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Reviewed 6 January 2018

We recently spent several days here to celebrate First Night in Burlington and to get some skiing in with our 3 kids. When we drove up - you do notice that is an attractive the hotel but- it is not nestled in some cute area tucked away in a small VT town. it is off the highway stones throw from a bunch of outlet stores. I thought we could get past that but as soon as we finished registration-I also got a chance to see the sub-par service they offered as well. Here were some more tidbits:

-No bell personnel - okay no worries - I can get that but hey no luggage carts in a ski area?
- Stuck up Hostess- We tried to get into the tap room( their less formal dining area - Remember we are staying several nights - we waited over 1 hour and a half and then got passed over by another local group that came in. The waitress felt bad seeing us sit there so she recommended another place for us to go eat - in the strip mall nearby.
.
-Second night after a night in Burlington- we tried again with a reservation We ran into the same issue - so we tried ordering from our room- only to be told we - the menu had changed so all the things we wanted to order were no longer available.

-Next morning - we woke up and the kids wanted to get some hot chocolate they had the night before. We were told they were not brewing anymore and just walked away.

- Food Not that great for a Culinary location. We live in NYC so are a bit spoiled on eating great meals - but the food we did eventually ear from the tap room - via room service was just okay.

So if you have kids or even a couple looking to get away - you can do so much better in VT in other locations - Why bother with the pretense and the cost.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank kenpouliot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taylor V, Social Media Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2018

Thank you for providing us with feedback on your visit. Our team has reviewed all your comments and we extend our sincerest apologies that our hotel services and dining experience did not meet your expectations during your visit. We’d like to learn more about your stay and how we can serve you better next time, if you wouldn’t mind getting in touch with Nic Barger, our General Manager at (802) 764-1410.

Best wishes,
The Essex Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2018 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at The Essex for 2 nights just after Christmas hoping for a little Vermont winter getaway. We had heard great things about the resort and I found a good deal. We splurged a little extra for a king room with fireplace.

The resort is spread out between a few buildings. We stayed in the main building which is also where the tavern and also the fine dining restaurant is located.

After checking in we were starving and decided to eat at the tavern to grab a quick bite. Well it was anything but quick. It was just after 1pm and it didn’t appear to be too busy but staff had trouble accommodating other parties ahead of us, while we headed to the bar. Again, we thought we’d have a quick lunch. There was all but 2 people working and they were not pleasant. Service was totally lacking and we waited over 45 minutes for our food. That said, we decided to not dine at the resort for the rest of our stay, and that is the only reason for giving this 4 stars instead of 5. Other than that, we actually loved the resort and stay at The Essex.

Our room was clean, spacious and comfortable and it was exactly what we were looking for. It’s a 20 min drive to Burlington and about 30 mins to the ben and Jerry’s Factory.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank nicole z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2018

We stayed at the resort for a week while visiting family. We've stayed here prior and thought the larger rooms would be nice for the long stay. That was in fact the case in the mansion, although there were not enough drawers or hangers for us to put away our clothes. Since our last stay, they made upgrades to the furniture and bathrooms (but didn't repair the trim in the bathroom which is rotted, so not the best craftsmanship). Pro tip: If you have a hotel in ski country, you should have many hooks to hang wet gear; this hotel didn't.
When the four of us checked in, they made four keys for us, yet our room only had towels for 2 of us. The next afternoon, after returning from a full day of skiing and tired, I called to requested 2 more towels. After an hour and no towels, I sent my son to request towels again. They said they didn't have record of the request and will get to it. After another half hour, I marched into an "employee only" area to request towels, where a nice lady made a call and a few minutes later the towels arrived. I also went to the front desk to tell them their request was never filled. The next day, after they made up our room, they only left towels for two again. I then revisted the front desk who told me they had only one person listed as staying the room (after they made 4 keys?) and they will send more towels and update the system. These towels came quickly. The next morning the housekeeper apologized repeatedly as she didn't know how many people were staying there. Later that week, the housekeeper didn't vacuum our room's floor that clearly needed to be cleaned.
Since we were there with family, it was nice to have some public gathering spaces with couches to meet, play games and eat pizza.
We did use the gym, pool & outdoor hot tub (when open, as it was too cold a few days to use). The gym isn't that well attended to - during my first visit, I told the spa clerk there were a few things that needed to be fixed (inflate the exercise ball, replace the battery on the scale and they were out of towels). The next day, there were towels, but other issues weren't addressed. The gym itself is adequate to get a full workout. The pool is nice & when I used the outdoor hot tub, it was relaxing. Thought the massages were a bit pricey, so didn't use that service. Worth noting that the spa/gym/pool is a separate building where you need to walk outside to get to which makes for a shock to your body when the temperature is -14 outside.
We ate at the tavern a few times. For breakfast, they were clearly understaffed. They had a long wait (30 minutes) and then our waitress was in the weeds trying to serve so many tables. Dinner service was fine.
Beware that they have coffee/tea service in the lobby, but it ends at 9:30 AM, so if you want anything after that time, you have to get it in the tavern (and wait 30 minutes). Most hotels keep coffee service until about 3 pm, so not sure why they don't.
This resort looks very picturesque on the outside, but during our visit, I found it woefully decorated for the holidays - just a few swags of greenery. If upper management is seeing this review, I would tell them to "think bigger." You have a mountain of potential with this hotel. Decorate the trees that line your drive so you are the talk of the town and a "go to" place for the holidays. They should have an ice rink or something to play off the New England architecture for the winter months since there is plenty of space for it. They have lots to do in the summer outside, but not so much in the winter besides the cooking and spa services. I will applaud them on offering a couple of activities for kids each day like cupcake decorating or snowflake making. Seems the management doesn't care about the details here. Maybe they focus too much on the culinary school/classes, but it shows. The lack of attention to details is holding this hotel back from being great.
I visit this part of Vermont once or twice a year and I'm not sure I would stay here again.

Room Tip: Corner rooms seem larger.
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank seano21401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taylor V, Social Media Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2018

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, seano21401. We are sorry that we did not meet your expectations during your stay. Our team is looking into how we could better serve our skier guests and making sure every room has enough towels for the guests staying there. We appreciate your feedback on how we could better decorate, take advantage of our natural surroundings and offer more activities during the winter. Our General Manager, Nic Barger would be happy to discuss your trip and ideas further with you, if you wouldn't mind getting in touch with him at (802) 764-1410.

Best wishes,
The Essex Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2018 via mobile

A very attractive hotel that's conveniently located to visit many local attractions such as Burlington and Stowe within about 45 mins drive. There isn't a vast amount in the immediate vicinity but not a problem with a car.
Rooms are lovely, the pool and spa are great. The staff were generally excellent too.
My only gripe is about The Tavern. All of our group of 4 agreed that it's way too small for a 120 room hotel that doesn't have anything around it. There are only 6 or so tables for four people and 5 or 6 "high tops" for two. During our stay that meant waits of up to an hour. Once you get a seat the food is great, but it gets really tiresome having to queue most mornings and evenings.... One evening we had to accept take out because there was also an hour wait for room service. The only alternative is JCT for fine dining but that is twice the price so not an everyday option. As a resident of a hotel I just expect to be able to eat and lounge without a long wait regardless of the time of year. I haven't experienced this elsewhere so I don't find it acceptable here.....and the fact that we couldn't makes this a three star review for an otherwise very nice hotel.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank CharliesMum011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taylor V, Social Media Manager at The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2018

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are sorry that we did not meet your expectations. Our team appreciates your feedback about The Tavern and we're taking all of your comments into consideration to see if we can improve our current systems to satisfy all guests who stay here. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to The Essex.

Best wishes,
The Essex Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2018

The Essex is comfortable, friendly, and a great place to relax. Spa services were top notch - we both had massages and facials. The food was amazing, and the cooking class we took was a lot of fun! (Not to mention we learned a lot!) The best part was how welcome our little dog was. She was able to join us in the relaxation room at the spa (curled up in my lap in front of the fire), and the front desk folks always had a treat for her and remembered her name. They were even willing to dog sit while we took our cooking class! Highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Jlong1220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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