A September 2001 trip
to Smugglers Notch by Laura Z
Quote: I know a lot of people love Smugglers Notch. I'm a city person and I never take winter vacations to anywhere that isn't south. VT is nice, but not my cup of tea.
Hotel | "Village at Smuggler's Notch"
I have two toddlers and found very little to do with them. The pool was nice, but it was very cold to be swimming (we wore sweatshirts during the day!). The playground equipment was a sparse few pieces here or there. There was nothing to do indoors when it rained.
The daycare was just that, a daycare. I don't feel that leaving my kids in a daycare while I go on vacation is a "family vacation". I can totally see how older kids would enjoy the camps while parents did their own thing, but I felt very sad as children were crying for their mommies while their mothers were off enjoying themselves. Again, I'm not saying the daycare was bad in any way. I stayed for quite awhile and saw children interacting, doing crafts, and playing. However, I also watched as a few little girls sat by themselves and others clung to the workers. One little boy grabbed my hand and wanted to leave with me. Very sad.
The unit we stayed in was really nice: C-16 in the Commons buildings. It was very close to everything and spacious (it slept 12 easily). The views were gorgeous from every window. It was a bright and comfortable unit. There were three levels, which was a little tough with luggage (to the top floor) and the kids going up and down the stairs (no bathroom on the main level). The deck was nice.
We did trips each day to different places, but had very long drives. I highly recommend the Stowe Gondola ride which is close by. Also, a trip into Burlington and the pedestrian mall is a nice day trip (we also rode the Champlain Flyer train, which my sons really enjoyed). We drove to Montreal, which I loved. I definitely plan to return there and spend a few days. The few hours we had there weren't enough.
As far as service goes, the unit was immaculate. Housekeeping was always around the village. Several times I approached different people at the front desk for advice as to what I could do with toddlers. None of them had any information either on or off site. It was disappointing (at least they could have mentioned the Gondola Ride in Stowe!) They knew nothing about the train ride. The only thing offered was their childcare program.
All in all, we had a great time. I could think of other places to stay for day trips that would be more convenient. If skiing is your preference, then I could see Smuggs as being very attractive for that purpose. Also, if the kids are older, the surroundings are beautiful for hiking and such.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 8, 2004
Smugglers' Notch Resort
4323 Vermont Route 108 South
Smugglers' Notch 05464
Somewhere in NJ, ---