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“Good family destination”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Boston
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good family destination”
Reviewed May 9, 2013

This was our first trip to The Essex; and we were only there one night. We traveled with our two boys, 11 and 13.

We booked two rooms for our visit, and were given two rooms in the Mansion, the building on the left as you stand facing the check-in. The rooms were huge, actually too big for the furniture inside. Each room had two queen beds, a desk and side table and nightstand. The bathrooms by contrast were small, and could have used a little more shelf space. One nice amenity that the rooms had was a Keurig coffee maker with a selection of coffees. Another nice thing for us was that the two rooms we booked shared a common entry door which could be locked, and then had separate lockable individual doors. This let us keep the room doors open in case the kids needed anything, while still locking the door to the hotel.

I thought that both in the rooms and in the common areas on the first floor of the mansion, the building could use a fresh coat of paint - the walls in the hallways and stairway were scuffed and the fit and finish in the rooms and bathroom was a little slapdash, as if the building were built under time or cost pressure. However, the rooms were clean and everything worked well, so no real complaints.

The kids were excited to swim in the indoor heated pool, which was amazingly huge for a hotel. I think it was regulation length, and about 5 lanes wide, with a larger shallow area at one end. The pool is in a nice enclosed building with windows all around and plenty of deck and seating space. The locker room entrances were clean and neat, although there was only one shower in the men's locker room. The kids loved the pool, and the outdoor hot tub was also a big hit. That was also large, with room for 12 adults. It seemed to be well maintained and clean.

The kids had room service for dinner (pasta with butter and a turkey club sandwich). They though the food was okay not great. However, I sampled the homemade potato chips that were served with the sandwich, and they were absolutely terrific, so maybe it was more of a matter of them eating something they were not used to.

After they ate, my wife and I set them up with a movie and went to dinner together at Amuse. The atmosphere was pleasant, with a very nice bar area around the kitchen where patrons could talk with the chef as he worked. The food was very good, not necessarily great (as you might expect with a name like "Culinary Resort") but extremely good for the price. The meal began with an amuse bouche selection based in our case on grapes - a grape sangria, grapes mixed with something savory I can't remember (but it was good) and a grape foam. It was unexpected and fun. The wine list was relatively short, but the wines that we had were delicious. I sampled the lobster pie appetizer (lobster meat in a mushroom gravy with puff pastry), and a Delmonico steak with truffle mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. I enjoyed both dishes. My wife had a beet salad and crusted salmon dish that was tasty but dry (she had asked that it be cooked well done; perhaps they just let it go a little too long).

Amuse was also where breakfast was served the next day, and we all enjoyed the food, especially the omelets. It was nice that the buffet was half price for kids, too.

The staff, from the front desk to the restaurant staff tp the cleaning staff were all unfailingly pleasant, friendly and helpful.

The hotel also offers free use of bikes for kids and adults, and is located in a good spot for visiting Burlington or the surrounding area.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay, and we would stay there again, and perhaps take a cooking class with the kids next time.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank CD_Boston_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,354 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (271)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Queens, New York, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

I will break this review down by hotel, spa, and restaurants.

Hotel: This was my second time staying at the Essex. It was my boyfriend's birthday and they upgraded us to a 1 bedroom suite which was very kind of them. It was large and had a full eat-in kitchen with dining table. The suite is rustic and had a warm stove that kept the whole room quite warm. We also left the bedroom door open at night so it would continue to stay warm. Also, room service was super quick every time we ordered! That's huge plus. We would enjoy a light breakfast in the kitchen each morning. It was nice.

Spa: We got a couple's massage and it was exceptional! The massage therapists are very professional and although they are 1st paradigm, they are still thorough with their intake and ask good questions. They also gave us suggestions for posture improvement. Something as simple as my boyfriend having his wallet in his back pocket throws his posture out of whack. Their facilities are pristine. This locker room has it all: showers, sauna, and steam room! You could spend an hour or 2 just in the locker room. A+ spa! I have been to spas in San Francisco and NYC. It is definitely comparable.

Restaurants: I have only eaten at the Tavern. It was what you would expect: decent bar food with a great beer and wine selection. The only downside of the restaurants are their weekend hours. On a Sunday, we couldn't eat at Amuse or Tavern until dinner time (5 PM) and we were starving! We ended up ordering a pizza instead of waiting around. That was a little disappointing. I would think if you have guests staying 24/7, you would have more accommodating food choices on Sunday during the day.

Conclusion: Overall, it was a very relaxing experience! That is the main goal, right? It was a getaway weekend for us and we really enjoyed the service. As I pointed out, the biggest complaint I had was the weekend hours of the restaurants. The grounds are beautiful, even in the snow-covered winter! Overall, Essex is definitely worth it for a well-needed escape and we will be back!

Room Tip: They have a bonfire on certain nights when we stayed in the Winter complete with s'mores! Ask t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EssexResort-VT, Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Elizabeth L.

Thank you for taking the time to write this excellent review. I am pleased that you celebrated your boyfriend’s birthday with us. It sounds as if you both took full advantage of our many amenities such as a relaxing spa day, convenient in room dining, and a complimentary upgrade.

I apologize for the restaurant hours not coinciding with your schedule. Monday through Saturday we are open from 6:30am to 10 or 11pm in either Amuse or the Tavern. We offer an exceptional brunch menu on Sundays from 7am until 3 pm. In order to get the kitchen ready for Sunday dinner service we do close from 3pm to 5pm. This is the only time during the week that we close in between meal periods.

Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you again for your great feedback and we look forward to your next visit.

Mary Ingrisano
Restaurant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
767 reviews
151 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 444 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2013

I saw an offer on Travel Zoo for a discount at the Essex and a special on a cooking class. We signed up for the German cooking class, and we had a wonderful time. Chef Lawrence was very knowledgeable, and our classroom assistant Rachel was beyond awesome. We cooked amazing food and we didn’t have to wash a single dish! The wine they served while we cooked was yummy and it was so much fun cooking with ten other people we just met! Of course our group of four created the best food of the group.  Everyone at the Resort was friendly, they were super dog friendly, and the grounds and golf course were beautiful. I hope we can go back for a day of golf and an evening of cooking. We are so proud to be sporting our new Essex aprons, and we are taking the recipes to a family reunion to impress our entire family!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank surfinginflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
119 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We booked our room ahead of time and decided to upgrade to a mini suite. The room was fabulous and very private. The bedding was awesome which made for a great night's sleep. The two restaurants were well worth it. A little pricey at the Amuse, but professional chef's in the kitchen. The spa was definitely worth every minute. Overall, very, very nice, clean, pleasant staff. There are no mini refrigerators in the room, which was a surprise considering all the amenities. Very surprised, too, since we had a mini-suite.

Room Tip: We were in room #229 which is a corner room. Perfect for privacy and very quiet. If this is what yo...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Eyesofbuddha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed April 22, 2013

My family and I (including 2 small children) just returned from a fantastic five night stay at the Essex Resort and Spa. Our fireplace room was charming, light, spacious and modern - and they were kind enough to give us a pack n play and cot for our kiddos which worked great. The pool was beautiful and just the right temperature. Jumbo outdoor hot tub was great too. The staff were friendly and helpful. We all loved the afternoon cookies and lemonade. We ate in the restaurant most mornings - not too many kids around which sometimes made me feel bad about our loud, active little ones - but everyone was nice about the little bit of chaos we brought. We ate at Amuse one night (with no kids) - it was delicious but I would say a little over priced. We liked the Tavern a lot. There was also a playground right at the entrance that our girls loved. All in all the Essex exceeded our expectations for sure.

Room Tip: We were in the 3rd floor of the main building - don't have much to compare it it but highly reco...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank katiem692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southlake, Texas
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We had such a wonderful time at the Essex.

Facility was lovely and grounds were well-kept. The food at both restaurants is exceptional, very fresh and unique. We took advantage of the tennis 1/2 day camps (July) throughout the week an indulged in spa services - very very nice!!! Pool was small but surprisingly not packed every day, even though it was the height of the summer. The culinary school is great! My 7 yr old and I took a baking lesson together, which was great fun! My husband and I participated in a group cooking lesson and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a delicious dinner prepared under the guidance of a top chef. The hotel provided us with a babysitting services company and we were very pleased with the babysitter. As a family we had a blast at Northern Lights Rock and Ice where we had a day of adventure scaling a telephone pole and navigating a challenging obstacle course of wobbly, rickety bridges and ending with an exhilarating zip line.

The Essex is close to Burlington and Lake Champlain, The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, Shelburne Farms, all of which were fun to visit.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LAVAPAVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robbinsville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
48 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We made a quick trip to Vermont for our anniversary. We took advantage of a special offer for The Essex. The front desk staff associate was very nice and we were greeted warmly. Our room was in the main building and was quite nice. Two Queen beds, plenty of space, bathroom was a bit small but very clean. We did not use the indoor spa or indoor pool but the Fitness room was very nicely equipped.
Dinner in both The Tavern and Amuse was very good. Nicely located to downtown Burlington, approx 10 miles and shopping outlets across the road.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura R
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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