This summer, my wife and I don’t have any major trips planned. Most of the summer will go to my wife finishing off her Ph.D. studies. Since we have to stay local, we have planned a few activities within driving distance to keep things fun. This past weekend we went to Mont Tremblant, a couple of hours north of Montreal. It is known primarily as a premiere ski destination during the winter, but offers some nice hiking in the summer. We stayed in a resort called Cap Mont Tremblant. It is basically whole bunch of condo buildings set up on a hillside with really nice views. From what I understood, you can own or temporarily rent a condo. We did the later. It is apparently a four star resort. It was nice, but our unit did not have air conditioning. I would have also put it more along the lines of a three or three and half star resort based on our condo (no a/c, chipping paint, no daily cleaning of the room, have to take out your own trash, etc). But, there was a kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, and spacious balcony with a great view. The resort has three swimming pools, one of which is adults only. We started with the adults only pool, but it was full of loud, obnoxious, beer guzzling, music blasting twenty-somethings… so we actually turned around and hit the family pool with the waterslide. Overall, it was a nice enough place to sleep and spend a couple of days, and relatively inexpensive.
On Saturday, we hiked up Mont Tremblant. We took the Grande Brulé trail from the pedestrian village up to the summit. There was a really nice stream and waterfalls right at the beginning of the trail. The ascent took us three hours and 20 minutes. We saw two snakes, a green frog, and an American toad along the way. The trail is free to hike, but on a weekend that means lots of people. There was a point where we were starting to feel like a herd of cattle, and took a break just to let the huge line of people move by. Next time, we might try a weekday morning. One of the great points about hiking this trail as opposed to the trails leaving from Tremblant National Park (apart from being free) is that you can take a nice, long hike up the mountain, and if you are tired after, take a Gondola back down (it costs $7). There is also a cafeteria style restaurant at the peak (though it is WAY over-priced).
Sunday was a real first for both my wife and me. We took our first trip to a spa. We went to the Scandinave. This spa has a few locations around Canada, and while I cannot speak for the others, the one in Tremblant was wonderful. We decided to only do the baths on our first visit, but we came to the conclusion that we will return and try a massage on our next trip. The idea behind the baths is that you spend 15 minutes or so in a hot bath, then dip into a cold bath, and then relax for 15 minutes or so. The hot bath options were hot tubs, a Finnish sauna, and a Norwegian steam bath. For the cold bath, you could immerse yourself into one of a few 19°C swimming pools, take a cold shower, or jump into the Rivère du Diable (devil’s river) which runs adjacent to the spa. The river was the nicest option in my opinion, but the pools had built in waterfalls and were also fun. The rest areas included hammocks and Adirondack chairs in the woods, day beds and Adirondack chairs on the decks by the river, and chairs with blankets by a fire. The spa is also equipped with indoor lounging areas for rainy days and cold weather. We spent a few hours just trying out different combinations of the baths. It was a very pleasant experience. No Minifigure photos (or pictures in general) allowed though…
So, if you are looking for a weekend getaway near Montreal, Mon Tremblant is definitely a fun option. Until next time,