Destination Spas

Few things are as relaxing as a couple of days at a top-notch spa.


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Topnotch Resort & Spa, Stowe, Vt.

Nestled among Vermont’s breathtaking Green Mountains in the charming town of Stowe, Topnotch Resort & Spa is the perfect getaway if you’re looking for complete relaxation amid beautiful scenery. There’s plenty to do at the resort—private tennis lessons, skiing and hiking—but it was the luxurious spa that won us over. Named one of the top 10 spas in the country by Condé Nast Traveler, the Spa at Topnotch is an oasis of tranquility.

The resort is situated on 120 acres of countryside beneath Mount Mansfield—the state’s largest peak—and features European country manor-style guest rooms and suites. You’ll feel at home in any of the spacious and comfortable rooms, many of which afford breathtaking panoramic views.

Every room is just steps away from something to do at Topnotch. The tennis center attracts visitors from all over; you can get private lessons from an elite team of professionals, enroll in the tennis academy or even catch a tournament. There are six outdoor courts and four indoor, so weather won’t be an issue. You also can hike, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Stowe, horseback ride, mountain bike and, of course, ski the slopes of Mount Mansfield.

The dining here is superb—from the elegant, gourmet Maxwell’s to the new, patio-style Norma’s to the cozy Butterbub Bistro & Bar. We thoroughly enjoyed all three, but found the poolside setting and chic, country-style cuisine of Norma’s the most delightful.

Adjacent to Norma’s are two outdoor pools and a hot tub, which, in addition to the restaurant, offer unbelievable views of the Green Mountains. Swimming can be enjoyed year-round, thanks to a third pool inside the solarium. Also in the sky-lit solarium, you’ll find a co-ed sauna, steam room and another hot tub.

The solarium leads to a state-of-the-art fitness center, where you can work out at your own pace with the equipment or with a personal trainer. The men’s and women’s locker rooms and lounges are furnished with crackling fireplaces¬—great spots for kicking back after a long workout.

But the best way to achieve utter relaxation at Topnotch is by spending some time in the spa. The 35,000-square-foot, European-style space is the place to pamper yourself, relax and rejuvenate. Choose from more than 120 treatments, including body wraps, massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. The body wraps and treatments, such as the popular Vermont Maple Sugar Body Scrub and the Aroma-Relax Wrap, will moisturize and exfoliate your skin, leaving you soft and smooth from head to toe. Be sure to treat yourself to a luxurious massage—whatever ails you, there’s a massage targeted to help, including Swedish, maternity, deep-tissue, sports, Shiatsu and the highly recommended Little River Stone Massage (exclusive to Topnotch). The facials will revitalize your skin¬; we suggest the June Jacobs Signature Facial, which is personalized to your skin- care needs, the Delice de Peau Facial for dry skin or the Anti-Gravity Lifting Facial for when gravity has taken its toll. Whichever treatment you choose, the attentive staff will make you feel like royalty.

You will be in awe of the elegance and serenity that is Topnotch. We found that there was nothing better than simply wandering out to the pool after a massage and basking in the lush beauty of the Green Mountains.

400 Mountain Rd., Stowe, Vt. For more info, call (802) 253-8585 or visit

Destination Spas

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