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Reviewed August 21, 2011

I can not say enough good things about Birchcreek. I can't believe this place is not the weightloss resort for the Stars, because it's just phenomenal here. I am 29 years, 5'3 and I lost 8.5 lbs in 6 days. I stayed for 7 days, but I checked in late on Sunday..so I do not consider it as 7 full days. I would like to thank the program directors Julie and Ron, they were knowledgeable, caring, motivating, and overall like family. The two of them truly know the challenges that are out there and they will guide you and educate you through out the detox/weight loss process. I want to let everyone know, I did not starve myself or feel hungry while I was here. I felt like I was on vacation the whole time I was here. My room was gorgeous, with a fireplace, fresh towels, wi-fi, cable tv and my own spa like bathroom. Birchcreek is very well maintained, and the owners take pride in their business. My fellow guests and I always saw and noticed many housekeepers always cleaning. To my surprise, the personal trainers were the best and most sopisiticated in their expertise I have ever come across at any gyms. I took my first Tai Chi with Steve class and stretch classs with Jeff and learned some great stretching techniques. I loved the cooking class with Ron! The best part out of the whole trip was being with other people staying at Birchcreek who are either trying to detox and OR lose weight. We were all laughing and having a great time. I

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank CAYMAN2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2011

To anyone seeking to revamp his or her way of eating and to truly realize the importance of eating the right foods, Birchcreek is the place. The staff, the quiet, natural environment, and the nutritional knowledge that I received made the cleansing process quite easy; the trip was well worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank SheLaPla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

I read over the reviews before making a decison and i called birchcreek to find out what the real story was. Seems that the reviews are either wow or they are horrible. Maybe they give away a free weekend to get someone to write a good review,because there is just no continunity here. I spoke to the owner julie who made me feel that my questions were just pissing her off and she couldn't be bothered with me. She then put me on with a lovely women named sophia who was a great help. She answered most of my questions and i deciced to spend a week.
The truth here is that it is the place is rustic, and run down. it needs a complete renovation. There is a paint job here and there but otherwise the place is a mess. the gym that is supposed to be open 24 hours in an old barn where they hold the ''boot camp'' classes. if there are classes going on you can't us the gym. with boot camp there are classes throughout the day. bye bye gym use.not very convienet. also the place is dirty. i realize that this is the country, and there are quite a few spas you pass along the way before you get to this one that are spectacular so i know that the ydo keep the dirt away in other spas.
Ron is the director the the place and he gives these lectures on stuff that had no relavence to how to help me keep weight off , what i should do when i leave or the questions i tried to asked were just rebuffed and never answerwed. word here, skip his classes he just likes to here himself talk. When he is done ,hes gone like the wind never to be seen again. His wife julie also not to be seen around the premisies, maybe just to check in and then poof shes gone. Thank god Sophia is around to answer questions and just help out. it seems she's the one who runs the place.
i had a demontration with their daughter loni on juicing, first of all i am wathching a women juice my lunch without gloves on as she is scratching her head (without a hair net)and then she goes back to putting the fruit in the juicer after what ever was in her hair.Gross where is the health department, the kitchen tiles on the counter also look like thet have black mold growing on them , and there are bugs everywhere, not very appitzing.Also i felt that if she is working here she should know something about health and wellness. She could not answer any of the questions that people were asking, what was her backround ?Forget the seminars, execpt for Barbaras , she is the Naturopathic doctor on staff, and she gave a lecture that was informative, useful, and enlighting, She has over 25 years in the field and knows her stuff, what she is doing here in the woods working for birchcreek i dont know, some fabulous spa or retreat should steal her away.
she also did my bodywork treatmeents and i will telll you she alone was worth the trip, i left feel ing my body and soul had beed restored all through her wonderful healing touch, and skilled massage work.
my room was adaquite but nothing to write home about, the fiberglass falling out of the chimmey. the peeling waallpaper, i let it go. i lost weight but was it worht it? i think not, the massages were heaven but this place is just not the real deal.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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23  Thank travelingagaain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birchcreek, Owner at Jump Start New York, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2011

Dear Reviewer,
You will be happy to know that you can now experience the outstanding Birchcreek Weight Loss and Wellness program at the 4 star Emerson Resort in Mount Tremper, NY (about 15 minutes from our current location). For our guests, like you, would who prefer a more upscale and luxurious facility, Birchcreek at the Emerson provides the perfect combination of juice fasting, weight loss, fitness and pampering. Hope you can join us there next trip.

A few comments about your review:

To clarify – we are NOT a spa! We ARE a Retreat – tucked in the woods, rustic, country, secluded (and, by the way, very clean). Our facility is in the mountains, surrounded by clear running streams, mature forest – a very natural setting. Our atmosphere is perfect for those desiring the privacy to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. Our outstanding return percentage and referral rate show that most of our guests do take the time to read our very clear website, and deliberately choose our non fluffy, non spa -like atmosphere which offers a very serious and successful approach to alternative health and weight loss. Many of our guests have already tried spa vacations and find Birchcreek to be a breath of fresh air and common sense. Our outstanding weight loss results, and yours, as you mentioned, speak for themselves!

As you and your friend (who wrote the previous less than positive review) know, the gym is only nicknamed the ‘barn’ because of it’s red exterior color. There are no barns on the property and the gym building was built about 12 years ago.

As the Director of the Birchcreek Retreat, Ron Odato is responsible for all of the research and science behind our program. As Program Director, my role is to ensure that our daily program is the best available anywhere for our clients. So, you are right. We are not always visible all day to our clients. That task falls to our long time employee and well appreciated Daily Operations Director, Sophia, whom you rightly identified as being available to help with anything, running the daily operations and doing an outstanding job. I’m not sure why that would be an issue for anyone.

Our program encompasses both weight loss and wellness. We firmly believe that the two go hand in hand. So, it’s true, as you mentioned, that not every lecture is just about how to keep your weight off. We also offer the very relevant intellectual information which is so vital to your success when you are out of our care and back home in your life. I’m sure you can recall that the very individual topics regarding your own weight loss plan were well covered with you in both your one on one consultations and our very popular hands on workshops.

It’s true! Ron does like to hear himself talk! When the topic is getting yourself back on track and reclaiming health, fitness and energy – he could go on all day. Enthusiasm is generally considered a positive trait!

My response to your comments about the very impromptu juicer demo we were able to squeeze in last minute for the two of you, (at your request), is to remind you that our staff was simply accommodating a guest request - at an unscheduled time and in an informal way. Additionally, I’m not sure why one would expect the kitchen help, any more than the housekeepers, to be experts in health and wellness . As you know, this was not a scheduled class with an instructor, just a quick look at the juicer.

The grout in the tile surfaces in the kitchen can discolor easily as a result of constant contact with fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices during the daily juicing process. They are regrouted regularly for aesthetic attractiveness and are always kept scrupulously clean.

Thank you for your comments regarding Barbara, our Naturopathic Doctor. She is truly amazing and has been a valued member of our staff at Birchcreek for almost 10 years. Our staff and management have been consistently praised by our clients for their service, knowledge, dedication and thoughtfulness. Hats off to the team!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2011

I have to say my stay at Birchcreek was a great experience for me. I decided for the first time in my life to do something for me and researched many health, wellness and weight loss spas. If you are looking for a luxury spa this is not the place to go. But if you are looking for comfortable accommodations and a jump start into healthy weight loss then Birchcreek is worth the trip. I have tried to lose weight with every diet that is out there and could not lose a pound (actually gained more). I did a 4 day juice fast and exercise and on departure I lost 6.2 lbs the healthy way. I am home a week now and have not been able to implement a daily exercise routine yet, but I am continuing to lose weight. Another 2.5 lbs.

Julie, Ron and Sophia were great. Within 5 minutes of my arrival it was a totally comfortable and nurturing experience. Julie and Sophia were always available for any needs or requests. They continue to answer any questions that I have had since I am home.

Ron’s seminars have given me a world of information that has encouraged me to change my diet by eating healthy without feeling deprived. I feel more energized and have lost the cravings for junk food. Every exercise instructor was an expert in their field giving one on one attention during every class.

The morning hikes through the beautiful Catskills were invigorating and challenging. I did not have any spa treatments, however those who did say they were wonderful. Since I have been home, people have commented on how great my skin looks. I have not put on any face makeup since Birchcreek. All I can say is I came home lighter, healthier and calmer.
I look forward to returning next year!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank dori_NYC_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

I found Birchcreek in the process of doing online research while looking for a spa/retreat to visit. Based on what I read, including the testimonials, I decided to give Birchcreek a chance. My twelve day stay at Birchcreek completely exceeded my expectations! It was a total reeducation about food & nutrition, about physical fitness and about weight loss. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I would lose 12 pounds in 12 days!! And it was a healthy weight loss! I left Birchcreek 2.5 weeks ago and have maintained the new weight.
I highly recommend a stay at Birchcreek. The staff is wonderful and completely committed to your success and to making it the best possible experience for you. I will go back.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank Susanna753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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