The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont
What We Love
- The prime location in the heart of Manchester Village, the area’s lively shopping and dining district
- Its illustrious past: the hotel has hosted four American Presidents
- The Falcon Bar, where the menu includes high-end chocolate and local cheeses
- Over 60 beer varieties (many from Vermont breweries) at the onsite tavern
What To Know
- Despite their 18th-century bones, rooms contain 42-inch flat-screen televisions
- The hotel offers complimentary valet parking
- A room at the Charles Orvis Inn, with its own hot tub and porch, is the one to book
- Treatments like the Maple Scrub and the Mountain Man Facial at the spa were inspired by the natural surroundings
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
The 195 accommodations at this 200-year-old complex (spread out among a main building, a clutch of townhouses, and a restored inn distinguished by its iconic Doric pillar façade) underwent a $20 million overhaul in 2008. While rooms swapped their outdated pine furniture for contemporary pieces by New York-based designer Geoffrey Bradfield, the property retains its quaint soul thanks to uniformed bellhops and homey details like rocking chairs that line its front porch. One of the original taverns, rumored to be a watering hole and strategizing spot for revolutionaries during the Civil War, also remains. The neighboring 1,000-acre wilderness preserve is a pretty natural playground where city slickers can participate in a long list of rugged pursuits, like a crash course (no pun intended) on off-roading aboard one of the property’s Land Rovers or Hummers or trout fishing on the Battenkill River, while colder months offer snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The nights here, which might involve a board game session besides a crackling stone fireplace, are delightfully low-key.
In the Area
The resort, a leisurely four-hour drive from New York City, is ideal for a New England road trip. Manchester’s burgeoning artisanal scene—think plenty of farm-to-table fare in quirky settings, like a former dairy barn—and local craft emporiums are attempting to hold their own against the high-end factory outlets sprouting up on Main Street. get a true taste of the region’s timeless pastoral charms in the nearby Green Mountains, ideal for avid hikers and bikers and equally gorgeous whether it’s covered in a blanket of snow or maple leaves.
How to Get There
Let me say that we have always loved the Equinox until our last stay, but I am afraid we will never stay here again! The reason for this is that we paid in advance for our two-night stay from June 27 to June 29, 2019, using hotels.com, yet when we received the billing for incidentals, such as restaurant meals and resort fees, via email I found that we were double-charged for our accommodations. This can be no simple error on the part of the Equinox, as on the folio itself, it clearly was annotated that this was an ADVANCE PURCHASE against the daily hotel rate charged.
When I called the registration desk to get this corrected the next day and over the course of several months, I was shunted from department to department, but not once was there a person to answer my calls—I left messages on both the Accounts Manager's VoiceMail and the General Manager's VoiceMail, but not once did I get a call back!
On Thursday, August 16, 2019, since I was back in Manchester, VT, for the Dorset Festival Theater, I decided to stop by the Equinox to find out why we had not received a reimbursement. At the registration desk, I asked to see the General Manager, and a woman on duty there said that she was the manager and how could she help? I explained the double-billing, and after a lengthy checking of their records online, as well as the records of hotels.com, she admitted that I was correct and that she would issue a credit immediately. However, there was no apology—so much for guest relations!
We waited patiently for that refund, but by mid-September 2019 when there was still no sign of a credit issued on our Bank of America Visa card, I had no choice but to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and to Marriott BonVoy. It pained me to do so, as I have been a loyal fan of the Equinox for more than 40 years, either staying there or dining at the Marsh Tavern.
Update: On October 5, 2019, at long last, we were sent a revised folio from the Equinox and received a reimbursement for the double-billing for our stay back in June of 2019—so much for the General Manager stating that we would see a credit within 3-5 days on August 16, 2019. But, even then, we were short-changed by $7.80. Bank of America, however, notified us that they would make up the difference, because of the long delay in reimbursement to our credit card—they were also anxious to close the dispute after all these months!
Adding insult to injury, I might add that the Equinox Accounts Department could not even get our address correct on the revised folio. This time they gave us someone else’s address in Oregon, instead of our New Hampshire address. The incompetence of the current Accounts Department is unbelievable!
The Equinox never did respond to our complaint with the Better Business Bureau, neither did Marriott BonVoy.
Just returned today from a 3cday weekend. Manchester is quaint and the Northshire bookstore is a must for all.
We were greeted very nicely by the valet-promising start. But, sadly, that's almost the best. The hallways and common areas were absolutely freezing. No security. All the exit doors were never locked and many didnt close all the way *lending to the cold). Dogs yapping in the room at night and you can hear absolutely everything going on in the hallway.
In 3 days we had to have our door keys redone at least 20 times (2-3x/day). Twice asked the concierge for help with issues with the room. Never saw anyone. we had to ask for toilet paper (after the room had been cleaned).
Dinner and lunch in the tavern was expensive and disappointing (we had to return 1 meal - after pushing the waitress as she didnt see anything wrong with all the fat on the steak).
Spa was nice. pool was a bit cold and difficult getting into hot tub without families and all their kids.
The lobbies were beautiful but so cold you didnt want to stay for long. The concierge held the door open at least 5 minutes for a group he was talking too but noone actually went out the door.
On checkout (after I asked concierge to let me in my room again, I asked about having valet come to our room. he said "just call when you are ready they will be here." 20 minutes later I call and they tell me 20 minutes. So, if he had done what I asked initially, then we would have been out. instead we brought our own luggage to the car (we could see multiple people getting frustrated). The place was booked solid all weekend and sorely understaffed.
I wanted to love it but I can say I doubt I will ever return.
Beautiful views though
A little over a year ago, the Equinox became a Marriott property. Some superficial touching up was performed but, other than the lobby, everything appears much the same. Sad to say, the furniture in the lobby now would be more suitable in a youth hostel. Yes, prices have dropped but so has the service and the feel of welcoming warmth. The spa looks the same but the small extras have disappeared.