Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Come relax in the Laurentians, and take a well-deserved break in a setting that evokes the most beautiful tales. A silent snowy landscape of rivers, forests and mountains sublimely reveals itself to you. Here are some suggestions for original romantic ideas to celebrate the holiday of love:
That’s right! It’s already time to turn the page on 2017 and get started on 2018. During the holiday season, there are plenty of events in the Laurentians. Music and dance lovers will groove to the beat at the many festivities and experience the creativity of local and visiting artists. Foodies will also be thrilled with the many opportunities to enjoy the pleasures of the table. No matter what you do here, you’ll find joy everywhere! We offer a variety of places to celebrate New Year’s in the Laurentians:
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:
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!
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!
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.
The sun is just rising over the Laurentians and already it’s a fine warm day. In fact, it’s going to be another magnificent day. The only thing left to do is see which activity gets the short straw! That’s summer in the Laurentians: an unrivalled variety of activities to dream about. For relaxation, sport, culture and nature itself, or any other way you might like to enjoy summer at its best, it’s the destination par excellence.
What’s up this summer Spring/Summer 2016
Route des Belles-Histoires
The “Route des Belles-Histoires” allows visitors to discover the Laurentian region from another aspect. Its historic thematic perspective highlights the development of its various forestry, agricultural and touristic sectors. Running over 284 km from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier, following Route 117 and the “P’tit Train du Nord” linear park, you’ll track along one of the routes used by the early settlers. Several side-trips will take you to sites of particular heritage interest. In addition, you can visit old railway stations and museums, or use interactive terminals and view short video presentations, all providing glimpses of local and regional history. From the story of log jamming days to the Huberdeau Calvary with stopovers at Chute aux Iroquois, Espace Claude-Henri-Grignon, the Laurentian Ski Museum and the various heritage and historical circuits… more than 60 locations of interest to be discovered. Everything is in place for some fun and adventure along the Route des Belles-Histoires, a rendezvous with yesteryear, today in the Laurentians.
Espaces boutiques Métiers d’art Laurentides
The Conseil de la Culture des Laurentides (CCL) and its partners are proud to be providing four boutique spaces for the Métiers d’Art Laurentides. All year round, this public display presents the best of the creations being produced by the most talented professional craftspeople in the region. During your visit to the Laurentians, take time to enjoy the sheer beauty of the surrounding countryside, and prolong your enjoyment by surrounding yourself with the works of our local creators. Buy a local handicraft at one of the four outlets located at: Maison de la Culture et du Patrimoine (Manoir Globensky) in Saint-Eustache, the Laurentian Tourist Information Bureau at the Porte-du-Nord (exit 51 on Highway 15), at the Laurentian Ski Museum in Saint-Sauveur or at the Tourist Welcome Bureau located on Montée Ryan in Mont-Tremblant.
In company with a guide/interpreter, visitors can discover the history of the village site, founded at the end of the 18th century, which was the scene of one of the major episodes of the 1837 rebellion. In summer, there are a number of pedestrian tours to do, or you can be taken around the back streets with an audioguide, available year-round. A theatrical tour leads visitors on a tour of six historic frescoes painted on different buildings along the rue Saint-Eustache. Presented in collaboration with the Théâtre de la Petite Comédie, this tour provides an opportunity to enjoy a series of short theatrical pieces with an historical yet amusing background, inspired by the frescoes of Old-Saint-Eustache that you will see along the way. Guided tours and heritage attractions start on June 20, 2016 and there will be five representations on the theatrical circuit offered from July to September.
Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles
New in 2016: the Odyssée Map of the Rivière des Mille Îles: a new self-guided tour has been developed with some 29 points of interest for stops along the way. Four tours of various lengths are proposed allowing visitors to discover some of the lesser known sections of the Rivière des Mille Îles. Part of our fleet of watercraft has been renewed (rabaskas, canoes, rowboats, single and double kayaks). Like to amble along in a rabaska with no paddling to do? Yes, this is now possible. An animated tour lasting one and a half hours on board a motorized rabaska is just the ticket for those not wanting to paddle. The guide will share stories and facts concerning the history, flora and fauna of the Rivière des Mille Îles. Day Camp: 100% outdoors. Activities include fishing, bike rides and lots of discoveries for youthful explorers.
Les Vergers Lafrance
As of this spring, the Cabane à Sucre Lafrance will be boiling its own sap. With 1,500 trees tapped, the maple grove will allow them to produce maple syrup and other derivative products that you can obtain at the brand new boutique, which will open its doors in fall 2016. The maple grove is located up on the mountain and has walking trails and picnic areas. Something new this year to take your breath away!
At the 2016 Québec Cider Competition, the ice cider Cuvée Spé- ciale 2011 won the Grand Or Medal, having been awarded the highest note in the competition. A silver medal was also awarded to the Domaine Lafrance ice cider. Both these ice ciders are available at the Boutique des Vergers as well as in branches of the SAQ. The first organic cider will be available in the spring of 2016 in the 204 Métro grocery stores around Québec. The Cuvée 525 BIO, a pleasant cider produced from organically grown fruit at the orchards and by means of a manufacturing process approved by Écocert Canada, is sure to please everyone.
Auberge de l’Abbaye d’Oka
Auberge de l’Abbaye d’Oka welcomes you in a former abbey of the Cistercian monks. A one-of-a-kind lodging experience in a great setting with a unique architectural style. Escape the daily routine and enjoy the great outdoors, tourism, art and culture. Rooms starting from $85 per night (double occupancy). The Inn also offers: Catering services, weddings (church on site), sports equipment rental and 35 kilometers of mountain biking or hiking trails.
Super Aqua Club
This specialist in aquatic fun only 30 minutes from Montréal offers visitors an exclusive new ride for summer 2016, the TSUNAMI. Winner of the best innovation at the 2015 IAAPA Convention, it combines the perfection of the shapely hills and valleys with maximum corners and curves accentuated by centrifugal force. Comfortably seated in your boat, this new water-jet propelled technology guarantees you some moments of Formula 1-like thrills on the water! Come and enjoy a unique experience and high adrenaline! A drop and dive sensation that will take your breath away! There’s not a shadow of a doubt, the whole family is going to love getting into the Tsunami. In addition, numerous improvements have been made over the course of the winter. The main entrance has been totally reworked to provide quicker access and a more efficient bag search, with distinct turnstiles reserved for season pass holders and online ticket purchases. A new season high in color is on the cards at Super Aqua Club!
Boutique métiers d’art nous•vous•ils
In Rosemère, come and discover the talent of more than 50 Québec artisans: decorative objects, crockery, jewelry, fashion accessories; all types of arts and crafts work are featured. Thanks to the boutique nous•vous•ils, you can pick up this year’s latest creations. Under the same roof, you will find the atelier-boutique of jeweler Dominic Dufour who, in addition to his own creative work, features the work of another 20 Québec jewelers.
Hélibellule is fuelling up on maple syrup! Take off for a tour of the skies over the Chemin du Terroir and discover the sugar shacks of Mirabel from up above or better still, heliport yourself off for a maple syrup-flavored meal from the base at Mirabel International Airport to a sugar shack in the Mirabel area. This package includes a personalized reception with a special maple cocktail and a thematic gift to take home of a special sweatshirt. Tariffs will reflect your own expectations.
Located in Blainville, Défis-Défis is an indoor amusement center unique in Québec! Come and experience a very different way of having fun with the family, friends or by forming teams in this large building with 4,000 square feet under cover. Before the sand in the hourglass runs out, you must complete the 12 challenges: the labyrinth, the snake, the table that tilts, the word bath, the golf-billiards test, the bugs, the bungee, the Swiss cheese, the fishing test, the barrels, the colors and the piping. All games are accessible to the 5 to 75 age group! Grandparents are welcome to come and try the challenges in company with their grandchildren!
Agritouristic and breeding farm for miniature horses. Educational visits and equestrian activities for families. A herd of more than 100 miniature horses, with dozens of births each year. Come and enjoy a unique experience: cuddle a mini! Depending on the time of year, you might even be able to hold a newborn foal in your arms! Indoor riding arena open year-round, ideal for workshops, visits, children’s birthday parties and day camps.
Parc du Domaine Vert
Come and discover the new aerial exercise course for the whole family at Parc du Domaine Vert: the Écureuils course, adapted for children aged 3 to 6; the Petits Aventuriers course is for 7 to 10-year-olds, the Grands Aventuriers course, a new course to discover with a height of 20 feet above ground level, for those aged 10 or over accompanied by an adult. The Adults course is reserved for those 12 and older who can meet the height requirement. A series of four different courses high in color and emotion, each more daring and vertiginous than the next.
Golf et FootGolf Sélect
Footgolf is practiced on a specially-adapted regular golf course with cups 53cm wide. It takes about two hours to complete all 18 holes. All you need are some runners and a soccer ball. Footgolf is an individual sport that can be practiced alone or in groups of 2 to 8 persons. With no experience or training needed to play, your group will have tons of fun whether the players are 4 years old or 75!
For many of us, the month of March is sugaring off time! With its sugary sap, the maple creates its own springtime festival, bringing families and friends together for a day out at the sugar shack. The Laurentian region has any number of sugar shacks where fun and games are always on hand in the pure tradition of yesteryear. We invite you to come and sample maple time in the Laurentians:
This gastronomic sugar shack located in Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré is named in homage to the first local pioneers and to celebrate a family-based gourmet experience, presented in the friendly atmosphere of a rustic decor. You must absolutely taste our famous maple-glazed donut with bacon! Hot, runny glazing over crusty pastry with crunchy bacon.
From February 26 to May 1, 2016: with reservations only, open from Thursday to Sunday.
We go to enjoy:
- The excellent fresh regional produce
- The originality of the menu
- The famous maple-glazed donut with bacon – yummy!
Founded in 1941, Cabane à sucre Constantin located in Saint-Eustache has always stood out thanks to the quality and diversity of its products. Quality, good service and a warm atmosphere are the hallmarks of the Constantin family. Several activities available: taffy on snow, dance floor, horse-drawn sleigh rides, mini-farm with exotic animals, inflatable games, doll museum, marionette theater, mini 4×4 circuit, walking trails, boutique-souvenirs and visit to the evaporators.
In addition, it is possible to obtain “Produits d’Antan” items at the boutique. You’ll find a selection of jams and marinades of all kinds: maple products, maple syrup, frozen meals and homemade meals ready to eat.
From mid-February to end of April 2016. Reservations required.
We go to enjoy:
- The excellent “poor man’s pudding”
- The numerous activities for children
- Items in the “Produits d’Antan” range to take home
Come and indulge your sweet tooth at Cabane à sucre d’Amours, located in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines. Experience old-time sugaring-off fun in an atmosphere of Québec folklore in a sugar shack full of history and tradition. You’ll be delighted by our grandmothers’ maple recipes, prepared today by our chefs. Enjoy a sleigh ride through the maple grove drawn by two magnificent horses. Activities for children: a visit to the mini-farm, pony rides, haunted maple labyrinth, horseback rides and much more.
From February 27 to April 29, 2016. Reservations recommended.
We go to enjoy:
- Grandma’s crepes – yummy!
- The family atmosphere
- The maple kiosk inside the sugar shack
High up on the mountainside but very easy to get to, Cabane à sucre Arthur Raymond located in Piedmont is proud of its long tradition and the service it has been providing to its clientele for the past 61 years. Monsieur and Madame Raymond have handed the business over to several of their children, but still keep an eye on things and make sure the recipes retain their marvelous original taste. Just like the meals, the sugar shack built of old barn planks has kept its old-time structure and the folkloric music will help to keep you in a family atmosphere.
From February 27 to April 24, 2016. For groups of 15 or more persons, it is preferable to reserve…online, why not!
We go to enjoy:
- The traditional old-time meals
- The online reservations, it’s magical!
- The taffy on snow – yummy!
Plunge back into the atmosphere of the good old days! This old and rustic sugar shack with its antique tools displayed around the walls or on the grounds outside give the site the look of a small museum. The sleigh ride in the woods only adds to the feeling of going back to a more charmed time, when the natural world rhymed with simple living.
Come and relive the sugar shack tradition of yesteryear at La P’tite cabane d’la côte in Mirabel by savoring a copious meal centered on the sugar bush. A Québec folkloric show on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Don’t forget to bring your own wine or beer.
From February 27 to May 1, 2016, with reservations only.
We go to enjoy:
- Grands-pères (dumplings) in syrup – yummy!
- Folk music and dancing
- Seeing the maple sap collected
Since 1974, Cabane à sucre Nantel located in Saint-Hippolyte has been recognized for its warm atmosphere, rustic decor and especially, the exceptional quality of its meals. All meals are homemade. On the menu, old-style omelets, the famous oreilles de crisse (crispy bacon rind), the maple syrup upside-down cake and we mustn’t forget our genuine sugar pie that everyone so loves.
After that, to aid digestion, you have a choice of a nice walk in our woods, a visit to the mini-farm or, for those wanting to remain inside in the warmth, our dance floor with music and animation is yours to enjoy.
From February 27 to April 17, 2016. Reservations required on weekdays and for groups of 50 persons or more.
We go to enjoy:
- Grand-maman’s famous sugar pie – yummy!
- The delicious homemade pork cretons
- The evaporator room with explanations about the maple syrup process
Sucrerie la Marinière at Oka invites you to take some time out and enjoy a precious moment surrounded by those you love. From the appetizer to the dessert, you’ll be surprised by this traditional gourmet menu, all prepared with passion right here in the sugar shack. Vegetarian menu, without pork or without gluten available upon reservation.
Add to your visit by stopping off at the Boutique Gourmande, filled to the brim with pure maple syrup, other maple products and local sweets. Try our succulent nuts crystalized in maple syrup, they are simply delicious!
From February 27 to April 24, 2016, with reservations only.
We go to enjoy:
- The smoked ham from the Boucannerie Belle-Rivière – yummy!
- The French-Canadian pea soup – double yummy!
- La Boutique Gourmande
In the sugaring-off season, come and enjoy an excellent and traditional meal and delicious maple taffy at Sucrerie du Mont Bleu in Mirabel. Several activities offered on site: walking trails on the mountain, cart rides, educational games and visits to the facilities. You can bring your own wine and also the music of your choice. Four different rooms have been set up to welcome you. Meals with country fare for 30 persons and more.
From February 27 to May 1, 2016, it is preferable to reserve.
We go to enjoy:
- The maple gâteau mousse
- The personalized service
- Promenades in the forest on this enchanting site
Located only 3 km from exit 31 of Highway 15 in Mirabel, Sucrerie Bonaventure offers its traditional menu, which is sure to please the sweetest tooth! You can also obtain some of the various maple products all prepared on site. With the mini-farm, hockey nights, karaoke, folksinger and DJ, the outdoor fireplace and horseback rides, pleasure is guaranteed for young and old. And don’t forget to bring your own wine or beer.
From mid-February until the last weekend in April 2016, it is preferable to reserve.
We go to enjoy:
- The traditional sugar shack meal
- The atmosphere outdoors around our magnificent fireplace!
- The animation and karaoke
Cabane à sucre Bouvrette located in Saint-Jérôme celebrates the springtime by inviting you to enjoy a succulent repast at our traditional sugar shack. Thanks to its 1,400 tapped maples and the maple-processing facilities, the family Bouvrette produces a delicious maple syrup on site that you will take pleasure in sampling for the first or tenth time! You can also extend your enjoyment to your table at home by taking some of our maple products or hot takeaway dishes back with you.
From March 6 to April 24, 2016, it is preferable to reserve. Closed Mondays except on March 28, 2016 (Easter Monday).
We go to enjoy:
- Maple cornets – yummy!
- The train ride – too much fun with the kids!
- The festive atmosphere
Located at Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines in the Lower Laurentians, Cabane à sucre Gagnon is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. This traditional family sugar shack bears its name in homage to the founder who was ever ready to transmit his passion for the maple grove and its many products, in a convivial setting. Our energetic team will welcome you with warm smiles into an authentic decor with rustic touches. Come and see us and enjoy some homemade cuisine in a family atmosphere.
From March 5 to May 1, 2016, with reservations only.
We go to enjoy:
- The old-time traditional meal
- The family atmosphere
- Sausages in syrup – yummy!
By Mélanie Poirier
In its new complex in Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard for the last year, and including an accommodation wing, Attitude Montagne is proud to be innovating once again by presenting you the latest member of its family, La Chèvre! With the help of connoisseurs who ensure that we find new and different products, the establishment offers a range of beers from micro-breweries around Québec, a wine list of quality private imports served by the glass and an assortment of exclusive scotch whiskeys, all with the aim of allowing you to discover and experience this refined universe.
Espresso, latte, cappuccino as well as a wide variety of teas also available. The bar has an authentic, welcoming and convivial environment, creating a fun atmosphere. Guests are always surprised and impressed to see the immense fireplace and chimney that adds greatly to the atmosphere, and the outdoor campfire on the terrace is always appreciated by visitors, who can enjoy a seat in our Adirondack deck chairs made from recycled wood by a local craftsman.