When a resort has a dedicated Outdoor Experiences team, you know it’s going to be a fun stay. Breathing in the fresh air while hiking the fern-covered trails on more than 500 acres of woodlands at The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pennsylvania, one can mindfully escape the city bustle of New York and Philadelphia just over two hours away. Designated as a destination spa resort, the all-inclusive lodge offers so many other activities that guests need at least a week to enjoy it all. Here, three must-dos when you check in. thelodgeatwoodloch.com
The Lodge at Woodloch is known for its Forest Bathing program and certified instructors; its custom-designed Lotus Labyrinth; archery and hatchet throwing ranges; and its hammock groves where guests can read a book or contemplate the clouds. But indoors, at the spa, are even more spaces to nurture your mind after a world-class facial or deep-tissue massage. Whisper, a silent sanctuary, or Gather, a social suite, are just two co-ed options. The Aqua Garden features therapeutic soaking pools with dramatic hydromassage water walls surrounded by boulders for an outdoors-indoor feel. Fireplace lounges, screened-in porches, saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpool facilities all contribute to an undeniably relaxing setting.
If nutrition and lifestyle counseling is the order of the day, health and wellness classes abound. Personal training sessions and revolutionary workouts such as Shockwave, dubbed “the most efficient total body workout in the world,” are scheduled throughout the day. Shockwave is an extreme cross-training circuit that involves the WaterRower GX rowing machine and functional strength stations to sculpt the legs, core, and arms. It takes place in the 3,500-square-foot Cardio Weight Studio, which features a TRX suspension training area, treadmills, elliptical machines, spinning bikes, free weights, and more. If a more Zen-like session is desired, Chakra yoga, morning meditations, and the ultimate Great Wall of Yoga—where guests use gravity and adjustable straps to open the spine and develop strong core muscles—are taught in studios with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the grounds and out to the 15-acre private lake.
The Garden Dinner
The lodge’s signature gourmet restaurant, TREE, offers spa cuisine along with a creative and healthy menu to meet every dietary preference. But the meal not to miss is the Garden Dinner, which is as its name implies, a farm-to-table dining experience served in the middle of the garden. Executive Chef Josh Tomson selects items from the harvest to build dishes, like sweet corn and potato chowder or beet salad with shaved fennel and crispy shallots, for a sumptuous two-hour tasting dinner paired with wine selections by sommelier Leslie Britt. Guests, who must sign up in advance ($80/person), tour the biodynamic farm before settling in under a tented deck with a makeshift kitchen to watch the sun go down while fires are lit, music plays, and Chef Tomson personally serves each course while describing how it was prepared.