By Holly Rosen Fink, GoGirlfriend Contributor
Traveling as a couple, happy victims of wanderlust
My husband and I are chronic victims of wanderlust. We love to travel and we want to see so much more of the world. Thankfully, our travels haven’t ceased since having kids – they just take more planning. There are school schedules to work around and to be honest, pre-teens can be difficult travel partners. Plus, childcare can be hard to scrape together, so we often travel either together as a family or even separately.
But when the opportunity arose recently to visit Mont Tremblant in Quebec over the course of a long weekend, we jumped and all the pieces of the puzzle sorted themselves instantly. My mom would take my son; my daughter would stay with friends. I found carpools for various activities – from basketball to Sunday School and basically we were set.
Off to Mont Tremblant, Canada, passports in hand
We woke up bright and early on a Friday morning and were in Quebec by lunchtime. We packed enough clothing for a week’s holiday, secretly wishing we could stay longer. It had been a while since we’d been alone together, and I wondered how we would get along.
Have I mentioned that Mont Tremblant was at the top of my husband’s bucket list? He has been dying to get there for years as both a Canada enthusiast and avid skier. It’s relatively easy to get to from New York. It’s possible to either drive there in 7-8 hours or take a connecting flight via Air Canada or Porter Airlines, which is just an hour flight from Toronto and an hour drive from Montreal.
Traveling without the kids – the bliss!
And you know what? Without manic work and school schedules to manage, it felt like we were in our 20s again, taking what we used to call a “dirty weekend” away. Traveling to Mont Tremblant added to the excitement. In the course of a few hours, we were transported to a city with a complete European feel – from hearing French everywhere to eating French cuisine to the beautiful French architecture in its unique European-style village. We were truly in a world that felt far from home – but really not so much.
Where we laid our heads at night
It’s been a while since we’d been away alone, so honestly, anywhere would have made us happy, but I can’t tell you how happy we were staying at the 5-star Fairmont Tremblant Hotel. The hotel is located, at the edge of the mountain, offering ski-in, ski-out access, hot tubs and restaurants. The hotel itself is luxurious, with a friendly staff, tasteful décor and keen attention to detail in the rooms. We had ample space to place our skis at the end of a long day on the slopes, a complimentary newspaper and a free shuttle and/or transport if we needed to get around. The hotel was full of other couples on a weekend getaway, and it was fun to talk about the few guilt-free days we were allowing ourselves to have.
World-Class skiing & more
Mont Tremblant truly is a destination for skiers. We rented skis just a few steps from the hotel and took the gondola to the top of the mountain more than a few times. My husband and I skied together some of the time and opted to separate to ski at our very different levels some of the time. There are runs for all levels, including glades, moguls and easy to hard slopes.
We also spent some time doing non-ski activities. We indulged in a 2-hour snowshoeing tour that took us through the woods and partially up a mountain. It was cold enough so that our tour guide actually sat down and built a fire out of wet sticks for roasting marshmallows. The resort also offers dogsledding, ice climbing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, skating and tubing.
A different kind of bliss in our mountain getaway
One of our favorite and most romantic experiences was our visit to Scandinave Spa, a Nordic spa situated in the most beautiful, tranquil, natural setting. It’s a thousand-year tradition of Scandinavian baths based on a sequence of hydrotherapy that takes you from hot to cold therapy to relaxation every ten minutes. The impact is so utterly relaxing that we both felt like jelly afterward.
Culinary Mont Tremblant
The village has so many fabulous restaurants and it was very romantic just to wander the cobblestone streets. Laurent Louis Bistro was the sweet place to dine – offering both sublime and uniquely French cuisine. From a starter of Brie and salmon to grilled salmon with red sauce to a slice of sugar pie at the end of the meal, the food was simply delightful. Lunch at O Wok was equally good. We love Chinese food, so we indulged in salmon tartar, tofu soup and pad thai. One day after skiing, we grabbed lunch at Fluide Juice Bar, a great vegetarian choice, and a great stop for a recharging juice drink. We also ventured to Altitude in the town’s Casino for an evening meal, a cabs ride away but truly worth it.
Reconnecting with each other
By the end of the weekend, which now feels surreal (did it really happen?), we were acting like giddy teenagers who had escaped for a few days and had to return home. The combination of fulfilling his bucket list, skiing and feeling utterly refreshed, eating fantastic food, enjoying total relaxation at the spa – it was truly enough to fill us both with excitement and reinvigoration to go home and be better parents. It also gave us time to reconnect and experience some things on our own terms, and not our kids.
On our last night, we sat by the fire in the middle of the square, holding hands, chatting about everything under the sun. It was a rare opportunity to bond and connect with each other in very real, reconfirming way.
I’d say that Tremblant was pure bliss.
Here are two winter specials should you be planning your own romantic weekend visit:
- Ski and Scandinavian Spa Package
- Joy of winter (15% off on two nights stay, valid for stays before April 30 booked by April 26)
About Holly Rosen Fink
Holly Rosen Fink is a Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, Branding and Social Media expert with over 15 years’ experience increasing brand awareness and sales at leading publishing houses and media companies. She is the founder of theculturemom.com and is a current contributor to This Girl Travels, Ciao Bambino, Family Vacation Critic, The Broad Side, BlogHer and Women & Hollywood.
Last year she edited Come Closer: How Tourism is Shaping the Future of Nations and associate produced the off-off-Broadway hit The Best of Everything and the NYC production of Listen to Your Mother
Disclosure: Holly was a guest of the Mont Tremblant CVB, but all opinions are her own.