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“Great views....but what a dump!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Smugglers' Notch Resort

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Smugglers' Notch Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Jeffersonville
Certificate of Excellence
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great views....but what a dump!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2008

My son's soccer team arranged to stay at the Smuggler's Notch Resort while participating in a local soccer tournament. We won't be back. This resort has incredible potential but is without a doubt one of the most poorly managed places I have ever stayed. For starters the girl checking us in couldn't answer any of my questions. When we got to our rooms we had to vacuum and sweep the dirt/pebbles off the floors, dust the counters and shelves, and clear the spiderwebs from the lights and corners. The first night the doorknob came off my bedroom door. Outside weeds grew several feet high by the front door and the exterior was in dire need of paint. I might add nothing is paved so when it rains prepare to get muddy walking anywhere around the resort. The lack of maintenance and cleanliness was exasperated by the fact that literally dozens of resort staff whizzed by in golf carts and trucks. I never saw any of them working but they did having driving down. I will say this resort does have a lot to offer, several nice pools, youth center, basketball court, etc. It is also in a beautiful, though very remote, location. The food was OK in the restaurants though once again a lot of staff lounging around. With proper (actually any) management this could be a great destination.

  • Liked — views, location
  • Disliked — cleanliness, maintenance, staff
  • Stayed June 2008
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank JC_Albany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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896 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (269)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
177 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2008

Our family (including children ages 5 and 8) vacationed here in July 2008 for 5 nights. It was our first summer trip here (we had vacationed here in winter several years ago). We rented a 2 bedroom in Kestrels which was gorgeous - although very expensive. Based on our past stays we had learned that if you rent here you get put into the old condos in the village center and we have seen those and they are not pleasant (worn down, not clean - bad experience in past). We therefore paid extra for a "premium" unit which means newer and I must admit they are much much nicer. Staying in a nicer unit makes a big difference.

The pools were a lot of fun for the kids. Our condo was in the North Hill section so we had access to the indoor/outdoor pool there which was helpful when it rained. The water slides have height restrictions of 42" or 48". Our kids really liked the slide at the Courtside Pool which we didn't even use until our last day.

We did not use the summer camp programs as we prefer to vacation as a family. The camps are included in the price so that would offset some cost if you use them. We did really enjoy the Pirate Breakfast, Kid Karaoke, and dance party. Our 8 year old took a skateboarding class (for a fee) which he enjoyed. We also enjoyed the mini golf (just 9 holes - nothing spectacular but something fun to do), and some hiking. Overall, there was enough to do to keep us busy for 5 days - even with rain which we had off and on during our week.

We had to attend a 90 minute timeshare presentation (this is primarily a timeshare resort) in order to receive a 30% discount on lodging. Despite our up-front explanation to the real estate agent that we had no interest, we still had to sit there for more than an hour before being let go. We had much more pressure to buy than our past winter visit (where our presentation lasted 20 min), but it was still worth the 30% savings. Without those savings, this would have been an extremely expensive a place to rent - especially if you do not put your kids into the day camp.

Overall, Smuggler's Notch was what we expected. The employees are very friendly and the newer condos are very nice. The kids had fun and we will likely return here in the summer even with the expense. Because this is a timeshare resort, they cannot guarantee your room location until you arrive. If you do not like your room, make sure to go back to check-in and request a new unit - we did that in the past and you can probably get a nicer unit. This fact is the biggest problem to a renter here (and why I gave this resort a neutral/average rating).

  • Liked — Pools
  • Disliked — Cost
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank humuhumu_fish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2008

My family had a fanstatic trip, even after a 14 hour drive. We went the last week in June. We have two boys 3 and 5. They did the kids camp for a few the days. My husband and I did the tennis lessons. I liken this to a cruise in the mountains, they have tons of activities for all ages and activity levels. We really enjoyed the evening activities with Good Time Charlie. My kids came home repeating some of this phrases and dances. We will definitely go back next summer.

  • Liked — We had a huge town house, two bedrooms that was about 1500 sq feet
  • Disliked — we were a little bit of walk to things, but they did have a shuttle to get you whenever you wanted
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tayl0rFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2008

We stayed at Smugglers the week before Christmas 2007 with another couple and had a great stay. We booked through RCI and knew what to expect from the timeshare style accomodations (bringing shampoo, salt, pepper, tin foil etc). We stayed in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo (Trailside Highlands). Our accomodations were great - clean, well furnished, well maintained and modern - 2 fireplaces, jaccuzi tub (with TV). Grocery stores were available within a 20 minute drive and we prepared most of our food ourselves, but LOVED the pizza parlor and the Morse Grille.

If you are looking for a resort with great night life, don't go to Smugglers. It is very family oriented and it seems as though everyone is asleep by 7:30/8:00. But if you want great ski conditions and no line-ups, book here. Alternatively, if you have a larger unit, they are great for entertaining and equiped with Martini Shakers and Blenders, so you can start your own party!

As we went through RCI we did not have a ski package, but did go skiing on 3 days. The snow conditions were excellent, except for one afternoon of freezing rain.

Lake Placid is a 2 hour drive away and Burlington is about 45 minutes away - making for great day trips.

We will definately go back to Smugglers in a few years once we have kids who are ready to ski, we saw the instructors out with kids as young as 18 months and they were having a great time.

  • Liked — Very Spacious - excellent party house
  • Disliked — ski locker is small (considering the condo slept 6 people)
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank travellingbliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2008

My husband, three kids and I just returned from our second stay at Smuggs. We stayed in a three bedroom Eagles unit (which I believe in one of the newer units) and our accommodations were great! Our kids were in the Nature and Hiking camp and Sound and Stage camps and they had a great week. My husband and I did the Water and Wine tour (canoe down to a local winery and have cheese, bread and sample wines and then are driven back to the resort ). My husband also went mountain biking and went fishing with our son. The girls and I attended a beading class which was fun. As a family (after the camps) we all went horseback riding together as well as playing tennis and going to the driving range---and swimming, too. It was an action packed week despite really crummy weather. This resort has it all---nice accommodations, camps for the kids, alone time for the adults and then time for the whole family together. All the employees we encountered were extremely nice. Be sure to take the drive to Stowe---a real twisty mountain road with incredible rock formations---pictures don't do it justice. If you're interested in horseback riding, try Brewster Ridge stables---super nice people and a great trail ride through forests and pastures. We will probably head back to Smuggs again next summer.

  • Liked — super clean and well maintained unit
  • Disliked — being on the ground floor---people walking past our enclosed porch windows while we're eaitng or talking
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michigan Mom of three
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2008

We just got back from Smuggs last night and had a fantastic time! We were allowed to check in a couple hours early which was nice since we didn't expect to according to other reviews here. We had rented a crib and they had it all set up and ready for us upon arrival.

We really studied the layouts and details of each condo and chose Villmarksauna with 2 bedrooms and it was so spacious and immaculate! It's definitely dated decor but nothing as bad as I heard from other reviews, at least ours wasn't. It's definitely more along the lines of dorm furniture but still very nice. It was very well stocked, we had brought toilet paper and paper towels and dish soap and all since we are used to staying in timeshare places but didn't even need to open them, they had supplied way more than enough. The one con with this condo is no elevator (I'm not sure any of them do) so the 3rd floor was a hike with luggage but they did offer to provide staff to help. There was even a sauna right outside our condo door on the 3rd floor, which was basically like a private sauna since no one else had used it the whole week.

I really liked being along the creek/river as opposed to right in the middle of the Village which would have made it very difficult for our daughter to nap during the day. But if you are looking to be right in the action then it would be fine. North Hill area was very nice and much newer but after seeing it I think it would have made it very difficult for us to get to where we needed to go with young kids everyday. Although they do have the shuttle that is oncall everyday and could take you to everything, we hadn't used it though.
We rented a golf cart there for a week instead and it made it very easy to get everywhere and was fun for the kids.

There are grills everywhere! They are outside almost every condo so definitely plan on grilling, everyone seemed to use them.

The food was very expensive, which is typical for a resort. The store is very limited but did have basics but I would plan on bringing most things you might need if possible. Even outside the resort it's mainly little markets so a tiny bottle of detergent cost me over $9. But other than the food almost everything is included at the resort so it's not terrible in the big scheme of things. Oh and Angelina's pizza delivers there for free and we found it MUCH better than the resort pizza and it was at our door in about 30 minutes.

My 5yo son LOVED camp and had a blast, he woke up everyday reminding me that "this is the best place ever!" Our daughter is just under 2yo and enjoyed a couple days at Treasures, which is an amazing facility with fantastic staff! We even hired them for babysitting one evening so my husband and I could go to the Hypnotist show and to the lounge. The babysitting fees were less than we pay at home and it was nice to be able to walk home!

I would definitely recommend the Llama Trek, our 5yo LOVED this! It was really great! We also loved the Magic show and Mad Scientist shows as well. Even the Pirate breakfast was very cute! They have so many activities every day that it is difficult to get it all in in a week, and there is very little that we wanted to miss!

We went to Stowe one day and found some cute shops and also did the gondola ride there which was amazing! The kids REALLY enjoyed that! As a tip though, we bought the lunch package but when we got up there we hadn't realized it was a bit more formal dining so the children's menu was very limited ($8 for a PB&J) and they had no changing table and were out of all the highchairs, and it wasn't busy at all! So I would do the gondola ride again but skip the lunch up top or bring your own and picnic.

The Notch is a must to drive through in the summer, it's really neat and a ton of areas to park along the side and hike and site see.

The pools were fantastic at Smuggs as well. My son loved Notchville Park the most but Mountainside was a close second...I liked the hot tubs at Courtside though! We also got a pass to the North Hills indoor pool which was amazing! Perfect on rainy days...which we had a lot of! Our weather was cool but the water in every pool was heated so other than during the thunderstorms nothing stopped due to rain.

Rum Runner's Hideaway was fun too. We drove to the bottom and then took about a 10 min walk up to it, definitely a steep walk but easy enough for my 5 year old. We rented a paddle boat there and it was nice. The water was way too cold for me in June to dare to go in but others were doing the trampoline and all and had a blast.

So basically I would say this is the perfect vacation for little ones, especially over age 3 since the camps for them are included in the price, but it's hard to find a place so accommodating to the "under 3 crowd" as well. Even the FunMeister arcade area had a whole section designated to their tiny guests with blocks and dolls and baby strollers and puzzles and books, even a glider to sit and feed your child a bottle or nurse. They really thought of everything with this place. We are not the most active people and had never hiked in our lives so we were hesitant going from our typical beach vacation to this but it was definitely worth every penny!

We did the timeshare discount and never thought going into it that we would be considering a timeshare in Vermont but now we are! It's the perfect vacation for families. The families we spoke to there that had bought the timeshare were also those with preteens/teenagers since they all begged to come back as well. They have a ton for them to do and they enjoy the freedom from their parents as well.

Overall I would rate it a 10! I would definitely do your research with the condo you choose but they make it easy with all the layouts and maps right on their website. And their staff was so courteous from booking the vacation (I had even called about 4x with questions) right to check out. Every single staff we ran into there went above and beyond to make our stay perfect!

I had read the reviews here in depth before booking and was a little scared to commit to going at first but I weaned out the ones that were not in reference to the summer programs as well as the guests that did not have young children.

We will definitely be going back, probably in 2 years so my daughter can enjoy the camps as well.
The only negative things I could say are no elevators, no changing tables in some of the restrooms, and we had no cell service there. So all in all it was an A+ vacation!

  • Liked — The Activities for Children
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank JMC11902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2008

Despite confirmation to the contrary before our departure, all the facilities were closed!!! We checked in Saturday night and left the next night, it was that bad. I've been to the resort during prime season and it was great, but off season with almost NO amenities open simply doesn't cut it for a family with young children.

Our family has previously been to Smuggler's Notch during prime season, and although the shared pools were a bit crowded, the overall stay was great, and the private pools for our area especially so. This time, however, we were told that everything was up and running, only to find (upon arriving from out of state after a 6-hour drive with both a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old) that nearly all the amenities were closed! Worse (and mind-boggling to me), the staff wasn't even apologetic! They just shrugged, and after saying "it's closed? I didn't know that" (maintenance had been extended for 2 weeks) then "well, I guess you could try something else instead," but wouldn't give me a list of alternatives, so as I interrogated them, admitted that one thing after another was closed (all restaurants but one, driving range, tennis, other pools, even local area attractions). They did have a mini-golf course open (9ish holes, but you can only do 2 rounds tops with a 3-year-old)--and someone had forgotten to unlock it--and a joyless "entertainment room" about 15'x15' with toys for children... but no windows, and a depressing place to spend any amount of time. We were most disappointed to find the heated indoor splash pool was closed, since it was cold and rainy. During our far-too-long-single-day at the resort, we did try the sole open pool--an outdoor lap pool--but that doesn't cut it for keeping two toddlers entertained! Everyone we bumped into while on the resort was either angry or asked us if we were--it seemed to be a very common topic on the resort that day. Our room was available to us for the entire week, and we left after less than 24 hours. The front desk people were unable to do anything for us, shrugged and gave an "oh well" look when we told them we were checking out after less than a day, and management has yet to return any phone calls.

  • Liked — Fun during the summer, private pools are un-crowded
  • Disliked — Inaccurate info about (extensive!) facility closures; indifferent staff
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bored99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smugglers' Notch Resort

Property: Smugglers' Notch Resort
Address: 4323 Vermont Rte 108 S, State Route 108, Jeffersonville, VT 05464
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Vermont > Jeffersonville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Jeffersonville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Smugglers' Notch Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 303
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Smugglers' Notch is a year round mountain resort offering acclaimed programs for families and seasonal activities including alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing; enjoyment of 8 pools and 4 waterslides; guided hiking; children's programs and a zip line canopy tour. The resort village amenities include condominiums with fully equipped kitchens, restaurants, a child care center, two teen centers, a country store, a sport shop, a massage center, and winter ski & ride equipment rental and tuning/repair facilities. Smugglers' is nestled in Vermont's northern Green Mountains about 50 minutes from Burlington, Vermont. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Smugglers` Notch Hotel Smugglers Notch
Smugglers' Notch Resort Vermont/Jeffersonville

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