Monday, October 16, 2017

Stowe Mountain Lodge Hotel Review

What a trip this was! Ya'll if you haven't been to Vermont, I highly reccommend penciling in a stay at Stowe Mountain Lodge. If you follow along on social media, you've probably noticed that I love all things fall. It's my favorite season, however, it's an inexcusably short season in North Carolina. With that being said, Bailey Schwartz from Here's The Skinny and I set out to find the perfect fall getaway destination. After a little bit of research, it became apparent that Stowe Mountain Lodge was the perfect place for this. Below you will find a complete review of our stay at the lodge. 

The Rooms: We stayed in a classic guest room with a view of Mount Mansfield. Our room was a little over 450 sq. ft and had a beautiful marble tiled bathroom with a separate tub. The room was plenty spacious for two people (we had two doubles but rooms with just one King are also available), however Stowe Mountain Lodge also offers studios, junior suites, one, two, and three bedroom suites, residences that you can rent out, and cabins! So if you're planning to come with a larger party, there is an option for everyone. Bailey and I actually got to tour some of these rooms and the amenities were fantastic! My personal favorite, the fireplace. I also want to take a second to talk about the decor. When I think of Vermont, I think of the mountains, skiing, fall, and being cozy. Each room embodied these feelings perfectly! Everything looks and feels brand new, but has that cozy lodge feel to it - right up my alley! 

Dining: I've mentioned this in my reviews before, but food can make or break a trip for me. I'm a foodie, and if I'm going on vacation I like to experience better food than I could cook at home. We experienced two different restaurants at Stowe Mountain Lodge, the coffee shop, lobby bar, and in-room dining. All were exceptional, but I will break down the details for you here:
  • Solstice Restaurant: We had both breakfast and dinner here and both were delicious! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was exceptionally excited to try it! I ordered the superfoods egg white omelet which came with spinach, turkey, tomato, avocados and potatoes and it was excellent! Typically I would've gone for the stack of pancakes, but our wedding is only two short months away so you know how that goes. I also decided to splurge a little and order the banana bread which was warm and amazing! You need to order it if you go! I kept craving steak while we were visiting, so for dinner at Solstice I ordered the 10 oz Bistro Steak which was also really delicious! Overall, the quality of the food at this restaurant is excellent - you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu!
  • Hourglass Lounge: Before dinner, Bailey and I were both ready for a drink after a long day of exploring so we grabbed a seat in a cozy little nook at the Hourglass Lounge and tried out their Vermont flight of beer! I'm not a big beer drinker so I had a specialty cocktail (strawberry margarita) that was to die for! However, Bailey said the flight was excellent as well. We grabbed the crab dip as our appetizer, which again, you can't go wrong with!
  • The Cottage: The Cottage is up at the golf course in the clubhouse! It's a beautifully built building with a cozy fireplace in the center of it surrounded by tables and chairs. We just had a light lunch here before checking out, but the food didn't disappoint. If you're looking for something a little more simple like a burger, dog, or wrap - I would reccommend hopping over here.
  • In room dining: Our flight getting into Burlington was delayed by an hour, so we arrived at the hotel rather late and hungry! We decided to try out the in-room dining and had a Kale Ceasar Salad with chicken, charcuterie board, and the pulled pork nachos! We reccommend them all. 
  • The Pantry & Beanery:  Coffee is my thing. Okay, I have a lot of things I know - but this is the one thing I couldn't live without in the world. So when we found out that Stowe Mountain Lodge has it's own little coffee shop, I was thrilled! I couldn't wait to try a Maple Latte as I had heard they were super satisfying, and I heard right. I reccommend giving one a go if you're visiting! We didn't get a chance to check out The Pantry, but it looked like they offered lunch items like deli sandwhiches, wraps, and salads! 
Something else worth noting about the food at SML is that they grow their own herb garden. So all of the herbs used in the food around the lodge are snipped directly from their property. Additionally, they mentioned many times that some of the offerings on the menu were from locally owned farms, which I appreciate as I'm a big supporter of local businesses. 

Service: In today's world, finding good customer service can be challenging. This is a sad statement, but all too often I find that customer service is not the main area of concern for businesses anymore. A few things that stood out to me in terms of service at SML were as follows:
  • The lodge offers a complimentary Mercedes during your stay for up to two hours in case you would like to leave the grounds. 
  • A lady by the name of Diana checked us in upon arrival and was absolutely delightful and welcoming! It's always nice to be greeted by an employee whose as happy as you are to be there. Ask for her if you're planning a stay!
  • Valet was exceptional in helping us get situated, coming and going from the lodge, and making sure we never had to wait for anything. 
  • We enjoyed a spa experience that was above and beyond - I will talk more about this below.

Grounds: We chose Vermont as our destination in leui of it's natural beauty. Mount Mansfield serves as the backdrop for one side of the lodge, and in the fall, the mountain looks like a sea of color! Its spectacular. The grounds were perfectly manicured, very clean, and walkable. Something I found interesting about the lodge itself was that it is made out of the trees that were cut down to build the property. For instance, the hostess podium at Solstice is made out of a tree trunk taken from the property during building. I found this to be a really nice touch! We were also told that most of the art and decorations within the lodge came from local artists. 

Spa: We had the opportunity to experience the spa during our stay, and boy it didn't disappoint! As mentioned before, we were in search of a fun filled fall weekend, so we chose the Stowe Cider Uber Scrub and Massage as our treatment. Let me just start by saying that I get massages regularly, but I've never actually done a scrub before. So this was a first for me. This is a 110 minute treatment beginning with 50 minutes of a local cider scrub for exfoliating and smoothing your skin. After the first 50 minutes, you take a shower within the room while the therapist steps out to allow for privacy, and then you begin your 50 minute massage. My skin has never felt softer, ya'll! I got out of that shower, and my skin felt like a babies bottom - completely rejuvenated! Upon completion, we were escorted to a relaxation room (the sanctuary) where our therapist gave us a cold can of Stowe Cider to enjoy. This was all around such a "must" experience! I can't rave about it enough. Additionally, the facility itself was state of the art. The spa manager gave us a little tour prior to our experience, and mentioned their scented shower heads are so popular they actually sell them in the shop after customers requested them so often! The spa manager was also full of little beauty secrets and tips outside of services the spa offers, which I really appreciated! She had a wealth of knowledge in the health and wealthness field and was delightful to talk too.  

Overall, I highly reccommend a stay at Stowe Mountain Lodge. In fact, Bailey and I have already talked about coming back with our hubbies next time! We'd like to re-do this trip during the winter and experience some of the amazing cold weather activties the lodge has to offer. Everything we experienced was top of the line, and superb in terms of customer service. I can't imagine ever having a bad vacation here! Wether you are looking for a family vacation, a romantic couples trip, or a weekend with the girls - this property has something for everyone. Two thumbs up!


*In partnership with Stowe Mountain Lodge

Monday, October 9, 2017

Free People Oversized Sweater in Vermont

Nothing screams fall to me quite like an oversized sweater. When I think of fall, I think of all things cozy and burnt orange, and this sweater is just that. I'm also one of those people that just doesn't love jackets, so the thicker the sweater the better! I wore this outfit with booties earlier in the day for a more causal look at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Later on we had a dinner reservation in downtown Stowe, so I added my leopard heels to spice things up a bit and take my daytime look into the evening. You can easily pair sweaters like this with skinny jeans, skirts and OTK boots, or leggings for a variety of outfit combinations. I'm also a firm believer in investing in quality sweaters. You can wear them over and over again every year, and they never go out of style. Because of that, I actually went back and purchased the cream version which you can find here, and it comes in 6 total colors here.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Shane and I were in his hometown visiting family, and his mom hosted a bridal shower for me! I can't believe we are only two and a half months away from the big day!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wrap Front Sweater in Stowe


Can we talk about how cute this stoop was at Stowe Mountain Lodge?! The whole hotel was outfitted in mums, pumpkins and all things fall. So we immediately knew we were going to use it as a picture opportunity! Basic? Maybe. But I'm not apologizing for it. The color of this sweater gives me all the fall feels, ya'll! I have a serious thing for deep Burgundy's and Bordeaux's during the autumn months, so when I came across this sweater it immediately caught my eye! It was super chilly in Vermont, and much cooler than their normal temperatures at this time of year. So, layers were key! I bought this blanket scarf during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a few months ago, and unfortunately it's sold out! Good news is that blanket scarves are everywhere this time of year and you can usually find something very similar! I've also had tons of questions from Instagram Stories about my statement ring. This is a new arrival for the season, and comes in a few different stone colors as well. Highly reccommend it! 

This was such a fun weekend for Bailey and I! We didn't want to leave. However, all good things must come to an end at some point, right? Speaking of traveling, Shane and I are headed to New York tomorrow to spend some time with his family. They are hosting a shower for us on Saturday, and I hear the fall foliage is nearing it's prime! Perfect timing.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Getting Personal About Q3

87 days, 13 hours, 57 minutes, and 35 seconds until we say "I do"! Where has the time gone?! As we head into the last quarter of our engagement, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what we accomplished in Q3. 

This phase was filled full of lots of ups and downs, and honestly felt somewhat like an emotional rollercoaster for me. At the very end of June, I was forced to make a decision regarding my wedding party that I honestly never thought I was going to have to make. Everybody hears stories about bridesmaid drama, and after talking to several brides past and present - it's almost inevitable. Bridesmaids are typically like family to you, and families fight. With that being said, this situation wasn't exactly an ordinary situation where you can choose your battles wisely, I'll spare you the not-so glamorous details, but it severed the relationship between my bestfriend and I for good. (Click here for a great article by Wedding Wire on how to avoid bridesmaid drama) 

Time heals everything. It took me awhile to overcome the wealth of emotions that came along with this ordeal before I got back on track with planning. So, the months of July and August felt like we really didn't do much towards planning this thing. However, I think anyone who has a year or longer engagement experienes this "lull"(outside of my personal debacle) where you feel like you should be doing something, but you're not. You've planned all the important stuff like the venue, photographer, save the dates etc. but it's not time to send invitations or start working on little details yet (click here for 10 ways to make the best of a wedding planning lull). With that being said, September rolled around and we went 0 to 60 overnight. Here's what we accomplished:

We are super excited to spend two weeks on our honeymoon in Hawaii! We will spend 5 days at the Four Seasons, and then move on to a Marriott property. While we have booked our flights, and our hotel, we haven't booked anything in terms of excursions, spa treatments, food etc. So if you have any reccommendations, please leave them below as we need all the reccommendations we can get! (Click here for helpful Honeymoon Tips & Ideas)

Like our Save The Dates, we ordered our invitations through Minted as well! This was actually a really overwhelming process for me. I feel like this isn't dubbed a "stressful" part of planning by most, but my head was spinning in all different directions trying to make sure I picked a cohesive suite. I didn't want our entire suite to match perfectly, I liked the idea of picking designs from different designers that looked nice next to each other when all laid out together, but not "matchy matchy." This proved to be more difficult than I anticipated, but I'm really happy with the end result. Because our wedding is black-tie invited, we chose a white invitation, with black lettering, and gold foil. All three pieces are also wrapped by Minted's new Belly Band option to keep them put inside the envelope! I loved the idea of adding a Belly Band because it gave the white invitations a nice pop of color as well! We plan to send these out in the next two weeks. 

I wasn't kidding when I said we went 0 to 60 this month! My MOH (my sister), and my mom threw my bridal shower in September! We chose to have the bridal shower at my house instead of renting a venue or having it at a restaurant. The theme was brunch and bubbly, and it was everything I wanted! If you know me, you know brunch is my favorite meal of the day so this was only appropriate and I ate my little heart out. Nothing like moms cooking! 

We have spent a good portion of September looking at our budget and refiing our wants vs. needs. I've learned that this can be a really discouraging process! We are paying for most of the wedding ourselves, and we do not want to enter our marriage with debt attached to our names, so keeping all of our wants within the budget has been testing. I think my biggest piece of advice here would be to remember that your wedding day is soley about you and your groom. You are celebrating the unity of two people becoming one, and that can be done sans all the bells and whistles. We asked all of our married friends for one thing they couldn't have lived without on their wedding day, and one thing they could've lived without. Almost everybody said they couldn't have lived without the videographer, and that they could've lived without the wealth of flowers and minute details they didn't even notice. This was an interesting excercise that I highly reccommend trying if you're planning your own wedding! (Click here for 10 ways to avoid going over your budget)

Everything about our wedding is classic and elegant. Being that it's on New Years Eve, I invisioned a vintage getaway car. With that being said, we chose an old school Rolls Royce as our exit vehicle from AWC Limo in Charleston. (Click here to find transportation vendors reccommended in your area). 


Thank you to Wedding Wire for sponsoring this post 

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