News & Politics

Away From It All

A new luxury spa makes for a great weekend

Forget cheesy images of heart-shaped tubs. The new Lodge at Woodloch, in Pennsylvania’s Poconos Mountains, is pure luxury.

This spa is remote, private—and pricey. Guest rooms have marble-and-granite bathrooms, down comforters, and high-speed Internet. Every one has a porch with comfortable rockers.

Although it has just 58 guest rooms, there are 27 treatment rooms, four exercise studios, a fitness center with Pilates equipment, and an art studio. The indoor pool has a hydromassage waterfall. An outdoor infinity whirlpool has a heated deck so guests can look into the woods during all four seasons.

Those who want more activity—tennis, golf, water-skiing, or an evening show—have access to adjacent Woodloch Pines Resort, a popular family destination that accommodates 900.

One morning I joined a small group for a power walk through the hilly golf course, but the best group activity was a cooking demonstration: The chef, Lyle Bolyard, used some of my favorite ingredients—fennel, cilantro, and figs.

Once again, I was convinced I could lose weight if I had a chef. I enjoyed chai-tea smoothies with yogurt and banana, cherry-lacquered duck, curried shrimp with figs, and salad with peaches, chèvre, and pistachios. Portions were small but satisfying.

Treatment options are similar to those at most spas. I chose a facial and reflexology. The facial was the best kind—relaxing and free of a product pitch.

Owners Ginny and John Lopis spent 20 years as top consultants to spas across America. When they imagined their own, they wanted it to feel like home. With a friendly staff, fireplaces, and fine art, it does—if you are a Rockefeller at your lakeside mountain getaway.

The Lodge At Woodloch,
Hawley, Pennsylvania; 866-953-8500 or 570-685-8500; Doubles from $400 a night, per person, November through May; from $575 June through October. Rates include daily spa allowance of $115, three meals daily, nonalcoholic beverages, use of all fitness facilities, lectures and cooking demonstrations, and group excursions. The lodge is a five-hour drive from Washington.

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