We stayed here with a TravelZoo voucher, as it sounds like many others have, over Valentines/Presidents weekend (big plus as many special deals like this seem to have blackout dates around holidays). Overall, a very positive experience, with a few negatives.
-The room was quite nice, perfect size, comfortable, etc. No complaints here at all.
-We LOVED the Saturday night bonfire. This was perfect for a cold winter night, and was just such a nice human touch that I've never seen before at other hotels.
-Amuse restaurant (I'll provide more detail under a separate restaurant review for anyone who is interested, but we really loved this restaurant)
-Lobby food - both the complimentary treats (apple cider, coffee, cookies) as well as the paid ones from the pastry case. Felt like you were indeed at a culinary resort right from arrival
-Outdoor hot tub. Really neat in 15 degree weather, and only 2 steps from the indoors so you don't freeze on the way to or from it.
-The location. It was a bit far to get to anything of interest in the area - felt like we were constantly getting on the highway. On the other hand, this does add to the "escape" aspect of it, which certainly was a big part of what we were looking for.
-The Tavern restaurant (I'll again post a separate restaurant review, but overall we did not like the menu or the service at this restaurant. Stark contrast from Amuse)
-"Hidden" fees. Hotel charged a resort fee. While they claimed this was in the small print on the TravelZoo deal (I do believe them, just don't remember seeing it myself) and this is common for resorts, here is my complaint: they did not mention it at check-in, and it only came up when I saw unexpected charges on our check-out. When I've stayed at hotels before that have resort fees, they are always upfront about it at check-in. This felt a bit deceptive
-Cooking classes overpriced, not enough supply (most were sold out when we arrived), and should have a vegetarian option (affects my wife, not me, and probably also other guests) for meat dishes being prepared unless it is a specifically meat-themed subject. We ended up not doing a cooking class, for these 3 reasons.
Also would've appreciated the indoor pool being heated, but it was still nice.
Overall, I do recommend this place.
- 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