Last summer my husband and I spent the weekend at The Lodge At Woodloch, a gorgeous adult-only, all-inclusive resort in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was absolutely amazing, so when we had the opportunity to bring the kids to check out the sister property, Woodloch Resort, we jumped on it. And we ended up there at quite an interesting time!
The first weekend of March 2018 brought a huge (and kind of unexpected) snowstorm to the area. What was intended to be a 2-night stay turned into a 3-night stay because we had lost power, the roads were closed, and we were completely snowed in at Woodloch. When we left home to make our way to the Poconos, all of this snow was forecast to be rain, so we were completely unprepared for this little turn of events.
If we hadn’t gotten enough of a taste of Woodloch hospitality before the snow hit, we certainly did afterward. Despite what was a trying time for the resort, they went out of their way to make guests feel comfortable, cared for, and reassured. Below I hope to share with you the incredible family fun that we discovered at Woodloch, and also how we were truly treated like family during a time when we were a little out of our comfort zone. If you’re going to get snowed in, Woodloch is the place to do it!
Woodloch Resort: All-Inclusive Family Resort in the Poconos, PA
The Main Building at Woodloch is the hub of most of the activity. This is where the dining hall is located, where you check in, the gift shop, and many of the planned activities are located in this general area. Of course my son went right for the bear in the lobby!
Lodging is spread out throughout the property and believe it or not, throughout our stay we were in three different rooms! That was not the plan, of course, but when we had to extend our stay due to the snowstorm, we were moved to another vacant room (read on to see how that room change went!) and then later that evening we were offered yet another room that had one light in it. At this point the resort had lost power and was running on a generator. Most rooms had no light and none of them had heat, so we were happy to get into a room that offered a little more visibility and moved yet again.
Every room we were in was comfortable and cozy. Yes, even without heat. There are extra blankets in each room and we slept really well that night, all snuggled up. The last room we were in had a full kitchen, and another room had a partition between two kids’ beds and the two double beds. There are a variety of options so if you have a special request for your family, be sure to ask.
The grounds are sprawling and beautiful. While there is a shuttle to take you around from one spot to the next, we walked as much as we could. It was pretty warm before the snow hit and we enjoyed the scenery of the trees and lake.
After the snowstorm, dare I say it, Woodloch was even more beautiful. Yes, we were unable to leave as planned, we were unprepared (and under-dressed) for this weather, and we were without power. But look at these views. I’m reading a book on the Danish concept of hygge, which is basically a feeling of coziness and home, and all I could think is that this is exactly what they’re talking about.
My son had a birthday while we were there. (We named him Leo and he was born on March 1 – seriously the most apt name in the history of names because he brings the month in like a lion more often than not.) I had called ahead before our visit and arranged for a cake and balloons to be delivered to our dining table at dinner one night, which explains while we’re in a snowstorm with balloons!
When it was time for us to move rooms, one of the staff came to get us and our luggage in a utility vehicle. This was one of the most memorable parts of out stay! The kids thought it was fantastic to get in this thing in the middle of a blinding snowstorm, and drive through the resort to a new room. The gentleman that drove us couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful. We were treated like family, we laughed together, and we are still talking about that time we rode through the snow at Woodloch.
In any season, Woodloch is beautiful. The grounds are lovely and well-maintained. I’d actually love to see it in the summer when the lake isn’t frozen and the colorful boats are on the water. And the fall must be incredible too with all of the leaves changing color. We were treated to a winter wonderland but the views are going to have you snapping lots of pics no matter what season you visit.
Dining At Woodloch
One of the things I love about Woodloch is the all-inclusive dining plan. I am a big-time fan of all-inclusive and when we travel, if that’s an option, I choose it. I love not worrying about the cost of meals while you’re on vacation because it’s all been dealt with up-front.
While the all-inclusive plan provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there are a few other options on the property for snacks here and there. One place we had hoped to visit but couldn’t because of the loss of power after the storm was Gigi’s Coffee House. Coffee drinks and yummy treats are located in a shop right outside the Main Building. Despite that, we were NEVER hungry. The 3 meals per day provided us with an insane amount of food and it was all delicious.
Just outside the doors for each dinner service you’ll find a character. We met Sponge Bob, Mario, Mike Wazowski, Elmo, and more. One evening there was a character parade through the dining room and kids had the opportunity to meet and greet them and get photos. (Note: 9 and 12 year olds are not too old to get a photo with Elmo, I learned!)
The dining room is large and comfortable. We had the same table for every meal, which is a really neat feature of the dining service. It added to the feeling of home, and by the time we left we felt like we knew much of the waitstaff.
The food for each meal was very plentiful. Breakfast included a main course plus a basket of muffins or breads, fruit, coffee, juice, and cereal. Lunch came with soup, and entree, and dessert. And dinner included a salad, bread, soup, entree, and dessert. It was a lot of food and SO good.
The menu offered options for each meal, so often between the four of us in my family we all had something different. The prime rib and crab cakes were some of our favorite dinner entrees, and my kids liked ordering lunch off the kids’ menu: chicken tenders and a basket of fries.
A cocktail waitress makes the rounds at dinner and lunch, and you can order something from the bar for yourself or the kids – they have a really fun kids’ menu of unique drinks. Those drinks are not included with the all-inclusive meal plan but you can add them to your room charge and settle it when you check out.
I mentioned above that I had ordered a birthday cake for my son. They do have a bakery on-site so if you’re celebrating a special occasion be sure to call ahead and ask what they can do to make it memorable! We got to pick out the flavors and what it says on top. Well, I did. I surprised him with this and it was so neat to see his face light up! Our server was amazing and sang Happy Birthday to Leo with us. When we were done with dinner that night, they packed the cake up and sent the leftovers with us for some late-night snacking!
Activities At Woodloch
There is so much to do at Woodloch! We were never bored, and while it would have been great to explore a little more of the Pocono Mountains on our trip, there is just no reason to leave the resort.
Our first night there we checked out the indoor pool area (there is an outdoor pool, but obviously was not open during our winter stay). We almost always travel with our kids, so I’m on the lookout for how family-friendly pools and water parks are, and this one is ideal for kids of any age.
There are two sizable areas that include really cute features like a boat and a splash pad, and this water is only one foot deep, perfect for little kids. In a separate area (there’s a door in between so no little ones are going to wander into deeper water) there is a fun water slide and awesome splash zone!
My kids had a blast at the arcade and game area. You do need to pay for these activities, so either bring some quarters or just use a change machine in the game rooms. The mini bowling is really fun and these pins set themselves right back up again. Have you seen this before? This is the first time I’ve seen bowling like this. So cool!
There are several large rooms within the Main Building that house other activities. I am pleased to say my family went home with TWO silver medals: the kids won silver in the Ultimate Bag-O Contest, and the whole family won silver in a trivia contest. I told the kids to get their game faces on and this is what I got. Well, we only missed gold by one question so I guess it was effective.
I love that Woodloch offers a variety of activities so everyone can participate. Some families are traveling with grandparents who maybe don’t want to do the volleyball contest, but they will probably rock the trivia or bingo contests. Whatever your idea of fun, there is plenty to be had here. Each day you’ll find a new schedule of events in the lobby and on your breakfast table. So every morning while we ate, we planned our day.
Even before the snowstorm hit, snow tubing was set up outside, a beautiful, long run toward the lake. Thankfully there’s a big lip in place to keep you from flying into the water, but don’t think the kids didn’t wish they could!
Also on property is a new four-season synthetic ice rink. Since it’s not actual ice, it won’t melt and can be used year round. There is an additional fee for skate rentals here. We took a peek before we went on to the go-carts. I love how big and spacious it is, and that they provide some little supports to keep people like me from falling down.
We drove the go carts multiple times and had so much fun with this. There’s really not much room to pass, so safe and not crazy like you might find at an amusement park. See the pink and green carts in the front of the track? Those are designed for littler kids to be able to drive on their own. My son had a turn in one of these and really enjoyed it! There are actually two tracks at the resort, but only one was running while we were there on a weekday. I imagine they are both open during a busier season and on weekends.
I’ve written so much here about Woodloch Resort, and I still feel like I could keep writing! This place is truly special. It’s not just a family vacation where you stay for a few days and go home. It goes with you. There’s a feeling of family there, a feeling of togetherness, and a kindness from everyone who works at Woodloch that translates into an overall amazing, memorable experience. When we look back at other trips we’ve done, our reaction is often, “That was so much fun!” When we talk about Woodloch, we say, “That was such a special time.” Of course we had fun, and you can see that in the photos, but it was more than that.
If you’re looking for a place to really connect with your family, make lasting memories, and be treated like you belong, go to Woodloch Resort. You can visit their website for more details on planning your trip, and be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Thank you to the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau for helping us arrange our stay. The Poconos are stunning in any season, and there is so much family fun to be had there. We have some ideas for you here! Check out their website to learn more.
You might also like to check out my review of The Lodge at Woodloch, the adult-only all-inclusive sister resort!