“Mom, this is the best place!” That is what I heard from each of my children moments after we arrived and throughout our weekend stay at the all-inclusive Woodloch Pines Resort. Their enthusiasm and excitement was infectious and it didn’t take long to realize that Woodloch was one of those special places families visit to spend quality time together while creating long lasting memories.
Located in Hawley, Pennsylvania, this family-owned and operated resort is nestled among over 1,200-acres of woodlands surrounding Lake Teedyuskung within the majestic Pocono Mountain lake region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Getting to Woodloch is just a short two-hour drive from the Connecticut and New York border at I-84.
Our wonderful winter getaway began Friday evening when we arrived at the Woodloch Pines Main Lodge to check-in. The inviting rustic and warm décor with cozy couches and chairs for families to linger and enjoy each other’s company quickly set the tone for the weekend. We stayed in the Edgewater Springbrook Suite. Our spacious accommodations were just as inviting with plenty of room for a family of five to spread out – including two full bathrooms, a huge walk-in closet, large sitting area with two couches and flat screen TV, separate bedroom with its own flat screen TV, and a balcony overlooking the beautiful woodland grounds and frozen lake.
It’s interesting to note that most rooms at Woodloch can accommodate a party of up to six. Other room choices include the Classic Standard Timberline/Gateway motel-style units, the Deluxe Lakeview Greenbriar/Mountain Laurel hotel-style units or the 2-bedroom Mountain Laurel Country Suites. There are also guest homes available for larger parties.
Snow had started to fall, which added to the excitement about being at this wonderful place.
A short walk (also available is a continuous shuttle van running throughout the resort) outside in the falling snow and back to the Main Lodge where all of our meals would be served in the Main Dining Room, we came face to face with everyone’s favorite super hero, Spider Man (each evening a different character would be there to greet the children before dinner). My four year old quickly gave Spider Man a high five and we headed into the dining room where all guests are then greeted by the owners and a number of Woodloch staff. “What wonderful customer service,” I thought to myself, never realizing that the whole weekend would be filled with personal touches like this. The dining room was filled with over 600 adults and children just as excited to be there as my family was. We were seated at a table that would be ours for the weekend, along with the server who would be there to tend to us for every meal. The food was excellent as was the wait staff, and I decided at that moment dieting was not an option during this trip. We most especially liked the fresh baked breakfast cakes and the cookies, desserts and unique breads served at lunch and dinner, any of which you can order and have prepared for you to take home the last morning of your stay.
Anyone who has been on a cruise will see similarities in the way Woodloch Resort is run. There is an abundance of daily planned activities for families with children of all ages run by a dedicated social staff. Each morning at breakfast waiting at your table is a printed itinerary and schedule of things to do throughout the day and evening. All of the activities are within walking distance of each other, which makes it easier to meet-up with your family if they decide to participate in separate activities. During our stay we zipped around on the outdoor go kart track, enjoyed the indoor bumper cars – they even had electric cars for the little ones. We really enjoyed snow tubing, ice skating. During our stay the resort also conducted their 2013 Family Winter Olympic Games where resort guests compete for medals. My littlest one loved petting animals brought in from a local farm and the crafts room, while my older children (as well as my husband) participated in a very challenging but fun scavenger hunt. There were game rooms, an indoor pool and indoor forest playground to crawl and climb through. The list goes on and on. It’s important to mention that all of the activities are included in the all-inclusive package except for a few things that are mostly offered off-site at a discounted rate to resort guests like horseback riding and skiing at local ski resorts. For a glimpse of a day at Woodloch click here for a sample of an activity schedule. A really nice feature I enjoyed were the fire pits that were lit in various places on the property. It was nice to take a break from the busy day and sit by the fire!
The evenings at Woodloch are just as wonderful. Each night offers fun things for your family to do. While you are there, be sure to participate in Woodloch’s Traditional Horseracing Games, which is held in the Nightclub. Twice a week, the resort offers an over the top evening which begins in the main dining room, where guests are greeted by costumed staff members playing the role of real and fictional characters. As dinner winds down, these characters parade through the dining room and offer the opportunity for picture taking. The celebration continues after dinner where guests are treated to Woodloch’s famous Theme Show, a Broadway-style theatrical production of dancing and singing. Families can also participate in playing jackpot bingo, see a comedy show, a magician, or participate in a dance party, watch a movie and more.
Other noteworthy mentions about Woodloch are the beautiful and relaxing spa resort that is just a short drive from the Woodloch Pines Resort. The Lodge at Woodloch is an all-inclusive spa resort featuring unique accommodations, dining, and spa treatment options for adults. If you plan on visiting the spa sometime during your stay, the resort recommends making your appointments within 14 days of your arrival. Babysitting services is available at Woodloch Pines or Springs for an additional cost. They also offer “Girlfriend Getaway” packages for a fun getaway with your friends.
Woodloch Pines is a year round resort. The Summer months at Woodloch also offer enjoyable activities for your family including the Eagle-Eye Zip Line, waterskiing, kayaking, boating, lakeside activities, miniature golf, a climbing wall, nature trails, just to name a few
For golf enthusiasts, there is the Woodloch Springs Golf Course. The Country Club at Woodloch Springs is nationally recognized by Golf Magazine as “one of the finest courses in America” and rated “4.5 Stars” by Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play. The golf course at Woodloch Springs is a family friendly course, dedicated to growing the game of golf. They provide a state-of-the-art teaching facility for lessons tailored to your individual needs. John Pillar, Director of Golf at Woodloch Springs, and Secretary of the Philadelphia Section PGA, is recognized as one of America’s Top 50 Kids Teachers by US Kids Golf. He leads the Family Tee Program which helps to ensure that future golfers have the opportunity to enjoy the integrity, honesty and camaraderie inherent in the sport. There are “Stay and Play” golf packages also available.
I talked with a few of the families at the resort and all of them had been previous guests at Woodloch Pines Resort. I think that speaks volumes about how special this place is. My children made me promise that we would return next year. It’s a promise I intend to keep!
Woodloch Pines Resort 731 Welcome Lake Rd Hawley, PA 18428
The author was a guest of the resort in connection with the preparation of this article. No other compensation was received.