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 While rooms swapped their outdated pine furniture for contemporary pieces by New York-based designer Geoffrey Bradfield, the property retains its quaint soul thanks to uniformed bellhops and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
I love this property. It is quaint, nicely located and staff is very nice. That being said it does have some things it needs to improve on. Housekeeping is uneven as they don't seem to believe in replenishing shampoo and soap. You need to be careful with the room you select. The first room I was assigned you could roll a ball from one end to the other without much effort, other rooms did not have desks for working-but because this is an old hotel you have to allow for the uneven floors. Every room should have a table if they are encouraging conferences to book.
Breakfast very good and again the staff is wonderful. Spa is amazing and worth a visit. So overall this is still the best place to stay in Manchester.
My buddy and I went to the spa facility. We were taken into the facility right on time. The spa is very clean and has all the amenities you can ask for. There is a locker room for changing, showers, both a sauna and a steam room. The message was a stone type which was very good and relaxing. The facility had a beautiful indoor pool as well. Highly recommended.
We stayed at the Equinox in 2010 when it was a Starwood Luxury Collection-managed property. While the hotel at that time was pretty good ... it has slipped. It now still has the Luxury Collection affiliation but it is not managed by Starwood/Marriott anymore. While this is a historic property which means old and creaky that is not what bothered me. The problem was the cleanliness of the hotel. Our room on the third floor was probably one of the dirtiest rooms I've ever stayed in regardless of class of hotel. Housekeeping was sporadic in the NINE days we stayed there and even when they did show up all they did was make the bed, empty the trash, replace the towels and wipe down the sink. The mirror in the room had dust on it. The floor in the bathroom was never cleaned as the hair that would fall on it stayed there the entire time. I actually used the blow dryer to collect the hair and tossed it out myself. The little paper glass coasters that they place under the drinking glasses were never changed and were wet all week. I would never drink from those glasses. The bathroom mirror was never wiped down. The showerhead had a white film on it. It was just disgusting. Throughout our stay we would see small pieces of garbage on the hallway carpets that were never cleaned. I never heard a vacuum cleaner the entire time we were there.The wooden steps that lead down to the lobby were never cleaned, you could see the dust on them. While we were there we saw designers adding decorative items on the shelves and I joked to my husband "Who is going to dust those as they can't even keep what they already have dust free?" I believe the problem is that they are short staffed on Housekeeping. In addition, the mattresses in our room were lumpy and you had to sleep at the very edge of themso you would not fall into the indentation in the middle.
The Marsh Tavern restaurant had very good hotel food and service. The breakfast buffet was hit or miss, but the gentleman with a large mustache who made the wafffles/egg omletes on the weekend was very good.
Overall, this is nowhere near a Luxury Hotel Collection property. I think Marriott should give it up. We stayed the week as we got a good rate, but I would not recommend the Equinox. They have a lot of competition in the area, so they need to step it up.
I have very high standards for rooms and upkeep, so I’m often leery of historic hotels. But the rooms are nice and the public spaces very well done.
However, service was well below the level that I have received and expect of luxury collection hotels.
Twice, the valet just told us the keys are in the car and gestured. When we were departing, the same. No offer to help us out the luggage in the car, even though it was right in front of him.
The breakfast wait staff seemed to have no clue what to do. My wife wanted hot milk for her coffee. The waitress comes back and says “sorry, we can’t do hot milk. The frothed is broken.” There is no other way to do hot milk? Really? Put it on the stove for a few minutes. Put it in the microwave. The guy behind the omelette station was good though.
The most annoying thing — and one that left a bitter taste in my mouth — was the “S’more Nights.” It sounded like an interesting experience.
Instead, we got a plastic clamshell with 4 graham crackers, four marshmallows and two strips of Hershey’s chocolate for $11. That was it. (Never mind that the sign said for 3; we verified with the server that it was for 2.)
I don’t mind paying more for experiences. But if I remember one thing about the Equinox, it will be this déclassé product.
Coming to the beautiful Equinox has become our yearly July 4th tradition. From the moment we arrive, the valet staff are extremely helpful and everyone is very welcoming and professional. The new renovations are refreshing and the grounds and amenities on the property are immaculate. Very kid friendly and will continue coming back!