The Lodge at Woodloch. A relaxing retreat for couples and friends.
I am always on the search for new places to visit with my wife. Although I enjoy traveling with my two kids, sometimes I need to get away to a place where children are not catered to. In my research, I discovered The Lodge at Woodloch.
Many people in the NY/NJ/CT/PA area are familiar with Woodloch Pines, a sort of sleep away camp for the whole family, nestled in the Poconos. Although Woodloch Pines and The Lodge at Woodloch share the same owners, and are located 5 miles apart from one another, the two destinations could not be more different.
The Lodge is an all inclusive spa and resort for adults only. Your nightly rate includes three meals a day, all gratuities, afternoon tea, full use of watercrafts, nature trails, and classes ranging from yoga, to fly fishing, to cooking demonstrations, to belly dancing! Conde Naste Traveler recently named it among the Top 10 Destination Spas in the US.
We began our drive on Route 80, heading west into Pennsylvania. As our journey progressed, our GPS put us onto ever-smaller winding roads, through woods and quaint small towns, until we neared our destination. At some point along our trip, an adolescent brown bear ran across the road in front of us. My wife and I looked at one another in shock. We knew we were truly someplace else.
A little further up the road, an unassuming sign on our left indicated we had finally arrived at the Lodge. As we drove along the entrance, we gave our name to the friendly attendant at the guard-house. After confirming that we were indeed guests, he waived us in with a smile and a welcome, and directed us to the main building.
The Lodge at Woodloch is about 10 years old, but the design of the building is classic national park lodge style. We drove our car up to the waiting attendant at the porte-cochere. He greeted us by name, and within moments had our luggage whisked away to our waiting accommodations. I had to repress my instinct to reach into my pocket to tip for this level of service, as all gratuities are automatically added to the room rate.
Entering the resort, you are immediately met with a sense of calm and serenity. The vaulted wood ceilings rise high above a set of meditation bowls. The interior décor is reminiscent of a modern craftsman style. To our right was the massive spa and exercise complex. To our left, the open restaurant was beautifully integrated into the design of the hotel. Straight ahead, the pine and oak filled wilderness beckoned us to explore.
But first, we were headed to our hotel room. The accommodations recently underwent a complete renovation and redecorating. The size and attention to detail is reminiscent of what you might expect at a Four Seasons Hotel room. The wood doors and trim were substantial and solid, and we got the impression that a lot of care and money had gone into the renovation. The beds are a firm tempurpedic material, and were one of the more comfortable hotel beds I have had the pleasure of sleeping in. Each room has its own deck, complete with comfortable chairs. Our room overlooked the tree-strewn woods. Very relaxing.
After settling in, we took the time to explore the outdoors. We spent a good amount of our days hiking the many trails surrounding the hotel grounds, where we encountered orchards, gardens, apiaries, and an abundance of wildlife. Along the way, we stopped to shoot some arrows at the archery range, make s’mores at the carefully tended to campfire, and paddle some kayaks out on the resort’s cranberry bog.
Every day before dinner, the hotel puts out a small selection of artisanal desserts, coffees and teas. They were so tasty; I think I ate more than I care to admit. Even the vegan options were excellent!
The resort entertains couples of all ages, and I noticed it was very popular with large groups of women looking for a getaway with their friends.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served in the beautiful hotel restaurant (called Trees) and are included with your stay. Breakfast and lunch were very good and focused more on quality than quantity (refreshing in this day and age). But dinner was an epicurean delight. The selections of appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts were varied, and the food quality did not disappoint. Our waiters and waitresses brought out extra courses, so that we had the chance to sample from all over the menu. There are multiple alternatives offered for all types of diets, from gluten free to vegan. The service is included in your nightly rate, so no need to tip at the end of the meal (unless you happen to order alcohol from the drink menu, which we did).
The main event at the hotel is the large spa and exercise complex. There are three floors of hot tubs (some outside, some inside, and some with full size waterfalls), swimming pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, exercise equipment, yoga studios and dance studios. And we used every one of them. All are included with the cost of your stay, and provide hours of relaxation.
The spa also has a large number of massage rooms and a salon. Massages and salon appointments do have an extra cost, but are well worth the extra expense. My wife and I had the Lodge Massage, a blend of styles that incorporated elements of Swedish massage and aromatherapy, as the expert therapists worked us up from head to toe. I left the room 50 minutes later in a state of pure relaxation. I retreated to one of the spa’s quiet rooms in my robe, savored a cup of cold cucumber water, and caught up on a good book.
We returned from our trip two days later, feeling peaceful, happy and well fed. This is a place we will return to soon. And it’s a place I can recommend without hesitation.
Email or call us at Time Is Now Travel to book a romantic weekend or girl’s getaway retreat of your own.