The Lodge at Woodloch

It’s not often a story on a destination spa would start with the food, but in the case of The Lodge at Woodloch, the culinary experience is just the beginning of the superior offerings guests can expect of this property located in Hawley in the Lake Region of northeast Pennsylvania. And though we may not have come back 10 pounds lighter from our December stay, we did come back relaxed, refreshed and better connected. The Lodge at Woodloch touts itself as a “respite for mind, body and spirit,” and it most certainly delivers.

Conveniently located within a 3-hour drive from both New York City and Philadelphia, The Lodge at Woodloch is an ideal spot for a few days away for couples, girlfriends’ getaways and mother-daughter trips. The exceptional property boasts only 58 guestrooms and suites, ensuring superior service and a true intimate feel. Set on more than 150 wooded acres with a 15-acre private lake, the property is its own special oasis of tranquility. Mornings begin with views of deer grazing on the back lawn and evenings end with time around the outdoor fire pit, complete with provided blankets and rocking chairs.

Year-round, the outdoors is brought into the public rooms starting with a 14-ft. glass cupola and balcony overlooking the lake as guests enter the property. Floor-to-ceiling windows and radiant-heated terraces are located throughout, including numerous intimate spaces designed for reading books or looking at the flora and fauna outside. All guestrooms and suites also have their own private verandahs to take in the woods outside. It’s is almost as if “relaxation mode” was built into every public and private space of the property, or at least it feels as if that’s the switch that’s automatically turned on for guests.

The 40,000-sq.-ft. Spa is the hub of activity or inactivity, depending on your focus. The first floor is home to the greeting area and men’s and women’s separate locker rooms that lead into the Aqua Garden, which is framed in floor-to-ceiling windows. Here guests can enjoy whirlpools, hydro-massage waterwalls and an indoor activity pool where aqua fitness classes are held. An infinity-edge whirlpool is located on an outdoor porch overlooking the lake and even during the winter, it’s a lovely spot to sit and take in the surrounding beauty and simply breathe.

There are 27 treatment rooms on the lower level, and guests can enjoy an array of choices using natural ingredients. It was pure pleasure during the 100-minute Rosemary Awakening treatment, which features a body scrub and full body massage. Afterwards, relaxing in the co-ed Whisper Lounge by the fireplace is the ideal way to keep stress at bay.

The third floor of the Spa is for those guests looking to get their body moving. A full schedule of daily classes—starting from early morning to early evening—offer everything from stretches, yoga and Pilates, to cardio kickboxing, Zumba and ballroom dancing. Classes are small so individual attention makes sure participants are doing the moves correctly. A state-of-the-art fitness center allows those who want to work out on their own the choice to do just that. Outside, a 1-mile path leads around the property and by the lake.

Besides fitness classes, guests can stretch their creative sides with drawing and watercolor painting classes, as well as cooking demonstrations. These fill up quickly and advanced sign-up is suggested. Guest lecturers in the evening expand guests’ worlds further, with such topics as positive thinking and making wishes come true.

All meals are held at Tree, the gourmet restaurant that features fresh, organic dishes, with service and food quality that rivals some of the best five-star restaurants in the country. Menus change continually and feature seasonal offerings, as well as herbs and vegetables grown in the chef’s on-property garden. A great differentiator for the restaurant and cuisine is choice, enabling guests to be as healthy (or not) as they wish, according to a property spokesperson.

The menu is extensive, including buffets as well as a la carte options for breakfast and lunch (weekend breakfasts are all buffet with made-to-order omelet station) and numerous choices of appetizers, entrees and desserts for dinner. Service and food quality is equal to what you would find in some of the best five-star restaurants in the country, with low-fat options for those who have a strong will to resist. A selection of beers, wines and spirits are available for an additional cost.