“Over the river and through the woods” took on a whole new meaning during a recent trip to The Lodge at Woodloch, a destination spa nestled in 150 wooded-acres of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Here you’ll find a quiet respite where you can break away from the hustle and bustle of nearby city-living to concentrate solely on your health and wellness. You’ll leave with a refreshed outlook and a relaxed mind, body, and soul, wellness travel at its finest.
The all-inclusive luxury resort offers well-appointed accommodations, but your room is the last place you’ll want to be during your stay, despite a bed you simply melt into! Each week The Lodge features an itinerary of fitness and wellness classes, seasonal outdoor activities, creative workshops, cooking demos, and more. Start your day with an AM Stretch, Mindful Meditation, or even a little yoga to get your blood pumping, there are always a handful of options that fit anyone’s intentions. Mid-day, kick it up a notch with an outdoor hike or some geocatching, a little Tabata, or even a cooking demonstration where you can foster that inner spa chef! At night, sign up for one of the watercolor classes where you can ignite your imagination!
Dining is a treat, something not often thought of when you think “all-inclusive.” At TREE Restaurant and Bar you’ll experience a seasonal, locally-sourced menu with flavorful courses in healthy portions, and plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Soups here were a shining star for me, each one packed with layers of flavor and tons of nutrients, be sure to try each and every one! While there, I enjoyed a delicious vegan, gluten-free Chia Seed and Oatmeal Pudding that was packed with medjool dates and almonds and topped with a sweet maple syrup (a great all-natural sweetener option). For lunch I sampled everything from the Quinoa and Black Bean Burger to the memorable Vegetable & Calkin’s Creamery Smoked Gouda Lasagna that was complete with a roasted cauliflower cream, and dare I say it, better than the traditional meat lasagna I grew up knowing and loving. Dinner was intimate and luxurious, with a 4-course menu each night that ended with a dessert! The wine list at The Lodge is extensive and there are plenty of creative cocktails should you want to go off the all-inclusive rate and imbibe during your stay.
One of the best things I sampled during my stay has now become a go-to recipe at home after learning how to make it at the cooking demonstration. This Warm Freekah Salad is great on its own or paired with a seared salmon and if you’re looking for a taste of The Lodge, definitely whip it up this week.
What you’ll need:
1 cup Freekah
Kosher salt to taste
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice + more to taste
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pint grape or small cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped dill, or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
3 tablespoons chopped curly-leaf parsley
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
Couple large handfuls of baby arugula
2 ounces feta cheese, small crumbles (optional)
What you’ll do:
1. Cook freekah in a generous amount of well-salted water as you would pasta, until the grains are tender but still have some bite, 20-25 minutes for cracked, 40-45 minutes for whole grain.
2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste, add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper if desired.
In addition to a wide array of activities and culinary options, The Lodge features a 40,000-square-foot spa with a full range of treatments, an Aqua Garden, and a co-ed Whisper Lounge to enjoy a cup of tea and a little light reading pre and post treatment. I enjoyed the Restorative Herbal Massage during my stay and this centuries-old Thai style massage was just what the doctor ordered! With gentle stretching techniques and warm hand-crafted herbal poultices filled with both traditional Thai herbs and local ones grown by The Lodge’s Master Herbalist, this massage helped to restore balance and harmony over 75-minutes.
Whether you’re looking for a solo getaway this summer, a romantic and rejuvenating retreat, a healthy girls’ weekend, or maybe even a little Mother’s Day bonding time for you and mom, consider The Lodge at Woodloch! The Intro to Spa Package where spa treatments are a la carte starts at $309 per night, per person.
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