I have stayed at Motel 6's, Super 8s, and a few cinder block mom & pops that were downright frightening; and I have also stayed at the Ritz Carlton, the Wynn, and the Venician. The Grand sits squarely in the middle of those extremes.
Location: For Killington, it's as good as you can get other than one of the "real" ski-in/out condos off of the Great Eastern or Sunset Village. But let's be real here - it is not exactly ski-in/ski-out. It is walk-to, walk from. The walk is about 50 yards and perfectly flat (since it's mostly a bridge over a pond). For an individual or couple, it's no problem. But if you have young children, it's a hassle. Skiing in is possible if conditions are just right - which means no pedestrians walking on the bridge when you come down the hill at 40mph and hit it. If the bridge is empty you can ski all the way across it with a fast running start but on average you can only do that one out of every 4-5 attempts due to pedestrian traffic on the bridge.
Facilities: The rooms are fine. They're not great for sure, but they're not gross. They're very middle of the road. Heat/air is provided through a wall-unit which you control with the old push-button / turn hot/cold knobs (not a thermostat on the wall) so that gives you some idea. On the other hand, the beds were very comfortable. We stayed in adjoining rooms - one standard room (2 queen beds, nothing else) and one efficiency (1 sofa pull out bed and 1 murphy bed and an efficiency kitchen with 6-top dining table). This actually was ideal for us with two tweener boys - they stayed in the murphy/pull-out beds but we got the benefit of the kitchen, but we got a nice bed. The furniture was all fine and comfortable, but again, nothing exactly special - just solid average.
The hotel outside of the rooms:
The lobby area is fine. The place could use a decorator - some fine touches could make a pretty big difference in look and feel in the common areas. They just have a lot of sloppy details that could use some final touches.
The free breakfast room is a conference room and it's fine for what it is, but it generally has a trough feel to it. It's not organized quite right and the staff can't keep up with the turnover apparently because everything is pretty trashed. Nothing gross, just not clean, you know. Compared to a typical Hilton property (or Hampton even), it's very sloppy and feels sub-par. But, it's a hot breakfast - just not a real clean elegant one but rather a functional one. Which is fine for what it is - breakfast on your way to the slopes. But it's not as good as it could be with a little effort. I don't understand why they don't put in the last 5% effort that would make a big difference - this goes across the board in the hotel.
The pool area is interesting - too small in general for the size of the hotel though. We were there during an off week, midweek, and the two hot-tubs were cram packed with folks waiting in the luke-warm pool most of the time to pounce on a spot. The whole pool/spa area has kind of a cement low-rate feel to it - not a luxury hotel/resort/ski-village feel. Again, consistent with all the hotel details. It was clean and functional, just missing the details that could make it feel really elegant or up-scale.
Ski valet - wonderful idea and very useful - the guys who staff it are very nice, courteous, professional, and helpful - can't say enough good about them. By the second day they knew and addressed my family by name and always went out of their way to hold the outside door open for us coming and going. But get this: you can check your skis here, but not poles and boots. Hello - this hotel is bigger than some shopping malls. Walking from the valet to your room when it's an 1/8 mile walk down a hall, up an elevator, then down another very long hall, is painful as heck in ski boots!! There is tons of (wasted) room in the area near/around the valet - I can't believe they didn't set it up as a place to drop skis, boots, and poles. The idea should be that you come down in your snow boots or slippers and leave them there in exchange for skis/boots/poles. Then trade back at the end of the day. So, again, wonderful idea in theory, just not executed right and the details left it leaving in what would be a real up-class luxury. Be sure to tip your valet. :D
All of that said, we would stay here again, knowing fully it's one of these places that just "is what it is" and frankly there are no really nice places that have full hotel-level services available at killington. Except for one thing: it was the loudest hotel we have ever stayed at, bar none. We were at the very end of a hall, during a very slow off-peak midweek, and you would have thought it was a combination of spring break and biker week. We were bombarded by noise from all possible sides - rooms on both sides, upstairs, and in the halls, and it generally went on throughout the night. I know that behavior is out of the control of the hotel, but the paper-thin walls and even ceilings were in their control. Not only could you hear talking in the next room - we actually heard one person fart. Yes it was funny and sad all at once.
Bottom line: it is what it is - a very average ski "resort" that serves its function very well but sadly is just a few details from being a very special experience.
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- Also Known As:
- Killington Grand Hotel Killington
- Killington Grand Resort Hotel Vermont