A massive great grey owl flits from tree to tree, signaling magic in the woods surrounding the HOM chalets of Val-des-Monts. HOM Mini Chalets is a creative collaboration between Dominique Laflamme and her partner, firefighter Martin Poitras. Two years ago the couple opened two small cottages on McGregor Lake, just 35 minutes from Ottawa. This past summer they added six treehouses on a nearby lot of 100 acres, set on a hillside with lake views and water access.
“The idea was born from our travels,” explains Laflamme. “We wanted to offer access to nature and the cottage experience to couples who don’t want to own a large, expensive property.”
Each cottage is elevated, with a covered deck that allows outside access in all seasons and is home to a pair of Adirondack chairs and a hot tub, which offer views to the lake below. And they each offer heated floors throughout, a working wood-burning stove, and a fully equipped kitchen.
“We were inspired by Nordic design because they really know how to live in nature in winter,” says Laflamme.
Inside, the chalets are decorated in soothing tones of white and sage green, with rustic wood open shelving, white subway tiled bathrooms, black-and-white photographs of the property, and a hanging chair, just for fun.
“It’s deliberately simple, but our intention is to offer a moment of respite, the feeling of wellness, and a simple hotel experience. There are no groups, no families, and no parties here,” explains Laflamme.
In winter, there are cozy fires, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing on the lake, as well as in-chalet massage services offered by registered therapists. There’s also a charging station for electric vehicles and a high-speed internet connection for teleworking — if you must.
HOM Mini Chalets 32, ch. du Saphir, Val-des-Monts, Quebec