Spa Escape: The Lodge at Woodloch Offers Relaxation and Peace

A couple enjoys The Lodge at Woodloch in the Poconos. (Photos by Annie Killam Photography for The Lodge at Woodloch)

Life is hectic. You’re flirting with burnout. You need a much-needed change of scenery.

What to do? Escape to The Lodge at Woodloch, a luxe fitness and destination spa in Pennsylvania’s Poconos, a pleasant four-hour drive from Baltimore.

Consistently ranked in the top 10 Travel & Leisure’s best U.S. destination spas, The Lodge is located on over 500 private wooded acres surrounded by fern-carpeted woodlands, a plethora of wildlife and a stunning lake.

City dwellers love the adults-only Lodge for its serene woodsy vibes. (The Lodge requests no phone be used in public spaces.) An air of calm permeates the place thanks to a multitude of options that seamlessly blend mellow to intense fitness classes, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, hydro massage water walls plus first-rate spa services. Guests can be super active or relaxed and chill in front of the fireplace. Sip champagne and savor dessert while others nibble on vegetable plates. No one is tsk tsking. The choice is yours. And, every guest room is a “good” room. Each one has a private veranda overlooking either the rock garden waterfall or private wooded lake.

Stroll Blackmore Farm, the spa’s working organic farm, a 10-minute walk from The Lodge’s front door. Wander through the vegetable garden, orchard, shiitake mushroom logs and apiary. This is no ordinary farm. Staff includes a Farmicist, a Dirt Doctor, a Mindful Farmer and a Creativity Cultivator. Every aspect embraces a holistic approach to health and wellness. Farmers say they feed everything from the soil’s microbes to the bees and butterflies and, of course, humans, too.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the daily rate and served in a stunning glass-walled dining room revealing splendid vistas of the forest that is often filled with happy deer munching grass in the woods. While the farm-to-table menu selections are healthy as well as hearty, indulgences are everywhere with plenty of decadent splurges on the dessert menu. Cocktails and fine wines are available should guests care to imbibe.

For those who prefer fitness in the great outdoors, miles of hiking paths or a soulful labyrinth, trails for biking, birding or hatchet throwing and archery are steps away. In season, a variety of water sports are offered.

Heavy lifters gravitate to the intense cardio and weight-training class that includes the TRX suspension trainer used by Navy Seals or the Total Body intense cardio classes for the ultimate workout.

The horizon-edge whirlpool (Photos by Annie Killam Photography for The Lodge at Woodloch)

For a new twist on yoga, try an “Off the wall” class, The Great Wall of Yoga. Participants use gravity and straps to hang “off a wall” in various positions to help open the spine and develop strong core muscles.

Prefer something more serene? Gong with the Wind provides a series of glorious sounds that reverberate through the body. Lay on the floor, get comfy with blankets and pillows while the instructor plays a massive gong, a large disk-shaped percussion instrument that results in a sense of calm and well-being. Treatment is hardly nouveau. Sound therapy dates back to ancient cultures when gongs were used by ancient Egyptians, Greek and Romans.

For some chilly rejuvenation, step into the Snow Room, designed to mimic a winter forest. After detoxifying in the sauna, enter the snow room and take a few deep breaths. The fusion of dry snow and cold air gently cools down the body from head to toe. Deep breaths clear the respiratory passages as you self-massage your arms and legs with snow to intensify the cooling effect. Follow the snow room experience with a Tyrolean Bucket

Shower (a bucket of water is placed over your head. When you’re ready, pull the cord and voila you are drenched in cold water). Last stop: the Himalayan Salt Sauna for warmth.

Grilled mahi-mahi (Photos by Annie Killam Photography for The Lodge at Woodloch)

While the spa has an expansive menu of treatment options from facials to body scrubs, one of the newer services is Traditional Eastern Therapeutic Bodywork. This personalized treatment incorporates classical Chinese medicine’s therapeutic bodywork, which addresses specific health concerns or areas of tension within the body. It combines musculoskeletal manipulation, acupressure and qigong therapy to rid the body of blockages and disturbances that crop such up as illness, disease or emotional issues.

The best thing about The Lodge at Woodloch is, once you arrive, you don’t need to worry about signing checks or tipping—the daily resort rate includes three gourmet meals per day along with fitness classes, workshops, creative arts and cooking or outdoor excursions.

While a visit to The Lodge is just a few hours from Baltimore, you’ll feel like you are very far away, pampered in a world of relaxation and peace.

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