Choosing between family fun and a romantic getaway can be tricky. Especially when you also want to indulge in some well-earned ”me” time. The solution? Book your gang into Smugglers’ Notch (affectionately known as Smuggs) for a few days (or longer!) and let this friendly resort take care of all your needs.
Smuggs is a self-contained village perched on the ski slopes of Madonna, Morse and Sterling mountains. We arrived at the village mid-day and parked ourselves in the welcoming mountainside condo. To the delight of the kids, each room (including the washroom!) was equipped with a television and to the delight of the grownups, the condo’s generous proportions offered tons of space (and privacy!) as well as a cozy fireplace and Jacuzzi tub in the master suite.
The most challenging thing about Smuggs’ 1000 acres (including the three glorious interconnected mountains) is deciding where to start your adventure. Sure, there is skiing and snowboarding (oh boy, is there ever!) but off the slopes, there is plenty of fun to be had! We loved the many snowshoe trails as well as the small group cross-country classes (equipment rental available.) Both of these trails cross the zip lines where festive groups of adventurers went shrieking happily overhead.
After an energetic morning, grab yourself a hearty bowl of soup but skip the sweets and head over to the afternoon chocolate tasting instead (check schedule for dates, times.) This hands – and mouth – on seminar lets you soak in the history and evolution of cacao while you nibbling on samples of rich Lake Champlain chocolate. Be warned: You may never settle for dépanneur chocolate again.
Why stop the indulgences now? Grab a shuttle and head over to the on-site spa. For blissful rejuvenation, book yourself a warm vanilla spice wrap massage (60 minutes, $110) This treatment has you floating on pillows filled with warm water, and being treated to a gentle rub using aromatic vanilla and clove scented lotions. We purred our way through the final portion, a soft scalp and foot massage.
Night Time Nosh.
The food choices at Smugglers’ Notch range from casual and fast to epicurean and delicious. For the latter, be sure to dine at The Hearth & Candle located in the heart of the village. Trust us when we tell you to start with the Vermont cheese and roasted garlic platter. It’s a rotating selection of local cheeses, apples, and chutney. To follow, werecommend the fish & chips. This grown-up version is served with potato wrapped cod, citrus herb risotto, green beans and malt vinegar gastrique (did we mention that most meals are prepared from local, organically sourced ingredients?). You’ll want to wash it all down with the Ginger Shandy, a local Vermont micro brew.
Our advice for tomorrow? Rest. Relax. Repeat.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 4323 Vermont Route 108 South, Smugglers’ Notch, VT, 1-802-644-8851, www.smuggs.com