Mont Tremblant, Quebec
It is amazing what $1 billion will buy, even in Canadian funds. Tremblant ski resort, 90 minutes northwest of Montreal, looks and feels like a centuries-old Alpine village, but it is all new in the past decade thanks to a mountain of money.
Tremblant’s magnificent makeover has catapulted the humble 1939 Quebec ski hamlet to world-class resort status with a sophisticated mountain village unlike any other in the East. An avalanche of awards for the posh slopeside design confirms that the transformation has been tasteful and top-notch. Now wonder Aspen has acquired Tremblant, and Intrawest ski resorts Steamboat, Winter Park, and Stratton too.
Our first view of Tremblant’s charming ski village brought a flashback of Zermatt, Switzerland for my husband and I. The car free village is brightly colored, bustling with boutiques and pubs connected by snowy sidewalks. Our two kids were eager to explore the storybook alpine setting, and stretch their car-cramped legs.
Above the twinkling lights, and attractive architecture, we viewed Mont Tremblant – partially lighted for night skiing. While not the towering Alps, it is a suitably sized Eastern mountain at 2,871feet, and an easy stroll from our suite.
To acclimate ourselves to the French-Canadian setting, we splurged on fondue at the cozy La Savoie our first night. While we tried to parlé a bit of Francais, we were relieved that everyone speaks English too. Still, you can rationalize the trip as educational and multi-cultural.
In the morning, we hopped on the VW Cabriolet, a clever open-air cabin that whisks you over the village in a most scenic fashion to Tremblant’s spiffy base to summit Gondola. The temperature on this January day was –15° Celsius, whatever the Fahrenheit equivalent - it felt nippy.
We soon discovered that Canadians are très serious about their skiing, from their matching technical Descente ski suits (leave your duct-taped woolies in Maine if you want to blend), to their urgency in the lift line (something they inherited from their Euro-cousins). We kept our kids close and survived the opening bell crush for a 10-minute trip in our “telécabine” up the mountain. The Gondi deposits everyone at the top of Tremblant’s four-sided mountain, with 627 acres and a generous 2,100’ vertical drop, making it Quebec's largest “ski station.”
Tremblant's South Side faces the village. Here we skied an assortment of ego-pleasing wide trails like Kandahar and Grand Prix, and rode the Flying Mile Quad over the ParcGravité - which was loaded with the usual treacherous terrain park elements.
The North Side, the mountain’s backside, features a few pitched boulevards, a couple of narrow old lift lines, and the hair-raising steeps of Dynamite – the steepest trail in Eastern Canada at 40-degrees, which was not open for our visit – phew!
The Edge is a tucked-away pocket where we schussed black-diamond glades, bumps, and jumps. Versant Soleil gets the most mid-day sun, as its name implies. With a picturesque mix of tree runs and naturally undulating trails, this mountain section has its own distinct flavor.
No need to worry about getting enough runs in. High-speed quads climb every face. The modern lift layout gets its work out on weekends and holidays when Tremblant sees its share of Montrealers. Among the 95 trails, we found a few quiet stashes. Tremblant’s snowmaking arsenal is impressive, with chilly temps this far north – they blow optimum man-made snow.
Tremblant's On Mountain Dining, we liked the Summit Lodge “Le Grand Manitou”, which offers splendid views of the surrounding Laurentian lakes and mountains. Ensuing days, with a little savoir-faire, we skied into the village for a European gourmet repast at a charming café, for less.
Tremblant for non-skiers is a good pick. Not only can you rendezvous for lunch; the village shops, pottery studio, and movie cinema well keep the no-boarders amused while you carve out your day on the hill.
Après Ski at Tremblant the attractive pedestrian zone really comes alive from late lunch into the wee hours. Remember the French coined “après-ski.” Bars like Le Shack pump out music and liquid cheer for satisfied skiers. The youngsters line up at Beaver Tail Cafe for the Canadian version of fried dough, shaped like . . . you guessed it, a beaver’s tail. Lovely ladies in fur browse chic boutiques, while Toufou – Tremblant’s oversized reindeer mascot - parades through town shaking little skiers’ hands.
For kids “La Source Aquaclub” is a Laurentian lake themed Disney-like amusement park of indoor wading pools, trees, rocks, a rope swing, and waterfall. It is a big splash with the children.
At the end of our four-day sojourn, we were only beginning to embrace the joie de vivre. Sure, we had skied a variety of vertical, we had swung from the branches at the Aquaclub, we had poked around cutesy shops, and dined on delicious cuisine. But I still desired a double espresso at a café, the kids wanted to mush a dog-sled team across Lac Tremblant, and my husband craved the cliffs of Dynamite.
As we packed up the SUV for the long trek home, we all dreamed of a Tremblant encore. Before you apply for Visas, book airfare, and fly over the pond – try Tremblant, Quebec for a mini-Euro ski trip.
Opening and closing dates
|Season||Open Date||Close Date|
|2017/2018||11/24/2017 (estimated)||04/18/2018 (estimated)|
Lift ticket and season pass prices
|Category||Age restrictions||Price (USD unless otherwise stated)|
|Adult||18 - 69||$71 (89 CAD)|
|Child||2 & under||Free|
|Child||3 - 5||$8 (10 CAD)|
|Child||6 - 12||$41 (51 CAD)|
|Child||13 - 17||$49 (61 CAD)|
|Senior||70 & over||$63 (79 CAD)|
(Unlimited Season Pass)
|$1,135 (1419 CAD)|
Mont Tremblant is easy access for many populated city.
It is a very busy place with a lot to offer.
They have a great village at the base of the mountain with a lot to offer in activity and food and beverage.
Awesome resort, with a very European feel to it. The place does get crowded on weekends, but during weekdays, you have the place to yourself. Great restaurants, good bars, and the hotels are great as well with outdoor hot tubs, etc.
We were able to rent a condo set back along the river. Very beautiful, a feeling seclusion, yet close to the ski village and Mountain.
Snow conditions usually great, but as I get older the temperatures in Canada become more bothersome.
It's way cold in Tremblant but there is lots to choose from for apres ski.
Love love love this mountain! The runs were long and wide so even if there were tons of people on the mountain, it did not feel that way. You did feel the crowdedness when trying to sit inside and warm up. Wish there was more space for that. Otherwise, I had a blast here. Last season was my first time at Mont Tremblant and I would definitely return.
This was a wonderful family vacation - action packed, with wonderful restaurants and entertainment.
the girls love the americans. and the mountain is ok.
very nice and affordable area, good ski school, festivals, french restaurants, driving distance from NY
We have visited Tremblant several times. We enjoy the skiing as well as the pedestrian village. The surrounding area is also a great draw for us. The restaurants in Tremblant village (not the mountain) and in St. Jovite are wonderful. We also enjoy the shopping. Tremblant is a great place for families with children of all ages.