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TopNotch Resort and Spa

By: Kellie K. Speed, Travel Writer

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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 resort’s two restaurants - the Buttertub Bistro for casual dining and Maxwell’s for finer upscale dining.

At Maxwell’s, 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 program.

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 clams.

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. Maxwell’s 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 dinner.
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 men’s and women’s 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 resort’s 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
Stowe, Vermont

Phone: 802-253-8585

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Kellie Speed - Click to enlarge

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 Approach.

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


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