by Kimberly Liu
The historical Equinox stands proudly in the center of the quaint town of Manchester, Vermont and has expanded over the years to offer a variety of luxury room and suite configurations well suited to the needs of families. Newly renovated, the rooms are fresh and updated, and all include hi-speed Internet; spa bath essentials; access to the fitness center; pool and sauna; daily morning coffee; and valet parking. Don’t forget to bring along your bathing suits, because kids won’t be able to resist the 75-foot indoor heated pool. Both casual and formal onsite dining are convenient and superb, and families will find no shortage of activities nearby including a variety of indoor and outdoor museum tours, hiking and biking, boating and canoeing, horseback riding, tennis, alpine sliding, snow tubing, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, skating, sleigh rides and more! If you can sneak a moment of grown-up alone time, head for a treatment at the onsite award-winning spa.
Our Editor Loves
- A variety of onsite dining options
- Indoor heated pool
- Close to area ski resorts
Let me say that we have always loved the Equinox until our last stay, but I am afraid we will never stay here again! The reason for this is that we paid in advance for our two-night stay from June 27 to June 29, 2019, using hotels.com, yet when we received the billing for incidentals, such as restaurant meals and resort fees, via email I found that we were double-charged for our accommodations. This can be no simple error on the part of the Equinox, as on the folio itself, it clearly was annotated that this was an ADVANCE PURCHASE against the daily hotel rate charged.
When I called the registration desk to get this corrected the next day and over the course of several months, I was shunted from department to department, but not once was there a person to answer my calls—I left messages on both the Accounts Manager's VoiceMail and the General Manager's VoiceMail, but not once did I get a call back!
On Thursday, August 16, 2019, since I was back in Manchester, VT, for the Dorset Festival Theater, I decided to stop by the Equinox to find out why we had not received a reimbursement. At the registration desk, I asked to see the General Manager, and a woman on duty there said that she was the manager and how could she help? I explained the double-billing, and after a lengthy checking of their records online, as well as the records of hotels.com, she admitted that I was correct and that she would issue a credit immediately. However, there was no apology—so much for guest relations!
We waited patiently for that refund, but by mid-September 2019 when there was still no sign of a credit issued on our Bank of America Visa card, I had no choice but to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and to Marriott BonVoy. It pained me to do so, as I have been a loyal fan of the Equinox for more than 40 years, either staying there or dining at the Marsh Tavern.
Update: On October 5, 2019, at long last, we were sent a revised folio from the Equinox and received a reimbursement for the double-billing for our stay back in June of 2019—so much for the General Manager stating that we would see a credit within 3-5 days on August 16, 2019. But, even then, we were short-changed by $7.80. Bank of America, however, notified us that they would make up the difference, because of the long delay in reimbursement to our credit card—they were also anxious to close the dispute after all these months!
Adding insult to injury, I might add that the Equinox Accounts Department could not even get our address correct on the revised folio. This time they gave us someone else’s address in Oregon, instead of our New Hampshire address. The incompetence of the current Accounts Department is unbelievable!
The Equinox never did respond to our complaint with the Better Business Bureau, neither did Marriott BonVoy.
Just returned today from a 3cday weekend. Manchester is quaint and the Northshire bookstore is a must for all.
We were greeted very nicely by the valet-promising start. But, sadly, that's almost the best. The hallways and common areas were absolutely freezing. No security. All the exit doors were never locked and many didnt close all the way *lending to the cold). Dogs yapping in the room at night and you can hear absolutely everything going on in the hallway.
In 3 days we had to have our door keys redone at least 20 times (2-3x/day). Twice asked the concierge for help with issues with the room. Never saw anyone. we had to ask for toilet paper (after the room had been cleaned).
Dinner and lunch in the tavern was expensive and disappointing (we had to return 1 meal - after pushing the waitress as she didnt see anything wrong with all the fat on the steak).
Spa was nice. pool was a bit cold and difficult getting into hot tub without families and all their kids.
The lobbies were beautiful but so cold you didnt want to stay for long. The concierge held the door open at least 5 minutes for a group he was talking too but noone actually went out the door.
On checkout (after I asked concierge to let me in my room again, I asked about having valet come to our room. he said "just call when you are ready they will be here." 20 minutes later I call and they tell me 20 minutes. So, if he had done what I asked initially, then we would have been out. instead we brought our own luggage to the car (we could see multiple people getting frustrated). The place was booked solid all weekend and sorely understaffed.
I wanted to love it but I can say I doubt I will ever return.
Beautiful views though