2002 Number 1 Resort in the East: Tremblant, Que.

Resort Guide Tremblant Pic Y

Short of controlling the weather, Tremblant is doing everything right. For the fifth year in a row, it's the No. 1 resort in the East. That's remarkable, considering it took less than a decade to develop a colorful base village and crisscross the mountain with an extensive trail network. Now this Intrawest resort is focusing its energies on family programs. Witness such new on-mountain developments as the addition of two Magic Carpets to the beginner area and a snow-park expansion that includes a baby park for the tiniest skiers. For older children and rank beginners, they've cut Petit Bonheur, a green trail on the north side of the mountain. Tremblant also took a hard look at X-Zone, its adults-only nighttime ski area, and decided that kids rule. So X-Zone is gone, replaced this season with tubing for kids on Wednesday and Saturday nights. That's the type of move that led one visitor to proclaim the resort has "the best children's program we've seen." But to keep adults happy, Tremblant continues to emphasize luxury and mid-range accommodations, as well as fine dining. With the American buck still worth more than $1.50 north of the border, you can enjoy luxury for less. If some expert skiers find the terrain lacking in challenge, it seems to please intermediates with a "variety of trails" that enables them to ski the entire mountain. Service gets high marks, as does the quality of food and a "European experience on this side of the pond" that most visitors find irresistible. Meanwhile, the downside to Tremblant is hardly news: It's simply "cold, cold, cold." The resort's increasing popularity, however, leads some visitors to deem it "overcrowded," which means it must be doing a lot right.

WHAT'S NEW Le Sommet des Neiges (800-461-8711), a new five-star, 120-unit condo-hotel, located about 30 feet from the heated gondola.

A GOOD DEAL The Marriott Residence Inn has a one-bedroom suite for $120 per weeknight or $137 weekends, until Dec. 20; 888-272-4000.

MEDALS Gold Lodging, Dining, On-Mountain Food, Service, Après-Ski, Lifts, Off-Hill Activities, Family Programs, Value; SILVER Snow, Challenge, Terrain.

HIGH/LOW RANK Lodging (1), On-Mountain Food (3), Dining (3); Challenge (51), Terrain (52), Weather (70).

DON'T MISS Fresh sushi at Soto at Le Westin Resort.

READER REMARKS (+) "My favorite place to go." "Gets better every year."
(-) "The village is fake. I thought I was at Epcot." "Cold. Icy death cookies!"