To better appreciate Eastern Canada's Laurentian mountains at any time of year, check in to this famous ski area base camp.
After 11 years of winning Ski magazine’s award as top resort in the Northeast, Quebec’s Tremblant ski resort has blossomed into an international tourism destination — not only for skiers, but for families interested in the beauty of Mont Tremblant and the Laurentian Mountains at any time of year.
While locals flock to less pricey homes and rental condos in the surrounding hills, on the shores of nearby lakes, or on the golf courses (there are four other Domaines or condo clusters around the village), we recommend that visiting families savor what makes Tremblant special by staying right in the heart of the main Village Pietonnier or Pedestrian Village. The Intrawest Company, by investing more than CDN$1 billion since 1991, has made the Tremblant village one of the most attractive, well designed, most functional base areas we know
Families will find hundreds of condos and a few hotels tastefully tucked into charming two to five-story Alpine style houses that line the village’s three main lanes. All have easy access to dozens of cute boutiques and good restaurants. If you go for the cheaper condos downhill (farther from the slopes), you can haul yourselves and your equipment back up to the lifts with a complimentary chairlift to the base quads and gondola, and ski back for lunch on a trail that borders the village. The least expensive lodging is in the nearby town of Mont-Tremblant, about 10 minutes away by car — a viable option for those who want to get away from it all.
There’s a complimentary shuttle around the resort to the different bases, hotel shuttle service to the Mont-Tremblant International Airport, and public express buses going to Montreal or to Montreal’s Dorval International Airport. Note that Tremblant, because of the many recreational opportunities it offers, has become popular year round. The lowest seasons here are April and November; peak periods are Christmas/New Years week, President’s Day week, and the whole month of August. Room rates vary day by day according to occupancy; check the website for specials.
Note: Three mountain faces within this national forest are in operation: the main base village is at Le Sud or south face; a large parking area and limited facilities are at Le Nord or north face; and a new condo development opened in 2007 at Versant Soleil, the sun-facing or southwest side. Expect to see more housing become available for the summer of 2009.
Station Tremblant Village Hotels & Condos
Les Suites Tremblant
Mont-Tremblant, QC J8E1T1
Les Suites Tremblant is the umbrella name given to all condo lodging within the Pedestrian Village: Condos La Chouette; L’Ermitage du Lac; La Place St-Bernard; La Tour des Voyageurs; Le Bondurant; and Le Lodge de la Montagne. Most are timeshare units above commercial storefronts that provide limited services from small reception areas; when you call to book your condo you won’t be given a choice of lodging unless you request it (some choices require a premium). Count on finding nicely furnished units with traditional style, carpeted and cozy, complete with king, double beds, pullout sofas and fireplaces. Some will have wear n’ tear from heavy seasonal use, and not all the decor is regulated.
All have stocked kitchens, living/dining areas, balcony or French doors with a view, and either shared or ensuite laundry facilities. You won’t find a restaurant or fitness room or pool, but La Source, the base village’s pool and waterpark is terrific and it’s nearby. Every unit has a ski storage area; babysitting services can be had for a fee from reception; there are cribs, cots with linen, playpens for a fee; dry cleaning and laundry service (laundry rooms and vending machines on each floor.) Depending on price, you’ll find bathrooms that range from walk-in changing areas with separate Jacuzzi tubs and glass shower stalls to small, Formica-lined places for a brush-teeth and shower moment. One bedroom units sleep 4-6 and two-bedrooms can sleep up to 8 if you put two in the master bedroom, four in the second bedroom with two double beds, and two on the pullout sofabed. Check the resort map on www.tremblant.ca for the location of each building.
Country Inn and Suites by Carlson
160 Cure Deslauriers
Mont-Tremblant, OC Canada J8E 1C9
With more hotel amenities than many of the other condos, this attractive County Inn at the very foot of the village offers studio, 1BR, and 2BR units. Non-cookers will appreciate that rates include a continental breakfast. There is a sauna and outdoor hot tub for apres-ski or apres-summer sports, a small fitness room, high-speed Internet access, and accessible rooms for those with handicaps.
3045 Chemin de la Chapelle
Mont Tremblant, Quebec Canada J8E1E1
This five-star hotel is independently managed by the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts chain, with 314 guest rooms (including 62 suites) at the very top of the village, right by the slopes. A luxurious attention to detail is evident; service is non-stop and concierges are knowledgeable and helpful. Rooms are spacious and stylishly appointed, with down comforters and fine linens, gourmet toiletries, and work desks.
Many are privately owned and range from studios with coffeemaker and minibar, to multi-bedroom spreads with full kitchens and personal washer/dryer units. The hotel’s lobby bar and lounge are fun to hang out in, and the back door leads to a private chairlift that takes guests high enough uphill to ski down to Tremblant’s main quad. Skis and boards can be tucked into the staffed storage area as you glide into the back door; boots can be tucked into your assigned boot warmers while you retrieve the Uggs. The outdoor pool deck and Jacuzzi overlook the slopes — as do the best rooms and some of the spa’s treatment areas. Fine dining restaurant and lobby coAffee bar complement the range of moods; no matter how formal or casual you want to go, it’s done well. The Gold Floor, with its complimentary breakfast, all day snacks and happy hour, can be a bargain choice for a family of noshers; check the website for frequent promotions.
Homewood Suites by Hilton, Mont-Tremblant
3035 Chemin de la Chapelle
Mont-Tremblant, QC J8E, Canada
We remember this tucked away place as an ordinary condo on Place St-Bernard, and voila! it’s now the Homewood Suites. A great location at the bottom of the slopes, yet in the heart of the village, features spacious studios, 1BR or 2BR units equipped with full kitchens and dining/living areas. The 1BR lofts are a good value because the sleeping configuration offers more privacy. A nice breakfast buffet with hot dishes as well as continental favorites, plus afternoon snacks, are included in rates, and served in a quiet mezzanine space. Heated, underground parking is free.
More Residence Hotels in the Base Village
Le Sommet des Neiges, Les Suites Tremblant
1000 ch. des Voyageurs
Mont-Tremblant, QuÃ©bec, Canada, J8E 1T1
888/738-1777 for reservations; 819/681-3000 to reach guests
The luxurious suites of Sommet des Neiges will make you feel like you’re staying at a wealthy relative’s posh ski condo, one that’s just 100 feet from the resort’s main gondola. It’s also the lodging closest to the children’s nursery (the mountain’s Kidz Club for ages 1-4 meets in their ground floor play room) , Snow School programs and, for summer visitors, the resort hiking trails.
Daily during the peak season and on many weekends, counselors affiliated with the Tremblant ski school supervise kids who aren’t doing snowsports in indoor crafts and play time (available full or half-days, with or without lunch, for a fee). Near the Kidz Club is a large and bright Game Room with fusbol and a pool table, and lots of comfy couches for teens to lounge. Evening childcare is provided from the resort’s list of recommended local sitters, for a fee. Condos all have full kitchens and a fireplace; larger units have their own washer/dryer (a big plus) but there are also common laundry facilities, a Concierge, Fitness room, sauna, outdoor seasonal pool and year-round outdoor Jacuzzis.
Residence Inn by Marriott, Mont-Tremblant
170 chemin du CurÃ©-Deslauriers
Mont-Tremblant, QC J8E 1C9, Canada
Closer to sea level in Tremblant’s pedestrian village, this pastel condo managed by Marriott has easy access to a small cable car that brings guests from the main parking lots up to the slopes. When there’s lots of snow, you can even ski back (almost) to the front door. The Marriott has double rooms as well as 1BR or 2BR suites with a full kitchen, fireplace and two TV’s per unit; video rentals are handled at the front desk. Common facilities include an outdoor heated pool for summertime, WiFi, parking, meeting rooms, bike racks, laundry facilities and an exercise room. Daily newspapers, a breakfast buffet and afternoon snacks are included in rates.
Westin Resort & Spa, Les Suites Tremblant
100 Chemin Kandahar
Mont Tremblant, QuÃ©bec J8E 1E2 · Canada
A bit farther from the slopes than the Homewood Suites, this attractive Westin is well located with a friendly staff. With many amenities such as the brand’s Heavenly Beds, dry-cleaning service, concierge, fitness room, outdoor pool, hot tubs and room service, it feels like a good hotel. Families will appreciate the complimentary baby cots and playpens, laundromat, easy access from ski storage to the lifts (there’s a ski valet in operation during high season), and loaner exercise equipment available through the “Westin workout powered by Reebok” program. At a considerable markup, you may request a suite with a fireplace and kitchenette.
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