Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mont-Tremblant | Québec

And here we are at Mont-Tremblant, the third and final destination on our Quebec ski mountain road trip! From Château Bromont we headed Northwest through Montreal and two and a half hours later arrived at the Marriot Residence Inn Manior Labelle situated at the base of Tremblant's vibrant pedestrian village. A few minutes later we were barside at Microbrasserie La Diable with some excellent craft beers, a cauldron of poutine and a toasty, cheesey croque monseiur. I'm glad we discovered this chill microbrewery first-thing as it wouldn't be our last time here.  

We settled into our one-room suite situated on the on third floor of the front tower with a small balcony. The living room decor and color scheme felt outdated while the kitchen was fully updated with stainless steel appliances and black granite counter tops. Steps away the Cabriolet lift was a two minute ride up and over the village to the gondola base, while Voyageur trail looped around the village directly back to the hotels front door. Ski racks are appropriately placed here and locks are given at check in so you can be sure to secure your gear overnight. Cabriolet-out / ski-in accommodations could not have been more fun and convenient! 

Other hotel highlights included the dueling outdoor hot tubs and easy-access underground parking reached by the hotels central elevators. The only thing I found to be lacking was the continental breakfast. While there were plenty of options, the food didn't stack up and each morning when we arrived it was smokey / someone was burning something in the kitchen! We stuck to the waffle maker. If it wasn't complimentary I would have gone out for crepes. 
We stocked the fridge with our favorite local goodies collected over the past 4 days: St-Ambroise Double IPA (Montreal), Archibald - La Matante Blonde Ale (Quebec City) +  Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider (Cantons De L'est).
We skied two full days - the first with local ambassador, Norm, who knew the mountain ins and outs, the history, and the meaning behind each trail name. I loved having our own personal concierge and the fact that he kept referring to me as a "reporter"! Day one was foggy with low visibility and some rain in the afternoon, while day two brought sunshine and blue sky with deceivingly chillier temps. The snow coverage was terrific with packed powder conditions. It was key to follow where the sun hit on day two, it made all the difference between soft moguls and chattery, icy slopes. Tremblant has a great variety of terrain on both north and south facing slopes (Versant Nord, Versant Sud). My favorite runs included: Zig-Zag and Haut Tension for steep bumps, Nansen Haut for a long green circle cruiser, and La Griffe and Laurentienne for fast blacks.
For après be sure to check out La Forge or Le Shack where the top of the village meets the ski slope. A Bloody Caesar on Le Forge patio in the late afternoon sunshine hits the spot. The lower section of the village is defined by old rustic wooden lodges turned restaurants (O Wok, Savoie), bars (La Diable, Le P'tit Caribou) and even some chic nightclubs (Jackalope Lounge). Back in the day these adorable little buildings were actually situated trail side and where skiers would spend the night. 

Featuring Thai and Chinese dishes, O Wok has seamlessly blended a modern Asian aesthetic into their rustic lodge. We had lunch here in our ski boots, which consisted of a Hot Sake Carafe, Steamed Pork Dumplings ($9) and flavorful, toothsome noodle bowls. I couldn't get enough of Le Pad Sew au Boef ($19) loaded with tender savory beef, thai basil, mushrooms, pepper and onions. Bob enjoyed a traditional Le Pad Thai Au Crevettes ($22)



One evening we had dinner at Gypsy, a Mediterranean Tapas bar located at the village's Le Westin Resort. The urban chic atmosphere of the glorified lobby restaurant didn't quite mesh with the vibe of a ski village or resemble a Spanish inspired Tapas bar, so the whole thing felt confused. It simply read like a well designed lobby space that might - and in fact did - serve a nice cocktail so we started with Dirty Martinis. 
I was disappointed to see only three wines by the glass - inconspicuously listed among the bottles. Tapas bar or hotel lobby bar, identity crisis or not, I'd expect a few more choices either way. As far as the tapas themselves go the patatas bravas were underwhelming, but, fortunately, the rest of the dishes were a success. Shrimp a la Grand Mariner, soft grilled pita and red pepper hummus, perfectly seared scallops with avocado mousse, the lamb burger and the pork shank all proved satisfying!


The restaurant truly not to miss in Mont-Tremblant is La Savoie - an authentic Swiss Fondu and Raclette eatery. It is popular with families and makes the top of my must visit list in Tremblant thanks to a combination of the warm, cozy Swiss Alpes inspired atmosphere, our all around excellent server and the incredible experience of eating piping hot, bubbly, rich, tangy and creamy melted raclette cheese scraped off the wheel over potatoes, dill gherkins, pearl onions and dried meats like Parma Ham and Salami. La Raclette Savoyard ($50pp) includes all of the above as well as a lightly dressed green salad to balance out all the cheese and meat. A visit to La Savoie is not complete without Chocolate Fondu for dessert. A platter of marshmallows, shortcake, sliced bananas and strawberries are provided for dipping in a warm bowl of silky, smooth, melted milk chocolate. 
There were quite a few large groups and families in for an early dinner (6pm), and I know there was a second dinner seating around 8pm (as we were unable to push our reservation back when we inquired). They obviously book up fast on weekends so make sure to get a reservation in advance.
In the heart of the Lauretians, Mont-Tremblant is a destination worthy ski resort for everyone from couples like us, to families, to large groups of friends. With a European inspired pedestrian village offering a wide range of cuisine, nightlife and shopping, you are sure to have a unique and memorable experience if you make the trip!

 Mont-Tremblant
1000 Chemin des Voyageurs
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec J8E 1T1, CANADA

*our accommodations, ski tickets, and most meals (not including alcohol or tip) were covered by Tourisme Quebec. Prices listed are in CAD. All opinions are my own*

La Savoie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

5 comments:

  1. What gorgeous scenery! And I love all your fun ski gear. We need a raclette eatery here in Boston!

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  2. Love that you found a microbrewery right away! I love finding spots like that at the beginning of the trip, that we can visit multiple times before leaving.

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  3. all that cheese- yummmm! Looks like you had an interesting variety of foods during this part of the trip! Finding your favorite places right off is the best- we did that during our Italy trip and it was so fun to be able to go back a few times.

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  4. This looks like such a gorgeous, fun and yummy getaway! The chocolate fondue sounds amazing :)
    xoxo, Jenna
    Boston Chic Party

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  5. You were so ready for this trip! Love that picture of you. Great leggins!

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