More about The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa
The real deal
We spent one night here in Oct 2004 in the Isham room. This is not a cheap inn ($280) but is exquisitely done. The amount of effort that has gone into collecting the various antiques and furniture in each room must have been amazing. It is as if you are stepping back in time.
The room was a good size with a four poster bed and a real fire (the staff light it for you). The bathroom was relatively small. Public rooms are fantastic, with a lounge, English-style pub (with dart board), library and breakfast room.
Our only problem was breakfast, which was poor - we were only offered fruit and an omelette. I later noticed that other guests, who had stayed longer, refused this and asked for other things which were graciously provided, but no-one told us this was possible. To be honest, we got a better breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express the day before.
Overall, however, it was a fantastic experience to stay here and I recommend it highly.
The good and the bad
Let me start by saying that I have stayed at the finest resorts in the South Pacific, Mexico, Aruba, Bermuda etc so the bad that I point out in this resort comes with places to compare it to.
My friend and I left our husbands behind in Maryland and headed for Vermont on July 20, 2004. Our plan was to stop for the night somewhere in upstate NY but we were not tired at midnight after driving 6 hours and decided to go all the way to Manchester praying that something would be open since we did not have a reservation at the Equinox until the 21st. We pulled up at 2am and I would swear that the front desk staff was sleeping when we got there. He tried to give us a room for the rest of the night for $450! We had reserved a room for about $200/night. We finally got him to give us the room for our rate but we would have to move to another room the following day b/c this was a superior room. Fine, no problem until they lost our luggage for HOURS the following day. The room that we had the 1st night was on the 3rd floor corner, looking at the pool complex and gardens. It was a decent room but the bathroom was very small. So we leave in the morning (21st) after a few hours of sleep and head out to the horse show that we were there to compete at. We return at the end of the day to get into a much lesser quality room. While it was very large, it was on the corner of the driveway on the 1st floor next to a door into the building. There was a small bathroom which we never used to shower, we always went to the spa. We had to keep all of the window treatments closed and there were alot of windows. We realize after a few minutes that we have no luggage! We are hot, tired and just want clean clothing. It took them hours to find our luggage. It was still in the old room were people had already checked in!! How do we know that? They sent us to retrieve our own luggage!!!! There was a wedding starting to check in for the long weekend of activities and we were more of a bother.
Valet parking is a great service. If you call before you leave your room, they will have your car upfront by the time you get up there. The older gentleman at the front of the hotel is a doll! I think his name was Harry, he made us smile in the morning.
The pool, sun deck, jacuzzi and spa facilities are very nice. I swam laps every morning and then utilized the jacuzzi and sun deck. This was very relaxing. The spa had great facilities, showers with wonderful products, towels everywhere, sauna, steamroom (infused with eucalyptus, very nice touch) ( I was just at the spa in the Ritz Carlton last week in Philadelphia and it was very musty and stinky). We showered here every day using our robes to go from the room to the spa. I had reserved an 80 minute hot stone massage and it was awful. The therapist kept dropping the stones, making lots of noise over by the sink. I could not wait for it to be over and usually I hate when a spa treatment comes to an end. I always tip %15-%20 when I visit a spa, I did not tip her, that is how bad it was. To make it even worse, our treatments were gifts from our husbands and I did not have the heart to say that mine was so bad.
Manchester has lots of great choices when it comes to eating, take advantage of them. For breakfast there is a great little cafe right by the golf course across the street, unfortunately we found this on the last day. We did eat 1 lunch and 1 dinner at the hotel, these experiences were just fine.
Check out on Sunday was a battle b/c they tried to charge us the $450 for the first night, after loosing our luggage for hours on end. The front desk staff was very snotty and uncaring, after all, they are the Equinox. I am used to being treated much better by front desk staff, it was disappointing. There are many other fine choices in Manchester, I will try one of those next summer.
Glad we chose it!
We actually booked initally at the Inn at Ormsby but eventually we were put off by the ratings (call us weak.) Then we ended up at the Equinox and could not have been more pleased. Yes, it's expensive but no more than any other bed and breakfast in the area. They offer a variety of activities (f.y.i falconry was great.) The rooms are well appointed and the service was excellent. We were more than surprised at the variety and quality of food. The only complaint I have is that the television is very small for a room of this size but then again you shouldn't come here to watch TV. Overall I'm glad we decided to come here.
A Huge Disapointment
My husband and I booked 3 nights at The Equinox for our anniversary. There were no rooms available in the main building, so we had to book a 2nd floor suite in the "Townhouses". This was big mistake, as the townhouses are nothing more than a glorified motel, with none of the character of the inn. The unit was a disgrace -- the bathroom was dirty, the lighting was poor and the deck was littered with dirty towels and cigarette butts. There was an unlocked closet as you entered the unit that was filled with dirty ski clothes and ski equipment. It was shocking that we could be charged $498.00 for these accommodations. We called the front desk to see if we could move to another room and were told there were none available (there was a big wedding that weekend). We stayed for one night because we could not get a refund on our one-night deposit. The next day, we checked out and got a beautiful room (for less than half the price of The Equinox) down the street at the Reluctant Panther. We had a wonderful stay there and should have booked there in the first place. We will never return to The Equinox.
First and last stay at the Equinox
Although apprehensive about staying at the Equinox after reading many negative reviews we still decided to try it. My husband had business in Manchester so we decided to make a short family trip out of it. The indoor pool was the big draw because it would be something to do while my husband tended to his business obligations. Anyway we booked two adjoining rooms for two nights. The first day we enjoyed the beautiful pool then went out for a great dinner in town. On the second day my husband finished working around noon so we went out to shop at the outlets and returned around 4PM. When we attempted to get into our rooms none of our key cards worked so we went to the front desk to find out why or get new ones. We were then informed that the room was only available for one night and that we should have been out by 2PM. Obviously shocked, we said there must be some misunderstanding, that we booked the room for two nights. The person at the desk was rude and dismissive and said that there were no other rooms available and we would have to go. There was no apology, no attempt to find us accomodations there or anywhere else, just basically get out.
I have stayed in many hotels, expensive and inexpensive all over the country and can honestly say that I have never been treated so badly. This incident left us with such a bad taste that we decided to drive the 4 hours (it took longer because it was snowing) home rather than spend another night in Manchester, where were planning on visiting more of the shops the next day before heading home.
stay at the orvis inn at equinox!
This was our second stay at the Equinox, but first time at the Orvis Inn. It exceeded our highest expectations and even exceeded the St. Regis Aspen for a winter resort. The Orvis Inn is on the Equinox property and we had a suite ("Mickey Finn") which was an incredibly appointed suite with a full granite kitchen and top-of-the-line appliances, gas/electric fireplace in the sitting room with a TV/DVD/VCR combo and even a wet bar. The bathroom was decent, there was only a single sink and the tub/jacuzzi also doubled as the shower. I could not imagine my parents being able to climb into the tub to shower.
The bedroom was wonderful and a nice touch was the Bose wave radio/CD player on the bureau.
It was much quieter in the Orvis Inn than the main building, but the plus was the Billiard Room in the basement of ther Orvis Inn. Yes, two real pool tables and a real bar adjacent to the Billiard Room (honor bar with top-shelf liquors and all ingredients for any mixed concoctions). What an amazing place to rent out for a family gathering and to hang out after a long day skiing and pour a drink and play pool.
To top it all off, the Equinox was running a special: stay and pay for Sunday night and get the next 2 nights for free. Stay for 3 and pay for 1 night! $520 for the suite for all three nights, best bargain around.
Spa was incredible, but the restaurant selections in town were a little limited (lots closed on monday and Tuesday).
We will be back again!
This place is nice, but not a world class resort. Its 3 stars at best.
The room was nice, clean etc, all the basics were there, but failed on:
Quality of food:
Breakfast was very poor - service was slow, food was very averagely prepared and presented ( we are paying $35 for pancakes and a a continental breakfast) -so I expected more choice, better services, better quality. A number of guests left with breakfasts uneaten - due to delays, or wrong orders.
spa - has most services, but is very get you in/get you out. make yo sign everytime you enter leave - get asked if you want a tip etc. My experiance was rushed, and I very much disked having to que up and wait to sign a bill again before I left.
front desk staff- not helpful, canceled shuttles to skiing on whim. showed a 'couldnt care less atttiude'.
I have been lucky enough to stay in a number of great hotels around the world. this is a nice place, not a great one.
It tries and associates itself with Glen Eagles in Scotland. having also stayed there. I can tell you this place doesn't come close.
The doorman/bell staff were the most helpful and went out there way to help. Its just a pity that no-one else did.
I don't mind paying top dollar for things, but I expect top dollar service. This place fails.
I'd try another place
We went to the Equinox for our anniversary getaway this year. We expected to find a quiet, retreat-like resort, and we were disappointed to find that the place seemed overrun with kids. I guess it was because Good Friday is a school holiday. There were kids running around in the tavern till late at night and running through halls and public areas. The pool was overloaded, and the small hot tub was filled with children (even though "officially," they are not supposed to me in it.) We returned from a day of skiing looking forward to a soak in the hot tub, and there were 7 kids in it, one of whom was swimming underwater with goggles, one of whom did a cannonball into the middle while we were sitting there. (I kid you not.) Other than that, it was comfortable enough, and the rooms were decent, but not fancy. The furnishings were simple (knotty pine) not elegant, as I expected. It is an expensive place, and with all the hype about it being one of the best resorts in New England we were unimpressed. We did find the service to be excellent. The front desk staff were professional and all the employees we encountered were courteous. We loved the Manchester area (and skiing at Bromley) and will probably return to another inn in the area. Or maybe we will come back to the Equinox...with our kids!
Mostly good stay
A visit to the Equinox for a conference had several advantages. For one thing, my company paid for my room. I did check on the internet and we had a rate substantially below the $400-500 I have seen quoted here. I guess November is not high season.
The area is quite pretty, as you would know if you were checking this site. I don't ski, but I love to walk, and would have wandered the trails if I hadn't sprained my knee shortly before the meeting. I did get into town, shocked by the number of outlet stores. But for me, a couple of hours at Northshire Bookshop was my kind of shopping therapy.
Another high point was how they handled our meetings. The buffet was better than several 4 star chains we have used in the past. Admittedly, service in the restaurant could be a bit slow, but it was friendly, which goes a long way.
The first hint that there were some problems were from conversations I overheard in the lobby. Not one, but two sets of guests asked for room changes. I begin to panic. My coworker and I were given a room in the front of the hotel. It was pleasant, but hardly luxurious. What's the catch?
Dinner's over, and we retire. The entertainment starts up in the lounge. We can hear it quite clearly, enough to be able to sing along. Where's the insulation? Where's a fan to mask the noise? There is a fan, but it's temperature controlled, and keeps going off. How about a noise machine?
And here's another drawback--bright outdoor lights shining into our windows. Only two of the three windows have shades that block light successfully. The third window has no shade!
I call the desk. Apparently this complaint is routine. Contact the day manager on checkout. The night clerk sympathizes. Huh? Sleep comes slowly.
On checkout, we do contact the desk. The manager's first reaction is horror. Not horror about our complaints, but that the night manager told us to talk to the day manager. I'm afraid I was privy to some talk I should have been excluded from! But the good news is that the hotel has scheduled many of the room enhancements I have suggested to muffle sound and block light.
So maybe I'll come back next year and see how things improve...
The staff announces themselves by name, and they remember yours.
Resort & spa is spotless, filled with more activities than you can take
advantage of. Live music on weekend nights, featuring a fiddle & double bass, and if they know the tune, they'll play it. Spa services are excellent.
This is the second Rock Resort we have visited, and the service is a cut
above. The village around it is a living postcard. Nice,nice,nice.
Passing through New England
My wife and I are combining a New England vacation with a Quebec trip this summer. We love history, Victorian architecture, etc. and would like to know the best place to go. New Port looks neat, Massachusettes of course has its share, and Vermont looks very quaint. Our time will be limited so we need some help in focusing on a specific area.
Also, we are both Irish and enjoy pubs. Is Boston the only place with great pubs or are there some smaller cities with equally enjoyable pubs.
RE: Passing through New England
hi - welcome to New England. Newport RI as you figured out is a great stop. For Vermont, it is as good as it looks. Many of the more prestigious resorts - read expensive - have bars done up as pubs in early American style. Eg - at the Equinox resort in Manchester and the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock. Some of the larger places that pass themselves off as B&bs also have bars in this style. All of northern New England is beautiful - suggest getting a map, figuring your best route, and planning from there. I am a big Vermont fan, but you will have a hard time going wrong anywhere. Enjoy your trip. N>
RE: Passing through New England
If time is of the essence then I would say Vermont since it is rightover the border. Nothing in that part of the country is all that far but it would save you some highway time.
RE: Passing through New England
We did the same a couple of years ago. Vermont is gorgeous - if you love ice cream, be sure to stop at the Ben and Jerry factory. We loved Stowe as well. We enjoy sailing so we went to the Portland, ME area (sailing was much cheaper out of Maine) and the L.L.Bean outlet wasn't too far either. Scituate, MA is a smaller suburb of Boston (south) that is right on the ocean and is quite nice (don't look for too much nightlife here, though!)
If you go in July, be sure to hit the Just For Laughs festival (Juste Pour Rire) in Montreal. I've heard that it's a great time!