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“A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE”

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Deerfield Health Retreat and Spa
Reviewed July 16, 2009

When I decided to book a stay at Deerfield Spa, I was looking for a jump start. I had gone online and researched probably every spa in the US and Canada.

The major reason I chose Deerfield from all the others was:
1) It was by far the most affordable spa out there
2) It offered almost everything the other more "posh" spas offered, yet was more quaint. I believe the most guests Deerfield can hold is something like 30-40, where the other spas were holding hundreds.... this to me meant one on one attention for my entire stay. And that was very important to me.

I decided to book a 15 day stay at the spa. I'm a bit of an extremist. If I could have gone longer, I probably would have. My intention for this trip was to lose as much weight as possible and take advantage of every class they had to offer. I had never gone on a trip like this before, and I wanted it to count. I wanted to come home with my family seeing a visible difference in me. Is it realistic to work out 6 hours a day and lose 12-15 pounds in 2 weeks, of course not... but I was setting my goals as high as I could, so I could make the most out of the whole experience.

I had emailed Joan (the owner) a couple of times before my trip to ask specific questions about the classes that would be offered during my stay, what the food was like, etc.... And she was always wonderful in answering anything I had asked. One of the things I had asked was if I could check-in early so I could take advantage of some of the morning classes, again just to make each minute count... and she was unbelievably accomodating.

My boyfriend drove me to the spa. We arrived at 10am. Joan was at the desk and checked me in. The 3 of us spoke for about an hour at the desk. It was like I knew her for years. She was so warm and welcoming. She gave me a tour of the place... and invited my boyfriend to stay for lunch with me to help me "settle" in, so that I didn't feel I was all alone right off the bat.

The way the dining room is set up at Deerfield is that there are about say 15 tables of 4 and you basically sit wherever you want, and will end up sitting with other guests at your table. This worried me at first because I was afraid there wouldn't be anything to talk about with these complete strangers and you'd have all that uncomfortable silence during your meals, but all of those fears were alleviated within 5 minutes of sitting at the table.

The guests that go to Deerfield are some of the most amazingly warm people I have ever met. I noticed very quickly that most of them were not first-timers like I was. They had been coming for years; mothers and daughters, friends, sisters, work colleagues... which in my opinion was just a testament of how welcoming the place really is. To keep going back to the same place year after year says more to me than any review you can read online.

The other great thing about the seating arrangements is that you end up sitting with different people pretty much every day. And during the meal you all end up talking about your issues with food, and diet tips that have worked or not worked for you in the past. It's like going to a Weight Watchers meeting... because you're sitting at a table with people going through the same things you're going through and learning through their experiences how to get by those hurdles and obstacles we all face every day of our lives. No one without an eating problem could understand and really appreciate what we go through every single minute of our lives.

It's really an amazing experience. The support you get from each other is overwhelming. I still keep in contact with about 20 people that I met at the spa. We email each other at least every other week just to check in and see how we're all doing.

The waitstaff at the spa was equally as pleasant. Because the place is so intimate, there's only 1 or 2 waitresses for everyone. And by the first day, they know everyone by name. I was amazed at how they would remember certain preferences you liked with your meals...

The food was incredible. I'm told they don't cook with much fat and with any salt, but you'd never know it in tasting the food. I thought the meals would be like eating cardboard, but everything was delicious. There were lots of choices, even for vegetarians, which you don't see too often. I'm not a vegetarian myself but many of my friends are and I'm used to noticing things like that on menus.

There's a breakfast, lunch and dinner special each day... and then a regular menu of about 6 or 7 different other meal options to choose from. They call those the "staple" items. They're offered every day. Being lucky enough to have booked a 15 day stay, I basically was able to try everything on the menu and I can honestly say I really enjoyed it all. So much so, that I bought their cookbook and have made numerous dishes since I've been home. The menu also gave the calorie counts for each meal, so you could track the amount of calories you would have each day if you chose to. They recommended a diet of no less than 1200 calories per day, which is something very similar to what I do back home while dieting, so I was thrilled that I'd be able to continue to count my calories while at the spa.

EXERCISE CLASSES
Like I had said before, I went on this trip ready to take advantage of everything possible. I took ever class offered just to be able to try different things and see what worked best for me.

A typical day of classes is as follows:
There's always yoga, a hike, or a regular walk before breakfast.

After breakfast, which is at 8am, there's a morning stretch class at 9am, then classes at 9:30a, 10:35a, and 11:30.

There's a choice of 2 different classes in each time slot. One class is in the large gym, these are classes like low impact aerobics, cardio boxing, step, pilates, any class you need a lot of room for...

And the other class is in the smaller gym which has all the cybex and free weights equipment. These are classes like Yoga, Ab Zone, Body Bar Basics, Body Conditioning and Cybex Circuit.

Lunch is at 12:30

Then after lunch you have an afternoon stretch at 1:30p, and classes at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00.

Dinner is at 5:45pm....

You can take as many or as few classes as you choose. There's also a heated outdoor pool and water aerobics classes are offered each day. And the jacuzzi is located right next to the pool, which is a great treat to soothe sore muscles.

There are lectures offered I believe almost every day. Weight Training Lectures, Nutrition Lectures, Cooking Lectures. All of which offer a fantastic amount of knowledge for you to take home with you.

And there are beginner, intermediate, and advanced hikes scheduled every day as well.

You can even book personal one on one training sessions with any one of the trainers.

I loved the trainers there. Jeannine and Joe are the two trainers around most of the days. There are a few others that come for 1 or 2 days a week, but Jeannine and Joe are the two I worked most with. And because the place is so intimate and not every guest is as insane as I was taking every single class offered, there were numerous days that I was either the only person in the class and got a one-on-one for the entire hour, or was one of maybe five people in the class. I remember the first class I took when I arrived was a spin class and there were three of us in there. And the next day I had a one-on-one boxing class which was absolutely fantastic.

The instructors never made you feel like you had to be great in the class. They kept stressing to do what feels right for you. They never made you feel like you weren't good enough, or shouldn't be in certain classes. For some of us who could take the class to the next level, they would give you advanced options for certain moves, and for those who were trying something for the first time, they would give more beginner, easier options so no one was ever in danger of injuring themselves.

THE ROOMS
The rooms were very cute. They were comfortable and cozy and include a TV, an alarm clock, a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, so it made packing very easy and convenient. The rooms are decorated in white wicker furniture, and have a very warm and welcoming feeling when you enter. And the rooms were very clean, which is a very big thing for me.

I stayed in a room alone. But a lot of the people traveling as singles choose to share a room with another person to cut the costs down. It's completely your choice.

I think the thing I liked most about this place is how easy-going and casual it was. You never had to dress up. I never put make-up on once my entire stay until the last day when my boyfriend was coming to pick me up... and that's only because I wanted to look good for him after not seeing him for 15 days. :)

THE SPA
Most packages you purchase come with a complimentary spa treatment. Usually a Swedish Massage or $150 credit toward any spa service you choose. Every treatment I received was top-notch. The treatment rooms were newly renovated. The products used were fantastic. I even purchased the facial products and still use them today.

All in all, I had an extremely positive experience while at Deerfield and would recommend it to anyone. I've already planned a return trip for late July. I'm going for a week with my mom and my aunt. And I've recommended the place to all my friends.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
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3  Thank divasmurf4090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 89 of 101 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2009

I just returned from a wonderful two weeks stay at Deerfield Spa. I chose it based on many of the reviews here. It is a friendly place with a home like atmosphere and incorporated many activities, a fun pool and aerobic classes, and the most caring staff you will find anywhere. Joe and Nathalie made my excercise routines educational while having a darn good time doing them. The food is superb while low in calories, and they went out of their way to help accomodate my low carb eating. Amazing teas available 24 hrs a day, as well as excellent fruit snacks for after hours. The rooms are cozy, the dining room is comfy and is set up for mixing and mingling so you are never alone. Lots of return guests - I was astounded. Some of them have been coming back for more than 20 years, and I can see why. I found Joan, the owner, Carol, Linda and Marcy in the office and all the rest of the staff so helpful and kind. Everyone tries to make your visit the best it can be.
Thank you all for making my stay so pleasurable. I can't wait to get back for another round. And yes, I did lose almost 7lbs in two weeks, and got inspired to continue my efforts so I lost 5lb. more and hope to keep my walks and swims and such as long as the weather permits.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled solo
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Thank martasonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2009

You would think the way they describe themselves that they would be this great destination spa. well in my opinion its a big joke. They put you in these small tiny old smelling rooms, the services arent that great. I had some big girl do my massage, and it was awful. I would advise going to a nice day spa, or find a REAL retreat center. This is not a retreat center its a fat farm

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank bouger24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2009

If you want a luxury spa with fru-fru amenities and clientele, this ain't the place. If you want a FABULOUS hot stone massage, some laughs with some really nice women, and a little time to unwind, relax, exercise and eat healthy, this is a good place for you. The owner is very hands on and lovely, the entire staff is so nice. The food, while restricted in calories, was surprisingly good, and the exercise classes were varied. If you want a place to stay for a longer time to try to kickstart weigh loss, this is a great place to do it. If you want a weekend away from the stress, this is a great place.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled solo
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Thank Snoopy212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2009

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.

Positives First:
- 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.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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7  Thank ConnieS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2008

After reading an article in the New York Times, checking their website and the reviews here on Trip Advisor, my friend and I decided to give Deerfield Spa a try. What a wonderful weekend! We enjoyed ourselves, the location, the facilities, the spa services, the staff and the food. It was a wonderfully relaxing time but we got in some good work outs and the low-calories meals were delicious. We look forward to going back for a longer stay in 2009. Joan, the owner, is very hands on and takes a sincere interest in her guests. We met many nice people there who we hope to keep in contact with. If you are looking to get away, to jump start your weight loss or to make some healthy changes in your lifestyle, Deerfield Spa is the place to go!!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank DeeMarie625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2008

I spent several weeks at Deerfield Spa this summer and the experience was nothing short of life-changing. I chose Deerfield because I knew from previous, shorter visits that it was one of the friendliest and lowest-key spas I'd ever been to (and I've been to a lot of them). Also, this was going to be a long stay, and Deerfield is known as one of the top affordable spas in North America, so its reasonable prices would make a longer stay do-able for me.
As always, I found the staff – from the front desk crew and fitness staff, to the dining room team and massage therapists, even the housekeepers and overnight office attendant – warm, friendly, and nurturing. But beyond that, everyone was genuinely interested in me and my personal health and fitness goals. Everyone was so accessible. I got plenty of personal attention from the trainers; the dining room staff always remembered what I liked, whether it was my favorite tea or having my tomatoes on the side; the office staff was always good for a laugh; and the massage therapists are beyond good…they’re gifted!
But what is SO different about Deerfield is the type of guests it attracts – and subsequently the kind of friends I made while I was there. We had so much fun together, staying up late swapping stories and giggles. A lot of nights after dinner, in addition to the spa’s scheduled activities like belly dancing (that was a hoot!) or cooking lessons, a few people would organize an impromptu game of basketball or pool races. Some nights we shared a bottle of wine, watching the world go by, from Deerfield’s idyllic front porch. Deerfield attracts a genuinely low-key crowd. These are people who can afford to go almost anywhere, who certainly know the finer things in life, but they choose to come to this casual place because there’s not an ounce of pretension here, no keeping up with the Joneses, just good exercise, great food that’s actually great for you, world-class pampering, and a lot of laughs!
As the end of my stay approached, I found myself feeling sad to leave, but truly renewed on a deep personal level, reminded of the importance of good friends in my life, and most importantly, capable… I felt for the first time in a long time that I am actually capable of sustaining the healthy lifestyle habits I’d adopted while I was at Deerfield. And since my return home, I have demonstrated to myself over and over that, indeed, I CAN make my health and wellness a priority, I CAN make time for friends and family, I CAN eat proper portion sizes, I CAN get myself out of my office chair and get some exercise when I’m not particularly in the mood to do so, and the proof is in the pudding, because I’ve continued to lose weight and firm up and feel great. And it all started at Deerfield. This is an amazing place filled with amazing people, in a wonderful setting, and being there this summer changed my life. I treasure my tine there and I can’t wait to go back.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank clara1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Deerfield Health Retreat and Spa

Address: 650 Resica Falls Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302-9709
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > East Stroudsburg
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in East Stroudsburg
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcoming guests since 1979. Deerfield Health Retreat and Spa established itself as a forerunner in the full-service Destination Spa industry. Founded by her mother, Frieda, Joan Wolff now presides over the 12-acre facility. Deerfield Health Retreat and Spa is a friendly, down-to-earth Poconos getaway that wants you to feel good, both inside and out. Deerfield has won numerous awards for its affordability, fitness, hiking and weight loss programs. Deerfield is known for health over hype and laughs over luxe. Leave the grind behind and get back to what really makes you happy! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Deerfield Hotel East Stroudsburg
Deerfield Spa East Stroudsburg

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