The Equinox Resort, Manchester, Vermont – Hotel Review
Since 1769, the Equinox Resort has been a meeting place, first for America’s founding fathers, and now, as part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection of hotels and resorts, for vacationers and business travelers who have sought it out, in part for its idyllic New England location but also for the interesting and unusual activities the resort offers its guests.
On the eve of a major winter storm, I drove up to Vermont as the storm seemingly followed. This was good news as I was going to attend the Land Rover Experience Off-Road Winter Driving School. At the Equinox I was greeted warmly by one of the bellmen, outfitted in jodhpurs and knee-high argyle socks.
The storm made it to Manchester later that evening and I woke up to find over a foot of fresh powder outside. For most meetings and activities, this would have been bad news but the additional snowfall seemed to delight the driving school’s instructors. During the spring, summer, and fall, instructors teach off-road driving, but it’s in the winter where the school really comes to life with snow and ice driving instruction. The school uses a variety of Land Rover vehicles including the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover LR3, and Land Rover LR2.
On day one, I found myself on trails through the Green Mountains, where over two feet of snow had fallen by then (and this was on top of accumulated snow and ice). On day two, I was the only student at the school and, behind the wheel of a Land Rover LR4, I spent hours driving the 80-acre course, completely unplowed, under the guidance of my instructor, Tim.
Another activity I tried at the Equinox was falconry, courtesy of the British School of Falconry, also located at the resort. Falconry, known as a sport of kings, can include hawk walks and training. In the winter months, the training is held in the barn, where these magnificent birds reside, and I learnt how to handle and fly a Harris hawk.
Despite wintry conditions and the fact that I was in a building dating back to the mid-1700s, the room was warm and cozy. Climate controls were clear and easy to adjust.
The bed was extremely comfortable and I woke up refreshed and ready for the challenges of driving Land Rovers through the snowy forest.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
Internet was fast and free. The writing desk was generously sized and the wooden chair was surprisingly comfortable, although I admittedly spent relatively little time at my desk given the array of activities I wanted to take advantage of.
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