There’s just no hiding the fact that my family fell in LURVE with the Fairmont Tremblant the first time we stayed there. And I was grateful for a return invitation to experience the Fairmont Mont-Tremblant’s new dining options as well as its in-house spa. As Mont-Tremblant hotels go, this is our favourite to date.
It’s important for me to stay at and review lodging at every price point, because I know you — my readers — all have different travel budgets. But I fully admit that getting to stay at luxury properties is almost always a treat. I write “almost” because five-star hotels usually have more to live up to in my eyes. As the dollar bills to stay at a given property increase, so do my expectations — and not every property manages to live up to those expectations.
But, with two stays under our travel belts, did the Fairmont Tremblant? Let’s find out.
Why the Fairmont is one of the best Mont-Tremblant hotels
We simply must start with the Fairmont Mont-Tremblant’s location, because it doesn’t get much better in the Mont-Tremblant village (also referred to as the pedestrian village).
The Fairmont is conveniently situated in the upper village, smack in the midst of all the action that Place St-Bernard will throw at you during your stay. You’re a proverbial stone’s throw from great coffee and pastries at Au Grain de Cafe, but with the Fairmont’s addition of Ricochet Cafe on the lower level of the hotel, you don’t have to leave the property to get your java and croissant fix. The bircher muesli at Ricochet is the bomb if you want a quick but hearty breakfast on your way out to the slopes:
For more food and drink ideas, check out my Tremblant restaurant guide.
Centre Aventure, loads of shops and restaurants, the gondola that takes you to the summit, a chair lift, and the bunny hill that’s converted for night tubing each night from 6-9 p.m. are all within a few paces of the Fairmont Tremblant. You can even get your lift tickets at the hotel from a kiosk on the lower level.
Right between the bunny hill and gondola is a little kiosk known as the Tremblant Ski Valet; for $5 per night per person, you can keep your skis and poles at the base of the mountain so you don’t need to schlep them to and from your hotel. This is a brilliant concept for families with young kids because you’re not just carrying one set of skis, mom and dad, are you? No. You’re carrying everything for your kids, too. (Even though you’ve kindly asked them to carry your poles so you can take their skis for them, but they keep stabbing you in the eye / boob / stomach / privates / whatever, depending on how tall they are, so you carry those too.) The ski valet solves everything.
But when you’re a guest at the Fairmont Mont-Tremblant, you can save yourself not only the $5 nightly charge but also the brisk walk to the other ski valet because the hotel has its own, free valet service on the lower (terrace) level. Our skis were taken in and dried daily and packed up for us in our ski bag the day we checked out.
Pro Tip: Ensure you ask the guys at the Ski Valet to remove the stickers they put on your skis, because they’re REALLY HARD to get off and I’ve now had this happen to two pairs of skis. Those suckers do NOT come off easily.
Access to a ski-in and -out spot at the tail end of one of the Tremblant’s best runs (the Nansen Trail) is what makes the Fairmont extra-special among the resort hotels. We really enjoyed the convenience of grabbing our skis each morning from the Ski Valet and suiting up not 20 steps from the hotel entrance, whisking ourselves down the gentle slope toward the chair lift or gondola. It may sound like a little thing, but it’s an enormous advantage — especially with kids in tow.
There’s a heated outdoor pool and two hot tubs (one reserved only for adults) plus a cold-plunge pool on the terrace level of the Fairmont Tremblant, and our kids just loved it. It was always a welcome retreat after a few hours of hard work on the hill, soothing tired legs. But a tip I learned from outdoor hot tub veterans during this particular visit: bring a beanie! It was somewhere between -12 and -22 degrees during our trip this time around (translation= COLD!), and our ears were chilly. We took our own advice during our second stay:
There’s an indoor pool, too. But I confess we’ve never used it…
Fairmont Tremblant restaurants
We used to love the Fairmont’s old restaurants, but in the last couple of years, it has totally revamped its restaurants and bars. I’m happy to report that we managed to try all of the Fairmont’s dining establishments to get you more info about each of them:
Ricochet Cafe & Terrasse
As I mentioned earlier, the cafe is on the lower level of the Fairmont Mont-Tremblant and has both drip and fancy coffees as well as a beautiful spread of pastries. Then there are also some prepared meals off to the side in an adjacent fridge — think sandwiches, yogurt parfaits and my beloved birchir muesli.
For First Tracks kind of mornings, this is fast and not crazy expensive (around Starbucks prices).
Axe Lounge Bar
What a cool space to chill! This elevated sports bar has cozy nooks by a roaring fire, bar stool seating and comfy chairs and benches around small tables, perfect for cocktails and snacks.
We visited Axe once for lunch and again for drinks later than evening before dinner. The food was excellent! We loved the nachos, which were piled high with lots of different ingredients and came with a delish guac. The poutine had so many squeaky cheese curds in it that we actually had some left after all of the fries were gone — I think that’s a first. And although we ordered the Forgotten Tomatoes salad, our server accidentally punched in this Crisp Sweet & Salty Salad (with asparagus, burnt corn, sliced pear, pea tendrils and fennel in an almond-pear vinaigrette). I was starving and didn’t want her to get in any trouble, so we kept it — and OMG, it was the best dish of the three!
Axe is a great spot to meet friends for drinks and there’s an extensive drink menu. I was excited to enjoy the Maple Old Fashioned, but even after asking for more maple or even some simple syrup, I just didn’t find it drinkable. There wasn’t even a hint of maple, if I’m being honest. For $18, I want an Old Fashioned that will knock me off my feet. This did not.
Le Comptoir is the more casual of the two main restaurants at the Fairmont Mont-Tremblant, but just about any dress code works here. Perhaps my favourite part about dining at Le Comptoir during the breakfast/brunch and dinner buffets is that kids five and under eat for free from the children’s menu, and six to 11s pay half-price for anything on the regular menu. If you’re eating out for most meals, this can have a huge impact on your total Tremblant vacation spend.
The buffets are well worth the price tag provided you’re hungry. The Sunday brunch is legendary. Breakfast from Monday to Saturday has an omelette station and all the regular fixings you could want for a great start to your day, and I was so happy to see my long lost foodie friend: the bread pudding.
I am very, VERY sad, however, that the seafood chowder that had been on the menu for 14 years as of our first visit didn’t make the cut. It was the best seafood chowder I’d eaten since San Francisco’s famous bread-bowl chowder, and I’d rubbed my hands together on many occasions leading up to our second visit to the Fairmont Tremblant anticipating my next bowl. I was so disappointed to learn it had been removed from all of the menus and only makes special appearances as the soup of the day now.
Oh my word, how do I adequately sum this up? Choux Gras Brasserie Culinaire is simply outstanding.
Here’s what I’ve tried and loved: the venison tartare (light and beautifully seasoned), the gin-infused foie gras (to die for and such an interesting take on a foie gras terrine), oysters, the warm bread (gahhhhh!), the 30-ounce grilled tomahawk steak (the smashed potatoes nearly stole the show), pan-friend mushrooms (soooo buttery) and the strozzapreti (yummy pasta with crispy pancetta).
Fairmont Tremblant Spa
Moment Spa, on the second floor of the hotel (just above the terrace level) is clean, contemporary and made us feel like a million bucks during our wedding anniversary couples’ massage.
Make no mistake, like any hotel spa, you’re going to be splurging on services. But between our tandem massage with two very skilled massage therapists, the very cool post-massage NeuroSpa experience and chilling with prosecco in the hot tubs and pools afterwards, it would be a great way to get in on some Fairmont action even if you weren’t staying here. Access to pools, Jacuzzis, the Finnish sauna, steam bath and fitness centre is included with the purchase of a spa package or two hours or more.
Pro Tip: If you’re not a hotel guest, you can enjoy both the spa AND restaurants thanks to the free valet parking offer.
The Fairmont’s rooms
We’ve stayed in a couple of different room types at the Fairmont Mont-Tremblant property. There’s more than enough room to unpack, get comfortable and move around, but the bathroom is very small.
Bedding is unreal, with fabulous sheets and pillows and a mattress that was probably handcrafted by fairies.
The decor is traditional and could probably stand to be updated or at least fluffed with some modern touches.
I loved how soundproof the rooms were, especially when you consider people above you could be stomping around in their ski boots.
We looked out over the front entryway and onto Lac Tremblant, which is really pretty at night:
With basic rooms (two double beds) starting at around $400 per night, you expect top-notch customer service. The great news is that the Fairmont Tremblant delivers; your five-star price gets you five-star service and amenities. Forgot your razor? No worries – one can be delivered to your room or picked up at the front desk, complete with shaving cream. Comfy robes await you in your bathroom (but, curiously, you have to call down and ask for slippers).
There are Nespresso coffeemakers with enough complimentary K-cups for your stay (these machines make pretty delicious coffee). Bottled water is provided free of charge with every housekeeping visit (see the next paragraph for more on that). Le Labo Rose 31 toiletries are supplied as needed. Want a high chair? Crib? Hypoallergenic pillow? They’re just a phone call away. You don’t always get what you pay for at hotels, but you do here.
You’ve gotta love a hotel with twice-daily housekeeping. The rooms are cleaned both morning and around the dinner hour, when there’s also turn-down service. Not that I need or expect someone to fold down the side of my duvet so I can slip my princess-y arse into it at night, but it’s certainly a nice touch.
Want to jazz things up for someone special? Add the macaron platter to your tab and have it delivered to your room while you’re out. These macarons are Parisian quality and super flavourful without being too sweet, and they’re a pretty way to say “I love you.”
This is also a dog-friendly joint. There’s even a “house dog” who lives at the Fairmont (you can see his bed in the lobby!), and he’s as likely to greet you when you arrive as a doorman. As someone who loves dogs but is not a dog owner, I appreciate that the hotel has designated dog floors. Just as I’m sure dog owners appreciate bringing their precious pooches on vacation.
5/5 (yes, I love it this much — even with decor that could use a more modern touch)