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“Comfortable Elegance” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   70 Essex Way, Essex, VT 05452   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Essex
Foster, Rhode Island
1 review
“Comfortable Elegance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

Just like the menu in their Tavern, the Essex was filled with choices, quality, taste, and little surprises. All the elegance of a 5-star resort with the comfort of your local inn. So many things to choose: tennis, golf, swimming (inside and out), fire pits, fire places, hot tub by the pool or in the privacy of your own room, excellent food, beer, and wine, great cooking classes, spa treatments, ropes course, or swaying in the oversized hammock. The staff was kind courteous, and helpful. All the charm without the stuffiness! A great place to get away!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a couch and the in-room jacuzzi
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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835 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
Date | Rating
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English first
Skillman, New Jersey
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
231 helpful votes 231 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

We came here with extended family and had 5 rooms reserved, so I will share my experience all around. We did not sign up for any culinary experiences, so I will not comment on that. We were there Fri-Mon.
The resort - it's not expansive - itself is decent. I wouldn't rate it at AAA 4-diamond but perhaps I can't say for sure since I did not use the culinary offerings or the spa. The check-in process was great and the staff helpful. There were numerous weddings and occassions going on so getting an upgraded room (to their suites) was not possible. I booked through sniqueaway.com and those weren't available then either but was hoping... There was a small crepe demonstration in the front lobby which was great to try out - but I never saw that again for the rest of the stay (Sat PM or Sun PM). Cookies and lemonade in lobby were delicious but limited (this should be available most of the day IMHO).
Our rooms were in the Mansion section. Older building but the corner rooms were quite large. My room was large enough - no complaints about the size. But the rooms need severe upgrading if this is considered a "resort" having AAA 4-diamonds. Not even close - it was close to a better Best Western. The beds were springy (I did notify the front desk on check-out) and the duvet cover was ... well, not welcoming - frayed, a bit dirty. I think all hotels should implement Hampton Inn's new policy that duvet covers are washed for EACH guest check-in - that's wonderful. The carpet in the room was dated as was the furniture. Had to look for outlets to plug in chargers etc. The bathroom was fine but the shower (head and curtains and drain) need major upgrading. There was no counter space AT ALL so had to put toilet bag, shaver etc. on the floor - note to hotel - please install a simple countertop around the sink. The ultra-small cabinet on top of the toilet bowl is really non-functional. The room otherwise was quaint, decent views of the hotel entrance and garden. A/C worked wonderfully in our room, but not so well in another - they actually got a credit on their bill for the "inconvenience" - the A/C just shut off at 2-3 AM both Sat and Sun nights until someone came in the AM to take a look and fix. Resort?
The restaurant - The Tavern - was not bad considering. Food was good, service was good but the food wasn't coming out as fast as we hoped - breakfast (hot) took at least 30 mins - not good especially since you want to get going. Seems like there was only one chef doing all the cooking. And it wasn't packed - 50% tables occupied. At any rate, I enjoyed the food - made with fresh ingredients from their own garden - nice garden too. I only wish I had taken some cooking courses but the min $75 price tag deterred other guests in my party.
The indoor swimming pool, hot tub and spa are in one building. Pool was wonderful (nothing resort-y but clean) as was the hot tub. Gym was not bad - some on this forum were complaining about it being just a room - I disagree - it had all the instruments needed for a good workout. Pilates classes were offered off-site for a nominal $9 charge - we had thought it was included, but oh well. Showers and lockers available. The spa is separate from the gym and pool although same access. $20 for spa access, waived if you sign up for a service of course. I took a free tour and it was decent enough - you want a spa experience - go to Las Vegas!!
In and around there's an outlet mall with cinemas and a few restaurants (in case you can't digest the Essex's price tags for meals and classes). Not much else close by - JP's for breakfast about 5-7 min drive, Tiny Thai and Rustico's in outlet mall - very good. Also a cheap/take-out Chinese joint in the mall as well. CVS or some such there, too.
Oh - tennis courts were great and not crowded (first come first serve - no pun intended) and were free!! Yeah! If you order something by the pool, be sure to ask if there's an extra charge. The Northern Lights activity area is interesting but very pricey in my opinion - did not try it out.
Overall the staff was very accommodating and helpful. Resort needs some upgrades in the rooms for sure. Other areas are nice and well-maintained. Would I go back? Not really - more inclusive things need to be added for the price one pays in such a remote place.

Room Tip: Pay extra and get a suite in the Manor building.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

Staff were amazing, food was top notch, and the facilities made for a truly relaxing stay. Outdoor and indoor pools, hottub were all fantastic. Hiking, tennis, golf. AND an great outlet mall minutes away. Great for a retreat from the day-to-day grind.

Room Tip: great rooms! large, spacious, comfortable will fully stocked kitchens to do all your cooking with
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Warwick, Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011 via mobile

My husband purchased a groupon for us to visit this resort as a Christmas gift to me. We originally planned our trip for January as a snowshoe getaway but had to reschedule due to a death in the family. The resort was very nice about changing the reservation with no trouble at all.

When we took the trip in April the snow was obviously gone but the resort is so close to Burlington that we still had plenty to do.

The room was nice with the electric wood stove & kitchen in it. The bed was pretty comfortable as well. We got a couples massage at the spa & were able to enjoy the sauna & steam room all day because of our spa purchase. The massage was heavenly and soooooo relaxing.

Both the resort & spa staff were helpful, nice & extremely professional. It was obvious they wanted to make a good impression, which was refreshing since customer service sucks these days.

We were excited to eat dinner at this culinary resort but to our dismay the wait was over an hour on both nights we were there. We opted to eat elsewhere. We were disappointed but I think the wait was because their second restaraunt on the resort was closed & under construction. We did get to enjoy a delicious breakfast in the restaraunt though. It was very good.

We did not participate in the cooking classes but you can see them take place through the large windows as you walk down the halls of the main building. They looked fun and very interactive. I would try them next time.

We had also been excited about the fire pit the resort has. They light a fire and you can make s'mores, etc. It sounded fun but it was canceled because it was pouring (obviously not the resort's fault).

The grounds were pretty & well manicured.

I wish the rain would have gone away but overall the trip was relaxing and fun. Next time I'm in Burlington I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gatineau, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

Beautiful setting, gardens, pool(s) and hot tub and delicious 'American' food by which I mean, as a Canadian, huge portions and items not seen on menus in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. I love to eat and this is the place. The staff was so very friendly and helpful. Couldn't shut off the air conditioning in first room and immediate attempt to solve problem which didn't work so a room transfer was done right away. We were on a TravelZoo very affordable package and so I should not mention this but I will. Our room was in the older section which I requested and had we been paying full price I would have been sorely disappointed. The room was comfortable but very tired furnishings; that fake pine look from the 70's. But the use of wall colour was imaginative and the linens were excellent. We hope to return in the fall to enjoy Vermont's incredible scenery and the friendly people.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New Hampshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

I booked a spa weekend for myself to enjoy before starting back to work and the Essex Resort gave me exactly what I was looking for. Check-in was a very pleasant experience as I was treated to lemonade and freshly baked cookies as well as a mini box of decadant chocolates. I was welcomed warmly and felt like a "VIP." There is an olympic sized indoor swimming pool and lovely ladies changing area. There is a hot tub outside which can be enjoyed at night "under the stars." On Saturday evening, guests were treated to smores around a roaring fire that was also a special treat for young and old alike. When you schedule a massage, you can spend the day in their lounge relaxing and reading. There is also a steamroom with eucalyptus aromatherapy. I didn't leave the resort as I had all my meals in the restaurant on-site. Although the resort was only two hours from my home, I came home feeling like a new person-relaxed, rejuvenated, and with many, many pleasant memories of a wonderful stay. I would recommend the Essex Culinary Resort and Spa enthusiastically and am looking forward to a return visit. The resort also offers cooking classes that is an added plus. I think the resort is perfect for couples, families, and also for solo travelers.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Exeter, New Hampshire
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

I stayed at The Essex about 15 years ago for a cooking class and had a great experience, so I was delighted to return for a two night stay with my husband. I found the hotel to be in very good condition and we were upgraded to a suite with a full kitchen, eating area, living room area and separate bedroom with a very comfortable king sized bed and nice linens. I read some of the reviews tonight upon our return and was very surprised at the negative comments, we experienced none of the issues raised in the reviews.
We enjoyed dinner at the Chef's Table with Executive Chef Kerri. A great meal, well prepared. The grounds are lovely with a nice outdoor pool in addition to the indoor pool located at the fitness center and Spa. The fitness center is compact, but very well equipped so I don't understand the negative comment about it being a "closet". We did not book any treatments at the Spa, so I cannot review it, but it looked very nice. I also can't comment on any of restaurants since our stay was brief and after our wonderful dinner at the Chef's Table, we opted for a light meal the next evening.
I think this hotel is great value for the cost. It is family and pet friendly, yet quiet. Don't be put off by the negative comments. Give this a chance for a brief stay. My sister was there for a week and loved it.

Room Tip: Look for value offers on travel sites.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

Address: 70 Essex Way, Essex, VT 05452
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Vermont > Essex
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Essex
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on 18 acres between the vistas of the Green Mountains and the splendor of Lake Champlain, The Essex is Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa. As the Burlington area’s only AAA Four Diamond hotel, The Essex is a true destination, offering a full-service Spa and Fitness Center, cooking classes in the J.K. Adams and Chef's Kitchens of Cook Academy, and our two award-winning restaurants-- all of which perfectly complement our classic accommodations.The Essex is the premier choice for your next group event and is the perfect Vermont wedding destination for dozens of happy couples tying the knot each year. From our own Vermont Tennis Vacations to our wine list, ranked among the best in the world, The Essex offers you an experience unlike any other resort in New England. ...a true Recipe for Relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Essex, Vermont`s Culinary Hotel Essex
The Essex, Vermont`s Culinary Resort And Spa
Essex Vermonts Culinary Junction
Essex Vermonts Culinary Hotel
Inn Essex
The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

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