Given the ideal location, environment and facilities, a spa experience can be the essence of tranquility. The Lodge at Woodloch is blessed with all three…and then some.
Located in the pristine Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, only 90 miles from the hustle and bustle of New York City, the Lodge at Woodloch has become one of the country’s most luxurious destination spas since opening its doors in 2006.
Featuring 58 opulent guest rooms, each with its own private veranda and swivel rockers, everything here is first class. From the plush treatment rooms for customized face and body treatments to the co-ed Whisper Lounge with a crackling fireplace and outdoor porch, guests are pampered from the moment they arrive. The majority return time and time again.
The 40,000-square-foot spa offers three Mind and Body Studios for aerobics, yoga, and meditation, an extensive Cardio Weight Studio, and a dedicated Pilates training area. An indoor pool and waterfall, dry air and eucalyptus saunas, and several Jacuzzis, all maintained at a soothing 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit, ensure that guests have an array of options to alleviate their tension and soothe their aching muscles.
Although many spas profess to “cleanse the mind while nurturing the spirit,” the Lodge actually walks the walk. With a color palette inspired chiefly by nature, the sun, the lake and the surrounding 75 acres of woodlands, the spa and its soaring walls of windows invite the outdoors in.
Covered porches and sunny terraces beckon guests to lounge and relax. Soothing sounds of crickets and rustling leaves enhance the ambience, as does a fire pit outside the rear of the spa, where guests can enjoy a cocktail or simply soak up the atmosphere.
Facials are among the most popular spa treatments and run the gamut from a Signature Facial for all skin types, complete with enzyme peels of sweet cherry, pear fig or pumpkin exfoliate, to the Caviar Facial. This ultimate anti-aging treatment hydrates, lifts and firms the face, hands, feet and décolleté, using protein-rich caviar and powerful antioxidants. A facelift massage, which includes an intensive repair ampoule, visibly renews skin and smoothes fine lines while an innovative calming peel-off mask infuses skin with age moisturizers to calm and promote even skin tone. Results are immediate, creating healthy luminescent skin.
Specialized massage treatments include the Lodge Massage, a classic Swedish massage that eases muscle tension using light to medium pressure. A Sports Specific Massage focuses on those muscle groups important to peak sports performance and is designed to help prepare athletes for the physical demands of such sports as tennis, promote optimal performance, and enhance recovery.
The spa goes to great lengths to please its discerning guests and leaves no stone unturned — literally — by offering a Delaware River Stone Massage. The Lenni Lenape, an indigenous Native American tribe has known for centuries that stones from the Delaware River (which runs through much of the Poconos) contain an energy that accelerates change and energizes one’s entire aura.
Delaware River stones are very conducive to the meditative state, bringing in high energy to help you make changes that can lead to deep spiritual experiences. Warmed Delaware River stones are incorporated with classic Swedish massage techniques in this deeply relaxing full-body massage with a choice of aromatherapy oils. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
An assortment of specialty Bodywork Treatments are all designed to rejuvenate and revitalize. Reflexology focuses on pressure points in the feet and hands correspond to various organs and systems throughout the entire body. Pressure point stimulation opens energy pathways, promoting greater circulation and relaxation. Shiatsu uses hand and finger pressure along the body’s meridians, or energy pathways, to release blocked energy and increase energy flow.
The Lodge has created an interactive kitchen that allows guests to enjoy special cooking demonstrations. Guests learn how to plan a menu around seasonal produce and herbs from the chef’s garden and prepare the new superfoods. Pastry Chef Pat Boyle presents a class demonstrating how to make gluten-free desserts that taste as good — or better — than those prepared with flour.
Other activities include watercolor painting, wine tasting, yoga, nature walks, kayaking, and a variety of mind/body classes. As a true four season destination, snowshoeing is available and there are plans to offer cross country skiing this winter.
Food is serious business at the Lodge, and guests are treated to a delectable array of offerings. Executive Chef Peter Schott’s philosophy is quite simple. “Our guests, many of whom have specific food requests, expect us to prepare for them the most wholesome foods available and we take that responsibility very seriously,” he says.
Schott has developed a personal relationship with many of the area’s farmers and will base his menu on the freshest foods available. He also grows a herb garden on the grounds from which he can pick and choose the freshest ingredients, and purchases his meats and poultry from the Lancaster area, the Amish region renowned for their farm products.
A breakfast buffet menu includes bell pepper, mushroom, onion, and mozzarella scrambled eggs, passion fruit semolina pancakes, nitrate free bacon, turkey sausage and turkey bacon, root vegetable hash and apple cranberry compote, while the à la carte options include tofu scrambler, soy cheese, poached eggs Florentine. Lunch features an assortment of burgers, including black bean, bison, turkey or lamb. The more adventurous may choose from shrimp wonton with scallions, bok choy, and lemongrass broth or sesame-seared salmon salad.
Dinner is a sensual awakening. Chilean Sea Bass is prepared with a cauliflower puree and served with grilled asparagus and roasted beet jus. Seafood Bouillabaisse features shrimp, mussels, clams, potatoes and a saffron tomato broth, and Herb Roasted Chicken is accented to perfection by potatoes, baby spinach, and a port wine reduction. The decadent flourless chocolate cake with a savory strawberry sauce is so rich, it deserves its own tax bracket. All meals are included in the overall costs.
With 27 treatment rooms, the Lodge plays host to business groups and has seen a growth in corporate retreats over the last year or so. The Fireside Room has a 55-inch plasma HDTV with surround sound, LCD projector & screen, DVD/CD players, microphones, podiums, wireless high-speed Iinternet, and laptop hook-ups. The Theater can accommodate up to 88 people, while several smaller conference rooms are suited for more intimate gatherings.
The Lodge at Woodloch is the luxury sister property of the sprawling Woodloch Resort, which includes Woodloch Pines, one of the east’s favorite family resorts for more than 50 years, and Woodloch Springs, a vacation home and golfing community. Ideally suited for couples and girls getaway weekends, the Lodge requires guests to be at least 16 years of age.