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Aerial view of the ground at the Equinox Golf Resort & Spa
Equinox Golf Resort & Spa

SmarterTravel Spotlight: The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, Manchester, VT

SmarterTravel

Editor’s Note: The Equinox hosted the author of this story.

Arrive at The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa on a Friday afternoon, and you might be greeted by Cooper, an adorable golden retriever who serves as the resort’s Chief Happiness Officer. Cooper (along with his human, Equinox’s General Manager, Jay Sheldon), host a weekly social hour to kick off the weekend. It’s just one of the unexpected amenities you’ll find at this stately Vermont resort, where guests can sign up for everything from a Land Rover off-roading experience to a falconry class. 

The Location

Aerial view of the Equinox Resort and Spa grounds
The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa

Located on charming Main Street in downtown Manchester Village, The Equinox is surrounded by boutique restaurants and shops. Overlooked by the Green Mountain National Forest, you’ll find lush mountain views from every corner of the resort. Close to Stowe and Bromley, The Equinox is a great base for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer and fall.

The resort is within easy driving distance of both New York City and Boston.

Activities

Aerial view of the Equinox Resort and Spa grounds
The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa

A wide range of activities sets the resort apart from other hotels. The Equinox is famous for its 18-hole Walter Travis golf course (redesigned by Rees Jones), which attracts golfers from around the world.

It’s also just one of three places in the United States with a Land Rover Experience Center, where you can learn off-road driving skills as an expert instructor guides you through obstacles such as side-tilts, water crossings, rock crawls, and steep descents. 

Interested in wildlife? Sign up for the Green Mountain Falconry School, where you can handle a trained hawk and learn about this unique hobby. Or, try to catch your dinner at the Orvis Fly Fishing School.

There’s no shortage of opportunities to get active at The Equinox. Rent a kayak and paddle around Equinox Pond, where you’ll enjoy beautiful views of Equinox Mountain. Speaking of mountains, there are over 900 acres of private trails you can hike here—and if you want some company, you can join Jay and Cooper for a Saturday morning walk around the Equinox Preserve. Or, pick up your tennis racquet and play a match on one of the resort’s three plexi-cushion courts. 

Want a bit more adrenaline? Head to the axe-throwing trailer where you can hone your axe throwing skills. 

The Rooms

Interior of a queen bed room at the Equinox Golf Resort and Spa
The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa

With 1,300 acres and three different buildings of accommodations to choose from, you’ll never feel crowded at The Equinox. The main Equinox Resort offers standard guestrooms, along with spacious suites that range in size from 600 to 800 square feet. 

Next door to the main resort, The Charles Orvis Inn, a gorgeously restored and modernized historic residence, features one- and two-bedroom suites. These luxurious suites have separate bedrooms, living rooms with fireplaces and sleeper sofas, and fully-equipped kitchens. 

Just down the street, you’ll find the 1811 Inn, where you can sleep in the former home of Abraham Lincoln’s granddaughter. This romantic inn has 13 guestrooms with fireplaces, canopied beds, private porches, and a vintage vibe. 

Dining

Dining room with a table set with wine glasses at the Equinox Golf Resort and Spa
The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa

Open for lunch and dinner, The Equinox’s Chop House restaurant is a Manchester mainstay. Dine inside by the stone hearth fireplace, or grab a seat outside on the spacious porch to watch the sunset. The menu offers a wide range of options, with a focus on fresh, seasonal flavors. 

For lighter fare, head to the Marsh Tavern, which serves drinks and light bites in a cozy space. 

Start or end your evening at the lively Falcon Bar, where you’ll find live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Pull up a seat at the bar or take your cocktail outside to socialize around the fire pit. 

Golfers won’t go hungry or thirsty—the seasonal Dormy Grill on the deck of the golf clubhouse features light snacks and drinks.

Amenities

The Equinox’s resort fee covers a wide range of amenities: 

  • Complimentary coffee and tea bar
  • Indoor heated pool
  • Outdoor hot tub
  • WiFi
  • Outdoor tennis courts
  • 914 acres of private hiking trails
  • Lawn games
  • Disc golf
  • Fishing pond
  • Fire pits
  • Seasonal activities such as live music and outdoor movies
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Daily fitness classes
  • Spa
  • Golf putting green practice area
  • Free parking

Price and How to Book

Rates for The Equinox start at $119 per night and can be booked on The Equinox’s website.

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