Have you ever visited Mont Tremblant in Quebec? It’s a spectacular ski mountain, with a beautifully developed village at its base. See this professional photo from the Tremblant website? It’s accurate. It really is that picturesque.
We’ve rented a condo there on several occasions for weekend getaways. It always feels special there … like there is vibration in the air … like the ground is almost thrumming with the ski vibes. And for the young (and young-at-heart), there is a very active night life with dancing and a popular microbrewery.
And as much as I love Mont Tremblant, I would never describe it as “tranquil.” Yet, now I can. I’ve seen a whole other side to this mountain — and it’s spectacular.
In the final week of January, I accepted an invite to a press trip from Ford Canada (#FordBacktoBasics). I really didn’t have any set expectations for the weekend; it just felt like an excellent opportunity for me to break from my routine and connect with some other writers, while learning more about a company that I already like (as a couple, we’ve owned three Ford vehicles).
However, those expectations were blown right off the mountain (if you can forgive me that pun!). The whole weekend felt like someone had pulled the curtain back on an entire world I didn’t know existed up at Tremblant! I kid you not when I say that it truly did feel magical.
First, all of the invited Ottawa bloggers and journalists met at the Campbell Ford location. Once there, we were given a very helpful overview of winter driving tips and tricks (by NASCAR drivers no less!) From there, we were paired up and provided with a car to drive from Ottawa up to Mont Tremblant. I lucked out and was partnered with my long-time blogging friend Andrea as well as the public relations pro helping to organize the trip, Melissa.
We dropped our bags into the truck, connected our phones using the vehicles’s SYNC feature, and started our roadtrip up to the mountain in the 2015 Ford Escape SE. I own a 2010 Ford Escape, so it was fun to see the difference between the two models. And while my 2010 felt very luxurious when I bought it, the 2015 model kind of crushed that notion.
— andrea tomkins (@missfish) January 31, 2015
The drive went very smoothly, and about 2 and a half hours later, we pulled into our hotel for the weekend: Quintessence. We walked in the front doors and – bam! – we were greeted with a massive panoramic view of Lake Tremblant in front of us, with a large wood burning fireplace with armchairs to the right of us. With only 30 suites, this boutique hotel is calm and peaceful, with guests strolling the halls with complimentary “Q” slippers on. And things only got better once we were checked in because THIS was my room. Yes, those are double doors that open to a freestanding bath tub. And yes, that love seat and chair are positioned to face a beautiful wood-burning fireplace. And one more thing: here’s the view from my room’s balcony: I wanted to immediately put my flannels on and settle into this room and never leave it. Alas, it was not to be though because we had a full agenda. But, oh, how I was tempted to hide away in there and never come out! (See that corner window in the hotel suite the below? I see no reason why I couldn’t set up my laptop there and live quietly without disturbing anyone.) I had a short break between lunch and the next planned event for this trip, so I thought I’d figure out where the village was in relation to this hotel and get some steps in on my FitBit. I asked the front door man, who gave me directions that just didn’t sound right.
I followed them; they were right.
The hotel, which is all zen and calm, is just a quick jaunt across the road to the village, where everything was a-buzz. I never would have imagined it was so close. It felt like the Quintessence was miles away from the actual ski lift.
After a poke around some of the shops in the village, I returned back to the hotel for a scheduled wine tasting. In the past, I’ve enjoyed wine-tastings on site right at the vineyard. This one, however, was in a cozy bar on the bottom level of the hotel. Our sommelier, Sophie, was really knowledgeable and she introduced us to a number of Canadian wines I’d never tasted, or even considered tasting, before. It was a very different experience for me because we were so comfortable, all tucked in the Quintessence, with the frozen lake out the windows.
We all sat together around a round table. We tasted. We nibbled. We tasted and nibbled again. And again. We did this on repeat until the entire table was filled with the remains of our tasting!
From there, I was scheduled to experience a Swedish massage in my room. (It was tough, but someone’s gotta do it!) It didn’t take long until I was a complete jelly of relaxation.
It was then that Andrea texted me to say that we should go visit the outdoor Jacuzzi. I told her I really had no interest in getting out of my cozy robe and slippers to be in a bathing suit outside in the freezing cold.
She didn’t take no for an answer. And I’m glad.
As we sat immersed in the warm water, with crisp winter air around our heads, I looked out over Lake Tremblant and I thought, “I want to remember this forever. This needs to go into my head’s photo album.” I felt really grateful to experience this peace.
Andrea and I got so lost in our little realm of peace that we left ourselves a scant 10 minutes to get from the spa to our rooms, throw on some clothes, and meet the rest of the group for dinner. Once we arrived, we were treated to a beautiful meal within the hotel’s restaurant. I chose a dore fish, with wild rice cake. Everyone around the table seemed really pleased with their choices as well.
Now, with full belly and fully relaxed mind and body, I returned to my room. I put on my flannels and slippers and sat still in front of the fire.