Rejuvenate Without Going Far

With the price of airline tickets on the rise and gas prices so high, the idea of having a great getaway close to home is priceless.   And I’m happy to say, I have a found a place just two hours from New York City and from most regions in New Jersey in the Pocono Mountains.  It’s a perfect romantic getaway, girlfriend getaway, and solo retreat…a spa at which you can recharge and rejuvenate.  It’s the Lodge at Woodloch. 

At The Lodge at Woodloch, your all-inclusive visit comes with three delicious, healthy meals, most fitness classes and outdoor activities and cooking clinics.  Breakfast and lunch include a buffet as well as a sit down meal.   Dinner is a three course menu with a full drink list for puchase.  All soft drinks, tea, freah squeezed juices and smoothies are included.  Each day you are given an itinerary of the day’s fitness classes and activities which include hiking, biking, kayaking, and classes that range from spin, and kickboxing to drumming on exercise balls.  There’ also a full day of mind and body classes including Qigong, yoga and pilates.  For a small fee, you can enjoy a wine tasting class as well.  In addition to all of the activities, they have a wonderful spa with a steam room, sauna and whirlpool in each locker room, as well as a co-ed outdoor whirlpool, two whirlpools with waterfalls that give a great back massage and a pool big enough to swim laps or take one of their many aqua classes.

Of course with a great spa comes a wide variety of treatment options.  You can choose  from a traditional Swedish or hot stone massage, a number of facials, body wraps, or manicures and pedicures.  The treatment I’d most recommend is not your typical massage and you do keep your clothes on, but will hit on all your pressure points, and if you are having any issues, herbalist Nathaniel Whitmore will work magic.  I was having major stomach pain from something I had eaten a few days prior and he focused right in on the stomach and other pressure points that corresponded to the area.  While he was working on the different spots, he was also giving me great information on natural herbs and cures. I left there feeling not only better but very relaxed.

So if you are looking for an active yet relaxing getaway close to home, you must visit the Lodge at Woodloch! You will leave feeling refreshed and fit!  I can’t wait to go back!

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The Perfect Family Getaway So Close to Home!

img_5596So many of us are looking for that perfect getaway, but can’t afford the time or airfare to go anywhere far away and if it’s going to be just for a weekend, we don’t want to spend several hours on the road. Well, I found the perfect family getaway just over two hours from NYC, Philly, and NJ, maybe less, depending on where you live in New Jersey. The Skytop Lodge caters to families, but if you’re single and looking for a weekend filled with a mix of activities and some rest and relaxation, this is the place for you!img_5557

The resort is rich in history and many families have been coming here for years. Located in the Pocono Mountains, this is definitely not what you may think of when you think the Poconos. There are no heart shaped pools or champagne glass Jacuzzis in the rooms. This homey, yet classy resort lets you choose an all-inclusive package which will cover all of your activities and meals during your stay. There are two dining options, the Windsor Dining Room at the historic main lodge and the Lakeview Dining Room at the Inn at Skytop. You can opt to stay in the main lodge, at the Inn, or in a cottage. There are two lakes on the resort’s property, one where you can swim and pull yourself up a drifting climbing wall, and the other where you can rent paddleboats, rowboats, kayaks, and canoes.  img_5594There are over 30 miles of hiking trails and three waterfalls around the lake and throughout the resort, and they offer guided hikes as well as mountain bike rentals and tours. There is also a shooting center, indoor and outdoor pool, archery, fitness center, various fitness classes, guided yoga walks, tennis courts, a meditation garden, and an adventure center featuring paintball, rock climbing, geo caching, mountain bike courses, and wilderness survival classes. Most of the activities are included in the price, but some carry a minimal additional fee. Be sure you pick up your skylights sheet at the front desk which lists all of the day’s organized activities.

Even though the resort caters to families, you’ll feel perfectly comfortable there on your own or with some friends. I spent the first day by myself, and enjoyed the wonderful spa and a lobster tail dinner at the Inn. The staff is really friendly, so even though I ate by myself, I never felt alone.

img_5506The next day, my cousin and  his son joined me at Skytop. My cousin’s son is 8 and he had a blast paddleboating, shooting paintball targets, and building a turtle sand castle by the lake. The resort also offers Camp in the Clouds for kids ages 3-12 with plenty of activities such as hayrides, scavenger hunts, and water and land sports, for those parents who would like to have some alone time.  img_5521

I am so happy to have discovered this place…it was so much fun! I love to keep active, and in one day I took an “arms and abs” fitness class, went paddleboating, had a delicious lunch buffet, shot paintballs in their gallery, swam in the lake, took a mountain bike on the trail around the lake and around the resort, and had a phenomenal dinner of red snapper, sweet potato mash, and pea pods. The food was quite good, something you may not usually associate with the Poconos. After dinner, we were treated to a fireworks display for the 4th of July and a fun, patriotic band played while everyone danced and ate cookies and punch. Then people grabbed their partners for the elimination dance and the Grand March, which seems to be a Saturday night tradition at img_5580the lodge. There is a game room downstairs with three ping pong tables, two pool tables, air hockey, mini golf, and video games. Also on that level is a tea shop which serves tea, coffee, and desserts, and a tap room for causal food and drinks.

So if you’re looking for the ideal summer getaway close to home for yourself, you and a friend or partner, or your family, head to the Skytop Lodge and you’ll be surrounded by beauty, adventure, and relaxation in no time at all!