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“Perfect once again!”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We go to the Essex at least once a year & always to celebrate our wedding anniversary in September. The only disappointment was Saturday evenings rain showers we thought had cancelled the bonfire but it was only postponed & we missed it. Other that that our rooms were neat as pins, clean bathrooms & bright cheery decor. All our meals were top notch, we spent some time at the bar in the Tavern as well & enjoyed walks on the beautiful grounds. Its a tradition we'll be keeping for a very very long time.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank NeedsAVacation713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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923 - 929 of 1,433 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2012

My family and I spent 3 days up in Vermont. We stayed here just a few weeks ago to enjoy the last moments of summer, too bad that was the one of the couple decent things about this trip. First off let me explain to you that the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa is called this because "They offer cooking classes" - as the bell hop told to me. They do have a spa however.

Our first impression was mediocre at best. We checked in and was told that our room was being cleaned, although already 4 pm, they "guarantee a check in at 3 pm." Nothing like waiting around in the lobby for half an hour before being able to get to your room. Which was 310. The room was not all that clean. After you walk onto the property you see the AAA Four Diamond status the resort earned, EVERYWHERE (they must of had some bride for the inspector as you'll find out.) The room was dirty, hardly even up to standards with a chain hotel which is looking to just clean the rooms as fast as possible. Hallways smell, carpet is torn everywhere, decor is WAY outdated and tacky, paint jobs are terrible, etc, etc...

Mr. Skypack at the front desk was very helpful in making our reservations with dinner. We ate at the Tarvern the first night, which is nothing but a pub with overpriced pub fare prices. Not impressed with the service, our waitress had no clue what she was doing, couldn't keep an eye on us, and seemed lost most of the night.

The second day we visited the outdoor pool, which was BEAUTIFUL - this was the second of the couple of nice things about the trip. The kids enjoys swimming, while my wife and I bathed in the sun. I spoke with the man, Matt I think, who maintained the pools. He was extremely helpful because he was able to answer every question I had, and courteous because he offered to escort me to the Spa when I inquired about it. This made me regain some confidence in the hotel, I mean resort again... We enjoyed some sight seeing separate from the Essex Culinary Resort. After a long day we decided to enjoy Amuse, their upper scale restaurant or fine-dinning if you ask them. Just as bad as the night before but with disgusting tasting food.

The last day we tried the Spa, not too bad, not too good. That's all I can really say about it. My wife consistently asked the therapist to be more gentle, and she would, but only for about 1 minute before mashing her fists into her back again. I could go either way with the Spa, it did have available a steamroom, dry sauna, indoor pool, hot tub, which were all very nice and clean surprisingly.

After this experience my wife and I decided not to eat anything that was affiliated with the resort again, and just to eat pizza with the kids. Which we enjoyed immensely. We will NOT be coming back to Essex to spend hundreds of dollars for sub-par service and nasty food.

Room Tip: Most rooms have a real bad view, don't get too excited.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Monty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, General Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2012

Dear Monty,

Thank you for your candid review of our property. While we appreciate your taking the time, it’s very hard for me to offer a constructive response to your comments (or, more importantly, to address the issues with my staff). So many of your remarks are either hyperbole (“carpet is torn everywhere”) or just an opinion void of specific suggestions for improvement (“nasty food”), which is why I am inviting you to please contact me personally; I would like to get a more accurate sense of specific issues you had. We pride ourselves on providing the best customer experience possible, and if that does not happen, it helps to have clear, delineated areas for improvement. While I am pleased that you enjoyed certain parts of your time with us (i.e. outdoor pool, staff interactions) I apologize that you did not enjoy your overall stay, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Jim Glanville
Vice President & General Manager
jimg@vtculinaryresort.com
802-878-1100

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Reviewed September 24, 2012

It was an important trip for us because the memories of Vermont and the Essex in particular were very special. We had made several visits to the Essex up until 5 years ago so it was among the top 5 places to visit in 2012. Although the location and accommodations were still good, the entire experience was tainted by the fact that the service and food were terrible. Dinner shortly after our arrival was inedible. Most of the staff was inexperienced and ill equipped for a service oriented occupation. We made a point to make a reservation for dinner at the more upscale restaurant for our second night and the front desk confirmed our reservation when we checked in. When we checked with the dining room, however, they had no record of the reservation. They took another reservation at that time and when we came back a few hours later for the meal the agent who took the reservation had no recollection. Most disappointing, however, is that the hotel requested feedback and made no response about our disappointing experience.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank A C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Dear AC,
I’m sorry that you have not had any correspondence from us regarding your recent visit and am disappointed to be learning of this through Trip Advisor. We take our guest feedback very seriously and use it as a learning tool for our staff, and unfortunately had not received anything regarding this visit. Regardless of this, we feel we can only strengthen our customer service with feedback such as yours and I thank you for bringing this to our attention.
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed our accommodations during your last visit but I am disappointed to read of your recent dining experiences. We have two great restaurants with world renowned chefs and to hear that the food was inedible is shocking.
While we have continuous training to make our staff more efficient and well rounded, it should never reflect negatively on our guest experiences. We understand that communication amongst staff is a key tool to running a smooth operation. With my deepest regrets we fell short of that during your stay.
Again, I apologize for your dining experiences and hope that you will keep us in your top 5 destination places and visit us again. I trust that upon another visit we will be able to show you that our restaurants are first rate and our customer service is exceptional. It brings us great joy to be the place where you spent years building wonderful memories. I hope you will allow us again to remind you of what Vermont and the Essex have to offer.

Mary Ingrisano
Restaurant General Manager

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Reviewed September 23, 2012

My mom and i were here at the Essex restaurant AMUSE in april this year, and we still talk about the amazing brunch that we had here.
We shared a bottle of wine (Reisling) and sat and talked for about 2 hours. there was no rush and the waitstaff were amazing! I had the Crabby benny with a side of ham, which i could barely finish. it was so fresh and amazing.
The staff was Friendly and helpful, the food was great, and it was very warm and welcoming.
We then needed directions to get back to where we were staying, and the front desk was so helpful. we will definitely be staying HERE the next time we come back.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Blueeyes_two1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

I needed a relaxing vacation and found it at the Essex. Everyone was friendly, my room was beautiful. It overlooked the chef's garden, where they grow all the herbs etc. I took a cooking class and enjoyed myself immensely. My chef instructor was Laurence Wallace and he even corrected my knife technique.
I went to the spa, swam some laps in the lap pool, went in the sauna, showered then had a very relaxing facial. So relaxing!!!!
Dinner at the Amuse was also excellent.
The surrounding area was beautiful for walking, biking etc. Vermont it seems is a pedestrian friendly state.
This hotel can be pricey, but It was worth it for me!! First time but not last time to Vermont! This is a great trip for a solo traveller like me.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Chesapeake44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Not quite sure how this property snagged four diamonds -- and judging by how they have that designation plastered everywhere, I'm thinking the resort was a little surprised, as well. I had scanned Tripadvisor reviews before the stay, so I was aware of the negative ones. Interesting that the reviews seemed just about split between positive and negative.

The location of the property is odd -- sort of plunked down in the middle of a few fields, a stone's throw from a seen-better-days outlet shopping center, and close to a housing development. It's about a twenty-minute drive from Burlington. The common areas of the hotel were definitely lacking: strange furnishings (if any), threadbare carpet, lots of banged up/scuffed areas on walls, etc. Ice and vending are in the basement, a little inconvenient thanks to the fact that there are no refrigerators in the guest rooms.. which means if you want any cold beverages you need to keep loading up the ice bucket. Our standard room was decent-sized, attractively decorated, and had a roomy bathroom. However, the lighting was really not good, the windows overlooked some sort of trellis area which appeared to have been the victim of falling ice at some point, and in the bathroom there were a couple of fixtures that were falling off of the wall.

Didn't try the spa, but the indoor pool looked roomy enough. The outdoor pool is on the small side, with what looked to be very little seating (not a big deal when in September but I would imagine it's a problem during the height of summer). The grounds are pretty enough, but nothing remarkable. The resort does have its own sizable garden, providing ingredients for many of the dishes served in its restaurants.

Speaking of the restaurants, we decided to try "The Tavern" on one of the nights -- I was amazed at how bad it was, especially for a place that bills itself as "Vermont's Culinary Resort." Turned me off enough that there was no way I'd even consider trying the other on-property restaurant, "Amuse."

The staff seemed pleasant enough, though not super professional. As other reviewers have commented, they need a little more attention to detail at The Essex.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Traveler1197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We had the most wonderful long weekend that we have had in a long time. Started with the arrival at The Essex, where we were greeted with the most friendliest, nice look you in the eye staff. I'm in the customer service business and it was so refreshing to have the best from everyone of The Essex staff we came into contact with, including the Above Reality, Hot Air Balloon ride. The food, pool, spa, hot tub, workout room perfect. The Essex is so conveniently located to Burlington, Stowe, and other little towns we discovered.
Thank you Essex

Room Tip: Ask if there is a choice of bed firmness
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank racytrubin
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

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: $143 - $351 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 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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