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“Lodge? Yes…Destination spa? NO!”

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The Lodge at Woodloch
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hawley
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Lodge? Yes…Destination spa? NO!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2010

Recently visited for a quick get-away over July 4th weekend. Saw the review in the NY Times and definitely attracted by the proximity to NYC. We have a summer place out on the South Shore so we wanted something different, low key. Our expectations were not very high; just wanted a clean place to relax outside Manhattan. One massage each was all that we signed up for (thankfully).

PROS—
1. Rooms look just like the brochure (ask for a room facing the lake away from the fire pit. It actually faces the trees which face the lake but at least it doesn’t face the parking lot/”waterfall”). Clean, comfortable bed, very quiet except for the passing sounds from the hall. The lodge was full that weekend and we did not hear anything from the neighbors (except when you are out on the “veranda”). Always ask for an upper floor room.
2. The food was pretty good and we both found the portions to be plentiful (except for the lunchtime bison “burger” which is really a very tasty slider—hysterical. I guess this is why they have the buffet). As for previous reviews regarding portions, I wonder if those visits were prior to the management change. We spoke to some residents of the Woodloch property across the way (which they say has a great golf course that the Lodge guests can use); they have access to all the amenities at the Lodge and say that prior to the management change, things really were as bad as the previous reviews state.
3. The property itself is lovely. Beautifully maintained, very quiet. Their lake is much smaller than they state (a common theme) but was lovely for a very relaxing kayak experience (which we only did alone while there was no one else out there; a group of 5 or more would have been much too crowded). Sara who was by the docks was the loveliest person we met—very helpful and watchful. (Don’t take pictures of the “ducks”—they are fake!)

CONS—
1. While the Lodge can accommodate about 100 guests I believe they were at 98 when we were there), the facilities are made to accommodate a third that number. All the common areas are TINY despite how large they look in the photos (which is probably why all the photos have ONE person in each shot). Which leads me to the countless reasons why, had I gone here for a spa getaway with girlfriends, I would have been furious.
2. There is NO outdoor pool—see below for the pathetic outdoor Jacuzzi. The indoor pool is quite nice and the only thing at the resort that is of any considerable size. The indoor waterfalls are also nice but again, ridiculously small. A prior reviewer made a comment that there are no lounge chairs by the indoor pool—my theory is that the smell of the chlorine would render anyone unconscious beyond 15 minutes of exposure.
2. The spa area is nicely set up…for 20 people it is ideal. But for 100?
-The locker room is spacious but there are only 3 showers and the spa waiting area can only seat about 10 people. A couple of ladies had to wait standing up.
-The outdoor deck where EVERYONE goes to relax has an outdoor Jacuzzi that is the size of a private Jacuzzi in any hotel suite. The deck itself can comfortably sit 10-15. We never used it once given that whenever we went to look for space, people were so closely packed together I found it unappealing.
-The “whisper lounge” --again too small. How is this relaxing to be so closely packed together?
3. The staff are very young, likely area students, i.e. very inexperienced. Service is hit or miss wherever you go (except for the spa services which, per our 2 personal experiences as well as conversations with a number of guests at the Lodge that weekend, are universally a MISS. My massage therapist YAWNED during the treatment--?????).
4. I loved the all day tea service but the “hors-d’oeuvres” are pathetic.
5. I was told that some of the rooms do not have tubs? If this is true, how can a “destination spa” have rooms without tubs?
6. Their "business center" is one computer.

We did not participate in any of their classes or scheduled activities so I cannot comment on that. I did hear that the hikes were vigorous and fun.

Would I go back? No. They desperately need to expand their common areas, build an outdoor pool, but most importantly, replace their current therapists with people who actually know what they are doing. Until then, I would suggest they remove "destination spa" from their name. My rating is a reflection of the lodge accomodations alone.

Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank pursuit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (323)
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English first
Indianapolis
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2010

There were 4 of us that looked all over for an all inclusive, no brainer , relaxing, fun vacation and we found it at The Lodge at Woodloch. WE met ver interesting people, the staff was bending over backward for us, the food was healthy and of great variety, the classes we took were fun and innovative, the surroundings were comfortable and clean and we would definately go back another time. My Delaware stone massage was great. The eucalyptus steam room was heavenly. The shampoos and lotions in the spa area were of a nice quality. The guitar player during dinner hour was a nice touch for us. We sat after dinner and enjoyed his music as well. The firepit outside at night was a nice place to meet other guests and hear their stories of why they were there. The deer and wild turkeys were nice to see as well. I didn't see any sign of recycling which I was surprised about but maybe next time it will be there!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lori256
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2010

My husband and I came here for our honeymoon after reading a number of positive reviews, and it was extremely disappointing.

We arrived late on Sunday night (9pm), and the staff said they could not accommodate us for dinner but would set aside wraps for us. We asked for a turkey and vegetarian. The vegetarian wrap was lettuce, a small piece of tomato, and nothing else -- no cheese, no dressing -- in a difficult-to-chew wheat wrap. Presumably because we were on our honeymoon, the staff had left chocolate-covered strawberries in our room to enjoy -- which would have been nice except for the card addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast." Neither of us changed our names upon marriage, and though we corrected this assumption immediately, I was addressed as Mrs. Hisname throughout the trip.

The disappointments continued throughout our stay. When we went to attend a yoga class, a fellow participant attacked us and suggested that we were inadequately prepared. (We were modest about our abilities to him in conversation, but are in reality regular yoga practitioners. Without any knowledge of our abilities, he suggested that we should have attended a lower-level class.) The instructor, who overheard the conversation, failed to intervene. We ended up feeling so uncomfortable that we left without taking a yoga class.

The food was a complete disappointment. We came here because the website indicated that the meals would be vegetarian-friendly. The dinners featured one vegetarian option -- which was in reality a vegan option, with the ingredients rearranged in a slightly different manner each night. One night, we received pad thai so smothered in coconut milk that we had to send it back and ask for a serving of one of the sides served with the meat dishes. We received a small serving, inadequate for an entire meal. Later in the evening, we were extremely hungry and unable to even obtain a small snack (e.g., one of the bags of chips regularly served with the VERY dry burgers offered at lunch) from the front desk.

We strongly recommend that you avoid staying here.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank ctina921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sparta, New Jersey
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2010

Neither I nor my husband had been to a Spa Resort before, so I don't have another experience to base my review on. I can only say, it was a very expensive getaway, but I felt it fulfilled it's purpose - pure relaxation.

Also, we stayed mid-week which was very quiet, it times it seemed we were the only couple there. I noticed when we left on Friday of a long weekend, there seemed to be a lot more guests arriving. I think staying there when it was full would take a lot of the peace and relaxation out of the stay.

The rooms are oversized - so it didn't feel tight. Our second floor room opened directly to a waterfall setting. I kept the large french doors open almost all the time to hear the waterfall and general peace. The place is in the middle of nowhere - so it's quiet, no planes or car traffic sounds, just nature & the waterfall. I found the rooms comfortable, clean, peaceful. The bathroom was large, marble steam shower, double sink. Reminded me of a JW Marriott bathroom.

The dining room was lovely, I enjoyed the food and didn't mind the small portions at all. Breakfast & lunch have buffet options in addition to what is on the menu, so there's certainly no problem with quantity there. Dinner did not include buffet options, but there were several appetizers, soups, salads, entrees - you can choose to have as much on the menu as you like - there is no limit to what you wish to order. As well, the small portions enabled me to try a little of this and that, and instead of feeling over full, I always had room for a dessert. The service was very friendly and efficient. The only criticism I would have was that I truly hate live vocal music when I dine, and I was not happy to see a lame keyboardist singing easy listening tunes when we entered the dining room, I asked to be seated as far away as possible because it is usually my experience that you can never hear over the music & have a conversation. The keyboardist was schmaltzy, there should have been light cocktail samba like music, not some guy singing James Taylor and John Denver. It was cheesy and not necessary.


The spa treatments and facilities were top notch. I had a body wrap and facial - both left me feeling very relaxed and pampered. My husband had a massage, and said it was terrific. Loved the long lounge chairs in the Whisper Lounge and the light snacks. The chairs look out over the trees of the property, very pretty.

I liked the separate women & men's retreat. There is a screened in porch that I started my days out in, reading and sipping herbal tea that is provided. Then it was onto my Eucalyptus steam bath and whirlpool. I was often the only person in the entire women's area, which made it seem so much more luxurious.

We only stayed 3 days and 2 nights. We would like to stay longer, so that we try more of the activities offered. My husband and I did mostly separate activities, because the one's we wanted to do together, weren't offered when we were there (trail bike riding). I enjoyed spa treatments, a yoga class and a watercolor class. My husband enjoyed several hikes and a massage. We both went to a wine tasting class that we really enjoyed. The sommelier seemed very knowledgeable, they were not stingy with the 6 different glasses of wine we tasted and I the cheese they offered with it was wonderful. My only criticism is that with the amount one pays to stay at the spa, the cost of the wine class should have been included. It was $30 per person.

I do wish more was included in the very high price that one pays to stay there. I think there should be at least a couple of spa treatments offered gratis (included in price of your stay) and the wine tasting.

Overall I would recommend, but go mid-week, the experience I think will be better.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Verdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
88 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2010

It takes a certain kind of establishment to be able to call itself a “spa” and charge the accompanying tariff. The Lodge at Woodloch makes an attempt, but it falls short.

It certainly has all of the necessary elements for a spa: a beautiful woodland setting in a quiet corner of the Poconos, complete with its own “lake” – better described as a wetland pond than a lake – a wing of the hotel devoted to spa treatments, a variety of spa activities, and a menu which purports to provide healthy fare. But it is not quite enough, especially considering the cost of even a brief stay there.

The setting is, indeed, beautiful. Carved out of the woods with a spectacular new building and impeccable landscaping, the Lodge certainly has promise. We were stopped at the gate and asked to identify ourselves before being allowed in, which made me feel a little as though we were entering the Green Zone. But we were then met at the hotel with our reservation already called up, and our check in was seamless. The tour of the facility was somewhat perfunctory but adequate, and our bags were promptly delivered to our room. Woodloch charges an 18% gratuity, and further tipping “is neither required nor expected” so, in general, I took them at their word. A tip for the delivery of the bags to the room did, indeed, seem to generate some surprise.

Only six years old, the facility has an Adirondack feel to it. Nicely appointed with a relaxed atmosphere, it is well laid out: the spa facilities are at one end, the guest rooms at the other, and the dining room and public rooms are in the center. With the woods all around, there is a vast amount of glass to emphasize the setting.

Our room was large but utterly uninspired. Without the crown molding, the mullioned windows, and the French door to our little patio, the room could have been in a Holiday Inn. It had a comfortable king bed and a basic desk and dresser, along with a small flat-panel television which was, oddly, mounted on the wall. There was a room safe, which I always appreciate, but beyond a small refrigerator, it had nothing in the way of amenities: a cheap clock radio with no CD or iPod hookup, no lighting features such as dimmers or reading lights, no interesting décor, nothing. Even the pens were cheap ball-points. Other than the television and a mirror on one wall and two prints inexplicably crowded onto the small wall that backed up to the bathroom, the walls were bare and the decorating was non-existent. I can’t even call it Spartan, because that assumes that someone put some thought into it.

The bathroom, however, was quite nice – double doors, marble counters, two sinks and a separate water closet, and, somewhat inexplicably, a large marble shower but no bathtub. They certainly had the room for a bathtub; why they chose not to install one was a mystery. Soaps and toiletries were heavy on scent and average in quality. There were two glasses in the room, but nothing in the way of bathroom glasses. They did provide two water bottles with which to carry your beverage around the facility, though.

The small patio/balcony (we were on ground level) looked out to a beautiful little rock garden and waterfall. There was a railing that prevented us from walking out, possibly to favor the privacy of the other guests, but it made the two comfortable chairs that were on the little patio crowded by the lack of space – I kept rocking back into the screen.

The spa wing on the opposite end of the building was beautifully done, but unfortunately, many of the facilities were single-sex. Beyond excellent shower and locker facilities with all of the amenities you might think to request, the men’s side and the women’s side each had separate saunas, separate steam rooms, separate spa waiting rooms, separate screened-in lounges, and separate whirlpools. If you came here to escape your spouse it might be just the ticket, but I didn’t see too many people lingering in the single-sex area.

The men’s and women’s facilities lead out to a large heated indoor pool with two whirlpools, one with a waterfall. The indoor pool is large enough to swim laps but is only four feet deep. It is heated to 85 degrees, which would be delightful in the winter, but on a hot summer day there was absolutely nowhere to go for a cool, refreshing swim. The indoor pool area does open out to a small patio area containing about five or six umbrella tables and perhaps 10 lounge chairs. There were not nearly enough for the number of people who wanted to sit outside when we were there, with the result that there was a fair amount of jockeying for chairs. There was also another whirlpool, which felt brutally hot with outdoor temperatures in the 80’s. Sadly, too, the entire spa facility, including all of the pool facilities and the whirlpools, closed at 10:00 p.m., eliminating any hope of an evening sauna or steam bath or late-night star-gazing from the whirlpool.

We each booked a spa treatment, and we both enjoyed them. The treatment area, below the locker rooms, was well laid-out and very comfortable, and the (co-ed) “Whisper Lounge” to which we were shown after our treatments looked out to the woods and was peaceful and pleasant.

The room rate includes three meals a day. You are a captive audience in that location, so the quality of the food is important. We found the portions to be exceedingly small, and we don’t generally bring a big appetite. The food was reasonably good and well presented. We had dinner reservations for 8:00 each night and dinner tended to take about two hours, which would be relaxing if the food wasn’t brought slowly, but removed quickly – if I had an idea of saving that last bite of sea bass, it was gone before I could raise my hand. In addition, on our first night, we were seated 40 minutes late and dinner did not arrive for some half an hour after we were seated. We were told to have a drink in the bar, and I half expected to have a drink on the house, but there was no such courtesy. In general, there also seemed to be little in the way of originality or variety in the food that was served – if it were a separate restaurant, it probably wouldn’t last, even in a more populated area.

If you drink alcohol, DO bring your own. The bar tab seemed to approach Manhattan – the least expensive glass of house wine was $10 or $11, and a basic martini went for $14 or $15.

As mentioned, the landscaping is wonderful, and although the setting is beautiful, it felt somewhat contrived: nature for city-folk. The “fire pit,” which is lit at night on one of the patios, appeared to be gas-fired: it certainly wasn’t wood. The “nature trail” is a mile-long loop through the woods, but on an asphalt-paved path. It was pleasant, but not particularly interesting. The “lake” is a thirteen-acre organic soup of the surrounding wetlands – underwater visibility is about six inches – and swimming is prohibited. They have little kayaks that can be taken out for a paddle around the perimeter for a few hours in the afternoon. Again, it was pleasant but not awfully interesting. Beyond these activities, there just wasn’t much to do.

Finally, in my view, a spa requires a certain ambiance. Quiet; peaceful; the sound of soothing music; the sight of people padding around in terrycloth robes; the frequent smell of essential oils; a place that is utterly relaxing. There wasn’t much of that feeling at Woodloch: a hotel with spa services is not the same as a spa, and bored does not equate to relaxed.

And all of this comes with a substantial price tag. It is a beautiful place, it is well-run if not a little sterile, the food is decent, the spa treatments are good. But for the price they impose, it should be outstanding. It just isn’t.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Matombo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2010

I was looking for a place that would have a variety of activites, and combine self improvement, and pampering and comfort. The Lodge at Woodloch more than fulfilled these goals. It was more luxurious and beautiful than I had anticipated. Activities varied from drawing and watercolor to kayaking, to geocaching. I experienced Drums Alive and Zumba for the first time. The food was fine restaurant quality. The cooking demos were interesting and delicious. My husband tells me the wine tasting was spectacular, and he is experienced in this.The service was friendly but not stuffy. The setting was lovely, and the facility was both comfortable and high drama. I read some previous comments that it was not perfect. I found the small imperfections endearing rather than disappointing. I prefer friendly attentiveness to seamless (cold) professionalism.
I did not try the spa treatments. The accommodations, food and activites were just right for me.
I look foward to coming back!
Jeanne (Washington DC)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeanne1618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2010

This is a great setting, wonderful hotel and fantastic spa. My only complaint is the "all inclusive" aspect of this destination spa. While the food is better than that at other all inclusive places I've been, it cannot be considered fine dining. We were rushed through our dinner, and it arrived so quickly I can only think that it was at least partially pre-cooked. The main course was over cooked and grey, and it was only warm. I dislike not being able to get a bite to eat on my own schedule. I am one of those people who needs to eat frequent small meals throughout the day. I cannot eat much in one sitting. That option is not available. They need a better chef and a pay as you go option.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marykatec1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lodge at Woodloch

Property: The Lodge at Woodloch
Address: 109 River Birch Ln, Route 590 East, RR1, Hawley, PA 18428-9649
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > Hawley
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Hawley
#2 Family Hotel in Hawley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Lodge at Woodloch 4*
Number of rooms: 58
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Lodge At Woodloch Hotel Hawley
Hotel At Woodloch
Spa At Woodloch
Lodge Woodloch

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