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Smugglers' Notch Resort
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Reviews (1,250)
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Reviewed April 2, 2007

We chose Smuggler's Notch because of the great reviews and heavy marketing that this is THE PLACE TO BE if you have young children and wish to ski. While our family did have a fun vacation, there were some some problems that will make us try something different next year.
Pros: 1) Treasures Day Care is a newer facility with nice play space both indoors and outdoors. They offer an intro to ski program for children that are interested, but not potty trained. Our son had fun all 3 days he was there. 2) Hearth & Candle restaurant - we had a fantastic meal there. 3) Northside aquatics center - great indoor pool and splash area for children (this was supposed to be for timeshare guests only but since we went at the end of the season, it was open to all guests)
Cons. 1) We stayed in a 1 bedroom at Liftside which was recommended as an ideal location if you have young kids. Our accommodations were "tired" with worn furniture and it was the kind of place that you always felt the need to have your shoes on. We learned that these older condiminiums are all individually owned so it is the luck of the draw as to what you will get. Some owners have renovated and keep their places in good order while others have really let the property wither. Unfortunately, our experience was the latter. 2) We visited as a lackluster ski season was winding down and most of the staff already had one foot out the door. From the check-in staff to our daughter's ski instructor, it seemed as if everyone was tired and ready to call it quits for the season. The ski mountain itself had stopped snowmaking capability even though the night-time temperatures would allow snowmaking. 3) Ski mountain needs some investment of modern lifts and more crossover trails to get from one side of the mountain to the other.

We have been to both Sunapee and Tremblant with small children and would rank Smuggs last based on what we spent and the experience we had.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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5  Thank Sudbury Mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2007

We've just got back from Smuggs - Smugglers Notch Resort staying for 6 days 11-16 Feb 2007. The resort is marketed at families and it's just perfect for children.

The package we went for included lift tickets, lessons/day care - 9.15-4.00 for our kids, free lessons for adult beginners, the apartment and a whole host of other kids activities. The instructors took such good care of the kids, let alone how their skiing improved. Our eldest who is 7 is now skiiing on the half pipe - she's not getting huge air however it just shows what can be done with great instructors. It was the first real time for our 4 year old and she's now fine at European Greens and easy Blues. Skiing lessons for the kids finish at 2.15 followed up by shows/films/entertainment/games until 4.00 pickup.

We had good snow for the first 3 days then it dumped nearly 3ft of snow in 24hours. It was a freak event however it made a stunning holiday perfect. Almost every trail was open so 2 days later, you could still find fresh snow and lines.

This is the second time we've visited Smuggs - it has to be worth considering (vs the Alps) for UK visitors as our half term often missed the US's Presidents Week break. In 2007 and 2005, our half term was the week before Presidents week (therefore the cost was almost half).

We found cheap flights with Continental back in August and so the whole holiday for 4 came in at around £2200 (including flights, food, transport, the apartment, nights out etc).

In 2006, our half term clashed with Presidents week and we spent nearly as much in the Alps. However, we got the huge lift lines, crowded slopes, patchy snow and high prices.

In short, Smuggs is the answer.

6  Thank Owins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2006

I cannot say enough good things about this resort! We had our first stay at the end of January 2006 and it was PERFECT! We chose to stay close to the village center since we have small kids, hearing this the reservationist placed us in "Mountainview" 1 bedroom, quite large ground floor unit right next to the "Hearth & Candle" restaurant. It was older, and nothing spectacular, but clean, fully stocked, even with a few board games for the kids. It had a fireplace tv/dvd, and washer/dryer, which is extremely important for a ski vacation, I cannot stress this enough. Make sure you request a washer/dryer. The unit faced the parking lot which we actually liked because we walked right out our sliding glass doors to the heart of the resort and we had no problem running back to our condo after dropping the kids off at "treasures" daycare for the 1yr old, and all day ski camp for our 3 year old (who was skiing day one!!!! she was on the lift by day 2!!! It was quite incredible!). Treasures was great, very clean and well organized. Discovery Dynamos was awesome for our 3 year old, the 2 instructors were a BIG hit with her. You MUST reserve daycare/camp prior to your arrival, you can always cancel, but you'll never get into the daycare w/out having made prior arrangements. I saw a couple get turned away and because of that, I'm sure they had a very different vacation experience than we did. Now if you want a newer condo, then request one, it will be father away from the village center, but be confident that the resort has an excellent on-demand shuttle system. The skiing is wonderful, slow lifts yes, old lifts yes, but my friends there are NO LIFT LINES!!! You cannot beat it. The old lifts are not a product of neglect, it is due to the steep terrain, to add a gondola lift to this mountain would be near impossible. The skiing/snowboarding was challenging to say the least, I think their blue trails would easily be black diamonds at any ny/nj/pa resort. Although, casual/beginner skiers can find plenty of trails to enjoy, and the cross country skiing is supposed to be impressive. The weather for us turned out beautifully, there was fresh snow each and every day, it was wonderful standing out on the porch, morning coffee in hand knowing we'd be skiing on fresh powder that day. Being from NJ, I'm used to long lift lines and plenty of icy conditions. The food at the resort was great, no problems, we never made it to Hearth & Candle but we hear it's great. We brought dry goods from home, and just bought the essentials from the convenience store on-site (eggs/bacon/milk, ect...local beer is available also) the store sells pretty much anything you need. Now on to the kids programs. I am a planner...so I painstakingly planned out each days activities, we actually only made it to the pool once because there was sooooo much to do with the kids. Once you pick them up around 4pm you are loaded with options till the evening. There are nitetime babysitters which we didn't use, but it's an option. Shows, theme nights, fireworks every week, sledding, tubing, skating, airboards, ect... I can't think of another place so perfect for a family with young kids. While the kids were at camp we were able to actually enjoy some alone time! skiing, dining, getting a massage...whatever...it was just wonderful, and the family times could not be beat thanks to the family activities the resort offers. Also, they must treat their employees well because they were all extremely nice and seemed happy & content, unusual for your average resort. We did take the timeshare tour, very low pressure and we did buy a week in the newly constructed "tamaracks" unit that have their own awesome indoor aquatic center and gym with a great wading pool area for the kids with cool water features of course hot tub/pool. It will be a shuttle ride to the village center but now that I'm an old pro at "Smuggs" I don't mind and I'll enjoy the new construction with it's own heated ski lockers-hehehe. All in all, we treasured our Smuggs vacation, and made memories that stayed with us all year. We'll be back up in a few weeks and we can't wait.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8  Thank hleiter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2006

Just got back from our Vermont trip where we stayed at this resort. It sure is a family friendly resort and is huge. We stayed at the newer units, the Tamaracks unit 12, and had a 1 bedroom premium unit which was just perfect for our party of 4. The unit was very clean, well furnished, had a huge bathroom with double sinks and a small jacuzzi. The one bedroom had a king bed and a twin pull out. There's also a queen sofa bed in the living room.
The unit had a washer & dryer right in the spacious bathroom.
We also had a fireplace and balcony. Definitely no complaints about our unit.
Note that they only provide soap but not shampoo,conditioner or lotion so make sure you bring these.
There's also no coffee packs (yes there is a coffee maker), sugar, salt & pepper in the kitchen, so you just need to come with some supplies. There is a general store close to the resort but it's a bit pricey. There's a restaurant called Stella Notte right across the resort entrance and food was good.
The area is beautiful so just go.
While in Vermont make sure to check out Shelburne farm, once owned by the Vanderbilts. Also try dining at Cafe Shelburne. The food was amazing and i have to say they had the best creme brulee i've ever tasted. Average dinner cost would be about $50/person so it's not cheap. We'd definitely go back to Vermont & stay at Smuggler's Notch once again.

Stayed: October 2006
11  Thank chekat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2006

First a disclaimer: We only stayed here one night! We wanted to go on the Columbus day weekend to see the Vermont fall colors around the Stowe area. Due to the short notice, all of the B&Bs and nice hotels in the area were fully booked. I considered myself lucky to find an efficiency available at Smuggler's Notch Resort. We paid $150, which seemed OK in view of the season. When we arrived we were greeted by friendly front-desk staff. My reservation was duplicated (probably because I called once but didn't have my credit card info, then called again later). That was resolved without problems and we proceeded to the room. The hallway in front of the room was dark and no light switches visible, so we had to fumble for the door lock. The room was simply decorated and clean. There was a small kitchen with utensils, etc. in the room and a TV. The bathroom was also simple and clean. The only shortcoming of the place was that when we went to bed, we could clearly hear the neighbor coming into his apartment, talk on the phone and eventually perform his bathroom routine. The walls just seem paper thin.Since we only stayed one night, we didn't use any of the facilities.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
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2  Thank GSuperV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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