The Classicist: The Equinox, Updating An American Icon in Vermont
Presiding over the picturesque Vermont village of Manchester, The Equinox has played host to the well-heeled and well-traveled for nearly 250 years. Established in 1769, the archetypal grand old New England hotel has served as a meeting place for the fathers of the American Revolution and hosted American presidents including Taft, Grant, Harrison and Teddy Roosevelt. Now part of the Luxury Collection, the iconic 195-room resort recently underwent a $20 million restoration, adding luxury amenities, luxe accommodations, and a new restaurant and bar to update an American icon and uphold its legacy going forward.
Designer Geoffrey Bradfield was put in charge of the redecoration, and fitted out the new guestrooms with a muted palette of slate blue, dark brown and beige accented with hand-carved furniture. One wall of each guest room features a large black and white photograph of The Equinox from the early 1900's. Custom-made beds, marble vanities, dramatic floor length curtains and plush leather armchairs add the finishing touches. The lobby seating areas and library, both with fireplaces, have also been spruced up.
The Falcon Bar and Chop House are the new additions to the drinking and dining scene. The Falcon Bar features French doors opening onto a terrace with incredible mountain vistas and an open-air fire pit. Inside there's dark wood paneling and plush leather chairs, as well as an extensive collection of single malt Scotch and a comprehensive wine list. There's also a menu of locally sourced cheeses and gourmet chocolates. The Chop House, located at the original site of The Equinox House Hotel built by Franklin Orvis in 1853, features the original stone hearth and is designed in the manner of a refined hunter's lodge complementing the gourmet steak house fare. Leather banquettes and rugged palette are accented by old hardwood floors.
Gallery: The Equinox, Manchester
The adjacent Marsh Tavern, which has been the favorite watering hole of presidents since 1769, has been given a new menu of sophisticated, New England-style cuisine full of nostalgic flavors and simple, farm fresh ingredients. The bar specializes in an extensive selection of beers and ales and features snacks such as pretzels served with Raye's Mustard from Maine, the last stone ground mustard mill in the country. And of course there's lots to do besides eating and drinking: the indoor pool and spa, for starters.
The Equinox also offers the ultimate outdoor Vermont adventure experience with a variety of activities such as golf, falconry, archery, fly-fishing, shooting and Land Rover off-road driving. You can spend your morning maneuvering a Land Rover on rough terrain, midday practice your aim with recurve bows on the archery field, play golf on the lush course, and in the afternoon try field hunting alongside a majestic hawk, with some of the country's most scenic vistas as a backdrop.