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Rediscovering the outdoors: Cottage weekends in Mont Tremblant

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As the quarantine was slowly coming to an end at the beginning of summer I think we were all desperate to get outside, into nature, to swim in the lake, and smell the green grass. Living in Toronto has always been something I thoroughly enjoy but being in social isolation for this long really made the desire to get out and away into a painful itch. As my friend and I kept exploring various cottage options, many of which were already booked up, our list of needs was pretty small: lakefront, near some sort of forestry, the nice decor is always a bonus.

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Days of research, frustration with lack of options, contemplation about cost, and travel time somehow led us to book a long weekend at a cottage resort, called Elysium @ Suites-sur-Lac*. The resort is located on the outskirts of Mont Tremblant, away from the tourist crowds and right on the water. Despite the painfully long journey we have now been there twice and will likely return next again.

As they say: location, location, location

The resort is located right on the lake – partially surrounded by it – and far enough from the Village to not be crowded. A quick drive will take you Parc National du Mont-Tremblant which you can access for free with your resort wristband. The 3-story building overlooks the lake and has plenty of greenery in front of it. The outdoor common area is wrapped around the lake from 3 sides. The ability to access the lake so easily offers a lot of opportunities to find peace by the water.

Note: There is a convent store on site that’s open quite late and has a  surprisingly good variety of products and alcoholic beverages. If you need a larger selection it will require a drive into the Village.

The amenities & the resort vibe

For some now hard-to-explain reason, my friends dubbed the amenities area of the resort Kellerman’s (yes, like from Dirty Dancing). The area is separated by a gated entry which gets unlocked by a magnetic resort wristband and is closed overnight. From end to end, there are plenty of activities and spaces to relax: two tennis courts, two fire pits, a restaurant, a gated pool, tanning pods overlooking the lake, a classic wooden dock, a games room, and Muskoka chairs spread out in the shade.

Your resort stay includes all activities on a first come basis. All of my favourite activities were on the water where you can paddle board, kayak, or rent a catamaran. This was my first time venturing out with a paddle board and it is now an activity I would like to make a hobby. The lake wraps around this little mini-half island and offers a fantastic view of the mountain. Sitting out in the middle of it on the board, looking over the green-blue water creates a sense of a foreign destination somehow. The view is calm and exciting all at the same time. The lazy mornings were spent in the socially distant tanning pods, surrounded by wildflowers and butterflies, sipping on Rose. It is a whole new level of peace and serenity that I can get used to.

Note: Paddleboarding as a hobby is quite easy and there are many great locations to board around Canada, including Lake Ontario. All you need is a board, which you can rent or buy. Here is a list of the best inflatable paddle boards from Paddle Board insiders.

These rooms are home away from home

During our first visit, we had a 2-bedroom ground-level suit. The bedrooms are spacious, with clean and modern decor, a double-sided fireplace, an unusual amount of storage, a great shared living space, and a fully stocked kitchen. Every room has a mini electric BBQ and an outdoor dining table. Being on the ground level was a really wonderful experience and made it easy to move around the resort or enjoy the outdoors.

For the second stay, we had a one-bedroom loft on the second floor. With the smaller kitchen, there was no oven, just a half-top stove, so the BBQ really helped. Getting creative in the kitchen we ended up making pizza on the BBQ. It is from now on our favourite cottage party trick. The loft space is obviously smaller but large and well laid out compared to overpriced Toronto condos. The main space is divided by the kitchen wall, which faces the deck, while the elevated King bed behind it has enough light and privacy for a heavenly sleep.

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But wait, there is more

For those consistently looking for adventure Parc national du Mont-Tremblant has quite a few short and long hikes. There are also some with views of the waterfalls, all accessible by a short drive. For a different day, a half-hour drive will take you into the Tremblant Village. You can walk around the village, eat, and enjoy the views of the colourful houses. Nearby there is also Scandinave Spa Mont Tremblant. We spent a few blissful hours in the spa enjoying the saunas, steam rooms, pools, and the sounds of nature.

Note: The closest gas station is in Tremblant village so make sure your tank is full.

Address: 2192 Chemin du Lac Supérieur #2101, Lac-Supérieur, QC J0T 1P0

In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with an XF50mmF2 R WR lens. To see the trip on Instagram look up #xoQuebec20 and see the story highlight on my profile.

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