Stowe Mountain Lodge tries really hard. I'll give it that. I was continually reminded of the theme song from Cheers ("Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…."). Everywhere we went, the staff knew who we were and greeted us by name and asked how that particular day's activities went ("Hello Mr, X- how was your bike ride). They were all very nice and eager to help. That was the best part.
My wife actually said it best, when she said it was a 3 star hotel that wanted to be a 5 star hotel. It's the little things that make the difference in the best of stays.
Unfortunately, many little things were disappointing at SML:
Upon arrival the stopper in the bathtub was broken (though it was quickly fixed).
There was a jagged/broken piece of plastic in the shower drain that I luckily saw before I had the chance to cut myself on it.
WiFi service is spotty at best. Most of the time it was either intermittent or completely unavailable. When it was available it was slower than dial up service used to be 15 years ago. This was very frustrating as there is very little cell reception as well and I was supposed to be doing some work while also on vacation.
They ran out of towels at the pool the first day we were there before we got there. There were explanations about overuse and a late shipment, but how does a resort run out of towels?
The food at the pool was also pretty bad. It took a very long time to arrive and the waiter had given us wrong information about what we ordered.
My wife was also given totally incorrect information about the spa when we booked. We were told that the spa facilities would be available to guests of the Lodge but not if you booked through an owner. Not true. There is a daily fee for spa facility usage. What's more, when my wife asked to take a look at the spa facilities they would not even let her take a look. She did wind up booking a treatment that she enjoyed, but this was not good customer service at all.
When housekeeping made up our room every morning, they woudl never leave fresh supplies (shampoo, conditioner, bath gel). I always had to track them down to replenish.
As noted, the room was comfortable and the staff was very nice, but you expect more from a property of this reputation.