Fall is a great time of year for a retreat into nature. As the leaves turn and our summer winds down, we often plunge straight into a hectic Fall schedule- some are getting the kids back to school, other’s are kicking off that new project at work and dealing with overbooked schedules or for most, it’s all of the above. The truth is that we often times get lost in our day to day routine in this “always on” kind of world and lose our connection to ourselves. We have found that with the change of season, we too, should consider this the perfect opportunity to re-center ourselves, soothe the body and balance the mind.
An Intimate Escape
We didn’t have to look very far to plan the ultimate nature-inspired retreat. The Lodge at Woodloch is a serene escape, but boasts the luxury of proximity—it’s located in the Lake Region of Northeast Pennsylvania, a convenient two to three-hour drive from New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Situated on over 500 pristine wooded acres, Woodloch’s relaxing retreat is complete with an all-inclusive stay that will help you feel rejuvenated and centered.
This adults-only destination spa resort debuted in June 2006 and continues to re-invent itself as an exceptional full-service luxury destination spa in the Northeast. From the moment you arrive, you will encounter a very different resort experience— silence. As a resort policy, all guests are asked to limit their cell phone use to their private rooms. The faint sounds of birds chirping, zen chimes and branches swaying in the breeze fills you with the quiet tranquility that begins your holistic journey at The Lodge at Woodloch.
Depending on your ideal stay, guests can choose between a variety of packages ranging from spa services to door-to-door transportation packages for those who reside in Manhattan. All stays include luxurious accommodations, three gourmet meals per day, the full use of fitness facilities and most resort events and activities. During your stay, you will have unlimited access to the spa facilities–including a heated indoor pool, saunas, and steam rooms as well as a variety of whirlpools and private showers. We really enjoyed the chance to just relax in the heart of nature with so many spa services at our disposal and spent many hours in the well appointed Whisper Lounge, Porch, and Gather: a social suite.
Upscale Rustic Accommodations
The exclusive property features 58 finely-appointed guest rooms and suites. You can choose from a Veranda One-Bedroom Suite, Veranda Junior Deluxe Suite or a Veranda Classic Standard. Each suite offers the luxury of a private country estate, complete with a spacious bathroom, that flows into an elegant yet comfortable room. Floor to ceiling windows invite guests to their private veranda, offering panoramic views of dense greenery and the therapeutic sounds of nature. We especially appreciated starting our morning on our balcony, with coffee in hand and taking in Woodloch’s beauty. Another favorite feature, was continuing the spa experience in our private waterfall shower after a full day exploring Woodloch.
An Awakening For The Mind, Body, And Soul
At The Lodge at Woodloch, you’ll discover an almost endless array of activities to try. Numerous workshops, classes, and events take place all year round and you can do as little or as much as you’d like.
These experiences at the Lodge at Woodloch help you to shift from everyday routines and re-focus energy inward. It offers the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your creative energy and rebalance yourself for the return to everyday life.
While the amenities are indeed impressive, what we love most about the Lodge at Woodloch is their commitment to the philosophy of personal awakening. This philosophy is something we firmly believe in here at CCM as well as its power to transform our world.
You can explore nature on a five-mile hike through wooded roads and wildflowers. Try Forest Bathing, an activity that helps you become more mindful and interconnected with nature. Take a Bonsai Class, where you will learn the basics of how to grow and maintain your own Japanese Bonsai tree. One of our favorite activities was the Wild Herbal Tea class. This class involved sampling a variety of herbal and mint teas made from wild plants harvested from the meadows and forests of Woodloch. The array of unique choices included everything from Sweet Fern Tea to tea made from Pine needles and Birch Leaves. We found participating in a variety of experiences to be refreshing and healing .
We opted for two spa treatments which were great for healing the body from stress. For women, we experienced the Deep Forest Ritual which included the benefits of local plants and herbs with a detoxifying treatment inspired by native elements. This treatment began with a stimulating exfoliation treatment made of black mud from coffee and dandelion that both cleansed and softened the skin. After the exfoliation, we received a therapeutic massage that involved warm birchwood sticks and oils of evergreen and citrus. This massage eased tension deep within the muscles and provided long-lasting beneficial effects.
We also opted to try their new suite of spa services for men, specifically the Men’s Personal Awakening. This deep tissue massage for relieving tense muscles proved to be a much-needed relaxation and rejuvenation opportunity.
Nestled in the center of Woodloch’s resort is TREE Restaurant and Bar, a five star spa cuisine restaurant that prides itself on an authentic dining experience and artfully crafted menu. Guests will dine overlooking a tree lined scape from the floor to ceiling windows in both the main dining room or the private library. Both spaces exude a rustic elegance with natural wood beams, cast iron lighting and warm, simple decor. The highlight of TREE is Executive Chef Josh Tomson’s play on flavors and combinations while incorporating local, farm raised meats and fresh organic vegetables from the property’s gardens. Each menu and menu item is crafted to the season and aligned with the resort’s holistic activities in mind.
Our top picks for breakfast include their freshly pressed juices consisting of hand-picked vegetables from the resort’s garden followed by farmhouse egg omelets. Lunch included several fine options ranging from Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout to a Maine Lobster Club. The evening culinary journey was sensational with three customizable courses and a wine flight pairing. Our server brought out a sampling of Chef Tomson’s Raspberry Beet puree shooter, topped with vanilla almond Greek yogurt and basil, which was simply delicious and refreshing. One of our favorite dishes was the vegan BBQ Grilled Cauliflower Steak with black bean puree, pico de gallo, Chimichurri sauce and finished with a dark chocolate mole. The flavor combinations were fresh and inventive. Some other delicious choices we recommend are the Korean Barbecue Short Rib, “Quails R Us” Grilled Chicken and “Creekstone Farm” Filet Mignon Au Poivre. Both dishes were made with meat from local farms including Creekstone Farm and Quails R Us.
Guests at Woodloch enjoy three gourmet farm-to-table meals per day with every stay. Breakfast and lunch are available at your leisure, and a reservation is required for dinner. If the weather holds, we recommend reserving one of the resort’s limited spaces in their Dinner in the Garden. Guests are invited to walk through the natural grounds to dine under the stars in the heart of Woodloch’s vegetable garden. This intimate dining experience is one not to be missed.
We left the resort feeling completely refreshed and genuinely awakened by the experience of silence, nature, and the spa. The staff was incredible in their service and attention to detail. Our experience at The Lodge at Woodloch is one that will stick with us for a long time to come.