I’m not one for snow-packed summits and triple-diamond dashes, but it seems like I’m the type of person Topnotch Resort had in mind when they planned their recent $15 million renovation. It is a prime destination for those looking for relaxation and wellness.
I arrived at the resort after a scenic, albeit five-hour, straight shot up 95 to 91. (Or you could take a one-hour flight from LaGuardia to Burlington.) When you walk into the slick, New-Age lodge, you’re literally in the center of everything: Within the radius of a few hundred feet, you can grab a bite, take a dip in the pool, get a massage (oh, the massage!), then a drink at the bar. The resort’s restaurants, Flannel and The Roost, plus its two heated pools (one is for adults only), hot tub, gym, and rooms are all smartly situated around its lovely green courtyard, which is ringed with lounge chairs overlooking the gorgeous Mount Mansfield and is anchored by a fire pit, perfect for roasting marshmallows.
About that massage: In addition to the standard deep-tissue, there are four-hand massages, reflexology, maternity massages, and couple’s massages. A variety of facials and “signature” treatments, like the Mount Mansfield Saucha—a sea-salt exfoliation/detox wrap/aromatherapy massage combo—are also on the menu.
Elsewhere on the property are six outdoor tennis courts—there are indoor courts near the gym and “strength studio”—and, if you’d like, the hotel can set you up with personal training sessions with the resort’s in-house “international professional staff.” For families, there are tastefully decorated resort houses up the hill from the main property—talk about views—with multiple bedrooms and baths, and full kitchens.
Explore: Want to get out? Nordic Barn, a bike-rental shop, sits right at the mouth of the Stowe Recreation Path, which leads straight downtown through lush corn fields—even a corn maze; sculptures from local artists dot the landscape. We stopped at Crop Bistro & Brewery, part of the area’s venerated Vermont Fresh Network, for a cold one and a delicious mesquite turkey wrap.
Dine: Flannel, the window-walled, upper restaurant at the resort, features a full dining room and bar, and is the place to go to for breakfast. (Do try the corned-beef hash.) Opposite Flannel, The Roost is where to spend the waning hours of the day: The bar is stocked high and a shuffleboard table provides a stylish, fun—and massive—centerpiece for the surprisingly lively nights shared between the bar and the courtyard.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re looking for your arts fix, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center is your classic spot for live music, comedy, movies, and dance. We caught the Acadian Grand Dérangement—you could see the step-dancing clearly from anywhere in the house.
4000 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT (802) 760-6330; www.topnotchresort.com
Distance from White Plains: 5 hours Details: From Labor Day until Columbus Day, room rates begin at $265. November rates start at $225. The Back to Us package includes a 50-minute spa treatment per adult, per night, along with daily access to the spa and fitness center. In October, Back to Us rates start at $455. In November, they start at $355.