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The Lodge at Woodloch: 5 Reasons To Love This Destination Spa

Published on: October 23, 2022 | Last Updated on October 23, 2022
The Lodge at Woodloch in Winter

Contributing health and spa writer Sheryl Kraft writes about why she keeps returning to The Lodge at Woodloch.

Every time I visit The Lodge at Woodloch – my most recent visit to this luxurious spa being my fifth – I discover something new and special about this destination spa in Hawley, Pennsylvania in the Poconos and rediscover my reasons for returning so often.

I’m in good company: Over the years, the resort has earned numerous honors, including the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award, TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award and a spot on the list of Travel and Leisure’s Reader’s Choice awards for best spa destinations.


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The Lodge at Woodloch continually refreshes itself

The warm and welcoming Living Room at The Lodge at Woodloch

The warm and welcoming Living Room

The Lodge at Woodloch has been wowing its guests since it opened in 2006. This beautiful spa received its own pampering with a renovation in 2018, with guest rooms enjoying a more recent refresh in 2022.

It’s evident from the serene surroundings that the owners and management take pride in the setting they’ve created. The mood strikes as soon as you enter the expansive foliage-rich Garden Hall with its 14-foot glass cupola: There sit three lovely oversized chakra bowls that invite guests to create their own sounds and vibrations with the rubber mallet that accompanies the melodic singing vessels. 

It’s tough to choose my favorite things about the Lodge at Woodloch. Is it the super-friendly, accommodating and professional staff? Or the superb artfully-crafted cuisine even the most picky eater (guilty as charged…) can enjoy? 

Or is it the forest bathing, kayaking on the picture-perfect lake, or the relaxing evenings spent relaxing around the fire pit while listening to live music and making new friends? 

The picture-perfect lake

The picture-perfect lake (credit: Sheryl Kraft)

5 Reasons why I return to Woodloch, over and over

My answer: In addition to all of the above, there is so much more that woos me to this special destination. Here are five (more) reasons to love Woodloch:

1 – Always something new: The Snow Room 

The new Snow Room at The Lodge at Woodloch

The new Snow Room at The Lodge at Woodloch

Where else can you enjoy snow in the summer? 

No, it doesn’t snow in the Poconos in summer (although the region is known for its snow season, lasting six months, at an average of 50 inches per year!) But I marveled at the year-round Snow Room, designed to emulate a natural snowy forest. 

The room, with its dry snow and frigid air, comes complete with benches, trees and a snowy forest mural, expertly lit to enhance relaxation. The setup includes a nearby Tyrolean Bucket Shower and Co-ed Himalayan Salt Sauna (to be alternated with time in the Snow Room).

Woodloch is the first resort in the U.S. to offer this type of cryotherapy, a concept that originated all the back to the 1800s by the Bavarian priest, Sebastian Kneipp, a naturopathic pioneer.

Alternating hot and cold is invigorating and fun, and made for some great conversation with the other participants. More specifically, the practice benefits cardiovascular health, fat burning, detoxing and strengthening the immune system and helps reduce stress. 

(Never before have I so willingly scooped up snow and rubbed it all over my body; the Snow Room makes you do unexpected things!)

2 – Opportunities to learn new things at Woodloch

A word of caution here: You’ll be tempted to fill your schedule to the brim. Because in addition to spa treatments, fitness classes and some relaxation time, there are countless opportunities to learn something new and unexpected. 

On my last visit, I honed my photo skills with Naturepix 101, where, for 90 minutes, a small group traversed the property and learned how to get the most out of our smartphone pictures. I must admit, I do think some of the photos I took might veer toward the award-worthy. 

One of my favorite photos from my photography course at Woodloch

One of my favorite photos from my photography course at Woodloch (credit: Sheryl Kraft)

An image I photographed during my garden walk at Woodloch

An image I photographed during my garden walk

Learning Nordic Walking (a total body version of walking using poles similar to ski poles) and meandering through the property with a certified herbalist who sought out seasonal floral gifts from Mother Nature were two other standouts. 

Next time: An Art Class

Next time: An Art Class

There was not enough time to try my hand at Hatchet Throwing, Disc Golf, nor art classes…but, there is always visit number six!

3 – A chance to explore the expansive grounds

The beauty of this four-season resort changes with the seasons

The beauty of this four-season resort changes with the seasons

This lake resort spans over 500 pristine acres of fern-draped woodlands, complete with gardens, nature trains and waterscapes. Along the way, there’s a custom-designed Lotus Labyrinth, a slew of outdoor fire pits, over seven miles of paved and unpaved nature trails, relaxation areas complete with hammocks and Adirondack chairs, and an expansive lake you can simply sit and stare into (or for the more active, kayak or stand-up paddleboard). 

In the wintertime, guests can enjoy snowshoeing on the property. Shuttles are available to whisk guests away for a variety of nearby picturesque hikes as well.  

4 – Enjoying healthy and delicious food 

Talented Culinary Creative Director Josh Tomson

Talented Culinary Creative Director Josh Tomson

I am not a foodie who lives to eat; instead I’m more of an eat-to-live person. But I could not stop raving about the fabulous meals that never disappointed. 

Kudos to Josh Tomson, Woodloch’s culinary creative director, who delighted us with his expertise which favored local, organic and sustainable products. From the breakfast quesadilla to the lunch vegetarian wrap to the three-course dinner (King Salmon with root vegetable farro salad was exceptional), there is something for everyone, including carnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans. 

The dining staff is super-accommodating and will make sure you are well-fed and happy. TREE restaurant also has a full bar and an award-winning wine list, and hosts cooking demonstrations, chef-hosted dinners and special seasonal events. During our stay, we enjoyed an enchanting and delectable outdoor luncheon created and hosted by the two friendly, knowledgeable and passionate farmers who tend the expansive garden. 

5 – Getting pampered at The Lodge at Woodloch

So many ways to get pampered!

So many ways to get pampered!

Yes,  you can get pampered. And you must!  

With its unique selection of expert body treatments, massages, facials and salon services, there’s no shortage of opportunities for pampered relaxation. 

The soaking pools with heated Hydromassage WaterWalls, expansive indoor pool, serene relaxation rooms, saunas, steam rooms and fireplace lounges all add to the appeal. If you can muster up the energy after all the relaxation, changing room amenities include plush robes, razors and shaving cream, blow dryers and curling irons, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and anything else you need to put yourself back together. 

Note: Don’t feel compelled to change into your clothing to meander back to your room; Robes are permitted throughout – just not in the dining room. 


IF YOU GO

How do you get to The Lodge at Woodloch

The property can be reached by car, plane, train or bus. 

  • Wilkes Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP), Scranton, PA – 1 hour
  • Newburgh Stewart International Airport (SWF), Newburgh, NY – 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Newark International Airport (EWR), Newark, NJ – 2 hours 30 minutes
  • NJ Transit from NY Penn Station to Port Jervis, NY
  • Shortline Bus from NY Port Authority to Hawley, PA

What are the rates at The Lodge at Woodloch? Are they all-inclusive?

Rates are all-inclusive, including three meals a day plus most activities, and vary by season. Some activities are priced a la carte. A personal spa concierge is available to help guests design their program during their stay. 

Additional information and rates for The Lodge at Woodloch

 


Disclosure: The author received a media rate for her stay.


All photo credits: The Lodge at Woodloch, unless otherwise shown.


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5 Reasons to Love The Spa at Woodloch

 

  • Reply
    NANCY MONSON
    October 27, 2022 at 11:39 am

    I couldn’t agree more, Sheryl! Great article.

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