Well, folks, it’s ski season No. 4 for this gal and I can’t imagine having started it off any better than at Tremblant’s opening weekend. There were drums and tambourines. There was hot chocolate laced with Baileys. There was even a red carpet to the gondola. Oh, and a really big cake.
Tremblant, its pedestrian village and the surrounding Mont-Tremblant area offer the kind of itinerary that keeps you coming back for more — because you just can’t do it all in one visit. We’ve done Tremblant family vacations and Tremblant romance trips, so it was time to do a Tremblant girlfriend getaway!
But before I dive in to the 7 steps to the perfect girls’ weekend in Tremblant, I want to point out that I have even more activities and restaurants listed in my Tremblant winter activities guide and Tremblant restaurant guide based on the dozen or so visits I’ve made to date.
Here are 7 steps to the best Tremblant girlfriend getaway ever:
1. Stay in one location that works for your group’s size.
I’ve stayed all over the village, and even just outside of it. From proper hotel rooms to condo-style hotel stays to chalet rentals, Tremblant really does have something for every kind of group. If you have four or more girlfriends in your party, you’ll probably find the best vibe and value by renting a chalet.
A chalet like Les Manoirs offers a big space that fits everyone (ours could accommodate up to six people but there are smaller and bigger options, too). You’ll be able to share living space like a full kitchen, living and dining rooms, enjoy private bedrooms and well-equipped bathrooms. It’s a lot harder to blast tunes, share a bottle of wine, share makeup and do girl talk in front of a fire if you’re in a traditional hotel setting — even with adjoining rooms.
2. Ski or snowboard.
You’re in the heart of the Laurentians — so get on that mountain! Even if you don’t come to Tremblant to ski or board every day, you’ve got to get out there and take a few runs — especially with the high-speed Lowell Thomas chairlift that’s new for the 2018-19 season and the five new trails that the team just cut.
Are you a Tremblant first timer? Then use an Info Ski Guide. They’re FREE. Head up the gondola to the Grand Manitou Lodge and make an immediate left when you walk through the front doors — this is the guest services desk and you’ll be able to request an Info Ski Guide here, which amounts to a semi-private guided tour around the mountain, catered to your group’s experience level. I suggest bringing some cash to tip your guide, but it really is a free tour and an invaluable way to get to know the four mountain faces. If you’re intermediates to experts, ask your guide to show you how to get to Le Refuge — Tremblant’s mid-mountain hidden gem, ideal for a coffee break with your girlfriends.
Take a lesson. Tremblant’s instructors are notoriously excellent, and you’ll get to skip the gondola and chairlift lines for the duration of your lesson! SCORE! We had a fabulous (and hilarious) group lesson with Sylvain Hotte. Yes, you can ask for instructors by name and you’ll have a blast — and learn a lot — from this one.
3. Indulge in great food.
There are so many places to eat at the resort, which is why I created a Tremblant village restaurant guide with price ranges, locations and some of my favourite dishes.
But I have to start with a special shout-out to the Grand Manitou. The summit lodge underwent a pretty extensive renovation this past summer and is now brighter and bigger than ever, providing more places to sit, eat, drink and hang out with your girls. I also would have called this cafeteria-style eatery merely convenient before, but the menu has also been overhauled and — WOW! — the food now goes well beyond convenience. The chicken pot pie I had blew me away and fueled me for hours of fun in the snow.
And when you want to get all dolled up and head out into the village for dinners worthy of girlfriend splurging, here are my top picks:
- Choux Gras — over-the-top service, inventive cocktails and foie gras that might make you give up your firstborn. (But really, every dish is a winner.) Plus it’s located inside the Fairmont Tremblant, which means you can do post-dinner drinks at Axe Lounge Bar across the hall or make your way anywhere in the village with ease. Choux Gras is my top pick for splurge-y indulgence.
- L’Altitude — there’s no better way to do dinner with your gal pals than to go sharesies all the way. Of course, that means you have to travel with friends who like to eat (frankly, I try to only have friends like that). The adults-only restaurant inside Casino Tremblant has sharing platters for apps and full-on meals that are designed to share among friends. Come hungry, because the 60-ounce steak and seafood platter — both of which come with sides like root vegetable poutine — are calling your names. I actually can’t imagine a better precursor to a night out at the casino (see No. 5 below).
- Upstairs at La Forge — you need to walk up the stairs to have the best La Forge experience. The atmosphere and food are both elevated just one floor up. Have any of the seared-to-perfection steaks alongside the mac & cheese before finishing with a chocolate cake built for the goddesses you are.
- La Savoie — a word of warning…don’t try to do No. 6 below after eating half a wheel of melted cheese at La Savoie. You need to come wearing something elasticized around the waist and be prepared to roll yourselves back to your chalet. Traditional raclette will test even the most trained stomachs, but this is a worthy challenge to take on. Think of it as the ultimate wine & cheese with your besties.
4. Try something new.
E-fat biking with D-tour Tremblant was not something I thought I’d want to do for more than an hour, much less do with a stupid grin slapped across my face begging for more.
The 1.5 (or so) hour tour on electric fat bikes through the old village of Mont-Tremblant, down through the woods and out along the lakefront was so.much.freaking.fun. All of us — of different ages, bike-riding experiences and fitness levels — had an absolute blast. From the giggles that erupted during the learning curve as we adjusted to riding in snow, with power, to dramatic re-enactments of Leo DeCaprio-worthy “I’m the king of the world!!!” moments as our faces flapped wildly in the wind (probably looking much like dogs hanging out car windows), we all agreed that we could have gone fat-biking all day. As long as we had turbo-powered motors, of course.
5. Go to the casino.
Two of us were gamblers, two of us were not. But that didn’t stop all of us from trying a few hands of Black Jack and some slot machines. One of us (I won’t say who, but it wasn’t me) even won $250 on penny slots! The casino is obviously fun for those who count gambling as a hobby, but for those of us who prefer to keep our money a bit tighter to our chests, the people-watching at Casino Tremblant can’t be beat!
It gets really busy and there’s electricity in the air. There’s usually a fun promotion taking place — and on the night we were there, this took the shape of a game show with contestants drawn from within the casino itself. I’ve been there on nights where there’s a DJ playing, too.
For a girlfriend getaway, this is such a fun way to après.
6. Just dance.
This visit was the first time I made it to a club! And, OMG, we had such a fun night. So fun that it didn’t end until 3 a.m. There’s little I like more than a night out dancing with my girlfriends, and Cafe D’Epoque was just the place. The DJ played a little bit of everything — I’m talking Beyonce, old skool hip hop, Top 40, French pop and Spanish songs, too. There are even cages and poles for dancing if that suits you.
The club attracts every walk of life — from 18 year olds to people you’re shocked didn’t arrive in a wheelchair. Most of the crowd were 20- to 40-somethings, though. Drinks aren’t overpriced, and if you’re with a bigger group who like the same kind of alcohol, the bottle service can’t be beat. We met someone who paid about $150 for a 26er of Grey Goose, which by most bottle service standards is a steal.
Pro Tip: be prepared to go dancing and do not wear a merino wool turtleneck and wool-lined boots when you go out out. #ThatWasMe #SoSweaty
7. Hit the spa!
If you’re away with the girls and you don’t have a spa day, did you even have a girlfriend getaway? I’m going with no.
One of the best ways to unwind, whether it’s after a day on the slopes or at the end of your girls’ weekend, is to spend a few hours relaxing at Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant. I’d been here with Big B during a previous kid-free visit to Tremblant, and absolutely loved it, but with its massive new addition — Infinité — you’ll never want to leave.
We enjoyed every area of Le Scandinave and at some point each of us had a brief nap. Honestly, the only reason we left (after more than three hours) is because we had a dinner reservation! Or we may have set up camp here. It’s bliss. You have to go. The end.
There’s really only one step left — PIN THIS to your favourite travel board:
DISCLAIMER: Tremblant hosted several aspects of this stay to facilitate this post. Opinions and my overwhelming enthusiasm for All Things Tremblant all my own.