Travellers around Canada are finding it more and more difficult to afford a vacation abroad these days, opting instead for holidays closer to home. Just two hours outside of Ottawa, you’ll find Estérel Resort — a hotel that has everything you need for a relaxing stay.
Surrounded by nature on Lake Dupuis with plenty of activities on offer, a summer weekend in this Laurentians spot can feel like a destination getaway.
Rooms & relaxation
The suites at Estérel Resort are split between two different hotels that cater to different experiences. The Evolution Hotel showcases the calming effect of nature with impressive panoramic views of the lake without sacrificing modern amenities. With bright floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s a serene space to settle in after a day of activities.
The Emotion Hotel is a newer addition, an oasis for a romantic getaway. An “ode to romance and love,” the suites here come complete with a fireplace and a canopy bed, inviting romantic relaxation.
Beyond the comfort of your room, the Lido Thermal Spa awaits. With a similar concept to a Nordic Spa, a mix of hot and cold immersion is said to revitalize the body and mind. Along the waterfront sit several hot tubs, a polar bath and an ice-cold shower, as well as a dry sauna, hammam steam sauna and a lakefront barrel sauna for an invigorating thermal circuit.
The adjacent Amerispa provides spa treatments like massages, facials and body scrubs at an extra cost.
Wine & dine
Estérel Resort boasts three on-site restaurants and a wine cellar for tastings. The first of your dining options is ROK — a hot stone grill restaurant specializing in searing steaks and seafood. Next, Le Voilier offers an elegant atmosphere that showcases the region’s best ingredients.
The most recent addition to the hotel is the Bistro à Champlain, which presents a “gastronomic dinner where the focus is on culinary discovery.” The carte blanche dining concept is curated according to the seasons and harvest, with no set menu for the five-course experience. The bistro’s wine cellar is renowned for its impressive collection of over 5000 bottles, offering both tastings and wine pairings along with an apéro hour.
Explore the outdoors
Sitting on Lake Dupuis, Estérel Resort has a wide selection of outdoor activities to choose from. You can reserve kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and peddle boards to take right from the beach, or you could even rent a pontoon boat to get out on the water for a summer sunset.
If you’re looking to stay dry, the hotel is found in Esterel Park — a nature lover’s dream with easy and intermediate hiking trails that wind through the Laurentian mountains. You can also rent bikes from the resort to tour the famous P’tit train du nord route that covers over 230 kilometres of wilderness. Changing colours in the fall makes for a beautiful backdrop to the many outdoor activities you may be interested in.
The resort is open year-round, and while some of the outdoor activities are not accessible during the winter months, the Lido Thermal Nordic Spa is made all the more special in the snow. Instead of hiking and cycling, guests can explore the surrounding forest by snowshoes or cross-country skis. In lieu of water sports, a skating rink is fashioned on the frozen Lake Dupuis, giving you a unique experience au naturel.
With Alpine skiing trails nearby, this destination is a standout choice no matter the time of year.
Price: Suites start at $229 per night, with package deals available.
Address: 39 Chemin Fridolin-Simard, Esterel, QC
Why You Need To Go: Head to this hotel on Lake Dupuis for a weekend of good food, better wine, fresh air and relaxation. From canoeing on the lake to hiking the park’s trails, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to fill your time.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on March 16, 2021.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.