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“Ok, but not usre what ll the fuss is about”

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Woodloch Pines Resort
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Hawley
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 12, 2008

Just got back from a one night stay over Mothers day weekend. They will tell you that you can ot book just one night but if you get the right person, you can! Also the online booking does not allow a family of four in a standard room - just call the resort and ask it is plenty big. There are queen beds and two day beds with a divider so you have some privacy. I would not pay more for a Deluxe lakeview as they are just like a regular hotel room with 2 beds right next to one another.
The property is well kept and there are activities such as bumper cars, mini golf, boats and indoor playground. However, we felt liek we were in a sleepaway camp and after one day there was not much to do. The whole atmosphere is a little cheesy, I kept expecting Patrick Swayze to teach dance lessons!
We barely saw anyone at the activities. I guess it is much better in the summer. You would be able to use the lake and outdoor pools and the activities would be packed with people. We kept expecting someone liek an activities director to be around rounding people upt o do stuff but we were kind of on our own.
The food was ample but kind of salty and tasteless.
I have to say the show was wonderful, very impressed but children under 7 were not allowed. They did have a magic show for the kids so you kind of had to choose which one to do. We wound up getting a babysitter - Kristen, who was great and she took the kids to the magic show so we could enjoy the adult show. For the money, we felt hey should of offered an alternative. If they are going to restrict the age for the evening show then they should offer a suoervised kids program. Not everyone felt comfortable nor had the $ to hire a babysitter and therefore the adult show was half empty. A shame since they put so much time and effort into it.
While we had a good time it is not worth the $600 we spent. for that price per night we could easily go to FL or the caribbean or a nicer family resort.

  • Stayed: May 2008
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6  Thank smlev02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,390 - 1,396 of 1,446 reviews

Reviewed April 25, 2008

Stayed in the main resort; we have a 3-year old and 6-year old and let me begin, they had a really good time at Woodloch Pines which of course was most important to us. Days were filled with shared, age-appropriate activities and we were occupied from morning until night with everything within walking distance. Staff in general were pleasant, the facilities were clean, and above all the kids loved it.

That all being said, my wife and I found the experience overpriced and disappointing, and we are not likely to return. As others have mentioned a 15% service charge is tacked on above and beyond the high rates, which seems like a gouge because if anything, "service" and "excellence" -- the Woodloch principles -- are in the eyes of the beholder.

A major problem with Woodloch, as others have mentioned, is the food. While bountiful, the fare is cheaply done with little selection available. Much of the cooking is heavily sweetened, bland and/or fried with no healthy alternatives. After lunch one feels almost comatose from the sugar and fat that is laid out. On top of that, the service is uneven, confusing (e.g., different soda, coffee and food people) and includes being up-sold cocktails and mocktails at lunch and dinner. To top it off you get the pleasure of having your plates (and those of your neighbors) scraped tableside into a wheeled cart (sometimes carrying fresh courses for other tables) -- by your server no less, who then wipes his or her hands off and asks for your food order.

The decor of the resort, while generally in good repair, is decades out-of-date -- poorly lit and heavy on the purples and dark browns. The workout room is filled with obsolete and often rusty equipment, and the pool is straight out of a 1960's Holiday Inn complete with 6' diameter kiddie pool to accommodate dozens of toddlers and infants. Some of the equipment used in kids activities is in need of replacement; bounce bowling for example employs wooden boxes that date back so many years the paint is peeling and the nails are coming off.

As for the unscheduled (always open) activities, the bumper cars and bumper boats are fun enough, but the toddler room was quite lame; the indoor playground is kept at a balmy 80-90 degrees; and in addition one could barely turn around without bumping into a vending machine or $1 video game - as if the rates were not high enough, the resort then tries to squeeze all your loose change from you too.

Regarding the entertainment, the comedy acts were barely up to borscht belt standards; the artists were uneven, sometimes hilarious and sometimes dreadflul. They did get us to laugh and it was good clean fun, but keep expectations reasonable and don't expect a lively crowd at the nightclub. And evening activities like bingo, karaoke and "horse racing" are straight out of summer camp, so keep in mind if you like glitz - you won't get it at Woodloch.

Unfortunately, what would have been an terrific family vacation (since despite the above issues, which small children couldn't care less about, we spent a lot of memorable "quality time" together) was almost ruined by a serious infestation of biting black flies that swarmed you every time you went outside. Waiting in line for the go-carts, or participating in shuffleboard or even just walking around was an ordeal (and now three days later we are still covered in irritating, itchy, bright red bites).

Woodloch staff we spoke to claimed the flies were just bad luck, it had just gotten quite warm that week and they would soon vanish (or so they said) -- but there was never an official acknowledgment of the problem. However doing a quick google search on black flies I learned they are quite common to PA and OH and there are ongoing government programs to minimize the population; so it is not plausible that the Woodloch management is naive about the black fly situation; they just seem to be playing dumb on the issue.

In all, I cannot understand some of these glowing reviews about Woodloch on this site. Yes, there is fun to be had, but the place is dated and the value is not obvious i can't imagine going there every year for the rest of my days, when there are so many alternatives out there to experience.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank FamilyVacationNut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2008

Second trip up and again we were not disappointed. I would note that if you are trying to save money as we were and you decide to go up off season ex March and you stay sunday/monday as we did one really important thing to pay attention to is that a lot of the activities have very limited times due to short staff. In other words, the shooting barn was open 10-11am and so was the bumper cars and so was the go karts and then they re-open 4-500pm soo you have to hustle in the am to go to one or maybe two and then wait all day for it to re-open. that really stunk. There are other activities to do in between like the pool, or the indoor playhouse but ....
the only other gripe is the food is plentiful but not so yummy esp for what you pay. I would love more healthy options and it is really hard to stick to low carb eating up there.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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Thank happymomdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2008

i have been going to woodloch pines since i was a child in 1965.started out with my family..now we go with 20 family members including my daughter and 2 grandkids.they all love it too..we are going in april to celebrate it's 50 yr anniv. the place is so clean,people are friendly,food is great..we feel like we are home when we walk in and are treated that way..the cost is pricy but you get alot and it's all good..

Stayed: October 2007
Thank ladyeyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2008

My family first visited Woodloch in the late 1970s when I was a child. My family loved it then and still love it now. Granted and stated many times before, it is quite costly for a car trip to the Poconos. However, the laughs and the memories you have there make up for the slight negatives.
The positives: staff is abundant, dutiful and friendly. They usually go above and beyond for anyone. The rooms, grounds and resort locations are all very clean. The activities (tubing, snowmobiling, games, activities, shows, etc.) keep you quite busy and are almost always included within the price of your stay. I stayed with my family of five over the MLK weekend and met up with several other friends and family members and their families. We played many of their scheduled games (Scattegories, Family Fued, You be the Judge) and had many memorable moments.
Slight negatives: for the prices the rooms could be updated. We stayed in Greenbriar and were very happy with our room and its location at the resort. However, others in our extended party stayed in Gateway and Ripple Cove. They could use some gutting and remodeling. My advice to Woodloch would be to step it up a bit - put in some granite, marble, flat screened tvs, etc. Its location in the Poconos wouldn't usually warrant such "niceties" but its prices do. As stated before, the food is plentiful and good, but not exciting. There has to be a way to step this up too. For the prices you deserve more variety.
All in all, the place is wonderful. I would recommend it to family groups

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank steady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2008

My family and I have been going to Woodloch since I was a kid(I am now 26). Recently, myself, boyfriend, my older brother and his girlfriend went for a long weekend. It was the first time we were going as adults. I have to say, Woodloch is still TOP NOTCH. As many activities as there are for kids (literally it feels like millions) there are also plenty of activites for adults (scavenger hunts, mystery games, movies, shooting range, bars, nightclub) that both make you feel like a kid again and help occupy your time. There was never a dull moment! We were also able to swim indoors and relax in the jacuzzi as well as play in the man-made snow outside (tubing). Just remember to pack loose fitting clothes as the food is so amazing and rich you will be going back for seconds every time! Go to Woodloch, you wont regret it!

Stayed: March 2007
1  Thank LMCC88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2007

Woodloch wears their tagline well...I was there in November and plan to return in February(President's weekend is ALWAYS exciting and worth every penny!) and June, since it's the best place I can think of to go on a family vacation.

I made the collosal mistake of "trying something different" last summer and for the same price, our family of four went to Rocking Horse Ranch, which was a complete nightmare. The rooms are hideous, with non-flushing toilets and non-draining showers and not even simple hair-dryers or amenity baskets. The activities are gotten off of a placemat you could find in any diner in the US, and the food was just awful. You had to PAY for an inedible lunch and the only free beverages were undrinkable watered down lemonade and fruit punch. The lake was dirty brown and for boaters only..your only choice for swim was a crowded pool lined with bird feathers and bugs. And don't get me started on what they called evening entertainment....

I am easy to please, but I resented how much Rocking Horse charged for what you got..which was basically NOTHING. (Our family of four spent LESS than a week and paid close to FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS..what we spend on cruises or Club Med!)
Worst of all, the ranch's owners ignored every comment I submitted. That's just inexcusable for any business. How could they not care?

Woodloch's family make YOU feel like family and the resort feels like a home away from home. They don't even advertise and have nearly an eighty percent return guest rate!

We've only discovered this gem of a resort in 2004 and have been back several times since. I can't dispute the previous poster's claim that it's "not what it once was" because I haven't been going for all those years, but it pretty much defines my idea of perfection..especially compared to that train wreck that was the dude ranch..

yes, Woodloch's pricey if you go at a premium time(when activities are top-notch) but as my son stated when we first went when he was nine, "If a place is THIS great, it might as well be free!" So true..I never resented one dime I spent in Woodloch and have always put down next time's deposit at checkout. So many guests were doing the exact same thing!

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank ScrabbleK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Woodloch Pines Resort

Address: 731 Welcome Lake Rd., Hawley, PA 18428-7840
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > Hawley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Hawley
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Woodloch Pines Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This exceptional Poconos resort, nestled in a pristine mountain lake setting, is regarded as one of America's "Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts". Their traditional warm hospitality has been nurturing and embracing the spirit of spending quality time with family and friends for over fifty years. This Pocono Mountains resort provides a four-season, fun-filled, lakeside escape for your entire family with endless activities and entertainment for all kids from 2 to 92. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Woodloch Pines Hotel Hawley
Woodloch Pines Hawley

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