One weekend, we drove up to Vermont looking for a
weekend of relaxation and comfort. We found heaven at the TopNotch Resort and Spa.
This four-star, four-diamond, family-owned property is located on
more than 120 acres of woods and streams in Stowe, about a four-hour drive from Boston. It
offers a full European spa facility with health-conscious dinners and numerous treatments.
The Spa was designed for people seeking a stress-free environment in
a state-of-the-art facility. The 60-foot indoor lap pool was rejuvenating but be sure to
take some time to relax in the sauna and hydromassage waterfall.
We ate at the resorts two restaurants - the Buttertub Bistro for casual dining and
Maxwells for finer upscale dining.
At Maxwells, we sampled the Maine crab cakes ($8.50) and shrimp
cocktail ($8.50) appetizers. They were wonderfully fresh. The menu lists the amount of
calories and grams of fat for each item on the menu for those participating in the spa
The Caesar salad ($6.75) was served with a light garlic-flavored
dressing. The New England clam chowder ($5) was loaded with chunks of potatoes and fresh
Entrees included Atlantic salmon ($23), rack of lamb ($29) and seared
tuna ($24). I chose the Papardelle Pasta with smoked chicken ($21) served with onions and
mushrooms in a carmelized vegetable herb broth. My dining companion selected the
Porterhouse steak special, which was the better choice. All steaks here are served with a
choice of Béarnaise, Bordelaise or Au Poivre. Maxwells can be compared with some of
the more upscale restaurants in Boston. Its casual elegance, nightly changing specials and
desserts prepared tableside make for an exceptional dining experience.
The Buttertub Bistro offers a more casual atmosphere incorporating
sandwiches and salads into the menu.
The lobby of this resort is the definition of cozy. There is a
seating area where guests can sit by an enormous fire and have some drinks before or after
In the warmer months, the resort offers an Equestrian Center, complete with riding lessons
and guided trail rides. The tennis complex offers year-round private lessons on the indoor
and outdoor courts. Just five minutes away is a wonderful 18-hole golf course.
The personal attention and dedication of the Spa employees is
exemplary, making it one of the top destination spas in the country.
The Spa offers luxurious mens and womens lounge areas
with locker rooms, fireplaces and exercise studios.
The Spa philosophy we go back to ancient traditions to find the
roofs of the services here at the Spa at TopNotch - ancient ways for modern times. Times
that call us to reflect, re-evaluate and renew our sense of balance in our bodies, minds
and spirits. They have done just that here. The Spa is open daily but appointments
are required for each treatment. Use of the Spa facilities is just $15 per day but does
not include body skin care treatments, services or consultations.
This Spa has everything you could ever want - from a solarium,
aerobics, weight training and cardio-vascular studios.
We selected the Shirodhara Scalp Treatment and Massage. This
particular treatment is designed to restore inner calm to the mind and balance the nervous
system. After a nearly one hour full-body massage, a rejuvenating oil treatment for the
hair and scalp is given.
From European facials, herbal sports wraps and salt glow loofahs to
deep tissue and Swedish massages, the Spa offers something for each guest. In addition to
these treatments, you can also have your tarot cards read, receive a nutritional
consultation or simply opt for a hair cut or manicure.
After the Spa treatment, guests can visit the steam room or private
whirlpool and sauna.
Each of the resorts rooms was recently refurbished to include
new carpet, paint and wallpaper. TopNotch is also finalizing the construction of Overlook,
12 new townhouses, which will allow owners unlimited use of the Spa fitness studio as well
as maid service and 24-hour security.
Our visit to TopNotch Resort and Spa was one of the most relaxing
weekend getaways. The only bad experience we had there was realizing we had to leave!
TopNotch Resort and Spa
4000 Mountain Road
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Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’
Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air
Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and
travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and
Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland,
England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is
planning a trip to Tahiti.
Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing
reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.
If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do
so at firstname.lastname@example.org.