The Essex Resort and Spa lies between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains in spectacular Northern Vermont. The resort is composed of four buildings, featuring 120 comfortably appointed rooms and suites. Rooms range from a traditional room to a premier two-bedroom suite, giving a range of options to fit a family’s budget and needs. As a pet-friendly hotel, even the family’s four-legged members can come along! Our family recently enjoyed a two night stay at The Essex Resort and Spa. We found our traditional room to be spacious enough for the five of us, with the addition of a cot, and the beds were extremely comfortable. It was a relaxing getaway!
The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa
Families will enjoy the on-site activities with a choice of indoor or outdoor pools, tennis courts, playground, basketball court, and the large checker board located on the front lawn. Those who are feeling adventurous should head to the Northern Lights Rock & Ice Center where they can zip-line, rock climb, tackle the challenge course, or geocache. Mom or dad can book a relaxing treatment in the spa, workout in the fitness center, or play a round of golf on the executive course. Be sure to check out the campfire on Saturday nights and enjoy the company of other guests while roasting some marshmallows and making s’mores. Hot air balloon rides can be arranged through the front desk and feature resort pick-ups. While visiting, be sure to allow time for a cooking class in the Cook Academy.
The resort features two on-site restaurants. Junction, which has been newly renovated, is a special experience as the menu changes nightly, chefs cook in the open, and they meet their guests table-side. The Tavern provides more traditional pub fare in a casual setting and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. During nice weather, enjoy dining out on the patio while overlooking the chef’s garden.
The Cook Academy offers on-site cooking classes taught by talented chefs. The classes are small, hands-on, and inspiring. Chef Instructors lead the class through the menu while participants learn new techniques and recipes. Be sure to check out the calendar for a list of classes for the entire family.
Unfortunately, during our visit we were unable to do a family class, but I did get to participate in an adult class. It was most definitely the highlight of my experience at The Essex and I highly recommend experiencing one. I found the Chef Instructor to be very personable, and the class participants were fun to be with. We created a three course meal that was unbelievably delicious. Best of all, I left with some new-found knowledge in the kitchen and some new recipes that I can recreate for my family!
This summer the Cook Academy is featuring Camp Cook for kids. This week-long cooking camp takes participants on a journey from kitchen basics to cooking full recipes. Kids build their confidence in the kitchen as they learn new skills, expand their palates, and create delicious food. Campers also have the chance to tend the garden, pick seasonal herbs and vegetables, and collect eggs from the hens! No worries about working up a sweat in the kitchen, there’s plenty of time to take a dip in the pool. At the end of the week each camper receives his or her own cookbook with the recipes learned in camp.
Read my review of the Cook Academy.
The Essex Resort & Spa is conveniently located near many other family friendly activities. A short ride to downtown Burlington offers a variety of shopping and dining experiences as well as the family favorite, Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center. The Ben and Jerry’s Factory always makes for a tasty stop and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company makes for a cuddly one. There is never a shortage of hiking trails or outdoor activities in Vermont either! Hiking, horseback riding, and farm visits are just the start of what awaits families.
Check out all the family friendly activities in the area.
Disclosure: The author and her family received a complimentary stay and cooking class for the purpose of review. While the hospitality is greatly appreciated, all opinions are the authors own based on experiences while visiting.