The Inn At Essex Hotel

, Essex Junction, United States
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The Inn At Essex Hotel

, Essex Junction

Rooms: 120

70 Essex Way - Essex Junction - Vermont - 5452 - United States Hotel Website | | 800-727-4295
431 Traveller

Reviews - The Inn At Essex Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Inn At Essex Hotel

Big Expectations, Big Letdown

from TrustMyAdvice
The Inn at Essex was a weekend destination for my husband and self for (1) a planned business meeting, (2) to experience the Culinary Institute. This was the weekend of August 27,2005. First, let me say, the Burlington airport may be the cleanest and prettiest airport I have ever been through, kudos to Burlington! Upon check-in at the Inn at Essex, hubby had a scheduled meeting to get to, so I found my way with our bags up to our room. When I entered it, I was astonished: there was an "ozone" machine sitting on a table, running full tilt. There was a small room regrigerator in a corner with an attached caustic note stating the "lady" checking in had requested it, that there was a $10/day charge for it. Well, neither of us had requested the air machine or refrigerator. I looked out the window and looked directly at the roof angles from wings of our building. No view as per the brocheure. Just buildings. For an Inn in Vermont, I expected a view of something, anything, but not rooftops. No little balcony, just a window. No fluffy towels, no bath robes, no fireplace. No view. I left the bags inside the room, went to the front desk, inquired about the appliances in the room that we did not request, and asked if we were assigned the correct room. I was given the curt answer that someone would come and remove the fridge and that we were given the standard room with a queen-sized bed. For $268 per night, this was not getting off to a good start. I did not particularly take to frosty and haughty attitude of the twenty-something front desk defenders.

I went back to the room, changed into my bathing suit, decided to cool off my person and mounting temper at the pool. I found the pool to be clean and fresh towels provided in a container at the entrance. However, there were only two cheap, small pool umbrellas provided. There were probably six to eight places where table-type umbrellas could have been inserted into holes in tables and stands. Over a period of three hours, many guests came to the pool: I would extimate 35 adults, 18 children. Whoever happened to be getting the umbrella shade got the evil and envious eye of those who had no choice but to endure the sun. I made a trek to the front desk again after the vending machine at the pool ate my change and did not deliver a drink and also mentioned the lack of pool umbrellas. No one cared. The desk person was barking orders into a walkie talkie, but not about the concerns I expressed.

We had a fun dinner with business friends down on the waterfront in Burlington. We went back to the Inn, decided to tour the grounds. Along the path by the pool, a young man was filling tiki torch chambers with fluid and happily volunteered to us that the next evening there would be a large bonfire and s'mores for the guests to enjoy at about 8 PM. We showed up the next evening at 8:30 -- need I say it: there was no activity going on, no lit torches, just the lingering of guests from a wedding that had taken place earlier in the afternoon.

The next day, hubby and I compared notes and decided that we were trapped for one more night at this hotel, but we decided it came in second to an old Motel Six. We are used to staying at grand hotels internationally, and people, this was so poor, I cannot believe the ratings it has received. Here is from a list of things about our room we noted: faded and stained bedspread, white and other-colored spots on navy wing-back chairs, a 12" bleached-out area on the carpet, many marks (from shoe soles?) on the walls, dead insects in the light fixture over the tub that could fill a two-ounce container, water-mark stains randomly in the ceiling, a grimey plastic card on the bathroom door requesting guests to practice towel and water conservation (all the while our toilet never stopped trickeling), two mattress pads were on the bed to disguise the lumpy, hard mattress, black mold amongst the bathtub caulking, and to top it off: the fresh drinking glasses left on a ledge above the bathroom sink had both lip and finger marks on them. Into our second day there developed a musty odor to the room: perhaps the real reason the ozone machine had been in there? This was maybe a $69 per night room. One star.

As for the Culinary Institute: we had breakfast two mornings in the Butler's Pantry. The first was okay food, took about an hour to order one bowl of oatmeal and an order of french toast. I noticed crumbs all along the carpet and baseboards. But no surprise after seeing how the hotel lacked upkeep in general. But not acceptable in a restaurant, especially one that brags and endlessly promotes itself. The breakfast was so mediocre that we cancelled dinner reservations. The second morning in the same restaurant, we placed the same food order and this day it took more than an hour to get our food served. We each ordered tea and the waitress brought one small pot for two of us. That was about 1/2 cup tea per person. She also did not bring tea in an infuser while other diners around us had infusers. This girl did not have a clue. A guest sitting at a nearby table offered to go into the kitchen and cook up something for us all. That got some laughs. The man greeting and seating guests had a frenzied and panic stricken demeanor, even when there was no one waiting to be seated... he brought chaos to an already unsettling experience. I think diners in general were as disappointed as we were. You could read the ho-humm expressions and lack of enthusiasm for the food: the mood was palpable.

The best part of our trip was driving to Stowe, seeing the Trapp Family Lodge, having lunch at their tea room. We regretted we did not stay there. Another good thing to do in that area is the ski lift in the state park. The view was beautiful.

I had read mixed comments prior to our trip and stay at the Inn at Essex. I decided I had to contribute a comment here. If you are considering an over-night in the Burlington area, go elsewhere. If you are desiring fine dining, I think there are plenty of other options than the Culinary Institute.
Unless you like dirty, smelly rooms and poor, unprofessional service. This place has quite a bit of cleaning to do: both with the physical environment and with the personnel. That goes for both the "hotel" and separately operated "restaurants." Just no excuses for this place.

we loved it

from MIssBanff
My family and I just returned from an overnight stay and we didn't want to leave. The room was very nice and the grounds were beautiful. The pool was clean and well taken care of. We ate dinner and The Tavern and they were very accomodating to my 4 and 6 year old. The food was really, really good. I read some of the negative reviews from other people and I'm shocked. We personally would definetly recommend it.

not worth the long drive

from A TripAdvisor Member
drove up from nyc for the romance package. check in was terrible, rate quoted initially was not given and added extras were on bill that were not explained or advised before. would not make the trip again.

Super hotel !!!!!

from superhousewife
We have just returned from a weekend at the Inn at Essex. Very nice hotel. The food was excellent. The room are very clean . We will go back for sure soon .Ask for the special including diner and breakfast.

Fine room; mediocre restaurants

from A TripAdvisor Member
I think its a shame that what would have been a memorable stay turned into just a "fair" experience because we chose to eat at the Inn's in-house restaurants. The Inn itself was clean, comfortable and inviting. The staff was courteous. We had high expectations for the restaurants but were disappointed in both the food and the service. Maybe the culinary students were having a bad weekend; we can only hope our experence was not the norm.

A Birthday Escape at the Inn at Essex

from A TripAdvisor Member
Just a few miles outside of Burlington lies an oasis of serenity that charmed the socks off us. As a birthday gift, I treated my girlfriend to a three-day escape at the Inn at Essex. It was our first visit; it certainly will not be our last. Our suite offered a quiet luxury while maintaining a "country" atmosphere. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. My request that chocolate mousse be available on the menu the night of the birthday dinner was granted without hesitation. They even wrote Happy 48th (oops, sorry hon!) Birthday on the serving platter in melted chocolate. Speaking of the meals, they were a true delight. It's was obvious from the first taste that the chef instructors at the New England Culinary Institute (housed at the Inn) set high standards for the students who prepare the meals. We dined at both the Tavern (try the drink called Dark and Stormy!) and at Butler's. Both experiences were excellent. As for the rest of our time, we hit the pool, got free samples from the students in the bakery (loved this), shopped, read and walked some very attractive grounds. All in all, a wonderful weekend.

Nothing to write home about

from A TripAdvisor Member
A nice location, courteous staff, clean room; food in the Tavern was of very average quality, the breakfast food disappointing with slow, slow, slow service. Overall, nice enough but not worth the price.


from A TripAdvisor Member
I just came back from my trip to the Inn. I was there for a wedding. We had nothing but problems from the start. The first being that they gave us a room that was already being occupied!! Not to mention each time we moved, none of the keys worked! It was interesting to say the least. After giving us a new room. We had to call each day to get our room cleaned and new towels. Just like the other person that wrote a review, we where also told that if we had called earlier, they would have sent a maid. How am I supposed to know that the maids leave at 4:30. Shouldn't maid service be automatic? The staff wasn't professional, I'll leave it at that! Atleast not for a hotel that has a 4 diamond rating with AAA. The food not what you would expect from a culinary institute, again I'll leave it at that. I don't know if all these problems are because the staff members are learning hotel management or what. I would like to believe that. I can't imagine a hotel with such a high rating would have operate like this. I will be notifying AAA. so take my advice, stay at another location.
Management Response from A TripAdvisor Member
Thank you for taking the time to reveiw your recent stay at The Inn at Essex. We appreciate the feedback we receive from our guests letting us know what services are helpful, as well as, what services are in need of improvement.

I would like to apologize for not meeting your expectations. The snowball effect of different situations certainly did not represent our property's quality in a manner in which we are typically know. Certainly you should expect to have your room cleaned in a reasonable time frame, exceptional food and service from the restaurants and a professional staff to assist you.

None of the above met your expectations and for that I do apologize. Where Tripadvisor can be a wonderful tool that affords potential visitors a "snapshot" of a property, it can also leave a property vulnerable to a poor reviw without ample detail oulining the "poor" experience. I am certain that we did not meet your expectations, but would love the opportunity to learn more of what you experienced so that we can correct any operational shortcomings, as they might exist.

As the Burlington's only AAA Four Diamond Resort Hotel - excellent customer service is at the core of our mission. I feel it is unfortunate that we did not have the opportunity to speak personally, and am certain that a future visit would better represent the true experience that our guests consistently enjoy.

Again, thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay. I do hope that you are able to see this response and I welcome you to call myself or Jim Glanville, General Manager, to discuss your stay further.


Jill Vespa
Director of Hotel Operations

Perfect for Christmas Shopping Getaway

from PeruTravlers
Every year my wife and I find an outlet mall within driving distance of NYC and do our Christmas shopping there to avoid the Christmas rush. This year on a last minute offer from TravelZoo, we chose The Inn at Essex. The deal was $79/night + $25 dinner voucher + $25 massage voucher.

The hotel was quaint. Every room is different, there's a fireplace in every room, and the food was unreal and an unbelievable bargain for the quality (the Inn is associated with the Culinary Institute). For example, a sit-down lunch in the formal dinning room with desert costs us $25. The dinner, with the $25 voucher was under $100. While you're there you have got to get a massage. Whomever the hotel outsourced to was amazing. It was the first time I'd ever been so relaxed I fell asleep. My wife did too. The morning pastries were the best I'd ever had. It was obvious that alot of effort was put into each and every one.

The shortcoming of this hotel is that we were offered a $25 voucher for the massage, which ran around $200 for the 2 of us, but the hotel then hit us with a $25 transportation fee for the therapist. The money was insignificant, but I was PO'ed on principal. My complaint was dismissed as an oversight by the inexperienced reservations specialist who booked the room for us. Whatever the excuse, I found the Inn's failure to issue a refund for such a marginal amount of money to be rediculous. For this reason we won't be visiting again.

Not withstanding this absurd incident, the hotel would have been an excellent experience.
Management Response from JGVT
Thank you very much for your review. I am glad that you were able to take advantage of one of our "Shoulder-season" TravelZoo offers, and that you enjoyed our rooms, restaurants and massage services.

The point that you make regarding the $25 service fee is well taken. While this fee is outlined on our confirmation letters and defined in the disclaimer through Travelzoo, we apparently need to do a better job of informing our guests of all fees up front...which we will look to improve in the future.

Thanks again, and we hope to see you in the future.

Jim Glanville
General Manager
The Inn at Essex

Much-hyped but very disappointing

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Inn at Essex is not a quaint Vermont Inn as it is pre-fab and entirely new, and neither is it a trendy upscale hotel as its services and facilities are sorely lacking, though the Inn tries to be both of these things at once. The bright upholstery in the lobby and rooms did not distract from a basic lack of cleanliness.
The desk and restaurant staff were unhelpful, even to the point of making the stay harder. This is particularly bad, since the Inn is the home of the New England Culinary Institute. Those expecting good food at a price designed to account for the fact that the chefs and servers are training will be surprised to find below average food served rudely in a dull atmosphere at upscale restaurant prices.
The website wildly misrepresents the outdoor activities available "at" the hotel -- they are all 20 minutes away. The "hiking, skiing, and snow-shoe" trail behind the hotel is nothing of the kind -- it is a rutty path through a field and is full of barbed wire. We came with high hopes and were roundly disappointed.
Management Response from JGVT
Thank you for your comments - and we too are certainly disappointed that we did not meet your expectations.

In reading your review I understand that you were generally disappointed in the image that you feel we attempt to portray, our available services and our culinary offering.

While the vast majority of our guests appreciate our atmosphere and level of services, our goal is 100% guest satisfaction. I would certainly appreciate specifics regarding your stay as to correct any issues that might exist.

As for our snowshoe trails, until this week, a general lack of snow has certainly presented challenging conditions....but thanks to Mother Nature...the trails are currently in very good condition providing a wonderful introduction to the sport!

Finally, based upon your comments, I have reviewed our website with reference to activities available "at" the hotel, and am confident that all amenities are (and have been) accurately represented. We apologize if you were misled in any way.

Thank you.

Top Local Tips for Essex Junction

The Butler's The Butler's is really worth the money, I strongly recommend you eat there.

outlets The outlet "mall" is exactly the same as every other outlet mall; if you have a favorite one at home, skip this one.

Good food Eat at both the Gourmet Restaurant and the Tiny Thai


Other names for The Inn At Essex Hotel

  • inn essex
  • essex vermonts culinary junction
  • essex vermonts culinary hotel
  • bed breakfast essex
  • Address: 70 Essex Way - Essex Junction - Vermont - 5452 - United States
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