Where to Eat, Stay, Play & Shop in Mont Tremblant, Quebec

The autumn foliage is a stunning backdrop for a stay in this vibrant ski resort village.

Image courtesy Tremblant Photos.

Image courtesy Tremblant Photos.

Quebec’s Mont Tremblant is best known as a winter playground for those who love skis, snowboards and saunas. But as we recently discovered, this destination is also a great place to visit in the fall thanks to its delicious restaurants, ample activities and of course, the area’s stunning fall colours.

The warmer autumn weather also gave us plenty of opportunity to explore Mont Tremblant’s adorable, European-style pedestrian village, which offers a wide range accommodations. Need another reason to check Mont Tremblant out in the fall? The usually pricey destination’s discounted off-season rates.

Image courtesy Hotel Quintessence.

Image courtesy Hotel Quintessence.

STAY
Splurge: Hotel Quintessence & Save: Ermitage Du Lac

Looking to stay in the best that Mont Tremblant has to offer? Then you want the Hotel Quintessence. Located on Lac Tremblant and right on the edge of the pedestrian village, the hotel offers high-end service and 30 lakefront rooms, all of which have wood-burning fireplaces. Then there are the bathrooms. With their heated marble floors, deep soaking tubs and Aveda amenities, they are almost enough to make you want to skip the hotel’s spa. Almost. However, all this luxury does come at a price. While the fall does offer a lower rate, rooms still start at around $335 a night.

If that’s too steep for your budget, check out the Ermitage Du Lac, where off-season rates can be found for $140 or even lower. Located a bit closer to the pedestrian village’s centre, the hotel is light on all things luxe (expect hotel-brand bathroom amenities and the odd dinged-up wall) but is clean, quiet and quite spacious. Hotel décor is also on-point for the location; think lots of dark wood; oversized, comfortable furniture and lighting that is inspired by candles. And while all rooms feature at least a kitchenette, a continental breakfast that comes with fresh, delicious chocolate croissants is included with each booking.

Where to Find:
Hotel Quintessence
3004 Chemin de la Chapelle
hotelquintessence.com

Ermitage Du Lac
150 Chemin du Curé Deslauriers
lessuitestremblant.com

Image courtesy Cap Tremblant.

Image courtesy Cap Tremblant.

EAT
Ristorante Il Pinnacolo

While Mont Tremblant’s pedestrian village does offer plenty of dining options, Ristorante Il Pinnacolo’s take on Italian food makes the effort of getting in the car worth it. Located up at Cap Tremblant Mountain Resort, roughly a 10-minute drive from the village, the restaurant has a casual but refined atmosphere and servers that are happy to translate a French menu to English for those of us who are a bit rusty on Canada’s other official language. And what’s on that menu? Think classic Italian choices like pasta, pizza and veal. We were particularly impressed by our perfectly cooked and seasoned chicken breast. And while we didn't partake in the restaurant’s alcoholic offerings, we did have a terrific virgin Caesar.

With floor-to-ceilings windows, the restaurant’s great views of the lake and surrounding woods can be enjoyed no matter what the weather’s like. However, if you luck out with a warm fall night, grab a seat on the covered terrace.

Where to Find:
Ristorante Il Pinnacolo
400, Rue Mont-Plaisant
captremblant.com

Mont-Tremblant-Gondola

PLAY
Panoramic Gondola

Just because there’s no snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t visit Mont Tremblant’s namesake. The highest peak in the Laurentians is easily accessible year-round thanks to the Panoramic Gondola, which is located at the end of the pedestrian village. This attraction features over a dozen glass pods that smoothly and comfortably whisk you up the peak, offering great views over the roughly 10-minute long journey.

Once at the top, get an even better view from the 360 tour, grab a hot (or cold) drink from the bar or if you’re up for a bit of an adventure, check out the four-kilometre long zipline tour. Need to work off that Beaver Tail you snacked on earlier? Then take advantage of one of the available 11 hiking trails. Distance and difficulties vary, so there’s something for everyone.

Besides providing a scenic workout, a hike on Mont Tremblant is also the perfect justification for checking out one of the area’s many spas.

Image courtesy Instagram.com/Tremblant_Gourmand.

Image courtesy Instagram.com/Tremblant_Gourmand.

PLAY & EAT
Tremblant Gourmand

We’re suckers for a good food festival so naturally we were thrilled to find out that our trip coincided with Tremblant Gourmand.  Billed as “North America’s Biggest Festival for Active Epicureans,” the festival is more than just booths serving samples (though there are plenty of those too).  While entrance into the artisan fair is free, those carrying a festival passport ($30 for the length of the nine-day event or $23 for a one-day pass) are entitled to deluxe samples, stage-side seating at culinary displays from renowned chefs and craftspeople and special events like the daily gourmet mountain hike, which includes stops for treats like Quebec cheese. Hikers also get a free gondola trip back down the mountain. For an extra fee, passport holders can participate in such adventures as a guided wild mushroom hike or a scenic helicopter ride. Additionally, many, if not most, of the villages restaurants also offer discounts and other specials to passport holders, with some clothing stores even getting in on the action, tossing in free goodies if your purchase exceeds a certain amount.

While dates for next year’s festival have yet to be set, it’s historically taken place in September. Watch the event’s website, Tremblant Gourmand, for more details.

The pedestrian village at Mont Tremblant.

The pedestrian village at Mont Tremblant.

SHOP
Petite Maison Bleue

Packed with bright, colourful prints, there’s no missing this shop, located in the heart of the pedestrian village. The fun designs are all produced by Quebec-based Hatley, which for over 20 years has been creating clothes for all ages and genders that feature everything from pretty ponies to multi-colour foxes to skiing polar bears. While sleepwear makes up a large component of the store’s stock, a wide range of kids’ clothes are available as well as boxers, socks and such household items as mugs, notepads and phone covers.

Like all of the village’s shops, this one isn’t large, but it is packed with items you’ll to bring home, due in part because they’re made with cotton that’s noticeably soft to the touch. Thankfully, prices are reasonable, think around $60 for a short pyjamas set, so you can easily stock up on your favourites.

Where to Find:
Petite Maison Bleue
116 Chemin Kandahar
hately.com