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Topnotch Resort and Spa, Stowe 

4000 Mountain Road
Stowe , Vermont
Tel: 888 460 5567 (toll-free)
Tel: 802 253 8585
view web site ›'s insider take:

Almost everyone has a weakness for s'mores, but they're even better toasted poolside, post-massage, as the moon illuminates the ski slopes. That's the scene at Topnotch. Built in 1958, the 120-acre resort has turned itself into the most sumptuous in Stowe. A 35,000-square-foot spa dwarfs even the town's outlandish private ski homes (of the spa's 100-plus treatments, the pick of the litter is the maple sugar body scrub). But there's more to do here than just lazing around. The resort's fitness center, cardio room, aerobics studio, and skylighted indoor pool put most health clubs to shame. Two more pools outside (one heated for the winter) shimmer beneath the trails of Stowe Mountain Resort, while horses graze nearby; the sports smorgasbord also includes an equestrian center, ten tennis courts, and bikes, fishing equipment, and skis for rent. The Buttertub, an old ski bar with oversize sunken couches, will be lost to renovations in late 2008, but Norma's restaurant, opened in 2006, serves three daily meals—think braised boneless short ribs with cornbread, and seared sea bass with eggplant tapenade—in a spacious dining room with an outdoor terrace. The 68 rooms and suites have thick duvets and country-manor furnishings; 40 additional resort homes feature up to three bedrooms each. Topnotch's pet-friendly services include inflatable dog beds, biscuit turndown service, and even "Rover Reiki" treatments (alas, no s'mores).

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