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“First Class Service”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“First Class Service”
Reviewed April 7, 2010

We are frequent guests as The Essex, however, our recent experience was even better than normal. We held a baby shower there and had numerous family members staying with us for almost a week. We arrived a little early the first day (noon) and our rooms weren't quite ready. However, Amy made some phone calls and has us in our our rooms in minutes. Most places would just tell you to come back later. The event staff set up the shower in accordance with our wishes and then responded to every last minute request with quiet professionalism. The staff in the main resort were nothing but tremendous. All week long it was "Yes Sir/Ma'am, of course". We never wanted for anything they couldnt provide. And as usual, the rooms and food are simply tremendous. All of this is done at a very reasonable price. I recommend that this be your only place to stay in the Burlington/Essex area and if you have an event, hold it there. You will NOT be disappointed. Great job to all The Essex staff.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank mtnwarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (279)
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English first
Boston
1 review
Reviewed April 5, 2010

My husband and I chose to do the travelzoo pacakage which includes a balloon 'ride', 'free' breakfasts, 2 for 1 dinner, and 2 massages... let's break it down.

Balloon Ride - We had a 6am wake up call to go in a tethered balloon basket with four other people that went up 20 feet (we had better views from our room) for 1 minute and then came back down. On the way down we crashed into a boulder, the basket tipped over on its the side and everyone crashed into the gravel and had to crawl out trying not to catch on fire by the giant bunson burner. This crew seriously had no idea what they were doing, and besides that the golf manager came out screaming that he didn't have copies of the balloon company's certification, insurance liability papers, or any of the customers signed consent forms. He inevitably shut it down, which for the safety of the rest of the customers I think was wise. The balloon company also claims on their brochure to serve champaigne and cheese and all that, NOPE. This service overall is LAME, even for kids, everyone there expected a balloon RIDE and the hotel should seriously consider partnering with a vendor that can provide one...safely!

Activities - You will be charged a RESORT FEE of 24.00 on your bill whether you use their facilities or not. The pool, hot tub, and fitness center are nice, but we found a lot of the activities listed in the room menu to be nonexistent or required additional fees for use. Example: The activities listed claim there are hiking trails there, but when I asked for directions from the front desk, she stated we were 'free to wander the grounds, but there are no landscaped trails'. The flyfishing was a tiny tiny little pond in the front of the hotel, hammocks and tennis nets weren't up and available, and to use the adventure activity in the back was more $$.

Spa: You will automatically be charged a SPA GRATUITY of $42 on your bill (amount will vary depending on your service (19%)). Massages overall were ok, they were young students likely in training. The spa electronic locks don't work; myself and another customer spent 15 minutes of our spa time trying to find one that did...to no avail.

Food: My husband and I are foodies, so our expectations were relatively high being they host a culinary school there. Overall the waitstaff was friendly and nice. The Butler's restaurant food was good, however the Tavern was cutting some serious corners in quality. My pancakes were burnt on the outside and doughy in the middle and the 'side of fuit' was actually just an orange slice garnish. I ordered the corn beef hash the next morning and it was missing the carmelized onions and had two slivers of pepper. The table across from us had been waiting for their waffles for a long time and complaining; they ended up having to order something else because the cooks couldn't deliver. Oh yeah, and your breakfasts aren't 'free', plan on paying an additional MEALS TAX of $22 added to your hotel bill. Looks like we paid for those breakfasts after all.

Rooms: We had a traditional room, it's ok, it's worn and stodgy, the biggest complaint I have is that the air conditioning/heating vents in the ceiling are SO LOUD that it's like sleeping on a plane - we didn't sleep a wink. The ice machine on the second floor also buzzes so loud it's going to blow up - please call a mechanic! Oh yeah, you will also have a ROOM TAX added onto your bill as well.

Overall: This 'deal' is really not a deal at all. Their vision for their business image is quite convoluted; someone else commented that the hotel tries to do too much and fails in quality and I entirely agree - I was expecting a luxury golf resort catered to professionals and couples..but it missed the mark big time...i woudn't even say it's really catered to family/kids either (you got a jungle gym and pool and that's it, unless you pay more $$ for other things). I would rather stay at a hotel that has a few assets and does them exceptionally well than a long line of lame activities or poor services with hidden fees. Bottom line: Customers would rather know what they are paying for upfront - when you provide little coupons that say 'tax and gratuity included' and then actually charge those items back on our hotel bill when we leave (grand total $85 of hidden fees for two nights) that just leaves a big negative STINK to the vacation. We will not be back. So to all you fellow tavelers, I CANNOT recommend this hotel, and I DO recommend you stay somewhere else, preferably in downtown Burlington or at a ski lodge in the mountains.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Wildflower227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Vice President & General Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 14, 2010
Dear Guest,
Let me first begin with an apology. I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations and you left with the impression that there are hidden fees at the resort. Please know that all fees are fully disclosed in every offer that we make and I’m sorry that you failed to see them on our most recent online offer. Every fee is outlined on the offer page as well as your confirmation letter, but we will consider a third vehicle to improve upon the process.

Regarding your stay, I can offer the following:
The balloon company that we work with has been in business for the last 10+ years and has flown thousands of hours over the Lake Champlain valley….without incident. The tethered rides that are advertised as part of your package have been received very well, as customer expectations are clear that this is a tethered experience (going up between 70 and 100 feet) and not an “un-tethered flight”. I’m sorry that you had the impression that it would be an un-tethered ride accompanied with champagne, as this was not what was advertised. Additionally, I’ve spoken to the pilot and he does not recall having the dramatic landing incident that you outlined, but please know that safety is their top priority!

The $12 per day resort fee encompasses many services and activities at the resort and is clearly outlined within your package. This fee includes wireless internet access, daily newspapers, cookies and coffee service in the lobby, airport transfers, local calls, weekend bonfires, indoor pool and hot tub access plus fitness center access. While some other activities are seasonal (i.e. outdoor pool, outdoor tennis courts, hiking trails, cross country ski trails, etc…), the fee fluctuates to reflect this seasonality. Again, I am sorry that you did not observe the fees outlined on your confirmation.

The Spa Gratuity is also clearly outlined within your package and is customary in resort spas. Despite the years of professional training our spa staff has had, we would certainly remove a service charge if you felt the service did not warrant a gratuity. We have received rave reviews since opening our new spa and aim for 100% guest satisfaction!

I’m glad you enjoyed the food in Butler’s Restaurant and Tavern. We pride ourselves on having friendly efficient wait staff offering an expansive menu. Regarding breakfast, the package that you purchased included a free Continental Breakfast. As would be expected, if you upgrade to a full breakfast, you would be charged accordingly, and sounds as if that was the case. I apologize if the quality of your breakfast did not meet your expectations and will address this with our Chef.

With reference to your room comments, I am sincerely sorry about any noise issues that may have taken place. If you could please provide the room number you stayed in we would promptly put that room out of order to service the heat pump. Taxes, however, are something that we have to pay and I’m sorry that you felt they too were a “hidden fee”.

Again, I sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you experienced. Normally we hold a high level of service at The Essex Resort & Spa and obviously missed the mark with you. It’s unfortunate that your dissatisfaction in your experience wasn’t expressed with us directly so that we could have taken corrective action immediately. I would welcome further discussion and the opportunity to have you back as our guest so we can show you an experience that is more in keeping with the thousands of happy patrons we see each and every month.
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Millbury, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 23, 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Essex with high hopes. Unfortunately, it disappointed us right from the beginning. The welcome at the front desk was lackluster, with barely any instruction as to where things were. We were put in the "Mansion", which apparently means "Small, garishly painted rooms for people we don't like." The room was small and filled with flies. The bathroom was very small and poorly laid out. The heat/AC was haphazard and operated when it wanted to. The TV was tiny and only had 23 functioning channels. Their were almost no outlets for any of our stuff without unplugging lamps or clocks. No shelves in the bathroom. The bed, however, was the only saving feature of the room. It was very comfortable and had great linens... of course, they apparently don't know about king size pillows for their king size beds. The bedside phone wasn't programmed so I couldn't call the front desk from it. Even though the phone appeared to be 20 years old and not a new addition to the room. We had a lovely view of the back parking lot from our room as well, once we cleared the flies out.

The elevator jerked and stopped and started between floors. The Wifi was slow when it worked at all, which was only half of the time we were there. There was no mini-fridge in the room, the coffee was week, and the "cream" curdled in my coffee 1/3 of the time. Medium sized bottles of water were left in the room with a $3.00 price tag after little cards were left around the room guilting us into not having our linens washed every day. In fact, the entire experience left one with the feeling of being nickled-and-dimed after hearing about mandatory "gratuities" and fees for everything there.

The building did not have entrances on the two sides where the parking lots were located, so we had to trundle our luggage around the side of the building to the front entrance, which also happened to be the entrance to the event rooms and lobby (awkward on the day they were having a "brunch" for a party in the same lobby). No, there was no one to assist with luggage, which Priceline assured us was part of their being rated as "4 stars".

Apparently, the restaurants on site and the cooking classes they offer are very good. I can not dispute this, as after being so disappointed with everything else, we declined to try either, and instead spent our money and more friendly places in Bennington.

They also have a really great looking ropes course.... very up to date and probably looks great from their hot air balloon. They also have a fitness center with a lap pool, which you have to walk through the front driveway, past the entrances to the restaurants and lobby, to get there. There is no sauna in the pool area. They offer many fitness classes, for an additional fee.

There are security cameras everywhere, including a strange and obvious one in an upstairs window of the Manor, aimed at the fitness center. It was actually a little creepy, considering, with all the security cameras, the building we stayed in did not require a keycard to get in to.

My wife and I heartily recommend the Burlington, VT area, as there is so much to do and see... just stay somewhere else. Anywhere else. At least read all of the reviews of this place. I wish I had, before we stayed there.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VTzeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Vice President and General Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 8, 2010
Dear guest,
Our guest comment cards run about 50-to-1 in praise of The Essex’ warm & friendly professional staff, guest rooms, Spa at The Essex, Butler’s Restaurant & Tavern, Cook Academy cooking classes, wine and Vermont microbrew tastings, golf, tennis, zip lines, ropes course, climbing walls, fly-casting pond, hot air balloon, designer outlets, and our 15-minute proximity to everything that’s cool about the Lake Champlain/Mount Mansfield region. Our percentage of repeat guests far exceeds industry norms. I’m sincerely sorry we didn’t please you and your wife and wish we had the opportunity to address your issues while you were here. It is unfortunate, as I guarantee we would have been able to remedy any concerns you had. I do hope that you will give us another try in the future.

Sincerely,

Jim Glanville
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2010

Our room was cozy and comfortable, and the hotel itself was lovely. We enjoyed all of our meals and the local ingredients used in them. There seems to be less to do right near the Inn--aside from the outlets--but if I went back I'd plan on taking advantage of the cooking classes instead of exploring outside.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank multicoastal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 10, 2010

I recently had the pleasure of an extended stay at The Essex Resort and Spa during the month of January. I was extremely impressed by the friendliness and the wonderful service from all of the staff that I encountered during my stay. The front desk staff, the bellmen, the housekeepers and the dining room staff all made the extra effort to ensure that I had a wonderful visit.

I had several meals in the Tavern during my stay and the food and the service were outstanding. The dining room is very conveniently located near the Manor wing of the Inn that I stayed in. The new Spa is beautiful and is a great addition. Outstanding pool and the fitness center has a complete line of state of the art fitness equipment. The pool and fitness center are superior to most hotels that I have visited.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JMCB_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2010

My husband and I stayed for on night at the essex inn.
Staff was friendly and helpful.
Rooms are outdated and somewhat rundown. Not to clean either. (Spiderwebs in corner).
Bathroom also outdated and very used looking. No tub!
Pool area nice however the locker room is very sparse. Shower almost no pressure.
Whirlpool big and nice but only outside.
Food add Buttlers was good. Service friendly.
We did not use the spa.

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Gina049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JGVT, Vice President & General Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 15, 2010
Dear Gina,
Thank you for your recent visit and taking the time to write a review. We appreciate the feedback!

I'm delighted to read that you liked our brand new indoor pool and your meal at Butler's Restaurant and Tavern. Additionally, it is nice to see that you enjoyed the service you received, as we pride ourselves on offering unmatched "vermont hospitality". I hope you will enjoy our lovely spa during a future stay!

I am, however, concerned to read your comments regarding the condition of your guest room. As the area's only AAA Four Diamond resort, we have extremely high standards for cleanliness and the condition at which our rooms are kept. If you could be so kind as to let me know which room you stayed in, we will remedy any problems immediately.

Again, thank you for your critique and I hope that you will contact me personally to make future reservations. I look forward to having you back with us again to enjoy The Essex as the overwhelming majority of our guests do.

Sincerely,
Jim Glanville
Vice President & General Manager
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Somerville Mass
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 25, 2010

I had the pleasure of staying for a get away weekend at The Essex. This place was amazing. The front desk staff was so welcoming and made us feel right at home.
Our room was nicely decorated and very clean. The bed was so comfortable I didnt want to get out of bed. The food was also amazing. all the staff we encountered were so kind and helpful. The Spa was the best part. such a great way to relax and spend the day. The Spa staff were very helpful as well.
I will definatley highly recomend this resort and spa and this will be the only place I stay when I'm in the area.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank jase712000
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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