Chakra Bowls in the entrance at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Calm your mind, awaken your soul
Spending a day at The Lodge at Woodloch is synonymous with a day in heaven.
The Lodge at Woodloch is a family-owned, one-stop spa destination located in the Lakes Region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Individuals who want to experience a complete overhaul will find a phenomenal setting for total mind and body rejuvenation.
You’ll need to tailor your stay at this award-winning resort and allow time to savor every class, activity, and meal you choose. Depending on the length of your stay, I suggest you select one or two indoor spa services and one or two classes or activities and plan to venture outdoors. Use your time to tap into the adventure in your soul.
I arrived there eager for my massage session but immediately picked up a schedule of events and classes at the registration desk before heading to my room to change. A complete list of classes is available at the front desk and in each of the guest rooms, but if narrowing the selection is a bit daunting, a personal concierge can assist you with scheduling. You can view a current schedule of activities here.
Even if the thought of being out-of-doors in the cold Pocono Mountain air sends chills up your spine, bundle up and take a walk. The property is so picturesque throughout the year, with scenic hiking and bike trails that are a favorite among nature-lovers.
The dock at The Lodge at Woodloch is a vantage point for observing waterfowl and other wildlife. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Your comfort is a number one priority to the management and staff at The Lodge at Woodloch. Feel free to drop in at the coffee and tea kiosk for a glass of fruit infused water, high-end herbal tea with locally-produced honey or artisan coffee. Lucious treats are available throughout the day. Hydration is important after a day of activity and guests receive a complimentary refillable water bottle and shopping bag branded with The Lodge at Woodloch name and logo. Filtered water is available in each guest room, so guests can refill their water bottles as needed.
Find Time to Socialize
If you’re traveling alone, ask to dine with other solo guests. The main dining room and bar area are warm and friendly and a popular spot for great conversation.
Unleash Your Spirit
If exercise isn’t your bag, try a gentle chakra yoga session to free the creative flow you’ll need for a cooking demonstration or a watercolor painting class. Daytime and evening events are available.
Learn New Skills
Flyfishing? Betterment is often the result of branching out and learning a new hobby. Join the knowledgeable team at the lodge and allow them to introduce you to the joys of fly fishing.
Stick with the familiar or try something new when you join in on an organized fly-fishing class designed for aspiring fly anglers who yearn to be on the water. Full and half-day guided fishing trips on the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers can be arranged with advanced notice.
On your way through the lobby, take note of the art that hangs on the walls in the corridors. The Lodge at Woodloch has created a venue for regional artists to display their wares, which is indicative of the management’s commitment to the arts. The paintings displayed during my visit provided a visual appeal and warmth that original art evokes.
Art at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Dining at TREE, The Lodge at Woodloch restaurant, is an experience you’ll relish. The naturally-raised meats, fish, seafood; organic, locally grown vegetables and wholesome grains are combined and presented with an artistic flair.
A few of the entrees from a sample menu are Oven Dried Tomato & Charred Broccoli Flatbread – Basil Pesto, Homemade Ricotta, Calkin’s Creamery Vampire Slayer, Balsamic Reduction (veg) Shrimp Pad Thai – Shaved Root Vegetables, Local Cabbage, Scrambled Farm Egg, Pistachio, Hoisin Sauce (gf) Eggplant Cutlet Parmesan – Smoked Mozzarella, Oven Dried Tomato & Olive Tapenade, Arugula and Roasted Pepper Aioli (veg). Samples menus are available here.
Many of the selections are plant and vegetable-based and bursting with flavor and texture that’s sure to please. Feel free to begin your lunch at the Buffet Station Salad Bar & Seasonal Condiments that’s brimming with a Chef Inspired Daily Soup and energy and protein-packed selections for vegan and vegetarians. There’s no guesswork as you’re helping yourself at the stations or ordering from the menu. Vegan and vegetarians are clearly marked.
If you need a getaway, visit The Lodge at Woodloch’s website where you’ll find a package to suit your needs. All packages include accommodations in one of 57 extravagant guest rooms, three gourmet meals per night of stay, speakers and workshops, creative arts, scheduled group fitness classes throughout the day, lectures, chef’s cooking and baking demonstrations, guided group adventure outings, a personal spa concierge, pools with hydro massage waterfalls, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis®, steam rooms, saunas, and a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art cardio weight studio.
Accommodations at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
The Lodge at Woodloch WILL exceed your expectations. The resort has consistently received a wide array of awards over the years from the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award to the Travelers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor.
You can cultivate your own well-being in much the same way you would improve or refine your garden using ingredients harvested from nature.
“NURTURE with NATURE: Seasonal Recipes for Body, Beauty and Healing,” a cookbook brought to you by The Lodge at Woodloch, is more than a collection of recipes. It’s a “guidebook” that provides directives for anyone who seeks to discover or restore that delicate balance between living and thriving. NURTURE with NATURE is a culmination of a decade of guests’ favorite recipes.
Guests arrive at The Lodge at Woodloch, an award-winning spa destination located in the Lake region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, knowing they will leave rejuvenated with their souls enlivened. During your stay, you will immediately understand why the lodge draws customers from near and far. Each moment of your visit is a celebration of life and come mealtime; after hiking, fly fishing, a painting or yoga class, or a spa treatment, a diverse array of dishes await you in the Tree Restaurant and Bar.
This recipe book is a celebration of the miracles of Mother Earth and her ability to provide our earth with a wide spectrum of seasonal foods, herbs and nutrients that enhance our well-being.
NURTURE with NATURE is a collaborative effort of The Lodge at Woodloch executive chef Josh Tomson and his team; Amanda Clabaugh, treatments’ manager, beverage recipes from Leslie Britt and Cindy Wasilewski, and Nathaniel Whitmore, master herbalist. Readers will find Pantry Clean-Up, Choosing Foods for the Season, a Food Rainbow, as well as more than 100 recipes. Much credit is also due to Andrea Killam, the photographer, and creative director, whose photos depict the calming environment at the lodge.
If you’ve never visited The Lodge at Woodloch, you are missing an opportunity to experience a world-renowned, adults-only spa resort destination and a culinary wonderland. The recipe book only scratches the surface of the locally-sourced, garden-to-table cuisine you will find.
As I perused the pages of NURTURE with NATURE, I made my list of must-have ingredients so I could begin to sample several of the recipes. Most of the ingredients are readily available at your local farmers’ market or in the organic herbs, fruits and vegetables sections of many grocery “superstores” or online. A few of the offerings are “crispy trout with wild leeks,” “oyster mushroom & homemade ricotta flatbread,” and “brown rice veggie burger.” You should also reap the benefits of the renewal beauty and healing recipes, which are also arranged according to the season. Try the spring “Calming Banana Mask” to soothe and smooth your winter-weary complexion and the “softening hand and foot scrub” before sandal weather is in full swing.
I’ve been a guest at The Lodge at Woodloch and Woodloch Pines, two properties owned and managed by the Kiesendahl family. Rest assured, you will be pampered by your hosts.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
“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.
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.
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.
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.
As a Fly-fishing instructor and guide at The Lodge at Woodloch, Adam Nidoh offers resort guests an opportunity to embrace nature and try something they’ve never done before.
He joined the staff at the Hawley, Pennsylvania spa destination resort as a Fly-fishing instructor in summer 2012 when the previous management was looking to expand activity offerings. Nidoh teaches the lodge’s Introduction to Fly-fishing and Fly-tying classes, and private instruction along with one-half and full day “catch and release only” trips on the nearby Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers. Bring your favorite rod and reel or inquire about borrowing one from the lodge when you register for a class or book your fishing trip with Adam.
“We provide an escape in a relaxed setting,” said Adam Nidoh, Fly-fishing instructor. “…Time on the water to forget all you’ve left behind and just take in the sights, sounds and surroundings.”
Reservations are required and can be made when you book your stay or by contacting the spa concierge.
“I’m at the lodge on Tuesday and Thursday and I’m also available for one-half and full day guided trips any day of the week,” Nidoh said.
All equipment is provided during classes and guide trips and rods are also available to registered guests who want to try their hand at casting into the lodge’s Little Lake Teedyuskung from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.