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…
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!
Who would have believed that work and pleasure could be combined in an environment as stimulating as Fiddler Lake Resort? The idea of holding our corporate retreat by renting spacious and luxurious log cabins only 45 minutes from Montreal was simply delightful! How could we not have pleasant and productive meetings in such an environment? The tranquility of this exclusive 250-acre domain was perfect, just as the facilities were ideal for hosting our group: from the size of the cabins, with three to six bedrooms in each one, and the verandas where our happy hour took place, and where we shared good meals prepared on the barbecue.
What’s more, the many sports activities available on site were perfect for our team-building exercises and leisure time! The athletes among us also took advantage of this dream location to do their morning workouts before our meetings, jogging on the hiking trails, riding their bikes, or swimming a few laps in Fiddler Lake, which prohibits motorized boats. To further mix business with pleasure, some took advantage of a day of golf on one of the region’s superb golf courses. Others preferred to go biking, try the ziplines, or relax in the spa or barrel sauna at their cabin.
This much is certain: many of us are pleased that we invited our families to join us for the weekend and enjoy all that the site and region have to offer. Even more so since the 5th night was free! The children loved swimming in the lake, and also in one of the recreation centre pools as well as in our cabin’s private pool. Four out of the 50 chic rustic cabins available now have an in-ground swimming pool or a large cedar above-ground pool.
What fun we had playing tennis and basketball as a family, and also playing checkers on the giant outdoor checkerboard as well as pool in the comfort of our cabin! The young ones loved the new playground installed on the premises and the Acro-Nature aerial hebertism course and the waterslides just 15 minutes away by car; two activities that are offered at a discounted price for Fiddler Lake Resort guests. For my part, I took the time to browse in the warehouse stores of Saint-Sauveur Village before suggesting to the kids that we should grab a bite to eat on the terrace at the end of the day!
It’s decided: this summer, we’ll spend our family vacation at Mont-Tremblant! This time, we’ll rent a chalet in the mountains at Tremblant Resort. It’s a great way to be in the heart of events, close to sports activities and walking distance from 75 restaurants and shops in the pedestrian village.
While the children are already celebrating the return of the Bestibuzz, an entertaining troop of creatures brimming with good cheer and talent, they are really excited about taking part in the new Mission Liberté adventure games. Our daughter is also looking forward to coming home with a personalized shirt that she’s planning to create in a do-it-yourself boutique. As for our son, he’s yearning for an adrenaline-packed adventure trying out the ziplines at Ziptrek Ecotours. He’s been talking about it for ages!
We already knew that Tremblant is a choice summer destination for the entire family. From the Aquaclub to the Golf Academy; from the theme parks’ and Casino’s play areas; from intimate afternoon blues performances to electrifying evening shows in the bars—there is something for everyone.
Even so, we are delighted to note that there are continually new offerings to enhance our experience, including activities, events, boutiques, and restaurants. I’m thinking about the Grill & Country gourmet and music event; shows by The Franklin Electric group and Ariane Moffat; and the interactive component for children incorporated into Les Rythmes Tremblant. Not to mention new boutiques such as Atelier Mont-T’s, La Raffinerie, Parfum d’Argent, and MaïO, as well as the Laurent Louis and St-Hubert Express restaurants, as well as a Starbucks coffee shop.
The only thing left for us to decide is when we’ll be taking our dream family vacation. Maybe we’ll go at the same time as our friends from Toronto, who’ll be taking advantage of the direct flights offered by Porter. But whichever dates we choose, it always feels like the right place and time to go to Tremblant!
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!