The Manchester hotel, Kimpton Taconic

Kimpton Taconic

THE SHORT VERSION

In the world of Vermont hotels, Kimpton Taconic shines as a modern take on the classic mountain lodge.

Scene

The perks of a city Kimpton with the uniquely Vermont “hygge”

When you think about Vermont hotels, entering the Kimpton Taconic Hotel is the type of experience you’ve come to expect. It’s what the Green Mountain State‘s known for. The lobby, called the property’s “living room,” has a roaring fireplace and cozy leather couches. The check-in desk doubles as a shop with snacks and Vermont-made beers, almost like a friend putting a drink in your hand when you walk through their front door. 

The Kimpton Taconic offers a laid-back alternative to the historic Equinox Resort, which is just a short walk away. A hallway stretches from the lobby to the elevator bank, then to a library-style back room with a shelf of suggested titles and a chess set. Here, couples and families settle in with a good book (perhaps “The Secret History”?) after hitting the nearby ski slopes at Bromley and Stratton mountains. During the warmer months, the front porch has rocking chairs to pass the time in between adventures in town. Depending on the time of year you visit, guests of this Manchester hotel might range from leaf peepers to ski bunnies to parents visiting students at the nearby colleges. Outdoors lovers can grab the in-room hiking sticks to navigate the nearby trails.

Location

The perfect home base for nearby hikes in the Kimpton Taconic’s namesake mountain range

The town of Manchester is in the southwest corner of the state, not far from the New York border. It has the small-town imagery you’d expect, with the red wooden churches and wide, tree-lined streets. Located in Manchester Village, this hotel is built in the clapboard style of an old resort previously located onsite. The hotel shuttle can take you to and from the bus stop, which connects to Amtrak and nearby towns, and downtown’s shops and restaurants.

The many places within walking distance include: 

  • Orvis Flagship Store: The family-run retail and mail-order business was founded in 1856 in Manchester by Charles F. Orvis. The company specializes in high-end fly-fishing, hunting and sporting goods. The flagship and outlet stores are a short walk from the hotel: perfect for any last-minute gear needs. 
  • American Museum of Fly Fishing: Next door to the Orvis store, learn about the history of  fly fishing. Exhibits include vintage reels and flies, along with fish-inspired artwork. 
  • The Land Rover Experience: Traverse the backroads of Manchester at one of two Land Rover Experiences in the country. The driving program allows guests to test the off-roading features of the luxury car manufacturer on steep hills and rocky terrain. It’s just across the street from the Equinox.
  • The Crooked Ram: When you’re ready to venture beyond the hotel for a meal, make a beeline for this bar and restaurant, named one of Esquire’s Best Bars of 2021. Dining inside or alfresco, you can chow down on wood-fired pizza, charcuterie, tinned fish and natural wine. 
  • The Silver Fork: Set in a former library, this restaurant is one of the town’s hardest-to-get tables. With a changing menu of international favorites, it’s been named one of the best date-night spots in the country. 
  • Hiking Trails: There’s a trail for every level of expertise in Manchester. If you’re looking to summit Mount Equinox, take the Red Gate Trail from behind the Equinox Resort. Long Trail connects to the Appalachian Trail, while the Lye Brook Falls Trail visits the waterfall of the same name. 

Rooms

The woodsy, tartan theme is what cabin dreams are made of

The 87 guest rooms, suites and cottages at this Manchester hotel are decorated with a fun mix of colors and patterns, pairing floral curtains with plaid wool pillows on a dark wood bed. Historic photos of the town cover the walls in the rooms and common areas downstairs. Each room also has a seating area with wooden spindle chairs when you can sip your morning cup of coffee and plan the day ahead. Rooms are pet-friendly and rates start at $180 per night.

  • King Essential: The 260-square-foot rooms come with a king-sized bed, Frette linens and Atelier Bloem bath products. They overlook the courtyard or mountains. Some come with fireplaces. 
  • 2 Queen Essential Mountain View: These rooms have the same amenities as the King but with two beds. 
  • 1 King 1 Bedroom Suite: The 400-square-foot suites have the same features as the King rooms, but with 100 additional square feet, a living area and a soaking tub with a separate shower. The fireplace suite has the same features, plus a sofa bed and fireplace.
  • Cottages: The hotel also operates three adjacent historic cottages for added privacy with multiple rooms and s’mores kits. These are ideal for families and large groups and still have access to the daily tea and coffee service and social hour. 

Amenities

The best qualities of the Kimpton brand are on full display at the Kimpton Taconic, namely the complimentary morning coffee and social hour with wine and Vermont beer. But the Taconic takes it a step further with an emphasis on Vermont-made products in the restaurant.

The Copper Grouse: While Manchester has some fantastic dining options, you don’t have to leave this hotel for a good meal. The Copper Grouse is open for breakfast daily, and lunch and dinner on weekends (as well as Thursday and Monday). The restaurant showcases the local purveyors it sources from on a blackboard in the front, including the orchard-fresh apples and the cave-aged cheddar. Menu favorites include spaetzle, a German-style noodle dish, and seared scallops. 

Transportation and other perks: The shuttle service is helpful for visiting farther away places like the sprawling Northshire Bookstore, but the hotel’s rental bicycles are great for around town. The kids can use the rental scooters. Other perks include the fitness center with ellipticals and weights and complimentary parking, a seasonal outdoor pool and souvenir shop with collars for your pet or wool mittens for yourself.