The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa
What We Love
- 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
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
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.
How to Get There
We stayed at this hotel on our vacation. It was an excellent choice as they had wonderful restaurants, spacious amenities, A spa, and very nice rooms. The wait staff in the restaurant was spectacular. One night we left a map while having drinks, and the waiter found our room and returned the map. You don’t find that everywhere! we found the room spacious, and very quiet. We opted for a suite with a fireplace and Jet tub overlooking the pool on the second floor. We found the location to be ideal as we toured the area. While we enjoyed the quiet nature of the grounds, you are very close to everything. They have a garden where they grow herbs and vegetables, and don’t forget to check out the goats and the chickens in the back. There is something for everyone here. Thanks to the entire staff that made our stay great. We will definitely return!
Very pleasant lunch with friends. We sat outside as our friends had their dogs with them. Outside dining is in a screened area, well ventilated and shaded from the sun. Large portions are served so my wife and I split a pulled pork sandwich and a small green salad with a glass of pinot grigio each. Restrooms are downstairs and you must go in the restaurant bar area and make your way to the front entrance to find the stairs going down to the restrooms. Handicap and diaper changing restroom is just by these stairs before you go down.
We had such a good time at the Essex Resort. Our room was gigantic and beautifully appointed. The gas stove was lovely. Our time there was so restful.
The food at the resort is first rate and we enjoyed a cooking class. The instructor, Christina, is enthusiastic and really good with people.
We loved sitting by the fire pit and roasting marshmallows.
The only "negative" was that, as some others have pointed out, the showers were sometimes luke warm.
We'd love to come back sometime.