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
- 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