• By: Marie Waine

Escape to Mont Tremblant

If you ask me, January and February are the hardest months of the year to get through. Not only is all the hype from the holidays over, but the snow and slush on the roads make getting around town a huge headache!

I have experienced my fair share of winters in Ottawa, but this is my first with a car. Although I am grateful to have it, driving in the winter comes with its own set of problems!

That is why when Ford Canada held a weekend of learning winter driving tips and techniques in Mont Tremblant, while refocusing on getting back to the basics of everyday life, I jumped at the chance to attend.

The weekend began at Campbell Ford, where former Nascar race car driver Robin Buck shared a lesson on the ins-and-outs of driving responsibly in cold weather. From where to put the windshield wiper fluid to how to change a tire, Buck made sure I was going to be safe on the winter roads.

One of the most important things I learned: Keep an emergency box in your car. Include items such as a warm blanket, a flashlight, jumper cables, gloves and snacks so you are prepared for any situation.

The snowy roads to Mont Tremblant were no match for the Ford Focus Titanium hatchback and Ford Escape SE. The drive was smooth thanks to SYNC with MyFord Touch. The driver can sync their smartphone with the car and interact using voice control and touch screen. Want to drive without any distractions? Use the Do Not Disturb feature to block any incoming calls and texts. Ford Canada knows all cargo is precious and that is why many Ford vehicles are equipped with the Blind Spot Information System to warn the driver when there is a vehicle in the blind zone.

Another new innovative feature by Ford Canada is Active Park Assist.  Have you had a chance to try it yet? If you find parallel parking stressful, this feature is the answer to your prayers. With the press of a button, Active Park Assist scans the surrounding area of your car for eligible parking spots. Once found, all the driver has to do is control the gas and brake pedals while Active Park Assist steers the car right into the parallel parking spot. No hands! Out of the 12 drivers who tried the new feature, Active Park Assist yielded 12 perfect parallel parks.

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Out of the car, Ford Canada created a low-key, beautiful weekend meant to re-instate the importance of going back to basics and enjoying what may often be taken for granted. There is no better place for such a weekend than Mont Tremblant. Take in a deep breath of fresh air and appreciate the beauty of nature.

If you are looking to be relaxed and pampered in Mont Tremblant, be sure to book a few nights at Hotel Quintessence. This boutique hotel is home to only 30 suites, meaning you are guaranteed a peaceful, quiet stay. And it is not hard to enjoy the serenity when each suite offers a king-size bed, wood-burning fireplace, deep sunken therapeutic spa bathtub, rain shower and private balcony with a breathtaking view. Your sleep will be so deep you won’t hear your alarm go off in the morning.

If you choose to leave the roaring fire and soaker tub, wander over to Spa Sans Sabot. Located within Hotel Quintessence, this spa is the perfect getaway for a massage to ease your mind. Or dare to bare a bathing suit in the cold temperatures and enjoy the oversized whirlpool and infinity pool!

If you aren’t relaxed yet, then a wine tasting or meal at Restaurant La Quintessence and Winebar will surely let you unwind. Embrace Canadian talent with a sampling of Pillitteri Estates’ icewine or Neige’s ice cider. Icewines are produced with a lot of care—icewine grapes are harvested at temperatures below -8 Celsius. It takes over ten times the amount of grapes to produce the same amount of product as a normal bottle of wine. So, savour your sips!

And if wine is not your cup of tea…find a tea that is! Hotel Quintessence offers tea tastings to learn about white, green, oolong and black teas. Other optional food experiences include hot chocolate and s’mores.

A weekend in Mont Tremblant would not be complete without a little outdoor activity. Whether you enjoy black diamonds or window-shopping, there is something for everyone. Rent a pair of snowshoes and explore the many beautiful trails and hikes Mont Tremblant has to offer. It’s a mid-priced, low-stress idea for the whole family!

Make the most of winter by learning driving safety tips. Put them to the test by going on a weekend getaway of your own!