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“Nice Inn with Great Perks!!!”

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The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Southbury Ct
Level Contributor
113 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Nice Inn with Great Perks!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2006

My husband covers New England for his Manufacturer's Rep Company. He doesn't spend too much time in Vermont but some. I decided to accompany him on his three day trip last week. He wanted me to find a good spot to stay in the Burlington area and he would work out of there. I found the Inn at Essex on Travelzoo.com and decided to give it a try despite some rather negative reviews on this site. I am so glad I gave those negative reviews little heed. I found the Inn to be terrific from beginning until the end. I think what throws people off is the mention of four stars. This is not a four star Inn nor I think was it meant to be. In my opinion it is a very good three star Inn with a very special twist -food! Also he loved coming back each days to hear of my adventures while he was gone. I had FUN!!--while he worked. We stayed in the main building where all the cooking and baking is done and the whole place smells divine! And the meals!! My husband loved coming back in the late afternoon to the great aromas and anticipating the delicious meal ahead. Also he loved coming back each days to hear of my adventures while he was gone. I had FUN!!--while he worked. We had lunch in Butlers that was delicious and presented beautifully. I got a kick out of the chef trainees that were servers. Some of them seemed like babies to us but they were all so enthusiastic and positive about the school it was refreshing. We had dinner twice in The Tavern. It is a much more casual atmosphere and different and more reasonable menu but the food comes out of the same kitchen. We tried different things and enjoyed three courses each night and had no room to try the desserts. By the way the breads all baked on the premises for both restaurants were divine! The servers in the Tavern are employees and not students.

They put out homemade assorted cookies and cider in the afternoon that was a nice treat each day. I took a cooking demonstration with Chef Courtney that was great fun and a learning experience for me. She clearly loves what she does and her enthusiasm is contagious. On the day I went I was the only one so I got a private lesson. We did Thanksgiving sides but she shared a couple other of her favorite recipes. She gave me a tour of the kitchens which was interesting also. I would say in order to completely enjoy the Essex experience you should attend one of the classes offered to guests.

Our room was a mini suite with a nice gas fireplace. The room was spacious and very very comfortable. One of the nights we cracked the window open a bit and left the fire going all night--nice nice!! I found the staff to be very friendly and accomodating. My husband thought it to be one fo the friendliest places he has ever stayed at. The hotel transported me to and from the Outlet Mall nearby which was nice since I did not have a car and it was rainy.

There is a small gift shop in the lobby that actually had a couple of items I needed. I got myself a bench press and those clay tablets you put in your brown sugar boxes to keep it soft. You can buy some of their delicious desserts in there as well. I heard that some lady with the last name Stuart designed the interior of our building. She did it with lots of funky colors (ie red couches)and it is very appealing--not your run of the mill decorating ie Marriott, Holiday Inns etc.

I actually look forward to returning to the Inn at Essex when my husband does his Vermont run again. Take it fom me this is a place to experience for yourselves. Ignore the naysayers--this is a solid Three star Inn with specialness written all over it. Helen

  • Liked — The Great Food experience and the aromas!!
  • Disliked — Have no complaints
  • Tips/Secrets — Definately take part in one of the cooking classes and try both restaurants!!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Helsbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,354 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (271)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
2,372 reviews
168 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 974 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2006

After reading all the reviews on this property we decided to give it a try inspite of several negative reviews. We have to say---we should have relied more on the reviews. The check in was pleasant although I had to wait until a "customer" went through all of her "cooking" expertize with the receptionist. And--boy !--was it boring.

We went to the room located on the third floor of the building to the right of the front entrance. The "lobby" was dirty as well the elevator which ran at a snail's pace. We were fearful our room would reflect the same. We were not sure but it appeared we were the only guest on the third floor. The room was small but nice---perhaps a good 3 star type room. We tried to adjust the tempature in the room as outside it was in the low 40's. Adjusting the thermostat and keeping it at the set tempature was a problem. The carpet wasn't real dirty, however it could have stood a cleaning.

The woodwork throughout the foyer, hallway and in the room badly needed painting as there were scuff marks, chips and warn out paint everywhere. Even the door inside the bath had dozens of kick marks on it. Even a little water and soap would have done wonders for that door.

The bathroom comode would not flush properly and one had to hold the handle down until all the water drained from the tank, otherwise the water would stop running. My wife could not find a place in the bathroom to lay her makup. The room was very small---smaller than a Motel 6 bath---and the sink was a free standing with no space for anything. There was no mirror outside the bath thus she did not have an alternative.

The internet worked find. We asked for turn down servcie while we were out to dinner. The bed was turned down however all our wet towels were still in the same place as we had left them and not one changed out. OK--that's fine if I'm paying $39 a night for a room at a 2 star location---but it's not OK tonight.

We had dinner at Butler's. The food was OK---sorry it was not outstanding. Service was OK--but not outstanding.

My reservation package, at $245 per night, did not include "service fees". That was OK. Our dinner meal was $88 plus drinks. I ask the waitress if tips were included. She advsied some "partially". I left a $20 tip. That's a little over 20%. At check out I was charged an additional $13.60 for "meal plan gratuity." I felt that was unfair but rather than make a scene I went ahead and paid---a total of $33.60 for an $88 meal.

I also left an addtional tip for my breakfast. We were then charged a $9.00 "resort fee". Even though almost all the items listed as being available for the "resort fee" were not actullay available. ie--airport shuttle,bucket of range balls, tennis courts,snow trails and afternood cookies and lemonade. Sorry--but it rained the entire time we were there and there was no cookies and lemonade.

In our room were two bottles of water with a warning on them that if we opened the bottles or if there were not there after we left the room, they would be charged to our account at $3.00 per bottle. In addition there was an envelope from the cleaning person for a "tip".

We stayed at the Inn at Essex thinking we were buying a relaxing night with a great dinner. The expierence was far less than we had hoped for. Add to that the references above concerning add on charges and the visit to this inn will not be repeated by these travelers. There are much better inns and restaurants hroughout New England.

  • Disliked — The place just needs a good updating, paint and cleaning
  • Tips/Secrets — Look for a better alternative. Eat downtown Burlington at the restaurant where some of the culinary students wrok. It's much better.
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank texaswillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claremont, California
Level Contributor
198 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2006

After reading the description of the Inn, I thought I had found the perfect place to stay near Burlington. It definitely was not worth $300 per night. The facilities are run down. The public spaces need a face light and the guest room had a worn out look as well. The room did not have a full lenght mirror, the carpet was worn and the furniture was very old. The bed was comfortable and they did leave some wonderful chocolates on the pillows at night which was a treat.

The staff was very helpful and friendly and the grouds were nice. Our meal in the Tavern was mediocre and the service was slow. They did a much better job with breakfast in the main restaurant. The restaurant had a lovely decor.

I would not choose to stay there again for that price, maybe $200 or under.

  • Liked — nice staff
  • Disliked — worn out facilities
  • Tips/Secrets — get a good price if you want to stay there
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank FLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
90 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2006

I booked these reservations as a result of the reviews I read here, which were overwhelmingly positive. I guess I stayed in a different inn from everyone else's posting.

The Inn at Essex is a waste of your money. We spent a night here (we left a day early due to our disgust). Stayed on the 2nd floor in the main inn. Obviously, rooms have not been updated, painted or maintained in a while. The baseboards look as if someone has shot hockey pucks against them--black, dirty, dented, and scuffed. There were dead flies on the carpet (it obviously hadn't been vacuumed), stains on the comforter, mildew in the shower, and a greasy mirror. The heat didn't work well; we had to call the front desk who came up to reset the thermostat--this apparently happens regularly. The fireplace in our "suite" was on a timer that ticked so loudly we felt like we were in some cheap roadside motel using the bathroom heat lamp circa 1975.

And though this may sound minor, it became an annoyance quickly: There were no mirrors except for a small one over the sink and a long one on the bathroom door where there was no light. This is a big problem when you're trying to get dressed, put on makeup, put in contacts, etc..

This place could be charming, but it's just masquerading as a four-star. What's acceptable at $50 or $150 is NOT acceptable at $400 (which is what we paid, even with the AAA discount) during high season. I've stayed in a lot of inns and travel a lot for business. Don't stay here. You'll be disappointed.

We also dined at the restaurant; the food is excellent but the inn needs to use some of its proceeds from the restaurant to buy some paint--and some management lessons on what constitutes a four-star inn in Vermont--or anywhere else, for that matter.

  • Liked — Affiliation with New England Culinary Institute so food was good
  • Disliked — Overall lack of cleanliness and attention to detail
  • Tips/Secrets — Book a hotel in Burlington where there's more selection and eat here instead
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Ciaociao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2006

Received a warm welcome, nice grounds, hallways could use a little paint, but the room was nice. The Inn greeted my little dog with doggie treats. Room service was fast and professional. Staff was consistently great. I left something behind in the room, they found it and UPSed it to me!!!

  • Liked — Staff
  • Disliked — Elevators
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank franksmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2006

The Inn at Essex was enchanting! My husband and I took our two small dogs on vacation with us, and we had plenty of room for water and food dishes, puppy pads, and all the other assorted paraphenalia that traveling with dogs demands. The staff was gracious and most helpful, and made excellent recommendations for our various requests (hair salon, quaint places to go, tourist attractions, non-tourist attractions, eateries, etc.).

We loved it, and we're going back in a few months!

  • Stayed October 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank gertieandmaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2006

I stayed at the Inn at Essex in August 2006. The Inn itself was pleasantly simple. The grounds were kept very nicely, and the pool area was a very relaxing area. Plenty of lounge chairs as well as poolside tables and chairs. The service at the hotel was great! I accidently left a few items (Coach wristlet and Tiffany necklace) in the hotel room after checking out. I called after I arrived home on the off-chance that the housekeeping staff turned it in, and they did! They even sent me the items free of charge. I didn't expect to ever see those items again because of my own carelessness, but I not only got them back but they didn't even charge me for shipping. In the end, the great service after the fact made for an an excellent experience overall!

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank huesgens
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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