It’s hard to find anything more practical, comfortable, family-friendly and, above all, affordable, than the Horizon Hotel in Sutton. You may not be able to go out on skis, but it’s the same thing. Over 60 years since its opening and nearly 10 years since its renewal, let us (re)discover this Estri icon.

The hotel is particularly well located, 2 km from the mountains (accessible by car or shuttle) and less than 3 km from the village. You may have passed by it dozens of times on your way to outdoor activities in Sutton.

“For me, the Horizon Hotel was more than anything a sign of Maple Road,” said a friend from Estrie who I spoke to about my stay. Because this legendary facility has been part of the landscape since his 1960s, and many people never thought to find out more about it.

Once upon a time, the underground nightclub was an après-ski meeting place, frequented by vacationers and villagers alike. The Horizon Hotel was a family-run hotel until it was sold in 2014. Daniel and Claude Boulay quietly inherited the business from the founder’s parents, Guy and Phyllis Boulay.

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When it opened in 1962, the old farmhouse had 12 rooms, a dining room and a bar, you can read in the newspaper article. Brome County NewsIn 1967, 24 motel rooms used for Expo 67 were added and moved at a rate of two units per day. A swimming pool and tennis courts followed in 1972.

For many years, Horizon was the venue for weddings, weekly pig roasts, all kinds of family celebrations, and music nights at the disco.

The stunning property, with panoramic views of the valley and Mt Orford, was acquired in 2014 by French company Huttopia. Little by little, she built a camping/glamping “village” of her 40 small rustic chalets. These chalets can also be rented during the winter through the hotel.

The brand is committed to the renovation and subsequent operation of Horizon. After a stunning renovation, this establishment began welcoming customers again at the end of his 2015. Although almost all of the staff are now French, their background remains very Quebecois.

our experience

After my luxurious stay at Club Med Charlevoix, I am adjusting my expectations. But it’s easy to see what you’re getting for $150 a night here.

The room is literally cozy, with a photo of a campfire above the bed. Walls covered with pine panels give it a mountain charm. Move away from the big bed (queen) To my companion, that is, my mother, who found comfort! – and I go to an adjoining very small room equipped with bunk beds. Families with small children should also enjoy it. There are also rooms for two with king-sized beds and accessible rooms with double beds. I don’t plan on spending the whole day there, but it’s great for sleeping.

I rummage through my suitcase for my swimsuit, while my mom carefully puts everything inside in drawers and the bathroom. This command has skipped a generation!

It’s very unusual for a small country hotel with 24 rooms to have an indoor pool. We are taking advantage of it. Outside there’s also a Finnish bath (hot, but no whirlpool) and a new barrel sauna, which must be accessed via a short footbridge in the snow.

Repeat this short break the next afternoon, but then it’s time to eat. We could have had dinner there, but since we knew we would have dinner there the next night, we decided to head out to the village. It’s Sunday so not everything is open, but Mexican restaurant Gato Sutton tempts us with its tacos and margaritas. However, be wise, because you have a very active day tomorrow.

in the mountains

After a very decent continental breakfast we headed to Mont Sutton. I’m finally planning to try my hand at ski touring, and I’m looking forward to participating with an experienced guide. At the rental center, an agent will show you how to attach climbing “skins” to rental skis and how to adjust the bindings to switch from descending to climbing mode and vice versa.

Denis Blanchett is Mont Sutton’s ‘Ambassador Guide’. He and his fellow volunteers introduce new visitors to the alpine ski area for free. They can be recognized by their orange fur with a question mark on their back. Please feel free to ask.

But Dennis had another mission that day. It was to introduce me to “tours”. He gives me a lot of good advice, including this one I keep repeating: “Try to let the skis slide instead of lifting them. We’re not wearing snowshoes!” About halfway through, we finally found the glide.

After about an hour and a half of climbing to the top on slightly icy roads, the long-awaited (and well-deserved!) moment of descent arrives. But even though there was little snow this winter, you still have to take some time to admire the especially white decorations.

Lunch is a hearty salad, fries, and in my case a Chilean specialty served on sold-out bread, at Petit Tucker at the foot of the slopes. A small group of my co-workers convinced me to try Yohner in the afternoon. This snow cart we’re sitting on has been at Mont Sutton for about five years. But unfortunately, the only elevator accessible by this machine is broken. Early in the morning, they had to evacuate using a ladder.

Therefore, we return to Snowscoot. We entrust this approachable board to our excellent instructor Nathalie Plante, who brilliantly explains the techniques of his sport. After going down the school slope several times, we are already ready to climb higher. Natalie makes us proud!

apres ski

Once you arrive at your hotel, it’s time for Coureur des bois coffee and spa. My mother just returned from the village where she had been walking around all afternoon (see some good addresses in the text below).

Enjoy an aperitif on generous platters (one with cheese and charcuterie, the other with vegetables and dips) in the ‘lounge’ area next to the fireplace, then sit down to eat. Since I’m already half full, I go straight to the main course. It will be a meat dish. Beef cheek confit is served on mashed potatoes with carrots and red wine gravy, then the bistro burger is served with thick but deliciously crunchy fries.

Bistro Horizon is run by a young couple named Fabian and Clara. They have years of restaurant experience and had a clear understanding of the type of menu and friendly service we needed for our new home. There’s also a proper way to drink, with a varied menu of cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, beer, cider and wine.

Perhaps the only slightly inconsistent factor is the price. In this context, it would be unthinkable to pay $15 for soup, $26 for squash risotto, or $30 for a hamburger.

If we had had a full stomach, we would have liked to have skated a few times on the large outdoor ice rink, but the mild weather of the past few days prevented that from happening. So we head to our room for our second and final night in this rather unique place, a little touched up in places but above all very charming. I’ll be back.

Room rates start at $149. But during his stay, Monhe learned of the unique Ski-Sleep-Ski package in partnership with Sutton. This means a full day of skiing, one night at the Horizon Hotel, breakfast, and half a day of skiing. This offer is limited to weekday nights, and rates start at $149 per person. The offer is not displayed on the site, so you must call the hotel to make a reservation.

Staying at the Horizon Hotel also includes complimentary access to the Plein Air Sutton Trail (snowshoeing) and a 20% discount on cross-country skiing.

To try ski touring at Mont Sutton, you’ll need to pay $26 for a day ticket. Equipment rentals cost $79 for a full day, $59 for a half day (there’s plenty!), plus $24 or $20 if you don’t have boots.

To try snowscooting, we recommend the Startup Package, which includes a 1.5-hour lesson, equipment rental (including helmet), and one-day access to the Mont Family Zone. Cost: $135 for first person, $95 for additional people.

food in the village

Cafe Yamabiko

Sutton is lucky to have a great coffee/roaster. Not only will you get the best espresso and filters, but you’ll also enjoy the beauty of a location bathed in natural light. It has to stop. Don’t forget to bring your coffee bag with you.

Gateau Sutton

The first night we stayed at the Horizon Hotel, we ate at a Mexican restaurant in Sutton that made tacos with homemade masa tortillas from La Quebequita in Sherbrooke. The margaritas are carefully made, and the quesabirria (a hybrid of taco and soup-soaked quesadilla) are sure to save you calories for the next day’s winter sports.

Wine Merchants Nature Reserve

This is another Sutton gem. Adèle Prudhum and Lionel Frone left Montreal a few years ago and brought their wine and culinary knowledge to Principal Street. There’s always great food and plenty of local and foreign wines to sip in this room with mouth-watering bottles.

For a hearty breakfast (and it starts at 7am!), Mollie’s is the place to go. If you’re looking for great beer and burgers, you have not one, but two options. Sutton Brouërie and Brasserie À l’abordage. If you’re looking to stock up on food for lunch on the mountain or in your room, Hungry Lemur in Sutton has a huge selection of cheeses, cold meats, drinks, pastries and more.

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