The Essex Resort & Spa

A New England getaway with flavor
The Essex Resort & Spa lures you in with its lovely location (it’s close to the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain) and its coziness factor (suites come with a sitting area in front of a fireplace). The Essex Resort & Spa is a Vermont getaway sitting on 18 acres of land — between the Green Mountains to the east and Lake Champlain to the west — but gorgeous scenery is not the only draw of the Forbes Travel Guide recommended resort.

Foodies have an extra incentive to visit the resort: Onsite restaurant Amuse uses produce plucked from its own garden, and The Tavern specializes in dry-aged local beef and Vermont microbrews. The Burlington hotel offers a cooking school where you’ll dig into local ingredients alongside world-class chefs. When you want a break from the kitchen, visit the full-service spa, where you can warm up in front of the fire in the lounge.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, The Essex Resort & Spa’s location is perfect year-round. With its stunning scenery and location just 15 minutes away from downtown Burlington, there is so much to see and do here.
  • Rent a bike from the hotel to get in a scenic bike ride around the area. Each Saturday night, head out back for a campfire and make some s’mores. There are tennis courts on the property, as well as an outdoor and indoor pool, and if you’re interested, the hotel can also organize a hot air balloon ride, golfing and more.
  • Head to the Forbes Travel Guide recommended hotel’s spa for a day of pampering and get a massage, facial or wrap, among other things. With 10 treatment rooms, a 25-yard indoor pool, steam rooms, a sauna and relaxation lounges, you can spend the day relaxing inside — and it’s the perfect escape for the wintertime if you don’t want to hit the slopes.
  • If you want a cocktail, order a fun Big Kid Rootbeer Float, made with Rookie's root beer, Stoli Vanil and Baileys, or the Vermont Maple Martini, mixed with Green Mountain vodka, maple sapling liqueur and soda.
Things to Know
  • Since the property is located on 18 acres, you’ll need your own transportation to get around unless you plan on taking taxis. You can get a taxi at the airport, but many don’t take credit cards — so be sure to ask first. The Essex also offers a shuttle service that is complimentary.
  • Foodies (or wannabe foodies) can learn to prepare your own delicious meal by signing up for a class or two in The Essex Resort & Spa’s Cook Academy. You’ll observe top techniques while cooking a three- or four-course meal (paired with wine, of course).
  • The Forbes Travel Guide recommended resort fits the laid-back and “live and let live” mentality of Burlington and most of Vermont. Staff members wear their own clothes with nametags, and let you do your own thing.
  • You might not even know the adventure course is here because it’s located at the back of the property, but you don’t want to miss its rock-climbing wall, zip-line and ropes course.
The Rooms
  • The guest rooms at The Essex Resort & Spa are spacious and offer all the comforts of home. Many include living areas with sofa, wooden rocking chair, flat-screen TV, small table with two chairs, a desk and a fireplace, as well as a fully stocked kitchen.
  • Bedrooms feature a king-sized bed with a pillow-top mattress and second flat-screen TV. The rooms feature the same modern country charm as the rest of the Forbes Travel Guide recommended resort, and include antique lamps, quilts, and a warm color palette of blue, burgundy and red.
  • There’s a Wi-Fi connection so you don’t have to be without your email, as well as an iPod dock to play your own tunes or just charge your phone.
  • Although the bathrooms in the guest rooms at The Essex Resort & Spa are small, they’re still stocked with everything you’ll need during your stay at the Forbes Travel Guide recommended resort.
  • The shower/tub combo includes a small basket of bath amenities of The Essex’s own brand of green tea and lemongrass shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and hand soap.
The Restaurants
  • The resort’s signature restaurant, Amuse, offers sophisticated dining in a surprisingly casual setting. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a seat at the chef’s table to interact with the chef and have at least five unique courses prepared right before your eyes.
  • Each day, the restaurant updates its menu with new courses based on the freshest local ingredients — many harvested from the Forbes Travel Guide recommended resort’s own organic garden.
  • The hotel's other restaurant, The Tavern, is a place to sit back and enjoy traditional pub fare. Serving lunch, light afternoon fare and dinner Monday through Saturday, The Tavern offers feel-good choices like the Essex Garden Burger (housemade veggie burger, Cabot cheddar, cilantro sauce, whole wheat bun, petit salad, ginger pickle).
  • You'll likely want to go straight for the standout "Steakhouse" portion of the menu to try the various dry-aged, grass-fed local beef. The house-aged ribeye is a favorite. 
  • The hotel's nearby bakery and café carries a range of breakfast sandwiches, to-go lunches and many different housemade sweets — even wedding cakes for the spontaneous romantics out there.
Getting There
70 Essex Way, Essex (Burlington), Vermont 05452
BTV (16-20 min)  
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