Auberge Le Manitonga
Re-imagined youth hostel
The Mont-Tremblant youth hostel has just been acquired by two young entrepreneurs. Having in mind a major metamorphosis that will take place over the coming months, they plan to provide a new life for the establishment, to be known henceforth as the Auberge Le Manitonga.
While they have youth and passion in common, Mathieu Langevin and Jonathan Leroux are different in several ways. The first is a Mont-Tremblant native, loves nature and is comfortable with a toolbox.
The second grew up in Chile, likes city environments and being in front of a computer. The two share the same wish, however: to acquire a youth hostel. Together, they have found the financial resources and complementary qualities needed to bring this kind of project to fruition.
Mathieu is delighted to be able to bring new life to this inn, which has had several owners since 1984. Jonathan sees in it an amazing opportunity to make his dream a reality. At the age of 30, he didn’t hesitate to leave Australia for a country completely unknown to him.
“It was literally a life choice, a decision made in less than 48 hours,” says Jonathan, who was immediately enthralled by the project, in addition to falling under the spell of the area and its people. “The people of Mont-Tremblant are really nice! They take their time for everything; there’s no stress,” he says, laughing, used as he is to the frantic speed of things in cities such as Santiago, Berlin or Sydney.
Armed with their respective areas of knowhow and their experience with youth hostels, the two entrepreneurs intend to make Auberge Le Manitonga known well beyond the borders. They hope to welcome backpackers from the United States, Europe, Mexico and South America. To achieve this, they have begun a major process to transform the building and how it works.
“All the rooms will be renovated and a new placement for the bar and reception area will mean that guests can be welcomed in a more strategic manner,” says Mathieu. Now that he has completed one model room, he’ll transform the others over the winter, and then the common areas in the spring. “You could say that it’s a big investment,” says the guy from Mont-Tremblant, without mentioning the actual figures.
Meanwhile, his partner is working on the website, which will be offered in five languages, in addition to reviewing the marketing, branding and reservations system. They have, notably, decided to be completely independent, disassociating themselves from the Hostelling International (HI) network.
Rooms for rent
The new owners also want to provide additional services, including the rental of rooms to seasonal employees on a monthly basis. “We developed this ‘staff housing’ service which is unique in Mont-Tremblant and meets a big need,” Mathieu says happily.
He also confirms, with equal enthusiasm, that the inn’s bar will be completely redone and will become accessible to all, not only to customers. It will welcome live shows in which guests will be able to participate. Jonathan is pleased to be able to offer this kind of shared space to locals and strangers.
“It’s something that’s usually missing in hostels,” Mathieu emphasizes, before adding that other new ideas will be launched this summer. “We don’t just want to sell beds; we want to sell an experience,” he concludes.