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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 in 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, 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 into booking a long weekend in a cottage resort, called Elysium @ Suites-sur-Lac*, on the outskirts of Mont Tremblant, away from the tourist crowds and close right on the water. Despite the painfully long journey we have now been there twice and will likely return next year or for the snow season.

As they say: location, location, location

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

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 over night. From end to end there are plenty of activities and spaces to relax: two tennis courts, two fire pits, a restaurant, gated pool, tanning pods overlooking the lake, a classic wooden dock, games room, and Muskoka chairs spread out in the shade.

Your resort stay includes all activities on 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 into a hobby. The lake wraps around this little mini-half-island and offers a fantastic view on 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, calm and exciting all at the same time. The lazy mornings were spent on the socially distant tanning pods, surrounded by wild flowers and butterflies, sipping on rose – a whole other level of peace and serenity.

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

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My favourite new accessory: Solgaard Solarbank Boombox* – I take it with me everywhere!

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, 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 and it is from now our 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.

Safety precautions

From the first day of opening, Elysium* implemented a long list of safety percussions that put me at ease when thinking about the risk that comes with a global pandemic. It was a real relief knowing that our rooms were fully sanitized and aired out for 24 hours prior to our contactless check-in and throughout the stay we consistently observed an obsessive level of sanitization in the common areas. The 24 hour delay also means the resort is never at full capacity, which is a great added bonus.

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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, some with views on the waterfalls, all accessible by a short drive. For a different day a half-hour drive will take you into the Tremblant Village where you can walk around, eat, and enjoy the views of the colourful houses. Near there is aScandinave Spa Mont Tremblant, where we spent a few blissful hours enjoying the saunas, steam rooms, pools, and the sounds of nature.

Note: The closest gas station is in the 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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