Smugglers' Notch Resort
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TravelPod Member ReviewsSmugglers' Notch Resort Smugglers Notch
I had a pleasure of working for Smugglers Notch over ten years ago. I remember the resort was well organised and members of stuff helpful and friendly. The place is an ideal holiday destination for whole families during winter and summer. Highly recommend it to everyone wanting to spend time in a safe and lovely environment. Lovely picturesque area with close proximity to Burlington, a town situated by beautiful Lake Champlain.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Smugglers' Notch Resort Smugglers Notch
Smugglers' Notch - great family ski vacation for all ages
We go to Smugglers' Notch each winter for a wonderful family experience. Ski schools and kids camps are great and our older teens love to come with us. The timeshare accomodations are beautiful and are really well kept up. We do not understand the previous post about housekeeping- all the Willows units we have stayed in are spotlessly prepared. Smugglers' has a hot line you can call if anything needs fixing or you need something in your unit and they respond very promptly. The units are spacious and decorated with that Vermont country charm. Who wouldn't love having your own jacuzzi with TV(!) right in the master bath - we ALL do. We always stay in the Willows (buildings III and IV are truly ski-on, ski-off. ) When you can step out the door right on to the slope and ski down to the lift, everyone can be free to ski whenever they like. We all meet back at the condo for lunch and then ski for the rest of the day. For dinner, we have really enjoyed several of the restaurants in the area- Three Mountain Lodge and 158 Main especially. There are so many family events going on each week, day and night. The Smuggs band is fabulous! Swimming, tubing, and snowmobiling are a treat. We treasure our vacations there and have yet to find another vacation that everyone in the family likes as well.
Long Drive for Little Value
We chose Smuggs for the Family Reunion Package and it is rated highly on Family Reunion-type websites. We drove 10 hours for little more than a swim club. It is expensive ($2700 for 2adults/2kids) and I can only guess it's for the camps which are included. Note food and other activities are not included. If you want to actually spend time with your kids, why put them in a camp all day? And even if you did, don't expect any major relaxation for yourselves unless hiking and day trips are your thing.
We live close to the Pocono Mtns in Pennsylvania - I saw no difference what-so-ever. Next time, we're going all-inclusive to somewhere a lot nicer that serves drinks, has room service, maid service, etc. I can cook, clean, and send my kids to camp at home.
Had fun, but overpriced
Arrived from South Florida after an all-day trip. It's an hour's drive from Burlington to the resort. We got an upgrade to one of the Trailside Executives condos, about 1,600 square feet with three full baths. It was really nice.
Each night there cost us $600. We stayed five nights. Hardly any activities are included in the price. You get day camp for kids, but ours are 3 and 16. Our 3-yr-old spent four full days at camp and enjoyed it. Our 16-year-old did not do any activities with the teen group. Also took one free walk, went to most of the free evening activities, played in the pools a bit, played free shuffleboard and a round of Monopoly, and two free rounds of 9-hole mini golf. There is free shuttle service around the compound. Nearly every meal was quite tasty.
We paid $50 per person plus tip for the Taste of Vermont tour, for the three of us = $150 plus tip. Pretty pricey. We paid $70 each way for airport transportation, plus tips. Paid $15 per person for three to rent mountain bikes, which we only used for 1 1/2 hours. NO food is included, and NO food or condiments were at the condo. Paid a lot of money for golf off site, plus transportation. Paid $25 for a golf clinic, which was a good deal. Pay Pay Pay Pay, you get real tired of things costing extra, when you know you're paying $600 a night!!
In summary, we had fun and escaped the S. Florida heat, but I don't think we'll go back.
Great fun for the kids but way too expensive!
I agree with the other poster that it is best to rest privately from another owner. $3,000/per week is just too much money when you can rent a nice place just down the road for much less. we just got back yesterday from smuggler's. we went with our two girs 9 and 6 years old. they loved the kids program and the pools and slides, especially Notchville park. the girls also had fun at all the great family activities: family challenge night, sing along with good time charlie, the magic show, the marionette show, etc.
we got the great deal of %40 off in the second week of july. to get that great deal we had to go to their 90 min time share presentation, which was fine, and we didn't mind so much. the weather was perfect, sunny in high 80's. we did a lot of hiking while our girls were in camp. we also drove to Stowe for lunch and dinner since Stowe offers the best restaurants in the area. smuggler's just does not have a good restaurant and i wonder why? it's ok, but not great. for the same money you can dine like a king at Stowe. we may go back to smuggler's if we get a great deal, otherwise we will stay at Stowe next time. anyway the place is great for kids but not so great for the adults, but i still recommend it!
Early Spring At Smugglers Notch
Our first long weekend in Canada (Victoria Day) and we chose to
spend it in Vermont!!
We have been coming to Smugglers for over 16 years now, and
its usually in the fall....this year, however, its early spring!!
The resort has limited activities open, but don't let that hold you back,
the swimming pool was really, warm ... despite the cool rainy weather,
and the tennis courts under the bubble were also up and running.
And of course, you can always enjoy the spectacular view from your
condo, as well as hiking around the resort. It's really up to you and
your family how much "fun" you want to really have. Plus, you can
drive into Stowe, where there are bike paths, restuarants, shopping.
And, of course, the endless mountain hiking paths..everywhere you look.
Our condo, located in The Willows, was absolutely beautiful. We usually
pick these condos, because they are so beautifully decorated, and
All in all, Smugglers Resort is really your best bet for a wonderful
family vacation. We have had many memorable vacations there
in the past, summer, and fall...and now .. early spring!!
The staff are wonderful, and a special interest for Canadians...its
Canadian money at par!!!!! You've Got to love that!!!
We stayed at Smuggler's Notch last year in June - they had a promotion which combined with their Timeshare preview option worked out well for us.
It takes a while to get up there, you actually have to go through the notch, the road winds up and down, it is very narrow, inclines at 45 %, but in the summer it should not be a problem. You can always loop around but that would be extra 10 miles.
The resort is set up as a village with two sections: old and new. The new sections have much nicer accommodations but it is a hike since it is up the hill. They are running shuttles, but sometimes you have to wait. I drove a lot because of that. The old section has all the attractions and amenities but the units are not in great shape overall.
The biggest focus of this resort is definitely kids. If you don't have kids - this is probably not the best place for you, there are much more private places around. Their camp runs since 9 am through 3 pm, they have several interest groups: games, arts, hiking. They did not take our 3-year old because she wasn't t-trained yet but they gave us 2 free days of day care, which is nice. The counselors are high-school kids and students; it is all depends who you get. This camp, in my opinion, is the major reason to go there - most of the kids like it although I saw some teenagers wandering around clearly bored. There is a petting zoo, and Driving Range with a resident PGA right there, which I enjoyed. My wife took a 2-day tennis course. All these "extras" are not cheap, check their catalog.
One problem you have there is food. They do have a restaurant; it is OK but not more. All suites have kitchen, but to get to the country store it is about 15 miles down the road. This store is expensive. There is also a very nice Shopping Center, but it is about 26 miles down the same road - lots of driving. In terms of restaurants, I'd try the Austrian place - Trapp Family Lodge (Sounds of Music) - great views too.
The resort has a lot of guided hiking to offer, but gauge your fitness appropriately, don't try Elephants Head unless you are up to it!
Overall, I think it is a decent place, their staff was very nice, but this resort is expensive, their sticker prices is way too high. Need to wait for a promotion or rent privately.
You will love this place, especially if you have younger children.
Mountains, beautiful scenery, plenty to do on and off the resort
winter and summer! We started going in the winter and now I think
we like summer there even better.
Just OK but wouldn't go back
We stayed at Smugglers for 6 nights in January 2005 with our 2 children ages 1 and 4. The first condo we were given was absolutely filthy. The bathroom had not been cleaned and we found food scattered on the carpeting in the main room. Not only wasn't it clean, but the condo they gave us had no washer/dryer and required a LONG walk (up stairs, down internal hallways, etc) which just wasn't convenient for a family with small children. We complained and were given 2 alternatives to choose from (annoyed us that both were MUCH better than the one they originally gave us which made us wonder how they determine where to put people). The one we chose was much nicer, but we still found food on the carpets and under the beds so it wasn't that clean either (just better than the first one we saw). Smugglers clearly has issues with housekeeping and we just had to wonder how clean everything else was. Our unit also had no heat in the bedroom which we managed to survive with until our entire building ran out of propane on night (used for heating) and we awoke to an absolute freezing room. We had to again complain in order to receive a slight discount. Hard to imagine how a resort could have a building run out of propane in January but they managed to. Anyway, aside from housekeeping/maintenance issues, we had a pretty good time. For the most part, the staff is very friendly. Be aware that the ski school (our 4 year old was in this) is really daycare with some skiing involved. Our 4 year old did improve quite a bit, however, and I would recommend the private lessons which seemed quite good (we did one the last day for our son). We tried the Treasures Daycare for our 1 year old for 3 mornings. One staff member was absolutely excellent, but the others seemed completely apathetic which was worrisome. Not sure we'd use them again. For a ski vacation, Smugglers was good. The lifts are slow, but that was OK for us. The cross country trails were very good and we also enjoyed snowshoeing. The ice skating was a disappointment and the week we were there the indoor pool was downright cold. Maybe it was the extreme cold, but the water wasn't very warm and it was unbearable to sit in the pool area without being dressed for cold weather. The "Fun Zone" was OK but nothing too great - didn't live up to the photos we saw in the brochure. All in all, we had a good time but I doubt we would go there again. We did get a good rate but had to attend a 90 minute presentation. With the "problems" we had experienced at check-in, our presentation lasted less than 30 minutes. That itself sums it up.
Great with Kids
We were at Smuggler's last February 2004. We have already booked a room for this February 2005. It was a wonderful experience for us. My husband and I have stayed at many 5 star resorts but....we were not looking for a pampered spa-indulged, food dining delight, experience. We were looking for a great time for our children (4 and 6) and a good time for ourselves. Smuggler's more than surpassed that desire. Our children wanted to see snow and learn to ski. We also rode dogsleds, ice-skated outside, snowmobiled, fun-zoned every night, and flew down the hill on tubes. We were only there 4 nights, this year we are going for 7. I do not understand the problems people had. Liftside is probably one of the oldest of the rooms but it was more than adequate, yes it is a little dark but it was clean, the fireplace was nice and the view of the mountains makes up for alot. You should stop by a grocery store BEFORE you come into the resort because you will get tired of the food. Not because it is not decent, although some spaghetti we had was a little yuck.. but because eating out 3 meals a day plus snacks is hard on the kids when they are so active. They need down time. Besides the full kitchen is wonderful and fully stocked. This year we plan to go to the Ben and Jerry's factory and do some other things such as horseback riding at Lajoie Stables, maybe even hit Stowe for dinner one night.
Better than Expected
Our first trip to Smuggs and our first "family resort" experience. Our 3 year old loved the ski school that had the nicest Chilean instructors for his group. Accommodations were better than expected with a full kitchen and washer/dryer. Getting around is easy with the shuttle service. Every staff person encountered was helpful and friendly. Lots of activities. Will return next year! Worth the 7 hour trip to get there. Ski conditions were fine, plenty of runs. Slow chairlifts but with no lift lines. Vaction was end of January '04.
TripAdvisor Reviews Smugglers' Notch Resort Smugglers Notch
Travel Blogs from Smugglers Notch
Burlington was the starting point of my 2003 trip. There is a bus station connecting other
major cities, such as Boston, my first leg of the trip. It is also beautiful spot by the Lake Champlain. Further north is Canadian border. I used to hang out with work colleagues from the Ski Family Resort- Smugglers Notch in Jeffersonville, Vermont …
... notch. We are in the Smugglers Notch Inn. It’s an old inn and the floors are all wood and uneven which I love. The bed seems comfortable and the guy who checked us in was really sweet. I am more of a 4 star gal so these little "quaint" places are more mom’s style than mine but its for one night so I suck it up. It’s clean at least and we are in room 2 at the top of the stairs from the lobby so that is ...
... until we called in Michael's (true) and Steph treated herself to a new fabric cutter. Route 7 took us out of Rutland, northwards towards Burlington alongside Lake Champlain. It's a slow route, 55mph max, but littered with beautiful "leaf peeping" opportunities. We are now becoming quite blasť about leaf colour (color!). Brandon was a soup stop and then upwards to the Shelburne Museum, one of the nation's finest museums according to ...
... City of about 46,000 people, which revolves round a large University.
Today we have gentle rain - a strange phenomenon for us. Perfect timing as we had a leisurely start and after walking through the rather damp Farmers Market in the centre, we found an Irish pub and watched the All Blacks lose to the Springbok. We didn't have any commentary but we did have a Smithwicks in our hands before lunchtime!
Just doesn't get any better than starting your day by going to a Ben & Jerry's factory and tasting ice cream. What a success story. We really enjoyed the tour of the factory. I was surprised to learn they freeze all of the ingredients before they put them in the ice cream. If they would not do that, the items would just blend in with the ice cream. Our sample was a caramel ice cream with caramel and chocolate swirls ...