Story by Barbara Angelakis
Photos by Manos Angelakis
The Lodge At Woodloch
A Destination Spa Resort
109 River Birch Lane
Hawley, PA 18428
Just outside of the charming small town of Hawley, along the eastern edge of the Delaware Water Gap in the softly rolling hills and valleys of Northeast Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountain’s Lake Region, is The Lodge at Woodloch. Part of a recreational complex that includes a family resort (Woodloch Pines), championship golf course (The Country Club at Woodloch Springs), and custom built guest/vacation homes, The Lodge at Woodloch is a full-service luxury destination spa. Situated on 500+ acres of pristine forest with its own private lake The Lodge provides a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of cities like nearby New York and Philadelphia.
The moment we arrived at The Lodge, we were greeted by a smiling attendant welcoming us and unloading our luggage from the car. After providing our name we were assured our luggage would be delivered directly to our room and the car would be available whenever we wished it, and we were invited to proceed to the reception desk. Again, a warm welcome, and since this was our first visit the receptionist offered to show us the general layout and give us a brief overview. After check-in she handed each of us a fabric tote-bag for carrying personal items around the facility and a print-out of our individual trip itinerary, a daily Guide to Classes & Activities, plus a map of the area and a large plastic bottle, which we were directed to fill with our beverage of choice from the lounge where spring filtered water, tea, coffee and soft drinks are available 24/7.
We had arrived early in the day to maximize our visit and our room was not yet ready but we were invited to join one of the many scheduled classes, visit the spa/pool and/or exercise room, walk around the grounds or simply sit and relax in the lounge and enjoy a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee. Within a short while our room was ready with our luggage already delivered as promised. I had time to admire the spacious well designed and furnished room before rushing off to my first class. A quick look around revealed a Deluxe King sized bed, 42” flat panel LCD TV, a refrigerator, en-suite safe and plush terry robes and slippers sized to fit (so many times in supposed luxury hotels you get robes and slippers, one-size fits all, regardless of guest physical requirements). Of course Wi-Fi was complimentary and Housekeeping is offered twice a day. The bathroom had double vanities and an oversized marble shower with fragrant spa quality amenities attached to the wall for unlimited easy access.
The Lodge at Woodloch is the ultimate wellness spa; dedicated not only to physical health, fitness and beauty, but also to personal growth. Luxury Destination Spas used to be about estheticians and therapists pampering their clients to instill feelings of relaxation and rejuvenation before encouraging them to luxuriate in cushy indoor and/or outdoor facilities. The “new” wellness is about self-reflection, self-help and self-realization; of course pampering is still a large part of the spa experience but now so is developing body, mind and spirit. To that end, The Lodge has chosen time tested methods of personal growth from around the world. Numerous classes are offered on a daily basis for different Yoga practices and other Asian imports such as Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Kenpo karate, Pranayama (breathing techniques), Tibetan and crystal singing bowls. Offered also are guided Chakra and other forms of Meditation along with all types of exercise programs in the gym or Aqua Garden. Outdoor offerings include Guided Hikes, Mountain Biking, and Kayaks and Bicycles are available for guests at lake-side. Even Archery and Tenkara (Japanese style fly fishing) classes are offered along with educational Cooking and Tea Classes, Apiary (beekeeping) lessons, introduction to Drawing and a Farm Tour of their organic fruit and vegetable farm; so that indoors or out there is something for everyone at The Lodge.
All teacher credentials are posted along one wall so you can be confident that whatever teaching you are being exposed to comes from an accredited source. Additionally I found the staff was not only knowledgeable but eager to share their expertise and happy when they got their message across; in other words information is not given by rote, you are treated like the special individual that you are.
My first class was Chakra Meditation with Crystal Singing Bowls led by Blake France, and while I am far from a novice in this practice I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the class was geared to all levels of attendees from rank beginners to advanced practitioners. All 7 Chakra bowls were played and their meaning was described relating to tonal value, color, and body positioning.
I also enjoyed the Compassion Meditation moderated by Kelly Kennedy which turned out in our class, not to be a guided meditation at all but a group conversation. Kelly allowed the class to dictate its own direction rather than holding fast to a pre-determined agenda.
I attended several more activities such as a Tea Class led by Mike that was informative and fun and walked the magical Labyrinth that is set outside on the landscaped grounds with lovely views of the surrounding mountains. For me the beautifully laid out Labyrinth was a profound experience and a highlight of my visit.
And now for the main event… a luxurious treatment in the recently expanded and upgraded spa! I selected a Natural Lift Facial and Lindsay was my esthetician. This restorative and highly directed facial employs micro-current technology with a plant stem cell serum to slow cellular aging. It is geared to the mature skin that benefits from deep hydration while it plumps and tones the skin. The selection of facials is vast and covers all ages and specific needs. Visit the web site for a complete listing of treatments www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com/spa/treatments-services/facials/
The spa has 27 treatment rooms and a wide range of services are offered for both men and women. There are separate as well as co-ed facilities, steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools along with expanded lounging areas for either quiet contemplation or group gatherings. The spa features a waterfall with heated Hydromassage Water Walls and soaking pools elevated over an indoor pool which leads out to the Aqua Garden; a broad terrace with co-ed Whirlpool. Of course there is a fully stocked boutique with quality items for purchase.
Our check-out was as affable as our arrival and just as promised our car was loaded with our luggage and delivered to the entrance as soon as we were ready to depart. The Lodge at Woodloch delivered on all promises and more…
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