Slope-side Luxury in Quebec’s Eastern Townships

Slope-side Luxury in Quebec’s Eastern Townships
We arrived at Hotel Chateau-Bromont in the late afternoon, just as the lights came on to illuminate the ski trails that radiate down from the summit of the ski area, right opposite the hotel. As we’d driven northward along the Connecticut Valley and over the international border into Canada, we’d watched the thermometer on our dashboard drop steadily until it hovered around zero -- Fahrenheit. The mountain looked cheery and inviting -- at least from the warm interior of the hotel’s spacious lobby. But we were not tempted outside to sample it, even though trails remain open until 10 pm, and Bromont offers the most lighted terrain of any ski resort in the East. Tomorrow would be just fine, thanks, and with any luck a bit warmer.

Instead we settled into our two-level room. We entered into a spacious sittingroom with a cathedral ceiling. The focal point was a glass-screened fireplace, and facing it were a cushy white sofa and a pair of equally comfortable black armchairs. Their geometric shapes were complimented by the room’s remaining furniture: a desk, several small tables and a cabinet containing the minibar, all black.

Because the room faces the interior atrium, there were no outside windows, so to relieve the expense of walls in the high-ceilinged room, one wall was broken by large framed panels in a lattice design. Red throw pillows and a large art work with red foliage brought welcome touches of color.

Our only complaint about the room was the dim lighting. Despite the large chandelier and several lights on the walls and tables, the only place with enough light to read by was the desk. Bedside lights were too diffused for more than a few pages of a bedtime book.

The bedroom, in a mezzanine reached by a long flight of open stairs, was small, with luggage space scarce. But its size didn’t seem cramped because a half-wall opened onto the large room below. The upstairs bathroom was large enough to accommodate a double whirlpool tub. The downstairs bath had a large walk-in shower. We were pleased to discover that the heating system was whisper-quiet and kept te rooms an even temperature.

In the same building is a full-service spa with an indoor swimming pool and outdoor hot tub, and in the atrium is a smaller pool. The hotel’s fitness center, boutique and bistro adjoin the atrium. The bistro menu included burgers, club sandwiches, bounteous salads and several other options, along with a good selection of Canadian beers on tap.

The breakfast buffet, which was included with our room, offered a good variety, with fresh cut fruit, berries, yogurt, cheeses, house-baked pastries and six hot entrée choices: poached and scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast and home fries. Hot beverages were served at the table and there were four different fruit juices to choose from.

Hotel Chateau-Bromont is part of a year-round resort complex that also includes a golf course and three restaurants. In addition to the bistro, a trattoria with a wood-fired pizza oven caters to families and the dining room, Quatre Canards, features a full lunch and dinner menu.

A shuttle is on call to take guests to the trattoria, which is at the other end of the golf course from the hotel, and to the mountain for skiing in the winter or the water park and mountain biking trails in the summer.

The village of Bromont has shops, art galleries and the Musee du Chocolat, a chocolatier with a café serving, of course, hot cocoa and chocolate desserts. The region is filled with farms and small food producers, but unlike the chocolate museum, many are closed in the winter. But they and the multiple outdoor activities are a good reason to come back in another season.

Hotel Chateau-Bromont is just off Route 10, which traverses the entire Eastern Townships region almost parallel to the Quebec-Vermont border.

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