Recently, we spent 5 nights (with two LL packages) at our favorite Resort in Stowe, Vermont during "stick season", as Vermonters call the time between leaf season and ski season.
We have been going to the Topnotch in Stowe, VT since 1973. We saw the resort grow from its humble beginnings to a world class resort and spa. We saw it in the Spring after skiing had ended, in the Summer with hiking at its best, in the Fall with its glorious leaf season and, of course in the Winter during ski season. We spent Christmases there, Summer vacations and Fall get-aways. We brought parents and friends there, and even our dog. The hotel is still pet friendly and pets are welcome and we saw a number of well behaved dogs parading the halls with their masters.
After all these years, we are still happy with the hotel and happily recommend it. The hotel was kind enough not to make us move since the accommodations from our 3-night package were different from the 2-night package. Our room was very comfortable and had a great view. Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries were promptly delivered to our room. We participated in the morning stretching classes, Yoga and Pilates classes. The aquatics classes were held in the new heated outdoor pool and at night, we enjoyed the new outdoor hot tub looking at the stars. The indoor spa facilities are still wonderful and the new, separate ladies' and mens' spa facilities are truly tops. My husband loved the gym with all the newest machines. The treatment rooms and massages are first rate. The Spa received the 2009 Spa Award, an award that I think was well deserved. We did not use the indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, but we did go for a horseback ride which was fun. Also carriage rides were offered. We also took leisurely strolls on the bike path since we did not have our bikes along.
The old classic Maxwell Restaurant (white table cloths) has been closed for a year and is now used for special functions only. The new, more modern/contemporary Norma Restaurant (open style kitchen), lost its executive chef and was trying too hard to make up for it. Subsequently, neither my husband's nor my dinner were anything to write home about. When the restaurant manager came by and asked us how our dinner was, we told him the truth, that we had not enjoyed our dinner and told him why. He was most open to our criticism, and invited us the next day to a dinner on the house and a free bottle of wine with dinner. The kitchen staff tried very hard to please, but the food was still not up to snuff, but we let it go at that. Perhaps being a Paris, Ritz-Escoffie trained chef has something to do with this, but it looks like the restaurant has some kinks to iron out.
All in all, we had a very pleasant stay and gladly will come back. Hopefully, more LL packages will be available when we want them.
I have been to all three properties. I liked the Pitcher Inn. It is small and the rooms are very uniquely furnished. The food is excellent, but unless you are a skier, there is not much to do in Warren. Unfortunately, the Inn has no spa. The Essex is good and offers excellent food. Of the three, I think the Topnotch has the most variety to offer. As I said, it has a great spa, wonderful activities like skiing, horseback riding, tennis, hiking, etc. I am sure the food problem will get better once they get their exec. chef in. You can also look at my blog about the Pitcher Inn.
Kind Regards, and Happy New Year