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“A great retreat with excellent food options” 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
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 review
“A great retreat with excellent food options”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

The combination of laid-back country atmosphere, good overall service and terrific food options (both restaurant and cooking class) make this place a wonderful escape. It is hard not to feel rejuvenated even if you simply stroll the resort grounds. Although you may feel it is far from the Burlington city center, you will lack for none of the amenities of civilization. Quite the contrary! The staff is attentive, friendly and (my favorite) solution-oriented. This resort is a gem. These guys do a great job.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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845 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (160)
Date | Rating
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English first
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

This is a newer hotel, but has the feel of a by-gone era. I liked everything about it except the bed which I found uncomfortable - too much motion transfer, but then we're used to sleeping on foam.
The pool was lovely - I attended a water aerobics class that was a lot of fun, and enjoyed the outdoor hot tub, particularly when it started to snow.
I wasn't able to attend a cooking class, but they looked really good. There was also a full menu of spa services available.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
New Haven, Connecticut
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

Just returned from a great stay at the Essex. The staff is really friendly and helpful, and our room was comfy. Really comfortable beds and crisp linens. I read the comments about the heating system and I can say that our unit was pretty loud. My wife did get up at least once a night to bang on the unit to get it to stop vibrating. But we had a fireplace room, so it was pretty warm in our room. The pool area is spacious, and the hot tub was really nice despite the very cold weather. The staff at the spa were very nice and the fitness center, although small, was adequate (there were plenty of towels and cups for water when I was in there). Both restaurants were great (the Tavern for lunch, and Amuse for dinner). And the Tavern has a really good Vermont beer selection. We took a cooking class and had a great time (learned a few new tricks). And it's only a short trip to Burlington. Overall a really fantastic stay. We will return!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

My husband and I returned yesterday from a weekend getaway at the Essex. We found the Essex via Groupon, and I am so glad that we did!

We took advantage of a cooking class (World Series of Spain--paella, catalan cream and other recipes to die for!), massages at the spa (wow!) and ate at the Tavern for lunch and Amuse for dinner.

You can tell this is a culinary resort. Even lunch at the Tavern was a unique and delicious experience. Dinner at Amuse was world-class--we did the 4 course tasting menu and were stuffed, but delighted! We also went to the 4-course tasting "Amusing Hour" at Amuse the first night of our stay, right before our cooking class. It was wonderful, too, and definitely worth the $10/person cost.

The spa was a luxurious experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who visits the Essex.

With the Groupon we purchased, we received a basic room. The Essex offers different room options, but we didn't upgrade ours. Next time we go (and there WILL be a next time), we will absolutely go for a higher class of room--either a fire place suite or mini-suite. While our room was clean and relatively comfortable, we found it dark and extremely average compared to the rest of our experience. The room is the only reason I didn't give the Essex a 5-Star rating.

All in all, we had a spectacular stay. I highly recommend the Essex. Be sure to take a cooking class, visit the spa, dine on the property, and head into Burlington (15 minutes away) for a little non-outlet shopping and fun.

Room Tip: Try a mini-suite or a fireplace room. We found our basic hotel room to be very dark, and we also fo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Just came back from a wonderful weekend in Essex junction ,we stayed at the Culinary Resort and spa which was excellent, great location , just 1 minute from the outlets . The restaurants in the resort are excellent , the pool area is great . They have a hot pool outside which was great to relax in. Also the beds especially the pillows are just like sleeping on a cloud. Need to get away for a couple of days , try this resort you won't regret it.

Room Tip: 2 nd floor rooms and in the main building are the best.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Let me say first that I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here on a recent Friday night. However, I also paid less than $100 for my double-sized room with spa privileges. Therein lies the story of the Essex. (Essex management: Cover your ears for this next part.) If you pay full freight for a room here, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. If you land a room on Hotwire or one of the other discount sites (I used Hotwire), which appears to be pretty easy as there are a large number of rooms here, you're much more likely to be satisfied. That's because the bottom line here is, despite the great potential of the property, the Essex needs a cash infusion of several million dollars not only to help it reach its vast potential, but also to make it worth it to pay $169 and up for a room.

So...details. The folks at the front desk are very nice and helpful. Check in was a breeze. The Essex looks great from the outside and sits in a terrific location (although a 15 min drive from downtown Burlington). Once inside, however, you quickly notice the work that needs to be done here. The furniture in my room was scuffed and worn. The bathroom wasn't bad, but, again, for the full price of the room, could have been a bit nicer. The beds, however, were great. Nice linens and comfy pillows. Unlike others, I had no problem with the heating system. Everything was clean...no problems there. The public areas were just ok...again...this is through the lens of what it costs to stay here. The fitness center was a bit of a joke, however, for a place that labels itself as a resort. Very small...two treadmills...no towels available...and no cups for water...not great. I can't vouch for the food here as I only had a bowl of ice cream in the tavern (which was excellent). Also did not set foot in the spa, so can't weigh in there.

So, overall, if you can get in here at a reduced rate, by all means, do it. (Hint for Hotwire: If look for unidentified 4-star hotels in Burlington and the site says that you'll be at a place that's .2 mi to 7.1 mi from downtown, chances are probably pretty good that you'll land at the Essex, as it's the one that's 7.1 mi from downtown). However, customer satisfaction at full price is a significantly higher hurdle for the Essex to clear.

Room Tip: If you don't have a pet, make sure they put you in a "pet-free" building!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Hanson, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Rooms are average, nothing special. Arrived an hour early and were told room not ready, desk clerk said she would contact housekeeping to see how much longer. She suggested we wait in the Tavern which we did and she would come find us and give us the room status but she failed to do either.After an hour, a sandwich & beer we went back to front desk and and found room was ready. A month prior to our visit and after reading Trip Advisor we requested 3rd floor mt view. We received 3rd floor but overlooked roof of the next building. We took the Indian cooking class at a cost of $273 for two and that was after a $25 credit. Food was good BUT a hefty price for 1 piece of chicken, a veggie dish of cauliflower with chickpeas and bread and a small glass of wine. Dessert could be compared to a smoothie with pineapple. For this price, we felt we should at least have an appetizer or have our wine topped off. We cooked 2 chickens but only 1 was offered and that was shared by 5 people. We were told the other one needed more time to cook.An hour later we were back at the Tavern eating homemade chips. It was a disappointing experience that we traveled over 3 hours for.

Room Tip: Don't assume your request will be honored, even when you make it far in advance
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EssexResort-VT, Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Dear millierent,

Thank you very much for providing your feedback with regards to your culinary class. We strive to make everyone’s class experience a fun and learning opportunity. It seems as though we missed the mark with you in this instance, and we apologize.

Our classes are designed for a varying degree of culinary expertise --from the very beginner to the very experienced-- and it seems that you did not take away a feeling of "education for value" from this class.

The Intro to Indian class is meant to be an approachable menu that can be reproduced in your home, even if you are not familiar with preparing Indian cuisine. This menu is described on our culinary calendar as an introduction to a delicious and approachable Indian menu: vegetarian naan, khatte chhole, murgh musallam, Gujerati style green beans with black mustard seeds, aromatic yellow rice, and sweet lassis made with Vermont yogurt, rosewater and fruit.

You are correct that both chickens were not done at the same time, and I apologize; our chickens are fresh from local farms and therefore vary in size, so some take a longer time to cook. When I spoke with the Chef Instructor for your dinner, he indicated that he did ask if anyone would like more once the second chicken was done, and that people declined... but that he did provide several of the guests with leftovers.

I appreciate your comments and would like to speak with you personally to offer you a future class that is more in keeping with expectation of education and menu. You are invited to call me at your convenience-- 800-727-4295.

Warmest regards,

Christine Frost
Executive Sous Chef, Cook Academy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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