Editor’s Note: We published an article about these two unique Fairmont resorts in January 2021 – while we were still in the throes of the pandemic. As we approach March Break, we thought that our readers would enjoy a couple of resort suggestions that don’t involve airports and unplanned flight delays. For a family vacation or a couples’ getaway, the historic and unique Fairmont Le Château Montebello and the action-central location of Fairmont Tremblant are ideal locations just ninety minutes from Montreal.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello

Restaurant Aux Chantignoles

The elegant Restaurant Aux Chantignoles at Château Montebello

Ranked by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the Top 10 Resort Hotels in Canada; Le Château Montebello is famous for its outdoor winter activities that include a refrigerated outdoor skating rink, several kilometres of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, a toboggan slope for children (and kids at heart), dog sled rides, and indoor curling. In addition to the two cross county trails around the hotel property, guests are able to use longer trails available on the resort’s golf course. We walked the first nine holes last fall and it was easy to imagine how lovely it would be for skiing in the winter.

The resort’s huge indoor pool is open all year – and it’s great way to relax those muscles after a day of cross-country. In the same complex, guests can compete on the squash court or the indoor tennis courts. Le Spa has its own building, and offers a wide range of treatments, including a salon for couples, complete with cozy fireplace.

Le Château Montebello

Le Château Montebello offers a choice of renovated (above) or classic rooms

During the pandemic, the Food & Beverage Department experimented with new procedures and menu items that have been carried forward. Single use sheets of paper with a QR code so that guests can download a menu onto their iPhones. They can place and for order food and beverages from their lobby location and within a few minutes a server brings their order.

The main dining room Aux Chantignoles is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s an elegant restaurant with terrific views onto the grounds and Ottawa River. We’ve always enjoyed our meals and the knowledgeable service. The menus are varied and include Kids’ Menus.

Le Spa at Montebello

Le Spa at Montebello can accommodate couples

The resort offers all the equipment you need to have fun on site. Find cross-country skis, snowshoes, skates, tubes as well as the facilities. Cross-country skiers are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Chateau Montebello has indoor curling rink where you can either learn the sport from an on-site instructor or enjoy several ends on your own. With the exception of sleigh rides and motorized sports, everything is included in the resort fee.

Fairmont Montebello offers several popular packages. The Winter Fun package includes accommodation, breakfast, the resort experience fee, a $20 per person spa credit and 10% off a half day off-road or ski-doo experience – all for $395 plus taxes per night, double occupancy. The B&B package includes accommodation in a Fairmont room, breakfast and the resort experience fee, starting at $415 plus taxes per room night. Foodies will enjoy the Dine & Stay package that includes overnight accommodation in a Fairmont room, a Table d’Hôte dinner, breakfast and gratuities on meals. From $565 per person plus taxes.

Fairmont Tremblant

Fairmont Tremblant

Fairmont Tremblant is conveniently nestled at the base of the mountain

With its European-style village at the foot of Mont Tremblant, this destination is the most popular downhill ski destination in Eastern Canada. Located at the base of this majestic mountain, Fairmont Tremblant offers skiers and non-skiers alike an excellent location. We’ve visited with children and as a couple, and we’ve always enjoyed the convivial atmosphere, first class accommodations and cuisine. Fairmont Tremblant consistently earns 4 and 5 star ratings on Trip Advisor, and Oprah Magazine ranked the surrounding village as; “One of the Top 28 Most Magical Christmas Towns and Villages in the world.” And it’s all happening right next to Fairmont Tremblant.

Mont Tremblant Village

Oprah Magazine if full of praise for the Mont Tremblant Village

For skiers, it just doesn’t get any better than Fairmont Tremblant. Pick up your skis from the ski valet, walk out through the ski-in, ski-out access and you’re ready to go. When you check in – the car valet will deliver your ski equipment to the ski valet. If you’re renting equipment – you can also pick up your skis from the ski valet. You can purchase your lift tickets in the same area in the hotel. Just walk out and you’re at the mountain and good to go!

The Veuve-Clicquot summertime experience on the pool deck was so successful, that a winter outdoor version has been added to on Saturday and Sundays on La Terrasse Après-Ski just outside Le Comptoir. Fire pits keep the chill away and a DJ keeps the place hopping as skiers and boarders come off The Nansen trail. Hot chocolate and s’more kits are available at the Ricochet Café.

Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant is the most popular ski destination in Eastern Canada

Free for resort guests, the Family Bonfire and Igloo Experience offers a chance to toast marshmallows while the children have fun in the little igloo village. Live the Tremblant experience in winter on the pool terrace from 4pm.

The resort has both indoor and an outdoor all-season pool with a heated deck. Nothing like swimming while skiers slide by!

Winner of the Open Table Diners’ Choice Award, the Choux Gras Brasserie Culinaire has been a guest favourite since it opened. Open evenings from 6pm, it’s recommended that you make reservations in advance. It’s that good and that popular! Thursday evenings you can enjoy smooth jazz vocals by Basso duo. The Axe lobby bar-restaurant offers casual dining with menu items such as club sandwiches and burgers. Le Comptoir is open for breakfast and for dinner. Guests can enjoy an Italian–themed menu in the evening. For a quick bite – take-out service is available from Le Ricochet from 7am until 4pm. In-room dining is offered to all guests for breakfast and dinner.

Fairmont Tremblant

Fairmont Tremblant is offering a “Just Like Home” family condo package

Fairmont Tremblant has some excellent packages for couples and families. For families, the “Just Like Home” condo vacation offers a studio, junior suite, one-bedroom or two bedroom suites, based on two adults and two children. The condo suites have fully equipped kitchens and rates start at $699 per night for a two night minimum reservation. This is a very competitive rate when compared to an all-inclusive package, and it includes a $100 credit for any hotel service, complimentary resort services and parking for one car during your stay. Children 5 and under eat for free from the Kids’ menu, and children 6 – 11 for half price. Other packages include the Ski Flex starting at $469, and includes a $200 credit per day for ski services, (equipment rental, lift tickets) dining and other resort services. There is also a “First Tracks” experience (purchased separately) that enables guests to be the first skiers down the mountain.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello: For information and reservations: www.fairmont.com/montebello. Toll free: 1-800-441-1414 or directly with the resort: 1-819-423-6341.

Fairmont Tremblant: For information and reservations: www.fairmont.com/tremblant or by phone directly to the resort: 1-819-681-7000