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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Often have great deals”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

I've stayed there multiple times when I'm traveling to Stowe or Boston and want to be pampered. The rooms are very, very nice and comfy. The boys and I stayed there when were were skiing at Stowe Mountain; it's only 50 minutes away and way cheaper. As a bonus, Ben and Jerry's is on the way back from skiing to the Inn.

The pool is great.
The spa massages are excellent.
The staff is very responsive. I wish other hotels were like this.

They often have deals through Hotwire.

Room Tip: I used urbanspoon and trip advisor and found some great places close by.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mike b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (274)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2013

My complaints: Our room only had thin shades (not blackout) and no curtains, hence the room started getting bright and sunny around 5:30 in the morning. The bed was way too soft. I probably sank in 5-6 inches (and I only weigh 150 lbs). They should at least have beds in the middle of soft and firm. My body was sore from no support. This place is supposed to be a culinary resort but the food sucked! We chose the 15$ breakfast buffet - it was downright gross. The scrambled eggs were floating in a sea of liquid and were crusty in top, the fruit was not ripe, french toast was dry - best thing I ate that morning was the English muffin. The only thing remotely tasty that I ate while at this hotel was the squash ravioli. Oh yea - prom was going on while we were there and it was noisy at midnight! We had reserved a king, but they only had queens available - not sure what the point of a reservation is?

Positives: Can't comment on the spa services, but I was told by somebody else that they were good. They give you amazing bathrobes for the room. It's close to outlets if you like that kind of thing. The staff is friendly.

Bottomline: This place is pricey and mediocre. Stay a unique bed and breakfast instead.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LL5678
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 review, May 21, 2013
Dear LL5678,
Thank you very much for staying with us and for providing feedback on Trip Advisor. I am sorry that we failed to meet your expectations on some fronts, but do appreciate the feedback and will address the issues you’ve outlined. Each room should have black out shades, so if you are inclined to advise to which room you stayed in, it would be most appreciated so that we can quickly remedy that situation. Additionally, while our new mattresses are on the softer side, we also have firm mattresses in certain rooms and can accommodate that request if your preference is for a firmer experience. Finally, it is disappointing to see that your culinary experience was not up to par. I have shared your comments with our team and will address accordingly.
I’m glad you enjoyed our in-room “amazing” robes and do hope that you’ll get the chance to enjoy our Spa first hand during your next visit. Thank you again for the feedback and I do hope that we’ll have the chance to provide you with an improved experience in the future.
Sincerely,

Jim Glanville
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
51 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Went last weekend. I got the a discount fare in priceline.
The hotel is located some 15 miles outside Burlington. We had a big room in another building next to the main building. The staff was friendly and they gave us a clean room with a nice view.
I'm sure I will be back soon as I loved Burlington!

Room Tip: Pick a room overlooking the golf court!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank joaquin g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2013

We have stayed at the Essex several times over the past three years, both for business in nearby Burlington, and and with family for leisure (and checking out nearby UVM). Our latest stay was in May 2013 (last week).
The hotel is charming and quite quaint, some of the rooms are perhaps a little tired, but we have also stayed in the newly renovated rooms which are very, very good.
Many of the rooms have separate bedrooms, and our latest one (kindly upgraded by the staff) in addition to this also had a dining area, whirlpool tub and pot-bellied stove (they cater to skiers, so these are very useful winter features) and a pretty well equipped kitchen (by which I mean stove, 'fridge, pans, crockery, cutlery etc....). Electronics are up to date, and the room was exceptionally clean, bed very comfortable.

The hotel has a good restaurant and restaurant/bar (both recently renovated). Dinner at the restaurant was pretty good, menu has been put together with some imagination, quite expensive but not outrageously so, with service being friendly and timely. Try the local IPA - I think it is Fiddlehead, a good brew..

Breakfast, the following morning, whilst also served efficiently, frankly, was something of a disappointment, as most of the items were from the pre-cooked buffet stand...for the (expensive) price, not brilliant.

The grounds are very relaxing (this is early spring in Vermont, so there wasn't a huge amount in the way of blooming vegetation), and there is an air of tranquility to the place which is very appealing. There are signed nature rambles around the grounds and area is rural enough presumably to come across indigenous wildlife... (be warned, my wife trod on a grass snake she didn't notice, I'm not sure who/which was more surprised, as each made off in the opposite direction at high speed! - biggest laugh I've had for quite sometime...)

I didn't use the spa, but the exercise room was well equipped for its size, and maintained to a good standard. On previous occasions we have used the tennis facilities (shale/clay), a great place to play tennis (the nets weren't up this early in the season for this trip).

It is worth mentioning that on a previous trip we arranged for a culinary "lesson" in the resort's specially designed kitchen areas, a lot of fun, and a great learning experience (I still prepare the pinwheel scallops.....) at the end of the lesson/hands on demonstration, the students get to eat what they have prepared....the watchful, helpful, instructive and friendly chef and sous chef made this a very enjoyable experience.

The hotel, being in perhaps a somewhat remote part of the country, often runs specials, which are excellent deals and worth checking into any time they have them.

Front desk staff were helpful and kind (the place is very low slung, three floors maximum, with ample parking next to each of the three main buildings for luggage movement), perhaps this time a trifle too mechanical on check-out, but that is the first time I have had that experience.

Overall, I would recommend this place for business or leisure purposes - it is an easy 20 minute drive to downtown Burlington, but is essentially rural, a pleasing combination!

Room Tip: If a suite upgrade available, is a good choice...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank martin w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Vermont, USA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

My fiancé and I decided to take a night away from out hectic life and get away. He surprised me with a trip, spa treatments and dinner at the Essex which was a treat. First off the spa is lovely, very modern and cozy with AMAZING microfiber sheets which I wish were on the beds in the hotel! The massage was good, (very relaxing, and enjoyable, but standard) and my facial was refreshing. The steam room has some eucalyptus in the spray, a very nice touch. The robes are cozy with plenty of fresh towels. The pool and hot tub area are fantastic, nice long (but skinny) pool and an outdoor hot tub.

The room was large with an electric fireplace which I can imagine is very cozy in the winter. The rooms have had some updates, but are more unique in décor. My only complaint was with the bed and the cooling/heating system. It cycled on and off all night which continued to wake me up. I understand that it happens in hotels, but it was a bit of a bummer. The bed sloped a bit to the heavier person so after a few hours I ended up switching to the other double bed (I was glad we had two).

We did the Chef’s Table in Amuse one of the onsite restaurants which was such an enjoyable experience. We were the only two guests so basically had a private chef for the evening. Each course seemed better than the first, and although a lot of food I thankfully did not walk away uncomfortably full. The chef was nice, and explained what she was doing when asked, but tended to prefer to keep to herself. The menu didn’t really have a theme, which was kind of fun with all the different tastes, but my stomach was a little unsettled later on with all the rick food.

Overall it was a lovely time, I plan on staying again in the future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HTravel84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
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
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CD_Boston_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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    • 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.
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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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