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Mont Tremblant, Quebec Canada

I love to come to Mont Tremblant – at any time of year. Right now I have been up here for about a week and a half with a day or two break and I am leaving at the end of this week. This time of year is the very low season. This is the time of year when you come here to just relax and do things at a leasurely pace. You have to be prepared to make your own fun or just hang out and catch up on your reading, TV or movie watching. Many of the more popular activites are closed down until at least later on in May. For example, you cannot get a ride on the gondola to the top of the mountain right now. Skiing closed on April 8 or 9 and they are working on the major golf courses now for opening soon. There are 2 or 3 courses open in the area, though, but not the more popular ones such as Le Geant or Le Diable. There is no gondola to Casino Mont Tremblant but you can catch a bus from the pedestrian village every 30 minutes from noon to about midnight. Strange, but I actually have never seen the Casino gondola ever operating and am beginning to wonder if it’s just part of the scenery. The Casino hours are expanded a little during the weekends.

But there are still some of the popular restaurants open and many of the stores that sell necessities are still open. Windigo, the classy, high quality resto at The Fairmont is open, but you can’t get the huge buffet breakfast ($24.50 pp) except on weekends. Creperie Catherine is open and is a great place for breakfast or really any meal, featuring almost any kind of crepe you desire which may be cooked right in front of you, depending on where you are seated. I had breakfast at a place called Lorraine in the old village up the hill on Monday morning after being woken up with rain and sleet blowing against my window at 6 am. (The previous Monday it was 28 degrees Celcius (80 + F) here.) The breakfast was fantastic and huge for $8.50. It included a couple of eggs, bacon, sausage and ham, baked beans, creton, fresh fruit, toast and coffee, all home made. The spas are open as are the baths at Le Scandinave. I’m not into the bar scene at this time of year but I expect many of the bars are open, likely playing the Stanley Cup playoffs on their big screens even though “Les Habitants” (the Montreal Canadiens hockey team) are not in the playoffs this year. You also can use the bike paths as there is no snow on them either. The hill last week had snow in parts but after Monday’s weather the top is covered in snow again! And it is not melting at the top because the temperature is near freezing, which is unusual at this time of year. It’s strange as the past few years I have opened my pool the last weekend in April to usualy decent weather.

During my time here, I have biked around the area despite the sometimes cold winds. The bike paths are excellent and seem to be everywhere. I have gone for long 4-5 km or so walks around the village and by the golf courses. I have taken car tours around my usual spots including to see if my favorite $7.8 M home is finally sold (it’s not). That home was selling for about $10M a few years ago. There is a caretaker who lives above the garage there year round. He dresses like a hobo and I swear he never leaves the place as no matter when I drop by, he always seems to be there looking out the window to make sure I am not going to steal and part of the huge mansion. My mistake, I once saw him a few feet from the door by the garage smoking a cigarette.

I have taken pictures of the Tommy Hilfiger mansion which reportedly is valued at $80M!! Have a look here: 

Tommy Hilfiger's $80M mansion at Mont Tremblant

 I have looked at future places where I will be staying this summer and have found the lot that a relative is buying to build their own house on the shores of a popular lake a few kilometers from the pedestrian village at the base of the hill. I have tried out come local dining and had my share of my favorite fast food, a couple of steamies (steamed hot dogs). And I have relaxed, occasionally slept in and watched movies, read books and done some work on my laptop or iThings (iPhone, iPad).

I just came back from showing someone my favorite ($7.8 M) house and the same hobo that is house sitting stopped his daydreaming to look out the window to make sure I was not stealing the house from where I was on the public road. Ah Mont Tremblant, some of the best and occasionally the worst of Quebec culture! (The house owner lives in Florida.)

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