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“Relaxing getaway”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Located a few miles outside Burlington, this sprawling resort has everything to help you enjoy a relaxing weekend away from the city. The culinary part in the name is not just a quirk. The food is definitely the best part. the Chef's Table is a must (reviewed separately) and even the Tavern has some very good food. The rooms are spacious enough - we had a traditional fireplace room (although the fireplace itself was electric). There are two pools - the outdoor one is probably more for kids to splash around when weather permits. But 25 yard heated indoor pool is great for people want to get a workout. There are two hot tubs as well - was great during the wet 35F weekend we encountered. There are 6 tennis courts but they seemed in dire need of maintenance. It could be a result of the constant rain the area had been getting. Anyway the weather didn't allow us to use those facilities. Which brings me to the Spa. I am not a regular massage guy so it is difficult for me to rate that experience. The rain showers at the Spa are definitely the best I have ever seen. The staff is like most people in New England, very nice and polite and eager to help. On the whole a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank KaustuvDG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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830 - 836 of 1,443 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2013

This is a beautiful resort with pleasant staff and comfortable rooms. What spoiled my business trip here was the worst meal I have ever experienced. The bread roll arrived and should have served as a warning for me. As the knife cut into the bread roll so it disintegrated onto the side plate and table surrounding it, it was then like biting into a tablet of moulded wood chippings. The main course arrived and initially looked ok. Hidden under the tasteless fish (with acceptable batter) was twice fried chips half of which had been fried for most of the day. The chips that were not solid from being over fried were dripping in fat and tasteless. The tartare sauce was garbage and the only thing on the plate that tasted of anything was the ketchup and newspaper garnish placed under this culinary disgrace.

I complained to the staff in the restaurant and the duty front desk manager so that the chef does not think I am being deceitful in my review. Chef, how this got through the pass is beyond me and I think you need to review your attention to detail.

Room Tip: My best tip is to say, if you do go then plan on eating somewhere other than the Tavern Inn on site
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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4  Thank Tim N
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 May 30, 2013

Dear Tim N.
We are very sorry to hear of your recent experience, and I sincerely appreciate your candid feedback. I have passed your comments on to our Food and Beverage Director, and we are looking into the issue to see what could have been done differently.
I am disappointed that you left with such an impression, in that our crusty dinner rolls are made fresh daily in our own Bakeshop onsite, the fish Is hand-battered to order, and the tartar sauce is also house made fresh. Frankly, our Fish and Chips is perennially one of our most popular dishes, so it is most unfortunate that it was not to your liking this night.
This being said, I am again very sorry and hope that we may try to sway your opinion of our culinary offerings the next time you choose to visit the Resort. I am, however, pleased that you found the resort to be so pleasant and comfortable otherwise!

Sincerely.
Jim Glanville

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank mike b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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Thank joaquin g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank martin w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank HTravel84
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: $136 - $310 (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 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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