Not Your Usual Lodgings

Are you looking for an out of the ordinary shelter for a weekend getaway this winter? You’ll find a fine selection right here, with, as a bonus, a few great activities in the area.

By Marie-Claude Masse


©Marc Lajoie

Entre Cîmes et Racines

Located at the foot of Mount Chagnon, in Bolton-Est, this majestic 175-acre forest domain, with its three streams, offers 14 ecolodges built from A to Z with the forest’s noble resources. Here, you’ll be in perfect harmony with nature as you discover the wealth of wildlife and flora on the 15 kilometres of groomed trails you can access on foot or snowshoes (there’s an on-site rental service). If you’re hoping to go off the grid for a while, you’ll note there is no WIFI connection that will reach your ecolodge! At only 15 minutes from your shelter, you can enhance your relaxation experience by spending a few hours at Spa Bolton.

80, Simard Rd., Bolton-Est, 1 866 297-0770


Au Diable Vert

This Glen Sutton mountain centre offers several “pod type” shelters to welcome both lone adventurers or couples who love winter sports. All built using an eco-friendly approach, they’re the perfect cocoon for those who wish to offer themselves a rustic getaway inside a breathtaking natural environment. Star gazing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing (rentals on-site), backcountry skiing, telemark, sliding, skating … you’ll have plenty of activities to choose from! If you prefer alpine skiing, Owls’ Head and Mont SUTTON are both only 20 minutes away!

169, Staines Rd., Glen Sutton, 450 538-5639


Tipis de la Rivière Sauvage

How would you like to spend the night in a teepee by the river? Well, just head out to Saint-Romain, at Tipis de la Rivière Sauvage. Here, besides sleeping in a traditional housing which can welcome up to four guests, you can also enjoy different professional cares: massage therapy, reflexology, Swedish massages, pedi-cares… Everything for a relaxing experience! If you would rather get your blood flowing, the Station Touristique Baie-des-Sables, only 30 minutes away, offers a ton of activities to please everybody: alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tube gliding, ice fishing…

345, Dostie Rd., Saint-Romain, 418 486-2100


Auberge du Changement d’ère

The owners of this venue, artist architects, designed two very comfortable eco-futuristic yurts for you, with heated floors, high-end mattresses, and a refined interior built with natural materials. Families feel very welcome here since each yurt offers such perks as a highchair and plenty of children’s toys. Inside an amazing Zen ambiance, you’ be able to explore the domain’s 9-acre forest playground on foot or on snowshoes. The inn is located just beside the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. You could therefore take advantage of your stay and initiate yourself to riding a fat bike or trying yukigassen, an activity combining hockey, dodgeball and the game of battle flag.

153, Thornton Nord, Coaticook, 819 200-0055


©Caroline BC

Le Vertendre

Lean design aficionados are well served here with Le Vertendre’s Zoobox ecological lofts. They’re autonomous in energy, with an open concept, and include all the necessary material. These comfort shelters offer at least one ceiling-suspended bed, an energy-generating wheel or bike, a firefighter’s pole, a climbing wall and a bean bag toss game. Far from ordinary! And, inside this natural environment you’ll become one with nature as you hike, ski or snowshoe through the forest’s 15 kilometres of trails. Psst! Spa Eastman is only 5 minutes away, and the artisanal bakery Chez Dora, where you’ll find plenty of sweet or salty treats, is only 7 minutes from the inn!

7, chemin de la Chute, Eastman, 1 855 383-2007


Laö Cabines

Established on a 66-acre terrain, abounding with trees, streams and rocky escarpments, with 4 km of trails (hiking, cross-country skiing, fat bike…), these cabins are total comfort, nature oases. They offer all the essentials: a bed, a compost toilet, a propane hotplate, a rustic shower in one of the cabins, a complete bathroom inside the welcome centre … and, more importantly, nature itself! Here, everything was planned with respect to the land and you’ll enjoy immersing yourself in this harmonious environment. If you’re looking for a place where you can relax, go for a walk, breathe loads of fresh air, or go sliding (bring your crazy carpets!) … it’s all possible! And, if you feel the sudden urge to return to “civilization” for a while, the town of Racine is only a few minutes away. Note that the Parc national du Mont-Orford is also at about thirty minutes from the Laö Cabines.

548, Chemin du Grand Brompton, Racine, 819 345-4434


La Station du Chêne Rouge Eco-lodges

The Station du Chêne Rouge’s 15 eco-lodges are built in the forest, on top of the mountain, inside a 150-acre domain. The site is covered with trails you can discover on snowshoes or cross-country skis. Arch-like, rectangular or triangular in shape, these small shelters offer you comfort and relaxation in the middle of nature. For those who wish to explore the surrounding area, the village of North Hatley is nearby. We recommend that you stop at Saveurs et gourmandises for a cup of their delicious coffee or to try their homemade pastry. Another option: horseback riding at the Centre d’équitation Jacques Robidas.

1640, Chemin Rodgers, Canton de Hatley, 819 437-0737


Les Loges — Ressourcement Thermal en Forêt, Nature Healing

Their name says it all: here, you’ll enjoy the healing effect of an intimate thermal experience inside a forest environment. The Scandinavian-style lodge includes a spa, a dry sauna, a hammam with a eucalyptus vapour machine and a waterfall set on its terrace. Inside you’ll find a wood-burning fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen and a cozy bedroom. With all these amenities, just for you, relaxation is guaranteed! Nearby, you’ll find the Béret Rouge, a fine food grocery store, perfect for filling your provision basket with terroir products and take-out meals.

181, Chemin Tomifobia, Canton de Stanstead, 450 888-2533


The Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey

Finally, we’re distancing ourselves from the more traditional options by suggesting a place to please those who are looking for some solitude and time to ground themselves. Did you know that the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac offers retreats for a small price which includes three meals per day? For two to three days, you can stay either at the Abbey Guesthouse (for men), or at the Villa Sainte-Scholastique (for women), in a modest but comfortable single room. Access to the library and the chapel, meals in silence, Gregorian chants, outdoor walks … everything you’ll need for some precious time to yourself. Before you leave, don’t forget to stop at the Abbey’s boutique, where you’ll find all their excellent cheese selections and many other gourmet products

1, rue Principale, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, 819 843-4080.

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