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Reviewed April 16, 2012

My wife and 6 month old daughter just got back from our first family vacation. We love Burlington and we try to come up every New Years, but this year we could not because of our new baby. So we put off our trip until the spring and we decided to try out a new place to stay (we usually stay at the Sheraton). My father-in-law used to stay at the Inn at Essex whenever his job brought him to the Burlington area and he would always talk about how nice a place it was, and he was right. It has been years since he stayed there, but it is still as great as he described.

First off let me say that our original plan was to come up on Monday, April 9 and stay until Thursday the 12th. Unfortunately for us the weather was supposed to be terrible that whole time. Not much fun to be stuck in a room with a 6 month old for 4 days and not being able to enjoy everything the area has to offer. Even more unfortunate for us, was that we booked through Hotwire and figured that we were stuck. Either go and deal with the rain or stay home and waste money. Fortunately for us the staff at the Essex, specifically Kyle, worked with us and allowed us to move our trip back to Thursday and have us check out on Sunday. He waived the cancellation fee, but we did have to pay the difference in the cost of the available room, but we did that happily because we were not out our original investment and would not have to deal with the bad weather.

Our room was spacious. It was a 3rd floor corner unit in the main building with a queen bed, sitting area, gas fireplace. They supplied a pack and play for our daughter to sleep in and a fridge in the room so we could keep her food cold during our trip. It was quiet as well. We could not hear our neighbors and we hope that they could not hear our daughter when during her few moments of crying. The room as well as the hotel and grounds were extremely clean and well kept, and all of the staff that we dealt with were really pleasant and friendly.

We ate dinner at the Tavern on the first night. The food was expensive, but very good. I had the caesar salad and the short rib sliders. Both were very tasty. My wife had venison chili and caesar salad with chicken for dinner and she like both of her dishes. We shared the Apple crisp a la mode for dessert and we really enjoyed it. Since I did not have to drive I got to indulge in some of my favorite Vermont craft brewed beers. The free cookies in the lobby were also a nice touch.

Overall we really liked the place and we can't wait to come back and stay again, especially when the pool is open, and maybe try the hot tub and spa.

Other great places we ate at were Sneakers and Our House in Winooski and the Magnolia Bistro and Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington. We also love walking around Church Street and sitting by Lake Champlain. It was even more enjoyable because we had our new daughter with us as well.

We also visited Magic Hat and filled some growlers with their tasty beer and my wife got to take our daughter to her alma mater, St. Michaels College.

Can't wait to come back to Burlington and we can't wait to return to the Essex.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank JPLoconsolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

I took my wife to the Essex for a weekend where she was scheduled to take cooking classes and we both luxuriated in their spa - it was truly a five star experience. The gourmet cooking classes were not only extremely well run and organized, they were so much fun and very informative. I had paid extra to eat with my wife (the classes include the gourmet meal they prepared) and after that, she convinced me to go to her second class and participate and I'm glad I did. They made both of us feel very much at ease, the chefs were very friendly and explained things that we would never have known. The hotel itself is great, the room we stay in was a spa suite which had a super double hot tub with all sorts of fun things (waterfall, lights, moving jets, etc) and a very comfortable bed plus a fireplace. We also ate breakfast at one restaurant and then had their Easter Brunch at a different restaurant and the food was over the top. While we didn't get to use the tennis courts nor the adjacent golf course due to the weather, we did get to try out their great indoor pool, outdoor hot tub and their 1st class spa. We had a great spa treatment side by side and it was fabulous. They also had a bonfire one night and some entertainment too! Nothing but great things to say about it! Will definitely come back soon.

Room Tip: upgrade to a spa suite - its worth the extra cost and has a great fireplace as well.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Larry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

I came to shoot the foliage from Los Angeles.
Picking this hotel was a fluke and the best one may I add.
Getting to the hotel was not promising and at first I thought it was a mistake. And then...wow.
Like I arrived in a french chateau. A fairytale. I'm not kidding.
Reception and lobby old style wood paneling puts you at ease immediately. It is reminiscent of the old glory hotels of Chicago, New York.
I was greeted with a pack of mini chocolates wrapped with a bow. Also they offered me fresh local apples that were by far the best apples I tasted in my life. Not to forget the apple cider. It was like Christmas in October. Despite the rain the lobby was spotless. So were the rooms. They could be a hit and miss. The first room they gave me was a little to girlish with the pait scheme so i asked for something more neutral.
The next room I got was on the first floor, quite large in pastel colors. Good feel. Interior is old style but new. In retrospect I should've booked this hotel for the entire stay and use it as a hub for the day-trips down south at Quechee where the hotels are an absolute ripoff for what they offer. That said, even this one night stay was the most memorable of my entire trip to Vermont.
And let me say this. People of Vermont are the nicest Americans that I've met so far and here at Essex you get to experience it first hand. I hope I can come back this year again. I sincerely recommend you do it too. It may be your best trip ever as it certainly was for me. Bon Voyage...

Room Tip: Ask to see the room first as they may be quite different from each other.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank MCMLX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2012

My husband and I stayed here recently for a weekend getaway. We found the staff friendly, the room very clean, and the bed very comfortable. We enjoyed the pool and hot tub, but would let folks know that the pool is open to the community at times and busy with lots of kids. A bit pricey for off season rate...

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank goodguest7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

This is a lovely culinary and spa retreat.My husband took a cooking course and found it very informative.He thoroughly enjoyed the chef and his cooking tips.The food in the Tavern and Amuse was excellent.They have many chefs that cook in the restaurants and teach the cooking classes.Every meal has chef's specials that are really fabulous.The spa is a two story new building that has everything.for relaxation.I had a facial and the facialist was very knowledgeable .The decor in the main areas and restaurants and spa is updated and restful.The deluxe suite we had needed updating.The fireplace was a pot belly stove front.The couch to view the TV was on the side not facing the TV.The bed and sheets and duvet were very comfortable and new.All in all this is a great culinary and spa retreat.The service was outstanding.

Room Tip: Don't get one on the first floor in the back.Everyone walks their dogs right by your window so you can't keep the shades up and with the shades down the room is dark and dim.The lighting needs to be brighter.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fancythis72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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