The Essex Resort & Spa stretches across 18 forested acres between the wooded shores of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountain foothills. But the picturesque setting is just part of the draw. This AAA Four Diamond resort also features an award-winning full-service spa as well as a culinary school that offers classes ranging from professional cake decorating to Italian feasts.
You’re free to apply your resort credit toward a cooking class (valid for any class longer than two hours). Seasoned chefs will teach you how to mix, knead, and roll pasta or how to cook dishes with Vermont cheese—check out the schedule.
Executive chef Shawn Calley, two-time winner of the region’s Top Chef competition, shows off his talents at two onsite restaurants. Amuse serves inventive dishes from a seasonal menu, whereas The Tavern offers upscale pub fare such as beef nachos and wild-mushroom cannelloni.
Meanwhile, the full-service Spa at the Essex features saunas, various relaxation lounges, and 10 treatment rooms. Stop in for anything from a warm-stone massage to a volcanic-clay purifying facial, all administered by professional therapists and aestheticians.
Lake Champlain, Vermont: Quaint Town near Skiing in Adirondacks and White Mountains
The Essex Resort & Spa is located just outside Vermont's largest city, Burlington, right between the mountains. In the winter, Vermont is a destination for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Stowe Mountain Resort, Smuggler’s Notch, and a handful of other ski resorts are all within one hour of The Essex Resort & Spa. There’s even dogsled racing.
The city of Burlington, right near Lake Champlain, is home to a handful of renowned breweries as well as boutique shops at Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian mall.
About 10 miles from the hotel, the University of Vermont sits on a hill overlooking the city. Take a stroll through the leafy campus to Fleming Museum, a striking Beaux-Arts building that houses works by American artists including John James Audubon, Andy Warhol, and Winslow Homer.