The Essex is an all-in-one resort; everything you’ll need during the trip is on-site
Hands-on culinary classes at the Cook Academy
The 22,000-square-foot spa with a top-notch fitness center and indoor/outdoor pools
What To Know
The $20 (plus six percent tax) per room, per night, resort fee includes seasonal activities
The outdoor pool is open from about mid-May until Labor Day; Tennis Camp runs from the end of June through the end of August
Register for cooking classes at least two days in advance
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
New England escape with a cooking school and two farm-to-table restaurants in Vermont’s Green Mountains
Against a mountainscape of maples, the Essex is a snapshot of quintessential New England. Driving up to the porte cochere past lawns swinging hammocks, it’s obvious that the resort has the down-home comforts of a country inn — and a beautiful Colonial one at that.
Bed & Bath
The airy rooms have a rural New England look, with brightly colored walls, maple armoires and patchwork quilts. Recent renovations added some extra home comforts, including 300-thread-count linens, flat-screen televisions and iHome players. Traditional Rooms are a spacious 375 square feet, though those with a fireplace are worth the upgrade for romantic winter evenings.
It’s the resort’s expertly prepared meals and smart culinary classes that really set it apart. The resort built its reputation on the Cook Academy, a destination in itself. Offering a rotating roster of various courses, the school has students chop, braise and sear up a storm. Meanwhile, the Tavern has lovely patio seating along the property's herb and vegetable gardens and Junction restaurant serves classic dishes made with locally grown ingredients prepared in an open kitchen. The sparkling spa is a timber and granite sanctuary for rejuvenation, with treatments like a mineral and orange blossom body scrub.
In the Area
The Essex packs a raft of activities onto 18 acres: cycling paths, flower gardens, a championship golf course, a fly-fishing pond, an outdoor adventure center (rope courses, climbing walls). The Essex also partners with hot air balloon operator, Above Reality, to offer guests hourlong rides departing 50 yards from the resort’s front door. Or venture off-property and visit the 30-plus producers along the Vermont Cheese Trail and the Shelburne Museum for its collection of folk art, circus figures, weathervanes and wild fowl decoys in 20 quirky, historic structures.