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.
- 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