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“Cozy getaway, amazing food”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Cozy getaway, amazing food”
Reviewed September 23, 2009

My husband and I found this place on a whim when we decided to visit Vermont. We stayed only for one night, but would consider returning to VT just to visit this place again.
Our room was not extravagant, but very clean and functional. We had a studio room, which included a kitchenette, and a small gas fireplace.

The indoor pool and outdoor hot tub are gorgeous - a great way to unwind after a long drive. We only had the opportunity to eat one meal, dinner at the Tavern, and the food was excellent.

I'd definitely go back to this place!

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank lisammclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (276)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2009

We chose this property because of it's affiliation with the New England Culinary Institute (NECI). We expected great food and service, but the meals exceeded our expectations at both the Tavern (breakfast, casual lunch/dinner) and at Butler's (formal dining). Be sure to ask for a table served by Tucker. My wife took a cooking class from an NECI instructor which she enjoyed very much. The grounds are well maintained, and the Spa is new. My wife had a massage and facial there and loved it. There is an indoor pool, outdoor pool, and outdoor hot tub. The fitness center is the best I have seen in any hotel other than the Four Seasons. There is a rock climbing/ropes course facility on the property which we enjoyed as well. If you go, talk to Frank to understand all the safety measures they use. We especially liked the zip line. There is a shopping mall with a cinema and outlet stores for Ralph Lauren, Brooks Bros, Orvis, Van Heusen, etc. within a 10 minute walk There is also very nice hiking with views of the Champlain valley within a 30 minute drive. We took a hot air balloon ride our last afternoon which I highly recommend.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bongju
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2009

We had a wonderful time during our 3 night stay and really enjoyed the Essex. I wasn't quite sure what to expect after reading some of the reviews here but we thoroughly enjoyed the facilities and the food.

Outdoors. The grounds have some beautiful flower gardens, herb gardens and a vegetable garden with a chef scarecrow. The outdoor pool area is attractive with a stone sculpture waterfall on one end. During our perfect weather visit we enoyed a later afternoon dip in the pool daily. There are also 2 large hammocks just outside of the pool area. The buildings are attractive in a New England way (coming from a non-New Englander).

Room. Our room was very tastefully furnished and looked like it had been renovated with fresh paint, updated hardware on the furniture, new lamps, etc. The bathroom had a great showerhead, new tile floor, pedestal sink and a great heat lamp. The bed was soft on top but was very comfortable sleeping. Our one complaint was the loudness of the heat / A/C vents in the ceiling. After the first night we just made sure the room was at an appropriate temperature and turned the fan off overnight.

Lobby area - the front desk staff as always friendly and very helpful. In the morning coffee and tea are available in the lobby. In the afternoon it is lemonade and freshly baked cookies perfect for an afternoon snack. There is a computer available for public use and a printer. We used it to check the weather daily.

Restaurants. Butlers has fine dining - a quiet, white tablecloth dining room with a more expensive menu (on website) and nice atmosphere. The Tavern is more casual and has outside seating (but no lighting in the evening). This is also where breakfast is served. We were on a package that included some meals so ate 3 breakfasts and 2 dinners at the Tavern and one dinner at Butlers. We thought all of the food was excellent, even a simple breakfast.

The continental breakfast included coffee, juice, a choice of toast or pastry, and a choice of cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt/fruit/granola parfait. If you chose pastry you picked one from a tray of pastry that varied every day. The scones were excellent (butterscotch and chocolate chip). The parfaits were large and very good. We loved the freshly cooked oatmeal as well - served with raisins and blueberries on top.

We enjoyed our Tavern dinners outside - the tables closest to the front door have a distant mountain and sunset view. Just be forewarned that once it is dark it is dark! We enjoyed the steak, meatloaf (a special) and the haddock fish and chips was excellent. The prize winner for us was a lemon curd cheesecake dessert - try it if you like intense lemon flavor. It is not your typical cheesecake (shaped like a small pyramid) but we both agreed it was the best dessert of our trip. When we had a question about a sauce our young and enthusisastic server came out with some kind of cooking dictionary and educated us on about the delicious cassis coulis. At Butlers my favorite was the scallop appetizer - very good. We had a passionfruit white chocolate dessert that was very good also.

Spa. The spa just opened in June and we thought the interior of the building was beautiful. Slate, tile and wood flooring. windows with tree views, stone fireplaces, and soothing colors. The women's locker room was very, very nice with sauna and steam rooms, huge showers, nice dressing areas and makeup areas as well. Plush towels and robes are provided. There are multiple waiting areas and relaxation rooms with fruit, water, and teas. My husband reported that the men's showers had overhead rain shower heads but the women's showers did not. We both had massages that were wonderful. All of the staff we interacted with were very friendly and helpful. At the back of the spa building (through another set of locker rooms) is a beautiful 25 yard indoor pool perfect for laps. It is a very attractive area with slate flooring around the pool and large windows at each end with tree views also. Outside at the back is a very large hot tub (Iimit of 20 people). During our 3 day stay the heating element was broken for the first 2 days but had been fixed for our last day. The hot tub was great when it was finally hot. There is not an indoor hot tub. Any hotel guest can use the pool and hot tub. Spa service customers have access to the other amenities the day of their service. There is also a gym area with equipment looking out to the woods.

Activities. We spent most of our time out and about but did take the hot air balloon ride with Above Reality arranged through the hotel. It was beautiful since we could see both the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.

Unfortunately we are located 11 hours from The Essex but we would love to go back. It may not be as luxurious as some resorts but we thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to go back some day.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pcs15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2009

My travelling companion and I sayed at the Inn for three nights in August 2009. The buildings and grounds were pretty but nothing special. Our room was a good size but the bathroom is old and very small for a so called luxury resort and for the price.
Housekeeping seems to be an issue. It was minimal and one day they didn't even take the used towels away.
As for the restaurants,the Tavern and Butler's-both were disappointing. Service in the
Tavern was slipshod and in one case nasty. The Waiter did not know the differences
between the different beers on tap and treated us like idiots. He seemed much more interested in the tables on the patio. The food is just one step up from Applebee's.
In Butlers, it took us four hours to complete our meal - what there was of it. Portions are small and the different items on the plate don't always go together. The wine list is very expensive and not very interesting. The service is slow and uneven.
I beleive you can do better for the money elsewhere in the Burlington/Shelburne Area.

  • Stayed August 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank das317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Chelmsford, MA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2009

I stayed one week at the Essex with my wife and two young sons, four and eight. We stayed in a one bedroom with kitchenette in the living room, and the boys shared the pull-out sofa bed. The room was nice though a little smaller than similar accomodations at other resorts. The mattress in the bedroom was a little too soft for this papa bear. Both the indoor and outdoor pool were exceptionally nice and well maintained, as was the extra large hot tub and brand new fitness center. The food at the Tavern restaurant was good too. A 20 minute drive took you to all the restaurants of downtown Burlington. The ECHO museum was so-so, the train ride not good at all. On the other hand, a quick 45 minute trip to the Stowe resort had my two kids having the time of their lives on the alpine slide, gondola ride, and other kid-friendly activities. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory tour was also a favorite. A longer day trip was a 1 hour 45 minute drive across the border to Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec, a drive through safari park that my kids loved as well. All in all, a fun vacation at a resort I would recommend.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chrisknowsbest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MA
1 review
Reviewed September 1, 2009

My wife and I just took advantage of a Hotel/Concert package offered by The Essex. The Hotel was quietly elegant with lots of New England charm and the tickets to the Brad Paisley concert were Excellent. The room was extremely quiet at night making it possible to get a good night's sleep.

Dining in one of 2 restaurants on site was very convenient, and well done.

The hotel is not in the midst of the city, but the location is easily accessible and well worth the effort.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 27Darrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zürich
Level Contributor
134 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2009

We stayed at The Essex for three nights. It was a great stay. We didn't like our first room, but the very helpful staff moved us without any problem, that was a great start. The hotel is set outside of town next to the forest, it's very green and lush all around the hotel. Both rooms, the one we saw and the one we had at the end, are very roomy with a large and comfortable bed and a big bathroom. There is a fake fire place in every room which was lot of fun.

The hotel has two great restaurant, we had dinner in both and received wonderful meals. Make sure to check them out when staying at The Essex. There is an outdoor pool and an indoor pool with a jacuzzi. Too, there is a Spa (we didn't try that one out, it's said to be good, though) and a gym (we tried that - very good!).

The lobby offers a small shop, a seating area and free internet. If you're there on a weekend, there is a good chance you'll be able to watch the wedding ceremony. The mall, about half a mile away, has many shops and a cinema. We would definitely recommend The Essex.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cyberbob2000
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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