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
- 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
This was the first time attending one of these classes and the first time at this Resort & Spa. I enjoyed everything! Drinks and food were readily available. I did book a room on our way there as the weather was terrible, but enjoyed my stay so much. Will definitely do again.
Great experience!! Place is lovely, we loved it. Our room was very clean nicely decorated well kept. We loved their restaurants as well as spa services. Everyone is very helpful and kind which made us feel welcome we will definitely visit again.
This was a first visit at The Essex and it was all around fabulous. The service and staff are exceptional, the rooms are comfortable, clean and quiet, the whole place is New England casual classy...very nice atmosphere for a resort and spa but everyone is casual.
The spa offers a large variety of wonderful treatments and the spa itself is gorgeous. Reservations for a treatment are highly recommended. There is also a salon which also has many offerings and is very nice. The indoor pool is beautiful, the locker rooms for the fitness area and the spa are spacious, clean and modern, and the fitness facility is well equipped even though it's small, still very nice. A note to guests at the Inn that you have to walk outside to get from your room to the spa/fitness facility. It's only a 20 second walk but still, it's an outside walk.
And dogs are invited to stay at The Essex which is great. The Essex bike path is a short walk from the main building so access for walking, running and biking is excellent.
There are two restaurants, both of which are highly rated. The Junction is more pricey with a terrific menu and the Tavern has a nice bar, a lot of seating, great food, large selection of drinks and beer and fast, friendly service. It has outside seating available in the warmer months.
The main lobby and front desk offers a bakery with tempting treats and a coffee bar. There is a nice sitting area in the main lobby as well as quiet, comfortable common sitting areas in each of the buildings.
Overall, wonderful place and definitely will go back.
We love this hotel. It's close to Burlington, ski areas and hiking. The service is excellent and the restaurants are farm to table with a fabulous menu. Our room was very clean and the staff are friendly.
Who expects the front desk to look like a bakery display! That is the perfect introduction to this resort and just keeps getting better as your stay continues. Our room was adorable with "spoon" art and what an amazing tub! :)