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.
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 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. :)
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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Deerfield Hotel East Stroudsburg
- Deerfield Spa East Stroudsburg