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“a wonderful pampering surprise!”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1 review
“a wonderful pampering surprise!”
Reviewed March 15, 2011

My fiance and I stayed at this resort for a weekend in February. We took the cooking class and booked a day at the spa. We both had a great time! The food was fantastic and the cooking class was SO much fun! The spa was amazing, so calm and relaxing. I had the best facial I have EVER had and so did my fiance! We upgraded to a room with a 2 person jacuzzi and it was so nice! The bed was very comfortable and the room was clean. The spa is a bit pricey, but I felt was worth every penny! We spent all day there enjoying the amenities. We will definately be going back again! We will try the summer this time. Oh, and the staff are GREAT! Jason Butkus was fantastic and so was our chef Kerry :)

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Danielle2727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,362 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (274)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Dracut, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2011

Had a great weekend. The spa and pool area were top notch. The room was very roomy and comfortable. Enjoyed the bon fire and found the staff extremely helpful

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank dcayer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
90 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2011

This is a lovely hotel with some unique features - a cooking school and spa on the premises, as well as an exercise and rock-climbing area that I didn't see. My husband enjoyed his cooking class, and I loved my massage. I felt totally pampered. There are two restaurants - an informal tavern, and a formal one. We ate several meals in the tavern and it was excellent. The desk staff were very helpful. There are cider and cookies in the lobby in the afternoon, and a cozy library with a table for games. The room was charming and well-lit. However, considering the prices for the room, the class, and the massage, it was puzzling that there was a bottle of water with a $3 price tag in the room. Surely that should have been complimentary. The tuition for the cooking class also had a beverage fee added on (they had some wine during class) and a gratuity for the teacher - which all came an additional 50% of the tuition. I have taken many adult ed classes, and never had to "tip" the teacher. My main disappointment was that one morning, we ordered room service breakfast (it was excellent), spent a quiet morning, and then left around noon to go sightseeing. We made sure to remove the "Do not disturb" sign. When we returned that evening, the room had not been made up. We were told that housekeeping leaves around mid-day, so we missed our chance. We were stuck with dirty breakfast dishes, coffee mugs, towels, etc. until the next day (the desk did say they could bring us new towels if we wanted). There was no information about this policy, and I was shocked that a hotel of this caliber would allow this to happen. It ruined an otherwise delightful getaway.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rosemarina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2011

I'd never written any e-review, good or bad, but my stay at the Essex demands a statement from me on TripAdvisor. I can't speak to the hotel's culinary end; so I won't. I was there with some family for a 3-day ski trip to different VT ski resorts. For $380 a night for a deluxe one-bedroom, the place is highway robbery. First and foremost, their outdoor hot tub is not hot, maybe 93 F degrees. Hot tubs have to be 102-105 F. After two complaints, nothing was done to remedy the issue (and the pool? chilly -- shrinkage for sure), and in fact, the last night we were there the tub was closed doe to "frost-bite concerns." Think about that one for awhile, 'cause I'm still scratching my head. (We went in anyway for something to do.) The room's pullout sofa's mattress was right out of a 1950's prison exhibit -- totally concave, coils pressing up, beyond comprehension at $380 a night, let alone $89. And if bathrooms don't have vent fans, don't put smoke detectors right by the bathroom door so the detector's don't go off at 6:30 am, waking the whole floor, as ours did. (We forcibly disconnected it.) And a kitchenette with a dishwaher, a microwave, two-burner stovetop ... and no oven? Talk about a culinary challenge at $380 a night, with limited posts, pans, or accessories to boot. Carla and Kristy at the front desk were very nice and understanding. It ain't there fault. Kristy comped us a night and a decent cot without me having to ask. It's a shame that good employees such as them are left playing for losing management and ownership. the Essex is a joke at the rates they're charging. Heck, the Chateau Frontenac in Ville du Quebec is under $300 a night, if anyone wants a price comparison.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank K2Maine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, ny
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2011

Excellent service helped save a getaway to the Essex resort.
My wife and I spent two nights at the resort. We stayed in the main Inn and our general impression of the resort was that it was nice, but not luxurious. The rooms were spacious and the bed comfortable. Unfortunately, we had a couple temperature issues throughout our stay: the outdoor hot tub was well below a comfortable temp for the first day (the spa staff informed us that maintenance would be addressing the issue and it was fixed by the next day) and we lost heat in our room the 2nd night. The hotel staff was quick to address our concerns with the heat and offered to move us to a seperate room, or provide blankets etc. for our comfort if we preferred to stay. The front desk staff also helped us with reservations and a few other requests; in general the service they provided helped to make up for any of the issues we had with the actual facility.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank hitchcos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Vermont
2 reviews
Reviewed February 23, 2011

Was really looking to a getaway weekend here but it ended up being a rather bland experience sadly. The restaurants are great though. My main problem was with the very dated looking rooms--they appear not to have been updated since the early 90's. They just don't go with the rates they charge for the rooms which are not cheap at all. Nice big tub but with horrible bright flourescent lights in the bath I don't know who would want to take a bath in there. Not a very good bed either. I'm also not sure if it was the hot tub and/or the pool, but one was so over-chlorinated that even after showering, my skin burned by the time I got back to my room. Overall not a horrible experience, just bland.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sparkplug13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed February 15, 2011

This is a beautiful resort. SUPER Expensive! But we got a good deal at Groupon and decided to try it for our anniversary. The people at the front desk and restaurants are very friendly. We wanted the full experience so we tried the culinary class, it was fun included in our Groupon. The chef was really nice, but it is obvious you can’t become a chef in such a short period of time. She gave us some tips on how to cook the meat and to create our own salad dressing (which I will definitely follow). If you are just looking for a nice experience I recommend to take the class, but I warn you it is $110 per person plus tax, plus service charge.

They also have wine fly… I loved the white wine. They are 3 glasses of different white wines very good. I didn’t like the bubble fly as much, those are three different type of Champaign at $21 plus tax. They have a huge wine list, but you like wine you will be in heaven.

Like I said we were there for the experience, so we tried the Tavern for breakfast. I had the salmon sandwich it was good. I would have never tried this for breakfast, but HEY! I also tried venison and pheasant at the Butler restaurant. Never in my life thought would I be eating that type of meat. A tip, they have the Chef menu at the Butler if you want to save some money it is $55 for a five course meal you can share with your partner or ask for another extra dish. Butler is a very fancy restaurant.

You are there why not pamper yourself and try everything! We had a massage at the SPA. The most beautiful SPA, I’ve ever seen. I didn’t like my massage, but loved the experience. We booked 30 minutes massage about $75 including the tax and the 19% gratuity they add something you should know, they add the gratuity on ALL your bills. That was the most expensive massage I’ve ever had for 30 minutes but it was o.k.

I would have liked to go in spring or summer to take advantage of the resort grounds and the outside pool. We spent Valentine’s weekend over there 2/11 to 2/13.

We borrowed the snowshoes and walked around the trail, it was nice and fun. If you can bring a stick with you or something that help you with the balance, the trail has lots of heels and it is hard for you not to slide and fall. I did couple of time, a little scary but this comes from a woman that doesn’t ski, go tubing or do anything on the snow. If you like the snow, you would like snowshoeing. I would have rather go hiking in the summer; however the view was beautiful and very peaceful.

The room was cozy and nice. It felt more like a bed and breakfast room. Nothing fancy, but it was clean, warm and inviting. The bed wasnot that comfortable, so I really didn't sleep as much as I would have liked to. It might be because I'm very used to my terapeutic bed, which not all hotel have those. At the essex you will find regular hotel beds. I didn't feel the springs poking me, so...

Overall, if I were rich and had lots of extra money I would love to stay there again. If you are middle class like me, this is definitely a resort for one in a life time experience. Total two nights expend with Groupon $875 for Room, Massage, one breakfast, a cooking class for two, and one dinner at Butler including the wine and Champaign fly. Awesome experience! It would have been over $1,000 without Groupon.

If you want to go for the experience (culinary class, spa and fancy restaurant) and are willing to spend the money, go right ahead. Otherwise, there are more affordable hotels out there with friendly staff and the same type of rooms.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Imaculada
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

Property: The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Address: 70 Essex Way, Essex, VT 05452-3383
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:4 star — The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa 4*
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. 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 Resort And Spa
The Essex, Vermont`s Culinary Hotel Essex
Essex Vermonts Culinary Junction
Essex Vermonts Culinary Hotel
Inn Essex
The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

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