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 While rooms swapped their outdated pine furniture for contemporary pieces by New York-based designer Geoffrey Bradfield, the property retains its quaint soul thanks to uniformed bellhops and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
My daughter has food allergies and the restaurants here made her feel like a queen. They brought out homemade ice cream and a nut and peanut free bread basket which are both a rare occasion for her! The chef came to our table and told us there was nothing to worry about. The amenities were very nice and we enjoyed the indoor pool! Excellent Location and beautiful town, we had a lovely stay! It was hard to find the restaurant and yes it is old but that is all part of the charm. If you are looking for a modern hotel I wouldn’t recommend. For anyone seeking an enjoyable getaway to see Vermont and you enjoy older types of hotels with great family amenities, this is for you! The staff is completely trained to accommodate people with dietary restrictions! Best food my daughter has ever had! The local town has much to do, including a mansion (Lincoln’s Summer Home) with a museum and farm for the little ones. Love this trip and we are heading back soon!
The Equinox was first opened in Revolutionary Times. It still looks great from the outside but the inside is another story...even though they apparently re -painted the public space.
The hotel was empty, but we were given a room that slanted so much that when lying in bed, my toes were 3 inches above my head. The room made us dizzy so for the first time ever, we asked to be changed. Now, the hotel was empty, we were unhappy guests and they gave us a room so small, that only one person could fit in the bathroom at a time.It didn't even have a closet but a armoire that was filled with a shelf and ironing board so you couldn't hang anything!
Service was miserable. Whether calling the operator...30+ rings,luke warm water to shave coming from bathroom sink faucet, waiting on car to be delivered, front desk who couldn't find our Marriott's reward account, grumpy waitresses in the breakfast room and iffy food...order your eggs well done is my tip.
The cost of the hotel was around $300.00 per night plus a $39.00 per night resort fee...for what(?) it was winter. Next time we will go B&B or try the taconic Inn which opened 3 years ago and we had a great meal in their Copper Grouse Restaurant.
We asked for a front room overlooking Main Street. Has a large porch. The staff did respond and took care of all our needs. Anniversery was mentioned and they provided a nice gift of wine and sweets. A must try!
I want to start by saying I love the Equinox. I want it to be as great as it was before the often discussed management changes over the past couple of years. Everything I raise or suggest is done in hopes to help guide from a longstanding guest’s perspective for the betterment of a place I love to visit 3 - 4 times per year.
Aside from what I feel was a poorly designed modernization of the hotel in 2017 and 2018 (thankfully some adjustments to harsh lighting and ornamentation have been refined), the primary issue that exists is staffing along with functions of staffing. There exists a group of long-term employees whose service is impeccable. I include all levels here - housekeepers, spa staff, and food servers. To name a few, servers Mary Beth, John B, Ray, Chris, spa Alex, Joan, Susie, and others whom I am sad I do not know the names of for this writing. If you are fortunate enough to have them assist you throughout your stay, your time at the Equinox will be great.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a new group of staff that are at best indifferent. I exclude from this bell staff, especially Storm, who are reminiscent of the old guard in enthusiasm. My suggestion here is to have a mentoring program where those who have been there 5+ years show the newbies what real service is for guests. Secondly, conduct focus groups with those who were there when the service was exceptional, so they can share their opinions (safely) on how to return to the 5-star rating. I am sure they know and care enough to share.
So what were the plus’s and minuses? The plus’s are numerous.
Wonderful massage artists
Delightful room (but I only book a Premium) the others are small and oddly arranged
Gift shop service
Comfortable bed and big tv
Windows that open
New in-room buttons for privacy and cleaning - very nice
1. Most new staff do not understand what great service means. They are indifferent and border on rude. There are some exceptions.
2. Putting various guest groups together. People with dogs should be clumped together. I think the same is true for those staying with toddlers and infants. Also true for couples. Why put people with infants next to a senior couple? Why put guests with dogs next to those without dogs? You have this information, use it. You will receive fewer complaints.
3. Confusion: there is a lot of confusion regarding responsibility (“corporate vs. the property”). I booked directly with the property and breakfast was part of the room cost. I asked at the desk upon checkin about getting the breakfast coupon I was used to receiving. I was told that now it was just done by the room number. However, at breakfast, I was asked for my coupon. I have run into this before and always carry a printed copy of the “deal” I received.
4. No room refrigerator, coffee maker, newspaper delivery, or microwave.
5. Short-staffed: The Colonnade room is absurdly understaffed. On a Sunday that was not overly busy we waited about 20 minutes to be seated. It seemed the person seating us was changing linens on several tables. Poor prioritizing. Seat people, then change linens for vacant tables. The $30 pp brunch was not sufficiently refreshed. Thank heavens they kept the Cider Donuts coming!
6. Evidence of short-staffing: the fireplace in the main Library area was out as often as lit. There was no wood to fuel it and nobody to do it. Many times with no Concierge or Front Desk.
Whoever the current manager is at the hotel, please value the “old guard” and let them assist you in returning this fine hotel to its 5-star status of several years ago. I, as a loyal guest, want nothing more than for the hotel to thrive. Do the things that the term “luxury hotel” encompasses. Please!
We come to the Equinox every year in the winter. Classic, yet up to date. Several nice fireplaces going. Updated rooms with very comfortable beds. Sometimes a bit noisy with kids in the hall type noise, but its a family place and its Presidents Week.... Two nice restaurants on premises, the Marsh Tavern which is open from lunch throughout the day; and the more upscale Chop House which is excellent for dinner. Indoor pool and exercise facility. Excellent fresh cider donuts at 9am in the morning in the little shop. Nice tavern, the Falcon Bar for drinks with an entertainer on Friday and Saturday nights. Anchors Mahcnester Village, and close to the Orvis Flagship store and outlet, the outlet shops in Manchester proper, and a lot of other nice dining options, plus the nearby skiing. An excellent place for a classic Vermont winter weekend. Excellent concierge staff as well, like Richard Hom, who always takes great care of us. They also offer a nice shuttle service to the restaurants in town until 10:30pm, which really works well.