All-inclusive rates include meals and non-alcoholic drinks
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Vast property requires walking or driving to around
Some facilities are off-site
Rooms are bland and somewhat dated
Children must be at least 16 years old (a pro for some)
Deep in the Poconos, The Lodge at Woodloch is an upscale adult-only retreat whose spa aesthetic feels miles away from the area's infamous gaudy honeymoon suites and heart-shaped hot tubs. It has all the usual perks of an all-inclusive resort in the region, with acres of woodland, a private lake, and an adjacent golf club, but the restaurant here is a grown up farm-to-table affair with some of its produce sourced from its own garden. Guests can spring for chef-curated dinners, with cocktails and a wine list worth exploring. On top of substantial rates for rooms that are somewhat dated, alcohol and extras don't come cheap, but couples looking for a relaxing spa holiday should find what they seek here. Those who can skip the craniosacral body therapy might want to check out the Woodloch Pines Resort, the Lodge's more casual sister property.
Surrounded by 400 acres of private woodland in the Pocono Mountains, The Lodge at Woodloch's high vaulted ceilings deliver an authentic natural environment far from the urban cacophony. Children under 16 are not allowed at the resort, making it a sanctuary where couples are free to recline in rustic lounges with crackling fires and relaxed decibel levels. Outside, guests roam leafy nature trails and pesticide-free produce gardens around terraces with sun-bleached wooden patio furniture and stone fire pits. A gravel path leads to Adirondack chairs along the shore of the 15-acre lake, with a small boardwalk extending out over wet brush and shallows to a little pier.
The Lodge at Woodloch is a spa resort in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, a region known for its camping, hiking, and numerous ski resorts that attract mainly residents of New York and Washington, D.C. It's about a 12-minute drive from the small town of Hawley, far from dining and other area destinations. The location allows for a doable day trip from New York or New Jersey (if travelers embark early enough) or serves as a base camp for skiing at Big Bear, which is 15 minutes east by car. Camelback ski area is almost a 90-minute drive south, while Wilkes-Barr/Scranton International Airport is about a 70-minute drive west.
The lodge's 57 rooms and suites are meant to invoke a luxurious country estate, but their main failing lies in their bland, dated decor that instead reads chain hotel meets nondescript country estate. Blue-gray carpets and wood furnishings are underwhelming at best, with floral-patterned bedding and curtains making attempts at rustic charm. On the plus side, Standard Rooms are large, and all rooms have window pane doors that open onto private verandas. Wooden desks and chairs, along with armchairs and ottomans come standard, along with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. Bathrooms have marble-tiled walk-in showers, while suites add separate soaking tubs.
Private lake with outdoor activities, huge full-service spa, indoor pool and hot tub, and farm-to-table restaurant
The resort's private lake is the center of many outdoor activities, with kayaking and fishing available in the warmer months, and hiking around its five miles' worth of paved and unpaved nature trails possible year-round. There are also mountain bikes that guests can rent to explore the area, with cross-country skiing and snowshoes available in winter. An 18-hole golf course is at an adjacent sister property, Woodloch Springs Country Club (with more off-site amenities farther afield at the family-friendly Woodloch Pines Resort).
The upscale spa has 27 treatment rooms, along with separate men's and women's saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpools. Services range from the usual range of massages and facials to the more eccentric energy-based craniosacral therapies. There's also a hair salon and the well-equipped fitness center holds more classes than anyone on a spa retreat could have time for, from aerobics and Pilates to yoga, T'ai chi, and qigong. The beautiful indoor pool room has floor-to-ceiling windows with a pool purposely large enough for group activities, like water volleyball. The indoor hot tub is set against a stone wall with heated waterfalls pouring down for an added hydro massage feature, and there's a large outdoor hot tub that's open year-round. Other facilities include an art studio and a library with a porch facing the lake.
The wood-beamed Tree restaurant and bar is the only on-site dining option, with all-inclusive seasonal meals designed around locally raised meats and fish, as well as organic locally grown vegetables, many of which come from the resort's own (pesticide-free) vegetable and herb garden. Guests can partake in cooking demonstrations, and for extra fees, wine tastings and special event dinners hosted by the chef.
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