I will break this review down by hotel, spa, and restaurants.
Hotel: This was my second time staying at the Essex. It was my boyfriend's birthday and they upgraded us to a 1 bedroom suite which was very kind of them. It was large and had a full eat-in kitchen with dining table. The suite is rustic and had a warm stove that kept the whole room quite warm. We also left the bedroom door open at night so it would continue to stay warm. Also, room service was super quick every time we ordered! That's huge plus. We would enjoy a light breakfast in the kitchen each morning. It was nice.
Spa: We got a couple's massage and it was exceptional! The massage therapists are very professional and although they are 1st paradigm, they are still thorough with their intake and ask good questions. They also gave us suggestions for posture improvement. Something as simple as my boyfriend having his wallet in his back pocket throws his posture out of whack. Their facilities are pristine. This locker room has it all: showers, sauna, and steam room! You could spend an hour or 2 just in the locker room. A+ spa! I have been to spas in San Francisco and NYC. It is definitely comparable.
Restaurants: I have only eaten at the Tavern. It was what you would expect: decent bar food with a great beer and wine selection. The only downside of the restaurants are their weekend hours. On a Sunday, we couldn't eat at Amuse or Tavern until dinner time (5 PM) and we were starving! We ended up ordering a pizza instead of waiting around. That was a little disappointing. I would think if you have guests staying 24/7, you would have more accommodating food choices on Sunday during the day.
Conclusion: Overall, it was a very relaxing experience! That is the main goal, right? It was a getaway weekend for us and we really enjoyed the service. As I pointed out, the biggest complaint I had was the weekend hours of the restaurants. The grounds are beautiful, even in the snow-covered winter! Overall, Essex is definitely worth it for a well-needed escape and we will be back!