Weekend in Vermont

I often get asked the question, “What is your favorite place to travel to?” or “What is your favorite Starwood hotel?” Well, this past weekend could arguably answer both of those questions:  Manchester Village, Vermont at The Equinox Resort & Spa.

Here’s the deal.  I’ve written about this place before, calling it New England’s Hidden Gem and everything I said then was true and it’s the same thing I would say today.  GO THERE!  And read the aforementioned post to get the full deets and a few random other thoughts, per usual.  For now, for my weekend in Vermont post take two, let me share with you the highlights of my latest girlfriend getaway with my best friend, Eileen!

One of my favorite parts of going to Manchester Village is the drive from Albany Airport to the hotel.  It’s about an hour and 15 minutes, it’s beautiful and, well, interesting.  Eileen and I stopped off near Bennington, Vermont (seems fitting given that’s my maiden name) at Potters Tavern and it was actually a meal highlight for me.  Seeing a giant PBR truck wasn’t too bad, either.

Ahhh, The Equinox Hotel.  It’s cozy and luxurious and comfortable and magical.  It is in my top five favorite hotels of all-time…I feel super-duper blessed to get to experience this property!  And I was able to reconnect with Astri, one of the incredible concierge at the hotel.  She’s the best!

weekend-in-vermont-ann-ueno-4 weekend-in-vermont-ann-ueno-5And right behind the hotel is Mt. Equinox.  A grand mountain that offers all sort of hikes and adventure.  Eileen and I did a two-hour hike on Saturday afternoon with the sun shining through the giant trees and the 75 degree weather just perfect.  So perfect that I felt hand stands were a better way to hike vs. walking.  Naturally.

weekend-in-vermont-ann-ueno-6One of the many great things about Manchester Village is the shopping.  This quaint town, which is all of one main street, has outlet shopping combined with antique shopping combined with mom and pop stores.  They are all walkable and cater to all of our different shopping desires.  Need some fall clothes for work? Done.  Want some 1954 Stage Magazines to spruce up your coffee table?  Done.  Never been to a Marimekko outlet store?  Yeah, me neither.  Done and done.  And here’s proof below because obviously having brightly colored bean bags in front of their store makes sense.

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At The Equinox’s casual bar and outdoor area, they only serve cheese and chocolate.  Yeah, only.  I know, it’s awful, right?  This is basically my stomach’s dream.  A glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc paired with some local Vermont cheeses with a gorgeous sunset over the mountain.  I will forever hold that moment in my memory…and let’s not tell anyone I basically devoured this cheese plate below all. by. my. self.

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There is a 6-table restaurant in Manchester Village called The Silver Fork that I had heard about the last couple of times I was there, but couldn’t get in for obvious reasons.  Well, Eileen and I lucked out, thanks to Astri, the amazing concierge, and were able to get a reservation to eat at the bar.  We were happy and the food was outstanding.  weekend-in-vermont-ann-ueno-9

This happened on the last morning.  Sitting in the sun, drinking coffee, reading some of my favorite editorials and munching on their famous apple cider donuts.  Ahhhh!!

weekend-in-vermont-ann-uenoAnd similar to our drive from the airport, our drive to the airport, we had to stop at this amazing Dairy Farm for some real-deal soft serve ice cream.  It was sad to leave, but all good things must come to an end.  Thank you, Vermont and thank you Equinox Hotel for yet again, providing amazing hospitality, delicoius, local food and many memories I will carry with me forever!

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