Ski Week In Montréal Canada
With my husband’s birthday only weeks away, I found myself wracking my brain for ideas. We had recently had a mild argument about vacation and what it means to each of us. Me being a beach babe, it’s sun, sand, and waves… always! Him? Not so much.
He mentioned skiing and I sneered at the idea. To me, there is nothing remotely vactionesque, about skiing. Being active and lugging heavy equipment all over the place with two kids in tow, and frigid temperatures equals misery. After much consideration it dawned on me, “If it were a birthday present, technically it would be a gift for my one and only true love and not a line item included in our family vacation budget.”
The thought of vacationing in Montréal made memories come flooding back. I had attempted this once before in our early stages of dating and it did not go over so well. There were a number of things that went wrong, which included family dilemmas, female hormones, and too close for comfort accommodations. Let’s just agree to leave it at that! Anyway, I thought it would be a simple and lovely gesture, to not only surprise him with a ski trip, but also a redo to make things correct and try to erase that prior memory from his mind.
I headed straight to the keyboard and starting typing away…Montréal… skiing… luxury… etc. And just like that I had my heart set on Mont Tremblant, a famed ski area about 1.5 hours from Montréal. They have fabulous skiing and perfectly acceptable culinary and cocktail offerings. This is important since the likelihood of me exerting any effort, down a hill, will max out at about 1-2 hours per day. It’s not far-fetched to imagine a cozy fire, cognac, and a great book be my host for a good portion for the duration of the holiday.
My son has only skied once and my daughter never. When they learned about the trip, they both seemed to want to try their hands at snowboarding. I decided I would enroll them both in lessons at ski school. This would in turn allow my hubby and I some R and R and also some QT for him to hang with a good friend, who coincidentally happens to live in this happening little town.
I know it was a gift, but all bets were off unless we could spend at least one night in Montréal, which is a must for me. I simply couldn’t bare to pass right through this great city and not having one meal which shares cuisine experiences parallel to many fine cities in Europe.
It was settled Ski Week this year we would celebrate Husband’s birthday in Canada. We grabbed our passports and planned to head north to Montréal to bask in top-notch cuisine, sophisticated shopping, luxury accommodations and European touches everywhere you looked. Suddenly, the cold weather wasn’t sounding so bad.
Now we needed a place to stay, ski lessons and meals. I am super particular about the first and latter so these bookends were researched thoroughly. To break up the driving, it made sense to spend the first and last nights in Montréal, with Mont Tremblant sandwiched in between.
Welcome to Canada!
We departed Manhattan around 9:30 am and I was thrilled to road trip as I adore long drives with my family. They always lend themselves to in-depth conversations about life, love, hopes, and dreams. Before we knew it, we arrived to Montréal in 6.25 hours, which included a rest stop break and a longer than usual pass through the border. As we entered our hotel, the Omni Mont Royal, we were greeted by a lovely fire in the hotel lobby. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to start our getaway.
Once we checked into our room, there were cookies and other sweet delights awaiting, to acknowledge my husband’s birthday which was such a special touch.
Our room was clean and spacious and a perfectly good option for families traveling, especially for those seeking a little luxury, but don’t want to necessarily break the bank.
I had arranged dinner reservations ahead of time at L’Entrecôte Saint-Jean for steak frites. I figured this was a happy medium for 2 kids who had been in a car all day. I did not want to spring something too outrageous on them, when they would most likely be a little cranky and tired from the drive up, and would save that for our last night. This brassiere has a kitschy feel, but in a cool way. The only thing they have on the menu is steak frites. You can opt for the soup of the day or a salad, to pair with your meal, and there are several dessert selections to choose from for a sweet ending.
This was a fantastic choice in our opinion and a great option which serves as a stepping stone for picky eaters with parents eager to push their kid’s culinary limitations. The profiteroles were particularly good.
After a restful sleep, we quickly packed and headed up to Mont Tremblant. The kids were super excited. We turned up to the mountain just in time to get the kids sorted with rentals and we were able to book last-minute lessons, due to the helpful and efficient staff. I registered the kids in a learn to snowboard session which would cover all the basics. They loved their instructor and as they were busy soaking it all in, my hubby and I were able to do the same.
We had two hours to ourselves to map out the mountain and test a few runs. I had been told the temperatures are normally in the single digits, sometimes even negative. But we lucked out. It was 35 degrees and that is about my threshold, so there I was, taking advantage being san children until the very last-minute.
After our runs, we went by to grab the kids and as we drove to our hotel, they each shared their first snowboarding experiences, eager about returning the next day. Relieved and excited about what’s to come, we checked into the Château Beauvallon, a rustic 4 star hotel about 5 miles from the slopes. All of their rooms are suites with fireplaces and you can book anything from a 1 to 4 bedroom with a kitchenette or full kitchen option.
The room was clean, and the bathroom was large with L’Occitane amenities. After checking in, I learned 4 star ratings on travel review websites mean different things to different people. I would say this was more of a 3.5 star hotel, in my opinion. The bedroom was closed off from the rest of the suite, which was nice for my husband and I. This would allow for us to watch tv without disturbing the kids, rather than sit in the dark, until they fell asleep… lol… what we usually do. My only complaint was the walls were a little thin so you could overhear passerbys, which left me desiring a little more seclusion. It was fine for a short trip, but in the future I will opt for a condo for an extended holiday.
Happy Birthday Hubs
We celebrated my husband’s birthday that evening at our dear friends’ ski chalet. They had generously prepared a four course celebratory dinner, with fantastic wines. We were definitely feeling the love. Being able to hang with friends for the night, while vacationing, definitely rounded out the trip nicely.
In the a.m. we rose early, enthusiastic for the day ahead. A basic breakfast was included, which was a nice touch and allowed for us to just grab something quick and go. The hotel offered a shuttle to and from the base, but we decided to drive. We headed to the mountain immediately and enrolled the kids into ski school for the entire day. And what a day it was… 35 degrees with not a cloud to be seen.
We skied, lunched, and skied some more, while the kids continued with their lessons.
The cognac and book mentioned earlier were not needed, due to the abnormally amazing weather. The natural surroundings were impeccable, offering a neon blue sky and snow-capped greenery abound, which left me thirsting for more.
By day’s end, as we arrived to pick up the kids, we were told our little ones were full-fledged snowboarding and they were both loving it! The instructor made a great point too… this in an activity siblings and/or entire families can do together. I never thought of it that way, but thrilled that we’ve finally found something everyone enjoys.
On our last day there, we skied with the kids on the bunny hill as they were adamant we see their new-found skills and they had wanted to see ours too.
After lunch at the base of the mountain we planned to go snow tubing, but discovered it was only scheduled for evenings. The kids were a little bummed, but were looking forward to getting back to Montréal.
The Ritz Carlton Montréal
For our final night, we were booked at the Ritz Carlton Montréal, the first hotel my husband and I traveled to together as a couple. I thought it would be a nice touch to pepper the trip with a little nostalgia. When we stayed there over 15 years ago, it was elegant, but nothing that blew our minds. Well, let me speak candidly… this time, it did more than wow us… it moved into our top 5 favorite hotels, and we have stayed at some of the best properties around the world.
The Ritz Carlton brand prides itself on guests creating what they’ve termed #RCMemories, and we did the moment we checked-in.
From the second we arrived, it was pure luxury. They greeted us warmly as we arrived and immediately sent staff up to demonstrate all the features in the room from automated blinds in the bedroom to heated floors and commode in the bathroom. There were no details spared. The room offered a full walk in closet for luggage, and the bathroom was the size of my children’s bedroom with a giant sunken bath tub, fit for a princess.
Special touches were placed throughout, including bath bombs, scented bubbles, pint-sized robes for the kids, and welcome snacks for all. My children begged me to take them to check out the pool which I did while dad went to the gym. So poor me, I had to spend some time poolside tackling my inbox, which was next to a beautiful warm fireplace by the way. I know, rough life.
Ritz Kids Movie Night
When we arrived back to the room, there was a note inviting the children to select a complimentary movie. They were instructed to simply phone down and there would be popcorn, ice cream and refreshments brought up for them to enjoy, while they watched their chosen film.
As they were busy perusing the options, the concierge rung up to confirm they had secured a dinner reservation at Joe Beef for us, a table I had been wait-listed for days before. This restaurant has been hailed by international chefs including David Chang and Anthony Bourdain, so it was a must try.
An amazing dining experience soon followed with smoked meat croquettes and the most heavenly foie gras… the kind only dreams are made of. Of course, the kids could have cared less, but were able to find something to suit their palette, so ultimately they survived. I on the other hand understood immediately why there was so much hype surrounding Joe Beef. I can’t recommend it enough.
Au Revoir Montréal
The next morning we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant in their sun-filled back dining room. It was peaceful and the food was top-notch. We didn’t want to leave, but knew we would be back much sooner than expected. We spent the morning shopping, taking full advantage of the exchange rate, before sadly heading back home.
This trip was the first time in a very long time that I did not completely feel ready to come home. Maybe it was because the trip was only a few days, or maybe it was the final day of pampering was just what the doctor ordered leaving me wanting for more. It could have even been the skiing and the whole, “being one with nature”, but do I even dare admit this? I mean what are the chances we strike gold and get another trip with sunny skies above the freezing mark… Wishful thinking!
Have you visited Montréal?
We would love to know more about your experience. By sharing your tips, experiences, and memories, in our comments section, you help assist fellow travelers in the The JetSet Family community to determine if this is the best fit for them and their family.
On occasion, contributors of The JetSet Family receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not hinder the influencer’s point of view. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the overall experience. This post may contain affiliate links.
family vacations, best family vacations, family vacation ideas, family vacation packages, all inclusive family vacations, cheap family vacations, cheap family vacations, family vacation, family resorts, fun family vacations, family vacation spots, great family vacations, traveling with baby, traveling with kids, affordable family vacations, family beach vacations, family vacations in the US, travel with kids, family friendly vacations, family vacation destinations, best family beach vacations, inexpensive family vacations, family travel, best family vacation spots, family vacation resorts, luxury family travel, luxury travel, luxury getaway, family getaway, luxury family vacation, high-end family vacation, family trip, flying with children, what to pack, travel tips, vacation planning, child-friendly travel, luxury disney vacation, luxury family hotels, luxury kid-friendly hotels, luxury family friendly resorts, travel instagram, family-friendly luxury, family-friendly europe, family friendly travel, fine dining with kids, dining with kids, cooking with kids, fashion, trends, children’s fashion