I returned yesterday from my mini-week (5 nights) at Deerfield Spa. Each year my mother and I take a trip to a spa that has controlled food and a good variety of activities. I'm 45, mother is 68. This year we selected Deerfield Spa.
What we were expecting by the brochure,, website, guest reviews - wasn't what I think we received. Yes the price is reasonable, but we left with no plans to return and not relaxed as we had hoped. With spa services, taxes, amenity fee, etc. it was about $1800 per person.
- GREAT guests during our week. There were 12 of us and we got along very well. It was the best part of the trip.
- The hiking guides know their stuff. Janet is a Naturalist and is great to be with on a hike. Not only is she knowledgeable, she is good to just talk too. Because it rained every day we were there, I was usually the only one or one of a very few people on the hikes. The hikes are a nice break from classroom exercising. NOTE: there are no bathrooms on the hikes. So if you drink a lot or have to go to the bathroom a lot, there is no place to go to the bathroom (woods only).
- Food was good for the calories. There were items that weren't fantasic, but we were so hungry any food was good. On average, I ate between 1200 - 1300 a day. At first it was too low, but then my body adjusted.
- The pool is decent size for water activities, but there are no umbrellas to get out of the sun. The pool is in the direct sunlight (unfortunately, we didn't see any of it!)
Could be better:
- Location. The pictures give you the impression that it is off in the woods and very peaceful and quiet. It isn't peaceful at all. The house is right next to a very busy road. So if you were planning to sit on the front porch and read a book, forget it. The traffic is so loud you get a headache after only a few minutes. You can hear the traffic throughout the property including the rooms. There is absolutely nothing to do here. You are pretty much confined to the property.
- Rooms. We stayed in the Annex which is suppose to be the better rooms. I don't know what the other rooms looked like, but the Annex wasn't all that great. Motel 6ish. Walls paper thin. If you have loud guests next to you it is very disruptive. Our last night was hard to make through because of a group of 4 that were very loud talkers. You can't get internet in the Annex. You can get wireless access in the main lounge area. There is a TV and 1-sink bathroom. The advantage of the Annex rooms - they are right by the pool and further away from the road traffic.
- Service: No one really acts like that like their jobs or want to make this spa a success. There are so many things to list in the area of service that l'd rather just say, "what service".
- Spa: Massage worth $80, but sugar scrub not worth $90 nor was the facial worth $135. The Micro Current machine was broken so I didn't get the benefit of trying this procedure.
- Fitness staff: Joe is really good, but he is the only one that I think cares to do what is right for the guest and is truely a fitness expert. The rest of the staff gave us the impression it was "just a job".
There was no orientation to the property or the "rules" provided the first day of check-in. There is no overview of anything. The only thing you get is your blood pressure checked and weighed in. But the blood pressure isn't checked again or the weight followed up on. No measurements were taken.
We were just given keys and pointed to the Annex that was our orientation. The 2nd day there was a very brief overview of the classs. Nothing was talored to the person and their goals. There were no bio's on the instructors and some of the classes weren't defined.
Nothing was asked about why we where there and what we wanted to accomplish. If it were not for 1 guest who had been there the prior week willing to take us and the other 9 ladies under her wing, we wouldn't have known anything.
Oh, after eating 1500 ess calories per day than I was before arriving and exercising the entire week, I lost no weight. I think I lost inches (but I can't say for sure because they didn't take any measurements).
All in all, this was a huge disappointment and I feel as if we wasted our money. I'd like to transplant the other 10 ladies in a better spa and have a "do over" week at another spa. If it were not for the group that attended May 3 - May 8th, we would have checked out early and went home.
This wasn't the program and staff that I had expected at a Spa Finder Top Destination Spa.
Other key information:
- Yo Wei: We went on the Yo Wei speciality class week with Jolene Puffer. Jolene was the highlight of the week. What an incredible person. High Energy, fun, nice, very fit and was the most helpful to my mother. We really liked Yo Wei and I would highly recommend if you do go to Deerfield, attend during the Yo Wei week with Jolene. There is another week coming up in Aug/Sept. You will not regret it!
Cell Service: Unless you have Verizon or AT&T, you can't get any phone calls. Your cell won't work. I have T-Mobile and my mother has Sprint. Neither of us had service. There are no public phones. Nothing in the material let's you know that cell service is a problem. My mother's husband is 78 and she could only speak to him via email. You could ask to borrow the spa's phone, but what a hassle!
Laundry: There is no on-site laundry. You have to pay the spa to do your laundry. If you are planning multiple weeks, you will need to go off property to get your laundry done.
Fly vs. Drive: You won't want to fly to this resort. Having a car to get off the property as well as to pack extra comforts from home is important.
Water: The only water is in a small dispenser and at meals. I luckily brought two cases of water with me, but many did not. If you drive, bring water.
Smoking: I was shocked to see Deerfield kitchen and spa staff smoking. And they smoke right outside the kitchen door. The smoke goes into the upper rooms above the kitchen. For a "healthy" retreat, Deerfield should be a non-smoking property for guests and for employees.
Extra's to Bring
If you like Spin Class (which I recommend with Joe), bring a gel seat. You will not enjoy the spin class unless you have a gel seat. I wrapped two towels around the seat and it still wasn't enough. The spa doesn't have a "packing list", but this is certainly something that should be on the list. I really liked the Spin class (my first one), and wished I had brought my gel bike seat.
Bring two pair of exercise shoes. One for hiking and outdoor activities one for the gym.
I realize everyone has different experiences and how they feel about a place is very different by their experiences. Since I've traveled a lot, and been to many spas, this isn't one that I particularly enjoyed or would return too in the future. However, please make your own decisions about what you want out of the week and what you are willing to spend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Deerfield Health Retreat and SPA is an all inclusive retreat with full exercise program, 3 healthy meals, 2 snacks, 8 hikes a week, lectures and full use of the facilities. Outdoor heated pool, and Jacuzzi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Deerfield Hotel East Stroudsburg
- Deerfield Spa East Stroudsburg