The Lodge at Woodloch

July 28, 2010 Katja Presnal

The Lodge at Woodloch luxury destination spa in Pennsylvania is in the perfect driving distance of NYC (or Philadelphia) and is the Girlfriends Spa Getaway.

Destination Spa

The Lodge at Woodloch is a destination spa. Destination spas are a bit different than resort spas – in resort spas you can enjoy spa treatments, and take classes and pay as you go and according to your wishes, but at destination spa your meals, the use of spa and fitness center and taking the classes are all included in the price. You can also get packages that include the spa treatments in the price, or you can take additional treatments that are not included. I like the destination spa approach better, because you are more likely to try new things like drumming or kayaking when it is included in your price.

Best For Girlfriend Getaway

The Lodge at Woodloch destination spa is a perfect for a girlfriend getaway, a mother-daughter bonding trip or a relaxing getaway with your spouse. Half of the visitors there are couples, but since you can not enjoy the sauna or steam room with your husband, part of the experience can not be shared together, thus the Woodloch is the best for girlfriend getaways in my opinion. Children under 18 are not allowed, this is an adult only retreat.

Easy Drive & Easy to Find

The Lodge at Woodloch destination spa was easy to find (with a help of a GPS navigator, but there were also signs on the side of the roads), even thought it is in the middle of “nowhere” in the beautiful Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. The drive alone is relaxing once you get out of the city and it takes a little over 2 hours from New York City. I recommend driving yourself, and not depending on public transportation. The best of course, if you can drive with your girlfriends and start having fun already on the way there!

Luxury Starts with Hello

Once you arrive to your destination, the spa hotel is behind a security gate and the security guard lets you drive in the front of the beautiful resort building, where a friendly valet is waiting and welcoming you. You can just step out and check in to the luxury spa resort and start enjoying your vacation immediately. Three large crystal drums welcome you in the foyer like a sculpture – the crystal drums are called “Chakra bowls” and once you tap the side of one, the melodies and vibrations fill the air. According to the Eastern philosophies the combination of the sound and vibration balances your body’s energies. The stunning 34 foot cathedral ceiling in the foyer and the architecture of the building is giving me an instant rejuvenation.

The Rooms & Surroundings

The rooms are generously sized and the whole resort building is build around nature and you can not escape the feeling of nature. There view is amazing – you have the lake on the other side and the beautiful water sculpture on the other side of the building, and the forest surrounding it all. There are enough trails to run or go for a power walk, and the lake is perfect for kayaking or fishing. There is a relaxing cool room off the steam room and sauna to enjoy the scenery while staying cool even on the hottest days of the summer. The architecture of the building is a perfect marriage of a luxury resort and a mountain side or waterfront lodge with natural elements like black river rocks on the shower floors and natural wood casings, mixed with high ceilings, large windows and marble flooring. Little details like luxurious soaps (I absolutely loved the rosemary shampoo), flowers and a pitcher of tea and a tray of gourmet cookies make the experience even better.

Spa Treatments, Pool & Ultimate Relaxation

The first 30 minutes of my stay I’m carrying my iPhone and trying to get a signal – no such luck. Amy (from Long Island) brought the Verizon network with her and had no problem connecting while, but even Amy couldn’t change the Woodloch spa rule- no cell phones allowed in public areas. At first the rule seems cruel for social media addicts like moi, but after an hour I am really liking this rule, the missing AT&T network feels like a blessing and I feel happy to leave the phone in my room and truly start relaxing. We are taken for a tour around the spa and once I see the pool, the waterfalls, the jacuzzis (indoor and outdoor), the sauna and the steam room I am feeling relaxed just from the thought of dipping into the pool or enjoying the eucalyptus steam room.

Every guest receives a water bottle and a canvas bag when checking in, and a white bath robe waits me in my room. I swear not to get out in public wearing the robe like the other guests, whom I saw even eating lunch wearing their robes. Little did I know that once you truly let go and start relaxing, walking around in your bath robe is no biggie.

I had one spa treatment, the awakening the senses facial , a mixture of aromatherapy, chromatherapy (color therapy), healing sound, choreographed two disc stone massage and a deep facial. The 75-minute-long treatment left me looking red as a cooked lobster, and my skin singing everything but hallelujah, and I probably wouldn’t do it again, but my skin is over sensitive, and I was assured that most guests like it.

Programs & Activities

There are so many different programs and activities for you to choose from! Plenty of relaxation programs from different type of yogas and Pilates to high tempo activities from different type of dance classes to kayaking and trail biking. I recommend trying something new you normally wouldn’t try, like we did. We wanted to try Drums Alive, and I imagined it being peaceful drumming with musical instruments, but little did I know – it was a high tempo aerobic experience with fitness balls and drum sticks, and it was so much fun – and a great workout! We also learned some cooking tips and recipes at a cooking class with the spa chef, and spent an evening class with a medium to learn how to connect better with our intuition.

Over all I think one day trip was too short, next time I will stay for two nights! But even one day at The Lodge at Woodloch felt so relaxing and I felt like a whole another woman when driving back home. Make sure to see the little video (on the top) of The Lodge at Woodloch for more pictures and Skimbaco Home for interior pictures of the Lodge.


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Full disclosure: I received one day stay for no expense.

Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comment (1)

  1. Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

    This is exactly what I’d need right now to unwind and relax…! I should check if I could find anything similar, or even just a day spa here in Norway. Next time I come to New York I think this will be on my list of things to do. Although I have to admit that my last trip to NY was about 10 years ago… :)

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