By Keith Kennedy
With springtime in full swing and summer just around the corner, it’s the time of the year when weekend getaways become a necessity for Gothamites. Reasons vary from the need to shake off the winter doldrums to making an escape from the street-clogging, Euro-tourist throngs lured by the cheap dollar. For couples, a weekend getaway might be just the thing to show your significant other how much you really care.
Whatever the reason, a spa weekend is always a good choice. Delivering a unique combination of relaxation, fitness and healthy cuisine, spa weekends invigorate the body and soul, providing a 48-hour detox from city life. And more frequently, it’s been couples, rather than the girls-only crowd, who are filling the beds, tables and yoga mats. Finally, men have discovered that a scrub and deep-tissue massage with their loved one is a much better option than staying at home on a Saturday to watch the Strongest Man Competition on ESPN 6.
And just in time, as more New York couples discover the joys of a spa weekend, there’s a relative newcomer that’s giving some of the older destination spas in New England a run for their money. And it’s in, of all places, Pennsylvania, which may unwittingly bring to mind images of heart-shape tubs and undersized ski slopes. But, don’t let our collective narrow-minded New Yorker views of PA [AP?] throw you off here. This spa truly delivers on a promise to awaken your senses, while providing an extraordinary respite for mind, body and spirit.
The Lodge at Woodloch, billed as the first new destination spa in over 10 years, has quickly soared to the top of many “Ten Best Spa” lists. They’ve done it by providing excellence in the areas that matter most to Spa goers: spa services, activities, cuisine and overall Zen.
Taking Zen first, John and Ginny Lopis, the creative force and married couple (see there’s a theme here) behind the spa, have created an environment that marries natural beauty with modern comfort.
Situated on 75 wooded acres among the mountains, lakes and streams of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Lodge is reminiscent of the great Adirondack houses that once provided respite for New York’s wealthy at the turn of the 19th century. Any similarities end there, though, as this lodge, built in 2006, features a modern 40,000-square-foot spa, 58 luxury accommodations, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. At the same time, there is a harmonious balance with nature which the Lopises have achieved with much success, with stone and timber architecture which harmoniously blends into the natural surroundings.
With a theme of awakening the senses, the spa provides signature treatments from head to toe. And, with the Lopises’ Canyon Ranch and Doral pedigrees, they’ve been able to create a unique treasure trove of naturally influenced treatments, from a full-body White Oak scrub to a Native Sage Stone Massage, and for couples, the Lodge Massage for Two.
Woodloch is also about inspiring guests to exercise both body and mind. With that, a wide variety of fitness options abound, including yoga, tai chi, and Pilates, while painting, cooking and art classes help to invigorate the mind. Beyond the walls, the backdrop of the great outdoors is more than just a pretty picture, as hiking, mountain biking and kayaking on a private lake are just a few of the activities to explore if you get cabin fever. As an added bonus, an ever-changing slate of guest speakers and performers also provide cranial stimulation, so be sure to call or check the Web site to find out who’ll be there when you’re visiting.
Finally, a spa weekend wouldn’t be complete without some culinary exploration, and Woodloch’s unique approach to dining provides a welcome change from the granola-eating, calorie-counting obsession at many other spas. Emphasizing moderation and the use of “superfoods” like salmon, melons and legumes, there’s no sacrificing on taste, or the occasional indulgence. The result is award-winning and nutritious food that you can actually enjoy eating.
So take this wake-up call and make your plans. You, and whomever you bring, will be glad you did.
Set your GPS to west, and check out The Lodge at Woodloch.
WHERE: The Lodge at Woodloch,
866-953-8500, the greatwoodlodge.com, Hawley, Pa., 90 miles from Manhattan