Our family stayed two nights at the Inn as part of a church retreat that included meeting facilities and all meals. As most of the retreats I’ve been to in the past have been at low-end, usually non-profit retreat centers (think bunk beds and shared bathrooms), the professionally run Inn at Pocono Manor was a nice (although far more expensive) change of pace.
The Inn itself is like any other hotel, although with a lot more history and a lot more land. The grounds, which total over 3000 acres, are unique. The Inn has its own Post Office and may well have its own zip code. It’s over a mile drive from the main entrance to the Inn. The grounds include two full 18-hole golf courses, shooting ranges, hiking trails, a waterfall, and even some private houses. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to explore – all we really got to enjoy was the indoor pool and a small playground. Some fellow attendees took the hike a waterfall on the property and had fun even though getting lost.
There’s a lot of history at the Inn, much of which is documented in the historic photos that are used almost everywhere for decoration. (One interesting exhibit detailed the Inn’s use in World War II as a rest and relaxation center for US Navy Armed Guard troops). In general, the Inn seems to have aged well; I believe our room (and possibly most of the property) was renovated recently.
Our room was traditionally decorated, and while perhaps a bit dated it looked elegant. It was a bit on the small side, with just enough room for two twin beds and a desk. It wasn’t Manhattan style tiny, but it was smaller than most rooms I’ve stayed in elsewhere. It did have a large closet, however. The view from our room was nice, although it might have been better if someone had cleaned the windows.
There were a few other negatives as well, none of which were critical. In general, the property was in line with my expectations for a three-star location (perhaps even 3.5 stars). There were some stains (blood?) on our sheets – they were small (pea sized) and set in – just a bit disturbing. The A/C unit (located above the bathroom) dripped and made quite a bit of noise. The walls were a bit thin; we could hear our neighbors. Check in was a bit slow; check-in was at 4:00 PM, and since none of the rooms were available early (we asked at 3:00pm and were told to wait) there was a mad rush at exactly 4:00 and the line got pretty long. The staff was helpful and friendly but didn’t seem in a hurry.
More seriously, the elevators were old, slow, and not really up to the job. We often ended up waiting a few minutes, and at times the elevator that did arrive was full. It didn’t help matters that the indicator lights on the cars were broken, so we could never tell if the elevator was going up or down. We resorted to taking the stairs a couple of times, although they seemed very industrial and not really for guest use.
The conference facilities were nice. The main event rooms were lined with a wall of windows that looked out over the valley. Even though it was overcast for most of our visit it was still a nice view.
The indoor pool was a big with our kids who didn’t want to leave. It was relatively clean and while heated, still just a tad bit cold (would have been good for swimming laps). A row of Nautilus equipment lined one side.
Food service was a bit of a disappointment. Many of the attendees at the retreat were pretty happy with the food as it was probably better than most of the low quality stuff served at “retreat centers”. However, for a hotel restaurant it was quite disappointing.
Our retreat included six meals over two days, and almost everything we were served seemed like it was prepared in a warehouse and simply reheated. (One exception was fresh fruit, which was available at most meals and was pretty good). While this is a common technique for serving large groups, I would have been really disappointed if I had paid full price to eat here (although our group took up most of the space, a small section was reserved for other guests and we saw a few people dining at each meal). Most of the food was bland and tasted a bit stale. On the plus side, there was always a good variety of food and it was all-you-can eat. However, popular dishes seemed to run out quickly. A beef stir-fry served one night seemed to have only about ten small pieces of beef in a large serving tray all of which were quickly picked out leaving a tray of just vegetables. The best food choices were from two cook-to-order stations at breakfast, which offered waffles and omelets. Unfortunately, with only two stations open, the lines grew real long.
The staff was trying, but there weren’t really enough people for the number of diners, so it was hit and miss. At some meals we were offered coffee, ice-tea, and were able to ask for condiments, at other times the waiters were nowhere to be found.
If you’re expecting cafeteria style food you probably won’t be disappointed (as my son pointed out, the food wasn’t great but it was still way better than his school cafeteria) – but if you’re expecting a high quality fresh cooked meal you’ll be disappointed. (Our lunch at Red Robin on our drive to the Inn was the best meal of our trip). At least from the outside (décor and smell) the other two restaurants on site looked a lot better.
Allow yourself time to take advantage of all the facilities here, and make sure to check out the his...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.