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“Not a 4-Star” 3 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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Ski & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
East Berne
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Not a 4-Star”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

My husband and I went to the Essex for 3 nights with a Travelzoo voucher. I'm not sure what I expected, but I know it was more than what we found.

The room was standard -- perhaps a step up from a chain -- until you got to the bathroom. The wallpaper was either stained or scrubbed so hard the pattern was disappearing. The woodwork was scratched and almost without paint. I appreciated the drawers and medicine cabinet since they provided places to stow my cosmetics, etc., but there was no space whatsoever on the sink top.

The bed was quite comfortable but the only way we could get the room cool enough was to shut off the heat completely and open a window. We asked (in a note) if there were down or feather pillows available but got no response. I should have called to verify that request because the pillows (foam) were very hard and uncomfortable.

We had a studio which included a full-size refrigerator that was incredibly noisy. The maid left extra regular coffee for the Keurig, as requested, which was very nice.

Travelzoo and the Essex also provided $25 vouchers for Amuse restaurant, a cooking class and the spa. We could not use the cooking class voucher, because it would have meant that either both of us take a class or one of us eat dinner solo. The dinner and classes for two of us would have been in excess of $300 -- not on a senior citizen's budget.

We also decided not to use the Amuse vouchers for similar reasons.

My husband used the pool and the workout area, and we both used the hot tub. I was surprised that the women's locker room had only one shower and provided no amenities (Q-tips, feminine products, etc.) outside of a single hair dryer. Neither of us used the spa vouchers.

The Essex offers cookies and hot cider in the afternoon. The first day they had two types of cookies; the second and third days there were only chocolate chip, and I am forced to avoid chocolate so that was rather annoying.

I can't say anything about the grounds since we were visiting between seasons (or what is locally known as mud season). Apparently there is some sort of climbing/obstacle course in one area, but at this time of the year, it just looked like a couple of abandoned buildings that were in great disrepair.

The hotel is a good distance from the city of Burlington but relatively close to the outlets. And from all the 'excellent' reviews, I assume it's terrific if you don't have a budget.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
EssexResort-VT, Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Hello grammymem,
Thank you for providing feedback on your recent stay. We apologize that the bathroom did not meet your standards; please know that we are actually in the process of repairing & renovating them as we speak. As for the rest of your stay, I'm sorry that you chose not to experience Cook Academy, the Spa, or our restaurants (especially as the vouchers were all included in your package), as they really are the cornerstones of our resort. Hopefully when you return you will be able to take advantage of them and experience all that The Essex Resort & Spa has to offer.
Thank you again for your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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953 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (183)
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English first
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 review
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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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 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
119 reviews 119 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
31 helpful votes 31 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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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 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
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
67 helpful votes 67 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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*
Number of rooms: 120
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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