by Kimberly Liu
Situated on 18 acres between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, the AAA Four Diamond Essex Resort & Spa is almost guaranteed to offer something of interest to everyone in your family. In summer, kids keep busy day and night with fun outdoor activities on property or nearby such as swimming, biking, horseback riding, tennis and boating. In winter, activities on property include snow shoeing and sleigh rides. Indoors, enjoy a pool, a full-service spa and fitness center, cooking lessons at onsite Cook Academy, and dining at two award-wining restaurants: Amuse and Tavern, offering seasonal menus using fresh and local ingredients.
Kids will also enjoy Camp Cook, a cooking class for chefs ages 10 and up, offering two-hour classes and all-day and week-long programs where kids learn cooking skills, swim, garden and visit the farm zoo. At the Essex, you’ll be just minutes from additional cultural attractions in Burlington, Vt., and a short drive to excellent skiing.
All 120 guestrooms and suites include a flat-screen TV, new 300-thread count linens, an i-Home audio system and high-speed Internet access. Select suites feature a sitting area with extras like a fireplace, whirlpool, gas stove or kitchenette. When making your reservation, be sure to check for available all-inclusive packages.
Our Editor Loves
- Tons of onsite and nearby activities for families
- Spacious one- and two-bedroom suites with fireplaces and kitchenettes
- Camp Cook, a kids' cooking experience
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
by Robert L
How could you go wrong in a beautiful spot surrounded by people preparing good food? The rooms are large and well-furnished. The grounds are beautiful and great for walking. It was fun to visit the goats and chickens. The garden also is a prime attraction. Spa service for those who want it is a fine perk. A bakery at check-in is brilliant. The fact that this place doubles as a hospitality training center makes it all the more appealing. On one day of our three-day stay, it seemed that wedding customers received priority over inn guests. More could be done to accommodate disabled guests. Our party rented three room -- one was a huge hit, one was perfectly fine and the third, in the main building, was a disappointment.
The culinary theme throughout the room was cute. Our room, with two queen beds, was a nice size. Bathroom amenities were good, Keurig much appreciated.
Ate breakfast in the restaurant our first morning. Eggs benedict yolks were cooked hard (as in, hard-boiled hard), companion received ham instead of bacon, coffee was watery. We survived but found it odd for a place that calls themselves a "culinary resort." Chose to drive into Burlington to eat at Skinny Pancake the next two days.
Our second night was pure hell. Our room overlooked a party room where we were treated to music and drunk people yelling all evening. When they all returned to their rooms hours later, lo and behold, it turns out they were all staying on our floor including the room that connected with ours. Imagine incessant beep beep beeping of room doors being opened and then slammed, women yelling in the hallways, people running up and down the hall, knowing that your alarm is set to ring early. There was zero soundproofing and I cannot for the life of me understand how or why they would block this room for us knowing we were not part of this party. I would have absolutely sacrificed room type and taken one king far away from the obnoxious action, or I would have appreciated advance notice so that we could have stayed elsewhere. We came for a relaxing weekend in Vermont and came away bleary eyed.
PS: also bizarre that the poor front desk agents double as baristas so you have to wait for them to make americanos and package muffins before you can check out.