This summer, my boyfriend and I chose to not go on vacation together, as we’d been on two different trips last year. Instead, we opted to stick around Montreal and keep our activities local. At the last minute, I saw a promotion go by for Estérel Resort – which I’d never heard of before – which seemed pretty sweet. Actually, they had 3 different promos going on, each offering slightly different options and targeted at different markets (couples, besties, etc.).
I decided to check out their website, their Instagram page and their promotions and was sold – who wouldn’t want to enjoy three days up North by a beautiful lake with a spa? We proceeded to booking two nights of accommodation, from Sunday to Tuesday, which cost us with tax and all about $530. With this, we had a beautiful suite, unlimited spa and bath access, as well as access to the lake, kayaks, canoes, pédalos and other fun things. We also had a $25 coupon to spend at one of three restaurants on-site and a 2for1 voucher on drinks as well. We were both very excited to go on our weekend getaway.
I’m going to cut to the chase and get to the point right now. Although we had a good time, the experience as a whole was disappointing. Maybe that’s my fault for having high expectations? But I think Estérel Resort is at blame for some of it.
My first and biggest issue was the amount of children and families at Estérel Resort. I have nothing against families and children, my boyfriend has three kids of his own. But when you’re expecting a romantic getaway and you find yourself surrounded by children who are running around, yelling and splashing water in the “adults only” pool, it’s not exactly what you had in mind. And this is my biggest concern, as nowhere in Estérel Resort’s marketing, whether it be the website or their Instagram, do you see ANY photos of families and children – it’s all happy couples or girls hanging out. As well, when we booked, we were told that the “Émotion” side of the hotel was more romantic and made for couples, which I thought was great, but that’s the side with the main lake access and spa facilities so the kids are on that side as well. On the same note, because this is a spa as well, I was expecting it to be very calm and relaxing, just like at any other spa, but there were also some adults who when they spoke were basically yelling at each other.
Speaking of noise, both mornings we were woken up rudely at around 9h00. On the first day, it was the lawn mowers right outside our balcony and the second day, the maids who “thought we had checked out”. I find both of these unacceptable and inexcusable. First off, whotf mows the lawn at 9h00? People are at a resort, expecting to relax, maybe sleep in till 10, not get woken up by noise. Second, it’s called check your booking system. Plus, we had the “do not disturb” sign on the door. Both of these really pissed me off as I love to sleep and hate being woken up for nothing.
My final issue was with pricing. I definitely did not think that what I got was worth $530 for two nights; they couldn’t even be bothered to include breakfast in that price (that was an extra $19 per person). As well, the price of the food at their restaurants was so expensive, that a lot of people checked-in with grocery bags, ourselves included. As an example, their nachos are $24 – I don’t know of many bars in Montreal who can sell a platter of nachos for $24.
There were however some things that we did like. For starters, we really liked the room; it was very nice and spacious. I loved that there was a small kitchen area, a nice living room space, a huge bathroom with shower and bath tub and of course, a king size bed with one of those fake fireplaces. I have nothing but good things to say about the room. The balcony on the other hand was quite rusty in some parts and there was no privacy from the other balconies. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the room myself, which by the end of our stay wasn’t very photogenic, so here are some provided by the Estérel Resort website.
Although we only had one dish during our stay (for our other meals we ate food that we had brought with us or at restaurants in nearby Ste-Adèle), the beef tartare at the 260 bar/restaurant was delicious. It was perfectly well balanced with the pesto sauce and the mushrooms. We also did the wine tasting as part of our promotions, which Alex really enjoyed. I’m a bit picky with wines, I don’t particularly like red wines and I hate Chardonnay and there were only red wines and Chardonnay on the tasting menu (you’d think with a cellar of 9000+ wines there would have been more options…).
Minus the screaming children and yelling adults, the outdoor facilities were very nice. There were 4 spas outside, two of which were “adults only” and this was respected, as well as a cold bath, two pools (one that was under maintenance for 2 days of our stay) and a dry sauna. There were many spots where you could grab a chair and lounge under the sun. Although the lake was freezing, we did some pédalo and some kayak, which was nice. And the grounds in general were very nice, they had a lot of wild flowers and plants by the spa and beach which reminded me of my grandmother’s house in the country.
Like I said, overall, we had a good time, but we definitely feel as though it wasn’t worth it. The price was just ridiculous for a two-night stay, for the little we got in return. I’m also really disappointed I got scammed by their marketing, being a marketing person and all lol I had seen nothing but beautiful pictures on their website and their Instagram page, of beautiful spas, couples having a good time and good food and wine.
I’ve decided to apply my restaurant review criteria to my stay at Estérel Resort, why not:
Experience (instead of food): 2.5/5
Would I go back?: Definitely not. For what Estérel Resort is, there are definitely cheaper options in nearby towns.
UP NEXT: no blog posts for the next 2-3 weeks as I’ll be on a real vacation with my mom in Corsica and Sardinia. Blog posts on those two places when I get back!
*All photos are mine or of me, unless otherwise stated and credited.