Thursday, 7 February 2013

Estrimont Suites & Spa

A haven for rest, relaxation
and the right to be you!

by Nancy Snipper

Situated in Quebec's pristine Eastern Townships, Estrimont’s impressive exterior and enormous grounds where tree-lined hills loom in the distance beautifully embodies the space and freedom everyone experiences once they step inside this remarkable hotel retreat. 

A large set-yourself-at-home lobby with its open concept design encompasses a relaxation and reading room with fireplace. The adjoining dining room - only a few steps down adds further expansion to this wonderfully warm hotel that in 2010 garnered the Grand Prix de Tourisme Quebecois in the category of 4 and 5-star hotels. 


Designed with country/contemporary comfortable furniture and subtle décor, Estrimont’s floor to ceiling windows ensure guests benefit from Estrimont’s signature view: behold the glorious mountains of Mont Orford. They create a never-ending vista of majestic beauty that  accompanies you - whether walking along one of the corridors, swimming in the pool or napping in your room.

This mountain inspires while beckoning you to experience comfort and bliss both inside and outside the 91-room hotel.
 Yet, rather than making you feel small, the range’s 853-meter height seem to empower and encourage you to do all the things you are aching to do to rediscover your inner self. 
Each time I gazed out my room’s huge glass sliding-door and stepped onto the balcony of my room, to gaze at them, I felt a clear message coming from their ageless crests: “Time stands still here and we are protecting you”. 

My room certainly gave me the feeling that tranquility was my own invisible guest who had just checked in with me. Ah, such peace, comfort and what space! It was the perfect spot for a couple with romance in mind or a single person like myself wanting to distress. All the rooms are suites, with sliding glass doors that look out to some lush part of the mountain. The vestibule of my room was as big as the one in the house I once owned. The bathroom was grand – loved those burnt orange big tiles, and the king size bed was faced with a huge kitchenette complete with microwave, dishes, a fridge and coffee machine.

There was a huge TV affixed to the wall, and two steps down from the bedroom was a mini living room another TV with a couch, chair, a Murphy bed, and a fireplace. I also was impressed by the built-in reading lights in the bedside lamps.
To fill the recipe of further relaxation and the right to beautify myself, I headed for Estrimont’s Amerispa that was only a few steps away from my room following a corridor. 

I had the anti-wrinkle and firmness ritual facial – an ‘act’ in at least 8 steps. Using Valmont’s magical products from Switzerland, Nadine Bisaillon, my aesthetician applied mysterious creamy lotions and a phyto cream, and a collagen mask with her intermittent massaging technique. At the end of the hour, my skin was fuller and less grey in colour. It had been detoxified hydrated, reenergized and oxygenated. I actually felt I had been to a plastic surgeon; I looked younger. I was glowing. Take me to the ball!  
The next day I treated myself to two outstanding treatments to create skin smoothness in the body and detoxify it. An all-over application of a warm gel mask of nutrients, vitamins and minerals was applied to my body as part of Amerispa’s signature Elixir Ice Cider Exfoliation body wrap. Wow! I have sandpaper legs; after that, my legs felt like honey without the stickiness. Then another hands-on gift was coming my way: a 90-minute massage took place under the expert hands of Caroline Collin who also did the body wrap. Every muscle, bone, sinew of every part of my body was tended to using her expert therapeutic techniques.

 The Amerispa experience allowed me self-reflection and great relaxation. I loved the entire gentle experience, and the dipping into the Nordic hot spa outside with a view to snow-covered Orford, followed with a retreat into the yurt for further relaxation. 

It’s time to talk about the gourmet meals I had at Estrimont, yet another reason one never has to leave the premises. Olivier-St Arnaud is the master chef, who is offering a day of 2-hour culinary workshops this summer.

You get to taste what you make, and under his guidance, was a thrill. I must single out his hors d’oeuvres, such as brie and prosciutto melted in a pastry roll, the turkey soup tinged with nutmeg, or his tender sweet salmon garnished with grenadine and served on yellow beets with fennel. His chicken mousse served in a little spoon was heavenly.

My five-course meal which seemed like the standard 8-course one he creates each evening was outrageously superb. Most remarkable was the risotto with wild mushroom, smoked Gouda and  Parmesan cheese. The three-flavour dessert of maple ice cream in a square, raspberry sorbet and argusier berry mousse was awesome.
Breakfast was a la carte or buffet; Once again, it was an embarrassment of riches. I knew I had gained weight, so it was time to head for Orford Park to do some cross-country skiing – only a five-minute drive away from Estrimont.
It was recommended I walk the trails rather than ski them as parts were icy. I was fitted with crampons, and off I went with my guide Jean-Philippe Baribeau who knows the trails very well.

 He took me on a 30-minute walk uphill to get a view of the enchanting Etang aux Cerises (Pond of Cherries). The walk up cocooned me in birch trees, evergreens and maples. The short ascension we climbed at the end was aptly called Colline des pins (Hill of Pines). The view was sweet indeed.

The next day, I took a longer walk trying to follow a path I had in mind, but the markings on the trail, the map itself and my navigation did not see eye to eye. Nevertheless, it was all stunning and quietly beautiful. I love this park and hope to go back when they get more snow to cross-country ski. The staff was really helpful.

Mont Orford National Park  offers / Le Parc National du Mont-Orford offre :  

Network of trails:  
50 km of classic cross-country skiing 
26 km of cross-country skiing for the step pad
50km of snowshoe trails
4.5 km of trails for hiking on snow

Réseau de sentiers :  
 50 km de sentiers de ski de fond pour le pas classique 
 26 km de sentiers de ski de fond pour le pas de patin 
 50 km de sentiers de raquette 
 4.5 km de sentiers pour la randonnée sur neige 

Accommodation :
In winter: 5 chalets in nature, 3 shelters or 14 rustic camping platforms 

Hébergement  :  
 En hiver : 5 chalets Nature, 3 refuges ou 14 plateformes pour le camping rustique. 

Here are 2 upcoming events / Voici 2 Activités à venir :  
 The quest for Frodor - February 16, 2013 
Guided by the light of the torches, follow the Coyote Trail on snowshoes in order to solve the riddle of the quest for Frodor. It’s a remarkable experience that will plunge you into a mysterious world. Can you enter into the secret circle of protectors of the jewel of the Sutton Mountains? Camp fires, characters and hot chocolate await you.
La quête de Frodor – 16 Février 2013   
 À la lueur des flambeaux, parcourez le sentier de raquette Le Coyote afin de résoudre l’énigme de la quête de Frodor. Une expérience hors du commun qui vous plongera dans un monde mystérieux. Saurez-vous intégrer le cercle secret des protecteurs du joyau des monts Sutton? Feu de camp, personnage et chocolat chaud vous attendent.  
 Details / Détails : 
·         Lac-Stukely Sector / Secteur du Lac-Stukely 
·         February 16, 2013 / le 16 février, 2013
·         Time: from 6pm to 8pm / Horaire : de 18 h à 20 h 
·         For rates, information and reservations: Pour tarifs, renseignements et réservations : (819) 843-9855 
 Championship Loppet Subaru Orford - 23-24 February 2013 
Prestigious cross-country skiing championship is back for its 21st edition. Cheer on skiers from all across North America!
Championnat Loppet Subaru Orford – 23-24 Février 2013 
Le prestigieux championnat de ski de fond est de retour pour une 21e édition. Venez encourager les skieurs de partout à travers l’Amérique du Nord! 
Web site / Site Internet :  
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