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Smugglers' Notch Resort
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Reviews (1,249)
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Reviewed January 28, 2014

My husband I I had some timeshare to use so booked in at Smugglers; a great choice. We had a 3 bedroom apartment in Sycamore block. It was comfortably furnished with everything we needed complete with a nice deck where we could enjoy a glass of wine - and the spectacular sunsets. It was out of ski season which was perfect for us as there was still plenty to do. We had read that travelling through "The Notch" could be time consuming and difficult so we took the long road round. However we needn't have done that as the Notch was open and we have travelled on worse roads in NZ and the North of Scotland. We drove to Stowe (a pretty village) through the notch & in spite of us driving on opposite side of the road to that in Australia, we coped well. The Arbortrek Zip Line tour was AMAZING - not to be missed. A memorable vacation.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MaggieB75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglersNotchResort, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers' Notch Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Hello - We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your May stay at Smugglers' in our West Hill neighborhood and its lovely views of the mountains and valley. Spring tends to be a quiet time, perfect for exploring back roads and quaint towns, or venturing in to Burlington for shopping and strolling. The ArborTrek zip line canopy tour is offered year round, and the experience is different depending on the time of year, as you might expect given the seasonal changes of the forest. We're happy that ArborTrek was a "not to be missed" experience for you!

You also mentioned the Notch. For other travelers reading this review, Route 108 as it crosses over the mountain (the Notch) between Smugglers' and Stowe closes in the fall for the winter season and typically opens back up in late April or early May. We would suggest that prior to traveling to Smugglers' in the spring or fall, travelers should check with our reservations or guest service desk staff on the status of the Notch road so that the most convenient route for travel can be identified.

Thank you for sharing your Smugglers' experience in a review.

Karen Boushie
Smugglers' Notch Resort public relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

We just stayed at Smuggler's Notch Resort this past weekend and had a great time! In fact, I'm torn about giving a four-star vs five-star rating. Here's why:

Getting to Smuggler's Notch was fairly easy, and check-in was fast, friendly and simple. Getting to our condo on North Hill was also fairly easy. When we entered our building, we noticed it was really nice, though nothing fancy. Our condo itself was a pleasant surprise. It was HUGE, and very well-appointed. Again, none of the finishes were super high-end, but they were all very nice and in-tune with the price we paid. We had two full bedrooms, two bathrooms with tubs (one whirlpool!), nice kitchen and dining area, four tv's, gas fireplace. It was fantastic! If I could rate the resort on just our condo, it would definitely be a five-star rating.

Where we were a little less impressed was with some of the buildings in the centre of the village. The building that houses the resort's pizza shop, Bootlegger's bar, Ben & Jerry's, etc. was pretty run down. The bathroom were downright disgusting! Renovations are a definite (or better yet, demolish and rebuild.)

We ordered a late-night pizza, and I must say it was delicious, so nothing bad to say about food quality.

We also ate breakfast the Morse Mountain Grill (also in the village) and again, it was quite good.

There are plenty of shuttle buses that run regularly and do pick-ups and drop-offs throughout the various areas of the resort. And tons to do with kids (we had a couple's weekend away but definitely plan to come back with the kids!)

All in all, you can't go wrong with a stay at Smuggler's Notch! Great service, great activities, good prices, decent amenities.

I really wish I could give this place 5-stars -- we had such a good time and loved our condo -- but some of the central buildings need urgent refurbishing.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Trillium_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglersNotchResort, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers' Notch Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your couples' getaway at Smugglers'. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed yourselves, and we thank you for your positive review of your vacation home, your dining experience, and the shuttle service. We also appreciate your comments regarding some of the Village facilities. Renovations and refurbishing tend to be ongoing efforts and we hope that you will find any changes to be to your liking when you next visit.

Regards,
Karen Boushie
Smugglers' Notch public relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

We stayed with 3 little kids in January in Owls unit, and could not wish a better experience. The place is just awesome. The unit is brand new with granite kitchen, Cuisinart appliances, gas fireplace, jacuzzi, etc. Lots of activities for the whole family. Kids attended daycare, and ski camp; there is a small water park on the premises, tubing, huge playroom with mini golf and bouncers, skating rink, pools, restaurants, etc. Kids were occupied all day, giving us a chance to ski. Shuttles run non stop with average waiting time of 3 minutes. The only bad thing is the lift that was super slow. Definitely coming again.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank Jelena K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglersNotchResort, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers' Notch Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Hello - Thank you for posting a review of your family's stay at Smugglers'. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your Owls home and its many amenities. From your comments, it also appears that your children were well served by our nursery and ski school instructional programs and that they had lots of fun in the pool and FunZone indoor play area with its inflatables and games. You mentioned the shuttle. The on-call shuttle is a key component of our efforts to create a "park your car and forget about it" vacation for families, so we are pleased to hear that you used the service. We are happy that you plan on returning in the future for another vacation!

Best wishes,
Karen Boushie
Smugglers' Notch public relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

First we were given wrong directions to the Resort. Took us 2 1/2 hours to drive there. We missed our our first family adventure we had scheduled.
The next morning wet he needs to come back leter.e had our son scheduled for ski camp which we were told was from 9-4 so we got to the center at 9, went out to the meeting area to be told since we dont have gear to come back later. I put up stink that we werent told to come early to get gear. we were told 9am, it took an hour to get him back out there where the instructor was already involved in the other children. He missed an hour of the camp and no compensation. So while my son was at camp my husband and I decided we would try skiing. I dont ski and told the ski rental lady that a few times. She went out on the hill with us and directed us to the chair lift. I KEPT saying I cant do that I just want a tiny bunny hill to play on She assured me a good half dozen times You can do it that is our bunny hill, So to get out of the way I got on the lift with my husband. I fell off the thing as I didnt know how to get off. Then I fell coming down the hill and ripped a medial ligament I walked down the hill and spent the rest of my vacation on crutches. My vacation was over because their staff member didnt care that I assured her I didnt know how to ski and didnt belong on a lift. I told the supervisor at the rental shop and she offered no sympathy. Let alone refund for my equipment that I couldnt use. Couple days later I hobbled over to the Nordic place with my family so they could do a cross county ski lesson. The girl at the desk offered to let me wear snow shoes so I could go out with them and watch. I could do that. The instructor knew I bummed up my knee and was having trouble just walking and he asked me twice in the lessons time if I would like to try to cross country too. I really felt he didnt give a crap my knee is already messed up and I was doing all I could just to be out there.. That was it for me, IT IS OBVIOUS THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE RENTING, NOT SAFETY!!!! You wont see me there again

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglersNotchResort, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers' Notch Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Hello - Your comments have been shared with the departments mentioned in your review. It's disappointing to us that you encountered the difficulties you described during your stay here.

We're sorry to hear that getting to the resort was a challenge, and it is unfortunate that you missed your first activity. For others reading this review who are planning a winter visit to Smugglers', we suggest checking the resort's website or the card enclosed in your confirmation packet for driving directions from different areas. GPS services often do not take into account the seasonal winter closing of route 108 through the Notch pass.

Karen Boushie
Smugglers' Notch Resort public relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

Our family learned to ski here in 2000, now we came back where it all started. Stayed in the same Condo building called Liftside, unit 56+A, enough room for 4 people. This is a great unit, everything worked and was clean. They gave us a welcome back gift of cheese from the gift shop. We bought crackers and some groceries from the store and it was a good snack.

On our first day, we ate lunch at Riga Bello's pizza. The best deal here is to buy an entire pizza for $20, it was good but when adding soup and drinks, it does get expensive. If you fly into Burlington, stop at Healthy Living and stock up on groceries. Our best meal was at El Zorro Mexican 2 miles down the street.

We rented our ski equipment from Triple Diamond (just outside the entrance) because it was going to cost $20 more a person per day to rent from the resort shop. That's a lot of money and I don't know why the resort shop charges so much more. Our equipment worked fine. However, if it's freezing cold, you may find our skis will not lock if you take them off. I took a break, couldn't get my skis back on, had to take them back to the room, and put them under a shower of hot water before they would work again. Be aware of that if it's freezing cold.

The slopes have enough for everyone, and the only bottle neck happens at the Madonna 1 lift in the morning. The improvements they can make is to upgrade to a high speed quad for each mountain. Once you ski out in the mid west, you get used to this speed. They could also install a new lift taking people from the bottom of the Madonna II lift to the top of the Village lift. Poling from Madonna back to the village is a PITA because that land is flat.

We got lucky and it snowed 13 inches while we were there, but on the last day it was freezing cold. They did groom the trails which was nice, but you'll need to layer up if it's cold, and the Madonna 1 lift could be on cold hold. Not a problem, there's plenty of trails if you take the Madonna 2 or Sterling lift to the top.

Everything about the resort is good, but I can see why most go to Stowe with the gondola, and their real competition is with the mid west resorts. Once you ski on mid west powder in SLC and ride those high speed quads or gondolas, you get spoiled by that. If they can install a gondola or covered lifts like they have at The Canyons, then people won't freeze going up the mountain. They're pushing for people to ride up in a snow cat. No, I don't want to ride a snow cat to the top one time for fresh tracks, I want to ride in a gondola all day and warm up.

In summary, there are ways to save money renting your ski equipment off site, and eating at the off site restaurants. The mountain is good if it has snowed (which covers the ice). This is a great place to bring kids to learn, because the lessons at the midwest resorts cost a lot more. The kid activities are good, so I would rate this place as #1 on the east coast for families. I'd give them 5 stars but the lifts could be upgraded to quads and they need to keep their prices in check at the rental shop and restaurants so people won't have to wander off property. Otherwise, everyone was very friendly and this is a great place to visit.

Room Tip: Liftside 56+A was a good room for 4 people.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank robvia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglersNotchResort, Public Relations Manager at Smugglers' Notch Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you for paying our three mountains a return visit. It's very nice to hear that you had a good stay and found your Liftside lodging to be comfortable and convenient. We appreciate your thoughtful reflection on so many aspects of your Smugglers' experience.

Regarding rental equipment, by renting on property you of course enjoy the convenience factor. Also, arrangements for multiple days of rentals do receive a discount.

Our heated cabin groomer ride that is new this year heads up the mountain for first tracks on Saturday mornings, but also offers evening summit tours for visitors who want to see the mountain in a new way. The rides have been quite popular.

Thank you for posting your review.

Karen Boushie
Smugglers' Notch Resort public relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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