Joan Mead-Matsui

Woodloch: Family resort brings generations together

Woodloch Tradition: Excellence

An all-inclusive family resort 

Bright sunshine and mild temperatures set the stage for my extraordinary visit to Woodloch Pines, a 1,200-acre award-winning all-inclusive family resort in Hawley, Pennsylvania. This exceptional four-season destination is located in the Lakes Region of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.

Woodloch Pines family resort

Expect to reap your share of outdoor fun year round.


A brief history (courtesy of Woodloch)

Before I go into details related to my visit, you should be aware that Woodloch Pines Resort has been family-owned and operated for more than 53 years, offering all-inclusive vacations to generations of families for decades. From the moment you arrive at Woodloch, you will experience the Kiesendahl family’s commitment to top-notch service.

The original 12-acre Woodloch featured a main lodge, annex and two cottages that accommodated up to 40 guests. As its popularity continued to grow, by 1961, the Kiesendahl family had doubled the size of the lakefront resort. In 1983, the resort had grown into 150 acres with nearly a mile of shoreline and 135 rooms. Fast forward to 2016 and you’ll find 160 guest rooms in four different categories and more than 300 acres that beckon you to explore. Most rooms can accommodate up to six people and offer a spectacular lake view from a private balcony.


Awards too numerous to mention

You can expect outstanding service at Woodloch Pines, a family-owned and managed resort. The Kiesendahl family continues to carry on the tradition of excellence and warm hospitality.

Woodloch is regarded as one of America’s “Best Inclusive Family Resorts” and TripAdvisor.com voted Woodloch as the #1 Family Resort in America. To see a complete list of awards and accolades, click here.


A perfect day

I arrived at Woodloch Pines mid-week on a gorgeous mid-September afternoon. Fall hadn’t officially arrived and the leaves weren’t ablaze with color yet but I was delighted to have an opportunity to explore the property under brilliant sunshine and a moonlit evening sky. Here’s a moment I captured after dinner, while on my way back to my guestroom.

Woodloch Pines family resort

Dusk brought a dreamy sunset over Lake Teedyuskung. Lakeside is a popular spot for guests to gather.


A dedicated and loyal staff

DJ Luis is among the many caring and enthusiastic staff at Woodloch. He wears many hats, from a “captain” and tour guide of the scenic boat tour to a multi-talented in-house entertainer.

Listen and watch Luis as he reveals why he has an affinity for Woodloch.


Accommodations

Although I traveled solo to Woodloch, my suite could comfortably accommodate a family. Should you desire more or less space, Woodloch has 160 guest rooms and 70 guest homes to meet your needs. Busy travelers and families will particularly appreciate the well-stocked kitchen with plenty of space to prepare a meal.

Woodloch Pines family resort

A full-service kitchen offers the equipment you’ll need to dine in your guest room.  


Woodloch Pines family resort

Deluxe and spacious accommodations with a spectacular view of the lake from your bedroom window.


Woodloch Pines family resort

While the on-site activities will likely keep you busy day and night if you choose, you can surely find “down” time in your room. Sink into the comfortable furnishings, read a book or watch a movie on your flat screen television.  

 


 Woodloch: An all-inclusive resort with abundant amenities

  • 18-hole championship golf course and community at its sister properties, Woodloch Springs and an award-winning luxury destination spa The Lodge at Woodloch located within a two-mile radius.
  • Complimentary WiFi available in all accommodations
  • flat-screen television with cable and pay-per-view movies, refrigerator, iron and ironing board, coffee maker, hairdryer, and in-room safe in every room.
  • Pharmacopia toiletries
  • Microwaves and cribs available at an additional charge
  • All homes feature full kitchen with all cooking utensils and tools as well as an outdoor gas barbecue grill, at least one gas fireplace
  • One-and-a-half mile paved nature trail plus a three-mile natural terrain trail; bicycles available for use on trails
  • White sandy lakeside beach with swimming and a water slide.
  • Waterskiing for guests aged 13 and older, paddle and row boats, canoes, kayaks and sailboats
  • Indoor and outdoor pool; indoor Kids Splash Zone, outdoor kiddie pool
  • Bumper cars and boats, and go carts
  • Woodloch Forest – three-level indoor playground with four slides, tree house, and a separate single-level toddler play area.
  • Horseshoes, shuffleboard , and bocce ball court
  • Basketball gymnasium and outdoor basketball courts
  • Outdoor sand volleyball court
  • Four new tennis courts
  • Two nine-hole miniature golf courses
  • Toddler room, arts and crafts room, and The Bunker- a lounge and Nintendo Wii center
  • 28’ climbing wall
  • Seasonal snow-tubing
  • 1500 square foot exercise facility with state-of-the-art equipment

Follow this link to view a list of resort amenities available at an additional charge.


Dining and evening entertainment go hand-in-hand

The Lakeview Dining Room is a newly renovated space and gathering place for generations of families to dine comfortably. Upon your arrival at the dining room, members of the Kiesendahl family eagerly meet and greet their guests before dinner.

The dining room was nearly filled to capacity with a mix of ages from one to 85, and yet, the service was extraordinary.

Woodloch Pines family resort

Multi-generational guests in the Main Dining Room


Menus change daily and meals are offered at specific times throughout the day to allow guests to take full advantage of the activities planned. Here’s a sample menu from September 2016. Dining options and meal plans are available here.

Woodloch Pines family resort

A sample menu from September 2016

 

Now that you know what was on the menu during my visit, I’ll make your mouth water. After devouring the shrimp cocktail appetizer and salad, my server delivered an unspeakably moist and flavorful salmon served over black rice.

Woodloch Pines family resort

Succulent Shrimp served as an appetizer

 

Wondering where to dine at this family resort?

On-site you have a choice of the Woodloch Dining Room, The Country Store at The Inn, North Lodge Cafe, and the Lakeside Grille & Outdoor Poolside Bar (both open seasonally). Only a short distance from Woodloch Pines is The Market and the Clubhouse Grille Room at Woodloch Springs.

Meet Bradley Kiesendahl

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Brad Kiesendahl in costume as “Spock.”

I had the pleasure to chat with Brad on a night when he was in costume as “Spock,” from “Star Trek.”

Why was he dressed as Mr. Spock? Please continue reading.

Throughout the evening, he served as the emcee but also took the time to check in at each dining table to be sure guests were beyond satisfied with their meals.

 


Ah…and then, as I was finishing my dinner, along came Woodloch’s social staff and theater cast also in costume, parading through the dining room. Characters make daily appearances at mealtime. The Lone Ranger and his horse were among the familiar characters who entertained adults and children alike. Do you recognize the monkey from movies and television?

Woodloch Pines family resort

Curious George in the spotlight as he paraded through the dining room.

 

Woodloch Pines family resort

Who’s your favorite superhero?


“The Wonderful World of Television”

Family and staff continue a tradition

Following dinner, I was invited to attend a Woodloch themed theater performance, “The Wonderful World of Television” – hence, the reason why TV land characters made their appearance during dinner.  A new, creative theme has been chosen every year since the mid-sixties. The family-oriented performance was a retrospective glance back at iconic television shows from the advent of television to many of our current hit series.

I was in awe of the talent, set design and dedication of the cast members who starred in the production. Most of the cast is part of the vast Woodloch family and staff.

Here’s a clip from the performance.

The cast of mostly in-house performers drew constant applause from the audience as they danced to and sang the theme songs from decades of television’s finest moments, with a backdrop of custom-designed sets. A small pyrotechnic display sparkled on the stage at the finale.

Before the closed, theater-goers were also treated to film clips of the notoriously funny Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson.

Take a moment and view some of the photos I took during the performance.

 


Early morning on the water

Early morning brought anglers to the shoreline to get their dose of Mother Nature as the mist on Lake Teedyuskung slowly dissipated, giving way to another day of bright, blue sky.

My suite offered a wonderful view of the lake. I awakened to an overwhelming desire to cast my fly line into Lake Teedysukung but as I walked towards the shoreline, I noticed the silhouette of one fisherman, Bob Gaines from Yardley, PA.  Bass and sunfish are plentiful and I watched intently as Bob caught and released one fish after another.

Woodloch Pines family resort

Bob Gaines, Yardley, PA, gets an early start to his morning fishing from a dock on Lake Teedyuskung at Woodloch Pines’ resort.


Woodloch Pines family resort

One of Bob Gaines’ many catches at Lake Teedyuskung.


 

Woodloch Pines family resort

Early-risers know the morning mist on the lake won’t last forever, so be sure to set your alarm for sunrise.


Scenic Boat Tour

A boat tour is a perfect way to see the gorgeous scenery that surrounds Woodloch Pines family resort. You’ll also catch a view of the property from a different perspective as you learn more about the Woodloch’s rich history.

After a full breakfast, I made my way to the Tea House boat dock, where I boarded Woodloch’s 10:30 a.m. tour boat. If you’re sticking to a tight schedule, guided tours run every 15 minutes, weather permitting.

 

family resort

The scenic boat tours allow guests the time to learn more about Woodloch’s rich history.

 


 A family barbecue and picnic on the lawn

Later that morning, I celebrated my final meal at the resort at a barbecue and picnic on the front lawn before leaving for an afternoon fly-fishing class at The Lodge at Woodloch, a sister property, and another award-winning, world-class spa destination.

The traditional weekly cookout brings guests together to mingle in an informal setting, while they have a choice of their favorite “picnic” food.

Woodloch Pines family resort

A barbecue held on the front lawn brought rave reviews from guests.


What’s happening at Woodloch Pines today?

The Edge is your source for up-to-date schedules of activities courtesy of the social staff. Their aim is truly to keep you happy and busy during your stay at Woodloch Pines Resort.

This link will take you directly to The Edge.

If you have additional questions regarding my adventure at Woodloch Pines, please message me or click on the chat icon on my landing page.


Many thanks to the management and staff at Woodloch for a warm welcome and the opportunity to stay and play.

 


Readers, please note: My trip to Woodloch Pines was sponsored but rest assured, I will only provide my heartfelt opinions about the destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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