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the lodge at woodloch: a sensual experience

by Roger Sands

Given the ideal location, environment and facilities, a spa experience can be the essence of tranquility while at the same time embracing a sustainable food philosophy. The Lodge at Woodloch is the embodiment of such an experience.

Located in the pristine Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, only 90 miles from the hustle and bustle of New York City, the Lodge at Woodloch has become one of the country’s most luxurious destination spas since opening its doors in 2006. Featuring 58 opulent guest rooms, each with its own private veranda and swivel rockers, everything here is first class. From the plush treatment rooms for customized face and body treatments to the co-ed Whisper Lounge with a crackling fireplace and outdoor porch, guests are pampered from the moment they arrive.

The 40,000-square-foot spa offers three Mind and Body Studios for aerobics, yoga, and meditation, an extensive Cardio Weight Studio, and a dedicated Pilates training area. An indoor pool and waterfall, several hot tubs, and dry air and eucalyptus saunas ensure that guests have an array of options to alleviate their tension and soothe their aching muscles during their stay.

Covered porches and sunny terraces beckon guests to lounge and relax. Soothing sounds of crickets and rustling leaves enhance the ambiance, as does a fire pit outside the rear of the spa, where guests can enjoy a cocktail or simply soak up the atmosphere.

Although many spas profess to “cleanse the mind while nurturing the spirit,” the Lodge actually walks the walk. With a color palette inspired chiefly by nature, the sun, the lake and the surrounding 75 acres of woodlands, the spa and its soaring walls of windows leaves nothing to the imagination as the majestic outdoors is in full view.

Facials are among the most popular spa treatments and run the gamut from a Signature Facial for all skin types, complete with enzyme peels of sweet cherry, pear fig or pumpkin exfoliate, to the Caviar Facial. Specialized massage treatments include the Lodge Massage, a classic Swedish massage that eases muscle tension using light to medium pressure.

A Sports Specific Massage focuses on those muscle groups important to peak sports performance and is designed to help prepare athletes for the physical demands of such sports as tennis, promote optimal performance, and enhance recovery.

The spa goes to great lengths to please its discerning guests and leaves no stone unturned — literally — by offering a Delaware River Stone Massage. The Lenni Lenape, an indigenous Native American tribe has known for centuries that stones from the Delaware River (which runs through much of the Poconos) contain an energy that accelerates change and energizes one’s entire aura. Delaware River stones are very conducive to the meditative state, bringing in high energy to help you make changes that can lead to deep spiritual experiences.

The Lodge has created an interactive kitchen that allows guests to enjoy special cooking demonstrations. Guests learn how to plan a menu around seasonal produce and herbs from the chef’s garden and prepare the new superfoods. A pastry chef presents a class demonstrating how to make gluten-free desserts that taste as good — or better — than those prepared with flour.

The Lodge’s personal wine sommelier offers an in-depth look into the various characteristics of six different wine varietals from around the world. The 40-45 minute discussion is open to wine lovers of all levels and includes cheese and fruit selections.

Food is serious business at the Lodge, and guests are treated to a delectable array of offerings. The Lodge has developed a personal relationship with many of the area’s farmers and will base its menu on the freshest foods available. Their Farm-to-Table Garden is in walking distance of resort and helps ensure that the freshest ingredients are used on a daily basis. The Lodge also purchases meats and poultry from the Lancaster area, the Amish region renowned worldwide for their farm products.

A breakfast buffet menu includes bell pepper, mushroom, onion, and mozzarella scrambled eggs, passion fruit semolina pancakes, nitrate free bacon, turkey sausage and turkey bacon, root vegetable hash and apple cranberry compote, while the à la carte options include tofu scrambler, soy cheese, poached eggs Florentine.

Lunch features an assortment of burgers, including black bean, bison, turkey or lamb. The more adventurous may choose from shrimp wonton with scallions, bok choy, and lemongrass broth or sesame-seared salmon salad.

Dinner is a sensual awakening. Chilean Sea Bass is prepared with a cauliflower puree and served with grilled asparagus and roasted beet jus. Seafood Bouillabaisse features shrimp, mussels, clams, potatoes and a saffron tomato broth, and Herb Roasted Chicken is accented to perfection by potatoes, baby spinach, and a port wine reduction.

Dessert is not to be missed and features a decadent flourless chocolate cake with a savory strawberry sauce that is so rich, it deserves its own tax bracket. All meals are included in the overall costs.

With 27 treatment rooms, the Lodge plays host to business groups and has seen a growth in corporate retreats over the last year or so. The Fireside Room has a 55-inch plasma HDTV with surround sound, LCD projector & screen, DVD/CD players, microphones, podiums, wireless high-speed Internet, and laptop hook-ups. The theater can accommodate up to 88 people, while several smaller conference rooms are suited for more intimate gatherings.

The Lodge at Woodloch
109 River Birch Lane  
Hawley, PA 18428
(570) 685-8500


Roger Sands has been writing about exotic food and travel destinations for three decades with a particular interest in vegetarian meals that have a gourmet flare. His quest is to find the quintessential Afternoon Tea setting and has experienced this venerable tradition all over the world.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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