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Sat. Aug. 13 2005 11:51 PM ET

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Michael Douglas and Catharine Zeta-Jones on the red carpet
Michael Clark says Michael Douglas and Catharine Zeta-Jones like the joie de vivre -- and the lack of crowds

Michael Clark

Douglas, Zeta-Jones opt for Quebec retreat

CTV.ca News Staff

Some Hollywood royalty has discovered Mount Tremblant, Quebec, hoping to find some of the peace and quiet that doesn't exist in other famous resort areas.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones spent Valentine's Day of last winter at the ski resort and fell in love with the place.

As a result, they chartered a helicopter and went land-hunting, finding a 100-acre parcel on a Lac Desmarais -- a property once owned by the Franciscan monks and so secluded it doesn't yet have a road.

"They like the Quebec joie de vivre, they like the climate and they like the fact that it's not quite as populated as Aspen and Vale," said Michael Clark, the realtor who sold them the land.

And how much does it cost to own a piece of holiday paradise up there?

"We just listed a piece of land for $2.2 million on the water," he said.

Other American starts have tried to find some privacy in Canadian holiday spots; however, it hasn't always worked out.

In 1996, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell bought a place in the famed cottage country of the Muskokas. But they gave it up after finding many curious people who used binoculars to stare right into their cabin.

"Really, people have been incredibly rude," Hawn said at the time.

However, realtors say Tremblant is different -- Quebecers don't gawk.

"I think people are more reluctant to walk up them and interrupt their dinner," said realtor Meg Derry, who is handling the sale of a $2.6 million home belonging to veteran hockey player Vincent Damphousse.

Another factor might be the language barrier: American stars don't speak French, and they aren't as well known in Quebec as they would be in anglophone Canada.

But if Zeta-Jones and Douglas ever find Mount Tremblant wearing thin, they can just jump on a jet and go to one of their other opulent homes in New York City, Los Angeles, Wales, Bermuda and Majorca, a Spanish island.

With a report from CTV's Rob Lurie

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