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“Great food, very friendly folks”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Boston Area
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great food, very friendly folks”
Reviewed August 17, 2009

We spent 3 nights at the Essex last week and had a wonderful time. The new spa facility is fabulous. My husband and I had massages which were wonderful...hot towels and everything. The food was amazing. There is an indoor lap pool and an outdoor recreational pool. The hotel room was very pleasant. I prefer suite hotels with a bit more room, but if you are used to staying in a "normal" room, this one was very nice. The Burlington area has lots of outdoor activities -- we kayaked on Lake Champlain and hiked Mt. Mansfield. We'll be back.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ReallyLovesVermont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,389 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (279)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2009

My husband and I returned to the Essex Inn in July for our 10 yr. wedding anniversary for a three-night stay. We previously stayed at the Essex Inn in Dec. 2007 for a week with family. This visit was just the two of us. We got a very good deal on Priceline.com. The room was adequate for our needs but since our first stay was in a premimum suite, my expectations were very high and I was a bit disappointed in this room. Bed was very comfortable; but bedding was a bit tired and worn. Elevator and hallways can use a little sprucing up as well. We didn't spend a whole lot of time in our room as there is plenty to do in this area so it was ok. Keep in mind; this is a pet-friendly resort. That being said; those of us that are animal lovers understand muddy paws; etc. We arrived on Wed. July 22 and there was a lot of activity going on at the resort. They were holding a chamber event for the grand opening of their new indoor pool and spa. They were able to make some changes and get us a King, which was very kind. We dined at the Tavern that evening and food was very good; but they had run out of a few things; perhaps because of the big crowd earlier.? Seemed to be the focus of the day was certainly the grand opening - and food was plentiful for those attending. Restaurants were still opened and it's important to remember that there are paying guests dining there as well. If this had been my one and only time visitng the Essex Inn; I would have been disappointed. But since I've dined here numerous times in the past; I gave them the benefit of the doubt. The Tavern is a very casual setting; and a great wait staff! The Essex is conveniently located to Burlington. If you are looking for a more quaint setting; this is not the area for you. The Burlington area is bustling with traffic and activity. Plus since this is a huge area for colleges; there are many hotels and eateries. Burlington is a great city - but it's a college city; and it's a busy place. Plus the city sits on the banks of beautiful Lake Champlain. Beautiful views of the lake and mountains surround you wherever you are in this area. If you are looking for quiet country roads and rolling farmland - best to head east in this beautiful state. The Stowe area is close enough by and a ride along Rt. 100 and up to Mt. Mansfield is breathtaking!!!! Anyhow; back to the Inn. The property grounds and gardens are beautiful. For our anniv. we made a reservation at The Butler which is their formal dining option. We were seated immediately based on our 7 p.m. reservation. Last July (2008) we also dined at the Butler and we were anxious to again go for the Chef's Selection - basically they ask what you do not care for and if there are any food allergies; and the chef(s) create your meal. We scanned the menu and did not see this dining option available. My husband asked our waitress if it was possible to have the Chef's Selection even though it wasn't on the menu. She went to check and we were so very pleased that they were able to accomodate us. We had about 6-7 courses - and all perfectly executed and our taste buds were exploding. Crab bisque; salad; cheeses; seafood; fish; and too many things for me to even remember! Presentation was exquisite and each course was perfectly paired with excellent wine selections., Mr. Matt Parisi, the Butler's restaurant manager, made our wine selections with expertise while our server, Ms. Sally Oliver continued to present us with mouthwatering selections from the kitchen. Both Matt and Sally made our dining experience even more enjoyable with their levels of competence and superior service.

So all that being said; we do hope to return again to this lovely place. Perhaps the rooms will be updated in the near future. The new pool and spa are gorgeous and required a lot of attention and financing. I am certain that now that major accomplishment is behind them; they'll revisit other areas that need a little attention. We plan to be back to check it out! Thanks to everyone that made our anniversary extra special.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RKNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Vermont
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2009

We stayed here to attend a wedding being held at the Inn. When we first called 4 months ago to inquire about a room, they stated there was a two night minimum. Then we called that day only to find the hotel less than half full and happy to accept us for a one night stay. The rate was $209.00 and they added on a resort fee of $12.00. What a ripoff.
First, the room was poorly decorated and worn. The mattress was old and uncomfortable. The hot water was intermittent when taking a shower. The hallways and public areas are also in bad need of refurbishment.
The only decent thing about the stay was the wedding. The food was actually pretty good for a catered event.
The culinary school is planning on relocating back to it's original campus in Montpelier. When they leave, there will be absolutely no attraction to stay here.
If you are in the area, there are definitely better priced options elsewhere.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dracut, MA
Level 4 Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2009

I'm reading the reviews, after my stay, and I am wondering if we stay at the same hotel. They used to call this hotel the "Inn" at Essex. In no way is this place an "Inn". Unless you are going for the cooking classes, which I must say seem to be good, you will be dissapointed. First, the hotel is located in an area that resembles an office park. The room that we had was dated and badly decorated. The room furniture was dented, damaged. The common areas were not kept up, and there was this overwhelming feel that there was nobody in charge at the inn. It felt like a reality show and nobody was trained to do there job. Just be forewarned, that if you are looking for a "getaway" you will be dissapointed.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RobinWyman75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Managing Partner at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 31, 2009
Dear Ms. Wyman,
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us on Trip Advisor.
As you noted, our name has recently changed to The Essex Resort & Spa. We too realized that with the addition of our new Spa at The EssexTM, Fitness Center and Indoor pool – coupled with Culinary Classes, Gardens, Tennis, Golf, hot air balloon rides, Orvis Fly Fishing programs, the title “Inn” was not representative of what we offer… Hence our name-change this past March.
For those reading your comment regarding our location being near an “office park”, I would submit the following. The nearest office building is a mile away in the form of terrific designer outlet shopping. The Essex Resort & Spa is situated on 20+ acres featuring lush flowers tended by over 10 gardeners, our chefs’ vegetable and herb gardens, wedding lawns, our traditional Village Green, six Har Tru tennis courts, and our fly-casting pond – all bordered by the aforementioned golf course, a new $1 million ropes and climbing facility and a new church complete with the signature “Vermont steeple”. Our location also features spectacular views of Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks.

Finally, I’m concerned to hear your remarks regarding room conditions and would welcome your phone call to discuss so that we can follow up appropriately. We take great pride in providing first class accommodations coupled with premium resort amenities. With the completion of our Spa project this summer, we plan to next complete strategic guest room renovations (in a non-invasive manner) over the course of the next 12-14 months.
Ms. Wyman, I’m sorry that we did not meet your expectations and would welcome the opportunity to have you back and give you the proper impression of a “getaway” at The Essex Resort & Spa.
Thank you,
Jim Glanville, Vice President & General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 20, 2009

This "Resort and Spa" has clearly fallen from the grandeur of its past. Although the signs proclaiming it is a "AAA 4 Diamond Hotel" still hang everywhere, the hotel has more of a worn motel type of feel.

The lobby is very dark and lacks any real charm. The elevator is very narrow, dirty, and ill-lit. Ditto for the corridors in the upper part of the hotel where the rooms are located.

The rooms have a very tired feel as well. The furniture looks like it has been used for the last 20 years -- with beds and armchairs alike sinking in. Indeed the springs in the bed even felt worn out. To make things worse, the room was "beat up," with scuffs on the walls, water damage on the ceiling and dust on many of the surfaces.

Moreover, the hotel failed to mention that it the hotel is undergoing significant renovations. The parking lot is filled with construction vehicles that start making noise very early in the morning. Plus, many of the hotels attractions -- such as the hot tub and indoor swimming pool -- close extra early as a result of the construction.

Lastly, the hotel touts itself as a "Culinary Resort" because of the culinary school based there. It turns out the culinary school is moving to a new campus, leaving the on-premises restaurants in shambles.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tarantulaNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Managing Partner at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 31, 2009
Dear Reviewer,
Thank you for your review and I’m sorry that we failed to meet your expectations.
I’d like to offer some clarity regarding a few of your remarks and hope that we may have you back with us in the future to rectify your image of our fine property.
As you stated, we have just completed the addition of a new 22,000 square foot spa, indoor pool and fitness center. Unfortunately, ‘finishing touches’ on this facility ran into mid July and apparently inconvenienced your visit, for which I earnestly apologize. With the pains of construction, however, come the fruits of a beautiful new facility! Select (non-invasive) room renovations are slated next for the resort, as we continue to update and improve upon the area’s only AAA Four Diamond rated resort.
Finally, I must correct your misconception regarding the “culinary school”, and the status of our restaurants at the resort. The New England Culinary Institute is indeed going thru a unification process. The result, however, is that The Essex Resort and Spa will continue as a Partner in Education with the New England Culinary Institute (NECI). This partnership will enable our resort to actually improve our culinary assets by featuring seasoned NECI chefs in all food and beverage outlets as well as 2nd year student interns.
Again, I am sorry that you left with this perception and would love to have you back to have the experience that the vast majority of our customers enjoy.
Sincerely,
Jim Glanville
Vice President & General Manager
The Essex
"Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
412 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2009

My girlfriend and I stayed here for a long weekend in February. We had a nice relaxing stay. The hotel is nice and although it is big, it doesn't feel like an overwhelming huge hotel. Our room was very nice and almost felt more like a B&B room, than a hotel room - in the good cozy kind of way. And the bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in.

It is about a 15 minute drive to Burlington, which was fine for us, as we headed downtown during the day and then retreated to the comfort of the hotel at night.

We ended up eating in the tavern restaurant 2 nights, which was wonderful and had an eclectic enough menu that it felt like we ate at two different and delicious places.

We didn't take any of the cooking classes, but walked by and they looked rather fun. I would recommend this hotel for a relaxing weekend getaway. I would only warn to stay away if you want something closer to downtown Burlington where you could walk around right from your hotel.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Adam R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2009

What can i say great food great room once they open the indoor pool hotel will have it all.Your wife will love the shopping so you can play a round of golf across the street.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HunterMontreal
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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