Some après-ski bars serve you a cold beer and a colder plate of nachos before sending you back to the condo. Others ply you with enough steins, shots, and ski-boot dancing to jeopardize your following day on the slopes. These are the latter.
P'tit Caribou (Mont Tremblant, Quebec)
Resort developer Intrawest might have gone a bit overboard in trying to re-create a quaint European ski village at the base of Quebec's Mont Tremblant, but P'tit Caribou nails the wild après-ski experience rarely found outside the Alps. Located in the heart of the popular Laurentian mountain resort's bustling pedestrian center, P'tit Caribou lures in skiers early with a dirt-cheap 2 p.m. happy hour that escalates in price until 4:30 p.m. After that, things get…wild. The crowd doubles by the time the lifts close, and by nightfall, the once rocking après-ski boîte has transformed into a full-on club, replete with visiting house DJs, cage dancing, and patrons dressed to the nines. Just how did all this happen in the span of an afternoon? No one really knows, least of all the guys still dancing in their ski boots at 3 a.m..
In reality, P'tit Caribou is the product of a perfect partying storm – Montreal (a city known for its intense nightlife) is under an hour away, and the drinking age in Canada is a cradle-robbing 18, meaning the crowd can skew young. Not to mention juvenile. But hey, you're on vacation, hopped up on cheap Labatts and the crowd's enthusiasm is plain infectious. To quote 'Hot Tub Time Machine' (that modern ski movie masterpiece), you'll "feel 19 again."
Just not in the eyes of the 19-year-old you've been creepily trying to dance with all night. Now, please, sir, go home, your ski boots are starting to smell.