Last year, Rob and I spent 3 nights over July 4th weekend with our friends, at the Equinox, in Manchester, Vermont. We used the hotel as our base to go to Stratton Golf School, (only 9-1 each day thank goodness!), as Stratton Mountain is only 20 minutes away. The Equinox is a Starwood Resort and part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection. It is also an SPG Category 5 resort.
Rooms at the hotel at that time, cost about $450 per night. We stayed for free, of course, by using a mere 12,000 Starwood points per night. We saved about $1,350! Our friends, who were with us, did too. They also accumulate and use lots of Starwood points.
In my opinion, 12,000 points per night for this hotel is unbelievable because the hotel itself, and the spa, gym and the restaurants are all top notch. We had dinner the first night at the Marsh Tavern which we all really enjoyed. (The Chop House looked really good too—next time!) Each morning, we did the breakfast buffet (we tried both the continental and regular), which had a ton of regular breakfast food as well as lots of fresh fruit, cheeses, smoked salmon, etc. YUM! Our friends had a great lunch at the Dormy Grill which is located on the deck of The Equinox Golf Club clubhouse and overlooks the beautiful Green Mountains.
Although, we did not play golf at the Equinox, (I am not that obsessed that I needed to play more golf after golf school!), the golf course looked gorgeous. For me, I was much more into the spa after golf school! I had one of the best swedish massages I ever had. I think my masseuse was named Jeff. More importantly, Rob liked the gym (this is a very important aspect I must take into consideration upon choosing a hotel), I did not go to the gym :-).
In the afternoons, we had drinks and relaxed on the pretty patio surrounded by lots of green grass and Vermont style buildings that make up the hotel. As for the rooms, they are quite spacious and clean and nicely decorated.
One thing that may be considered negative about the hotel is that there is no outdoor pool. There is an outdoor hot tub, which we used, and there is an indoor pool that is actually quite big. We actually stay here a lot with the kids in the winter and ski at Stratton (same 20 minutes away) and the kids actually love this indoor pool, so not really such a negative for us.
The hotel is in the town of Manchester which is a quaint Vermont town, scattered with lots of outlets and other small boutiques and Vermont like stores. There are also other good restaurants in town. We had dinner another night at The Perfect Wife. You can imagine the jokes we shared with our friends.
Although we did not earn Starwood points for our stay (you only earn Starwood points if you pay for your room), by using our Starwood American Express for all of our non-room charges at the hotel, we earned Starwood points on those charges as well as bonus points for using the Starwood Amex and because I am a Gold Member in the Starwood Preferred Guest Program. In my mind, this kind of justified that 80 minute massage that I had. :-).