The Complete Guide to Mont Tremblant, Quebec's Biggest Ski Hill

Mont Tremblant

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Mont Tremblant is a small city in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, about a 90 min drive north of Montreal. Mont Tremblant is most famous as a ski destination, boasting two excellent ski mountains: Mont Tremblant—the highest peak in the Laurentians—and Mont Blanc.

Mont Tremblant is the more famous destination and tops many lists as the best ski resort in Eastern North America. Its popularity is mainly due to the mountain's purchase by Intrawest and subsequent transformation into a year-round European-style village with skiing in the winter and golf, hiking, mountain biking, and a host of other activities in the summer. In addition, the Mont Tremblant International Airport makes getting to the Mont Tremblant resort particularly easy.

Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia and Collingwood's Blue Mountain are two other Canadian Intrawest developed properties. The three resorts have a similar—some would say "cookie-cutter"—feel that has its advantages and disadvantages.

"Mont Tremblant" tends to refer to the mountain and resort Village. However, the "old" Mont Tremblant village is 10 minutes away, downtown Mont Tremblant is about 20 minutes, and all are part of a greater Mont Tremblant region. There is also the immense Mont Tremblant National Park.

Where to Stay in Mont Tremblant

In 1991, Mont Tremblant was purchased by Intrawest, a Canadian alpine resort promoter, and the mountain received a massive makeover. In addition to updating the ski facilities, a smattering of buildings at the base of the hill were transformed into a pedestrian alpine village, comprising an attractive community of hotels, shops, restaurants, and condos.

The real benefit of staying in the Village is the easy access to the ski hill, aprés ski activities, shops, and restaurants. Especially if traveling with kids, the beginner hill may be right outside your door—a real perk on bitterly cold days and for bathroom breaks.

The Mont Tremblant Village has an immediate, albeit superficial charm. Colorful buildings in a hybrid style of traditional Quebecois and European alpine have a pre-fab Ikea line of resort architecture quality. Furthering this fabricated feel, many of the buildings house expensive, brand-name ski wear stores as you would find in any high-end mall. I would have welcomed a local artisan shop or place to buy Quebec goods, something to give regional context; even most restaurants didn't serve a variety of Quebec beer. The Mont Tremblant Village could be dropped down anywhere, which is Intrawest's intent—to create a consistent brand that gives its international customers familiarity wherever they go.

On the other hand, 10 minutes away, the old Mont Tremblant village should satisfy any urge to connect more locally, with more traditional shops and restaurants.

Skiing on Mont Tremblant

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Skiing in Mont Tremblant

The highest peak in the Laurentians gets an abundance of snow—on average 12.47 feet of the white stuff each year. Avalanche, a powerful snowmaking system, picks up where nature leaves off. The mountain offers 95 trails and three snow parks, all with spectacular views of the surrounding hills and lakes. There is ski rental and ski valet on-site, adult lessons, children's lessons, half-day and day-long camps.

Other Things to Do on Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant is also home to four golf courses, both on-site and in the surrounding area, and a number of other activities, including a casino.

The on-site casino is a short gondola or shuttle ride away from the Village and features poker, 16 gaming tables, at least 500 slot machines, a high-rollers section as well as a restaurant, bar, and seasonal patio. Even if you're not into gambling, the Mont Tremblant Casino is a pleasant visit if just for some live music and a drink.

Spas on Mont Tremblant

Both the Fairmont and the Westin have an Amerispa on-site. Other spas include the Lakeside Spa and the Spa Sur le Lac.

Set aside a couple of hours for a real treat and visit the nearby Scandinave Spa, a nordic style spa where visitors alternate between outdoor hot and cold plunge pools and wet and dry saunas. The setting is lakeside and gorgeous. Massage and body treatments are available indoors. Be aware that silence is encouraged in all areas of the spa.

Getting to Mont Tremblant

Delta, American, WestJet, and Air Canada fly directly to Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport from major hubs throughout the U.S. Luggage valet, and airline registration let you maximize your time at the resort. Most hotels offer a courtesy shuttle service to and from the airport.