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“Nice place for a little R&R” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Vermont
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Nice place for a little R&R”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

The first thing I noticed about our room was it was clean and it smelled clean not perfumed.
I am very sensitive to smells and often have to put hotel soap in a drawer to keep it from bothering me, the soap was of a good quality and not overly scented.
The people were all friendly and helpful. We enjoyed using the facilities the work out room, pool, and hot tub. One day we enjoyed the spa which is nice, the body workers were very professional. We also enjoyed the spa lunch which was excellent.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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1,002 reviews from our community

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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 (199)
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English first
Hamilton
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

Husband and I stayed here from Dec. 30 - Jan. 2/10. Nice hotel, room was nice and clean, had a large king bed - bed was very comfy - view was just OK, could kind of see the back area but was partly blocked by the other building. Check in was quick and person at front desk was nice and friendly. We ate at the tavern twice - first time we had nachos which were just OK and a burger - husband said the burger was huge lots of meat but tasteless. Next time we had buttnut squash soup, this was very runny and had not much taste to it, looked like they were running out so someone watered it down - we also tried the lobster soup which was really nice, tasty and thick. Continenal Breakfast was included and it was OK or you can use the $7 per person towards something "hot" off the menu - everything is over $7 - we were not impressed with the breadfast, had an omelette, just OK and sausage with eggs, sausage was good. I had a great message at the spa - spa is beautiful - I checked out the pool which look really nice and the gym is equipped well with a few treadmills and other machines and lots of free weights. We got a deal through travelzoo which included breakfast and messages - be warned, that the hotel will charge you automatically 19% gratuity when using the coupons for these so called "freebies" - I ended up paying a $22 tip for the one message! I didn't like this idea as I feel I should tip on how well the person performs the service. Same thing went for the free breakfast - 19% tip added. We did venture out to snowboard for two days, ended up going to Bolton Valley - only 20 minute drive from the Essex - lift ticket was $58 per adult - well worth it - lots of runs and the hills were not crowded. Also ventured out for dinner downtown Burlington went to Sweewaters on Church street, we loved it - not expensive; second night we went to Trattoria Delia on Saint Paul street - we were not impressed by this restaurant - expensive for what you get and they try to sell you bottles of expensive wine - they only serve wine and beer. We went down to the taven around 10:30 p.m. for a drink and to ring in New Years - they had nothing goin on - no entertainment no hats, nothing - very boring....you would think they would try for a little entertainment at least. Overall, we had a nice stay but probably will not return found the food at the Essex not great and a little on the expensive side for a tavern, service was slow - we could see our drinks sitting on the bar waiting for the waitress to bring them to us for 10-15 minutes at a time. Other con was you could hear very thing beside you - people in the next room we could them talking, TV on and even when they went to the washroom. There really is nothing the in the town of Essex so best bet is to drive into Burlington for the action. Next time we will stay closer to town.

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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JGVT, Food & Beverage Director at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 18, 2010
Dear Ms. Lichty,

I saw your review on Trip Advisor and wanted to take a moment to address some of your concerns regarding your stay. We value all feedback as it gives us the opportunity to improve our operations, the offerings to our guest, and consistently reinforce the importance of guest service to our staff.

I was delighted to see that you enjoyed our new spa and your treatment there. We have worked hard to create an experience unlike any other in Northern Vermont and it is rewarding to hear that we met your expectations. I’m also glad that you enjoyed your room and that your experience at the front desk was efficient and friendly.

First and foremost, I'd like to apologize for not meeting your expectations regarding our food quality during your stay. As Vermont's Culinary Resort, we strive to make our offerings appeal to a broad audience, and constantly look to source the finest ingredients available to provide memorable experiences for our guest. In your case, it appears that we may have fell short. I have passed on your comments to Chef Coolidge, our executive chef, and he will be taking a hard look at some of these items to assure a quality experience (specifically the nachos...we're considering adding duck confit to add culinary variety). I was surprised to hear your comments regarding our hamburger, as we use Vermont Highland Beef which is a free range, grass-fed, Scottish Highland cattle that's known for it's excellent flavor. I will check with our purveyor to see if they have somehow changed the mixture of fat to beef which can have a very high flavor component.

In regards to New Years Eve, again, I apologize. We did have live music scheduled for the evening from 9 to midnight, but unfortunately our entertainment had a last minute situation that made it so we were unable to reschedule anything with such short notice. We did have hats and noise makers available throughout our bar that evening, but perhaps they were blocked from your view from the people sitting at the bar and the high top tables. I'm sorry you didn't receive any during the celebration. I would also appreciate any details you would be willing to share on your server. Specifically name or description. I take service very seriously and any such neglect is unacceptable...I wish to work with this individual more closely and ensure that he or she is more thorough on their service standards.

Your experience was certainly the exception, not the rule. We pride ourselves on guest satisfaction scores that approach 100% consistently. To that end, I am confident that on a return stay, you would have a better experience that is more typical of our standards. I would be happy to personally set this up for you and strongly encourage you to contact me personally so I can ensure your next trip will be one that exceeds your expectations in all areas. Please contact me directly when you would like to come back, or if you have any additional comments or concerns.

Best Regards,


Chris Benjamin
Director of Food & Beverage
The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort and Spa
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Avon, CT
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2009

My wife, 17 year old daughter and I stayed at The Essex during a visit to the University of Vermont. Our room was spacious and beautifully appointed, with more than enough room for the three of us. Everything worked perfectly, including wireless internet connection, not always a given. I watched the World Series from the comfortable period couch. The complimentary toiletries in the bathroom were generous and high end. Remarkably after a morning shower, the mirror in the bathroom did not fog up (I can't remember the last time any hotel or motel had taken such care to sweat the details). We only ate breakfast on this trip to The Essex, and it was comforting and what you would expect of a New England breakfast. On a previous stay, I ate dinner in the Inn's warm and inviting dining room; food and service were consistent with what you would expect from a place that includes Culinary Resort in its name. Burlington is a wonderful town, but it is a bit bustling at certain times of the year. The Essex provides an alternative to downtown lodging that is not too near, yet not too far, but just right...in all regards.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Harvard, Massachusetts
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2009

My husband and I stayed at The Inn at Essex during a weekend getaway during the annual winter festival in Burlington VT. I zeroed in on this Inn because I had read that some of the rooms were decorated with Susan Sargent designs [--]
Our room was perfect! Very colorful and spacious.

In the evening there was large bonfire in the back of the inn. A whole path of tourches lead the way to the fire! It was so romantic and fun! They gave us blankets and hot coco once we got out to the fire! One of these years we hope to make it back to the festival and this Inn.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Connecticut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2009

We made a reservation for a wonderful Halloween get away. The Inn was offering an overnight stay with breakfast and a haunted pumkin patch haunted walking tour. When we checked in they gave us our tickets and assigned our room. We also received a ticket for breakfast that gith on it had a reservation numer (come to fin out later this is our reservation number for our stay not for breakfast). We went on our walking tour of the pumpkins which was awesome even though it was raining and returned to the inn for dinner. At dinner I asked for a bottle of wine and after waiting for easily 10-15 minutes was told they didnt have my selection from the wine list. I did this 2 more times and never got my wine until after I ate half of the appetizer. (we ordered from the Price fix option) Then after dinner we went to order the dessert and was told they were out of it. This was the ONE reason I went with selecting this menu- They should have told us this before we ordered. Another couple later told us thier server had told them before they ordered. What a let down. Then when the bill came she only charged us for one meal. Being an honest person I told her and her response was - oh hold on I will fix that. Never said thank you or anything. It was terrible service. The next morning we came doen for breakfast before checking out and were told we needed to make a reservation and they were booked through the beginning of lunch. We were told the reservation number on our meal ticket was not a reservation for breakfast but our check in number. We were starving and the hotel was not willing to offer an concession for this! Nice room, great grounds but terrible service!!!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, GA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful extended weekend in Vermont. We split our time between two hotels: the Hilton downtown Burlington and the Essex. While I hate to compare two very different hotels, I can't help but note the level of service at the Hilton Burlington far exceeded the Essex. Case in point:
- Our arrival in Burlington was extremely late (~11pm), and our first stop was at the Hilton. While the Hilton's free airport shuttle stopped at 10pm, the Hilton front desk arranged a cab to come pick us up and paid for the cab ride with a voucher. Conversely, our departure from the Essex was extremely early (~7am departure...needed to be at the airport by 6am). The Essex told us they would be happy to arrange a shutte for us at 7am. When we explained that this was too late, they front desk then said they would be happy to arrange a cab on our dime. Two similar situations: one with great customer service and one with poor customer service.
Other comments:
- The Essex grounds are very pretty but it rained the days we were there so we did not get to enjoy them. EVERYTHING at the Essex has a fee associated: bike rentals, cooking classes, etc. It would be nice if these were included in the basic rate.
- Last thing: the food at the Tavern was so so. We had much better meals in downtown Burlington (Penny Cluse is out of this world good).
We loved the state and will definitely be back. A cab driver told us the place to stay was the Inn at Shelburne Farms. That will probably be our next destination.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Vice President & General Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 18, 2009
Thank you for submitting your review. I'm disappointed to read that you did not enjoy your time with us. We pride ourselves on providing the only AAA Four Diamond rated service in the greater Burlington area, and can offer the following explanation to your remarks.

1. We offer complimentary airport shuttle service from 7am to 11pm daily. Through the years, we have found that these hours work efficiently with the needs of our guests. Based on your feedback, we will carefully evaluate these hours again. Just like the other hotel you mentioned, we too offer complimentary cab service when our shuttle is unavailable. It sounds as if that is the experience you had at the Hilton, and I can assure you that we would do the same during our operating hours as well.

2. I am sorry that you were unable to enjoy the many complimentary offerings that we offer here at the resort, and left with the impression that "everything" has a fee associated with it. While we would like to offer complimentary cooking classes and bike rentals, the costs associated with these programs do not make that practical. In addition to wireless internet access and parking (which are NOT provided free of charge at the other hotel you mentioned), we provide daily newspapers, cookies and cider in our lobby, a new state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, fly casting in our trout pond and snowshoe rentals - all included at no extra charge in your base rate.

I hope that you will have the opportunity to revisit the resort and leave with the proper impression in the future.

Sincerely,
Jim Glanville
Vice President & General Manager
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Valparaiso, Florida
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

This is a first review for me- that's how important I feel it is to say we would never stay there again. The price of the room was very expensive- for a bad matress and bad pillows! The fireplace was electric. The decor was very cheap. I've stayed in better $99/night places. The service was mediocre at best for lunch and breakfast. The cooking class was enjoyable. The spa was very nice- they were accomodating for not having a reservation.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Vice President & General Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 18, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to review our property on Trip Advisor. I'm happy to see that you enjoyed your cooking class and were able to take advantage of our new spa. I am, however, sorry that you felt the rest of your
stay was not as good of a value.

While our mattresses are new (only 2 years old), there certainly are personal preferences at play. I'm sorry that you felt that your mattress was "bad". Should you visit again, please let us know if you like a "firmer" or "softer" bed, and we will accommodate your request accordingly. I also apologize that our decor package was not to your liking. While the bold colors of Susan Sargent (Designer and Artist of Manchester Vermont) are enjoyed by the vast majority of our patrons, I completely respect your personal preference as well. To that end, we have our Manor building that has a more 'traditional' decor package that would be perfect for your next visit.

Again, thank you for your comments. I hope that we can have you with us again in the future and accommodate your personal preferences.

Regards,
Jim Glanville
Vice President & General Manager
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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 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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