Concierge.com's insider take:
The Equinox, in the southwest of the state, has been around since 1769, and what was once a hangout for British loyalists still has the flavor of an English hunting lodge. Still, it has seen a lot of changes in its time, and so it goes again: In 2008, the 183-room property shed its somewhat stodgy interior with the help of New York interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield. The $20 million renovation includes contemporary fabrics in chocolate brown, slate blue, and beige, plus hand-carved wardrobes, iPod docking stations, and LCD flat-screen TVs. The upgrade—on the heels of HEI Hotels' purchase of the Equinox from RockResorts—earned the resort membership in the Starwood Luxury Collection. The property's raison d'être, however, is its setting in 1,300 wooded acres in the Taconic Mountains. Activities include golf at the par-71, 6,423-yard course; fly-fishing and clay pigeon shooting at the Orvis schools; off-road driving with the Land Rover Experience Driving School; and taking a class at the British School of Falconry. When you're ready to go back inside, the 13,000-square-foot spa features perhaps the prettiest indoor pool in Vermont. But dining at one of the three restaurants—including the Chop House (heavy on the hunting lodge look)—or lounging in the Falcon Bar, which pairs wines and scotches with chocolates and cheeses, speaks to the resort's more indulgent past rather than a health-obsessed present.