in two contemporary boutique hotels, the Emotion and Evolution complexes would make the most recent hotels green with envy. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that the Estérel Resort has twice garnered the Québec tourism industry’s highest honour! With their fireplaces, kitchenettes, trendy decor and impressive nature views, the suites invite relaxation. Ours had a private hot tub on the deck, from which we could look out over the Nordic spa and the beach. We also took great pleasure in discovering the health and beauty centre, two heated pools, saunas and outdoor fireplace that round out the leisure facilities.
Every moment of our unforgettable stay provided a new and unexpected sensory experience. In addition to the comfort, luxury and distinctive atmosphere, the food is truly exceptional. The three restaurants overlooking the lake offer a distinctive dining experience in chic or casual atmospheres. We will not soon forget the epicurean adventure we had at the Bistro à Champlain, which boasts one of the finest wine cellars in Canada!
Its proximity to a sandy beach, a yacht club with boat rentals, an 18-hole golf course and hiking trails also makes Estérel Resort an ideal destination for athletic visitors and nature lovers. And with the charming village of Saint-Sauveur just 25 minutes away, the list of available sports and cultural activities just gets longer and longer!
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.