Woodloch Pines & Spa Re-Opening

Shannon Smyth
Woodloch resort and The Lodge at Woodloch will be re-opening with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. The best place to vacation in the Poconos.

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Kalahari Poconos - Family Fun in the Pocono Mountains

Shannon Smyth
Kalahari Poconos Tucked away in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania is a resort that is almost like its own city. Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Pocono Mountains has something for everyone and in every season. While the spa is always a must, time spent together with family creating memories through experiences is something I am trying to do more of as family health and well-being is just as important as our individual well-being. Family travel with a large family like mine is typically complicated. There are 7 of us, and when my step-son is here, 8 is enough. Most family getaways cater to families of 4, 5 max. That means jumping through hoops to configure a way for all of us to travel, stay and play somewhere without pricing us out of the ability to go. Most times I give up and going on a specific family vacation (or staycation) just remains a "maybe someday." Out the gate, the one great thing about Kalahari is that they offer room sizes for everyone and there is typically some sort of promotion going on to make it more affordable. For this specific trip, we stayed in the African Queen suite, which is a two bedroom, two bath room that can accomodate up to 8 people. Perfect!

First Impressions

Pulling down the long stretch of road that leads into the resort, you can get a glimpse at their Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures, which you can get to via their Gorilla Express train. Viewing the area in the winter while the trees are bare, the intricate course looks amazing. We all remarked that it was something we'd like to try in the warmer months. Prior to entering the resort parking lot, you can see that there is an expansion going on. They are currently doubling the size of their convention center to 205,000 sq ft. Kalahari Poconos is already massive, but they are capitalizing on an opportunity that doesn't really exist here in our rural area, which is also great for surrounding businesses. Once in the parking lot, the building is beautiful and while incredibly large, you don't really feel it until you are inside. There is valet parking, drop off at the front door and you can always just park your car yourself. Once inside, it is busy and bustling with people like a small city. Restaurants and cafes are directly in front of you and to the either side of you, stairs to the lower level (arcade, cafeteria, rooms and waterpark) are also in front of you. There's a gorgeous fountain, larger than life animal sculptures and a massive floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking the waterpark. We arrived on a day that was only about 65% capacity, but getting through the check-in process was smooth and efficient. Our family was excited to explore and have the opportunity to spend some quality time together.

Accomodations: African Queen Suite

I'll be honest, I've never had the ability to stay in a room this size before. We were all thrilled at the balance of both privacy and togetherness it offered. When you first walk in, the common bathroom was to our left with a toilet and large over-sized bathtub. The entryway was lined with countertops and it offered a wide space for moving around. On the one side it had the coffee maker, sink and small refrigerator. To the right was a large bedroom with two queen sized beds and a closet. There is a living room/dining area with a sleeper sofa, large chair, table with 3 chairs, a fireplace, flat screen TV and a sliding glass door that led to a balcony that overlooked the outdoor waterpark. The master bedroom held a king-sized bed with closet and full bathroom. I wanted to get lost in the large, deep bathtub, but we spent so much time in the resort, I never got the chance. It was calling my name though. Something we all really enjoyed was that the room seemed well insulated from noise. There was only one time when I had to be "that guy" and ask the front desk to ask our neighbors to take the noise level down as they had an active party going on with loud music at midnight and their suite was on the side where my kids were sleeping. Security was quick to ask them to quiet down, which prompted them to turn up the music louder, but we always bring a white noise machine with us when we travel, so that helped drown out the noise. Other than this, you really couldn't hear anyone in the hallway and with the exception of the loud music, at no other time could you hear anyone in the neighboring rooms.

Arcade

Mini bowling at Kalahari This place is a child's dream! It felt like the video games were endless. I'd turn a corner and there would be more. There were so many varying kinds of games for all levels and all ages. My boys range in age from 20 years old to 3 years old and they all equally had a great time. My 3 year old enjoyed the mini bowling alley that was made just for the littles, but made him feel like a big kid. The older boys and I did the 7-D Motion Theater, which was pretty cool and then the boys went on to do the Wrath of Anubis escape room, which they enjoyed. Just off the arcade is the entrance to the indoor waterpark as well as the outdoor waterpark. Just before the doors to the outdoor waterpark is a cafe and cafeteria style seating. We noticed a children's play area over there as well.

Indoor Waterpark

The indoor waterpark is such a blast, and just like the arcade, there is something for everyone. Our 3 year old had a blast in Coral Cove, Splashdown Safari, Tiko's Watering Hole and the wave pool while his brothers rode all of the other thrill slides. There are restaurants in the waterpark, as well as a bar. It's very clean and there are lifeguards, security and staff everywhere to make sure anyone who needs assistance is taken care of quickly. It's a balmy 84 degrees in the park, so getting in the water feels refreshing. It's bright and the colors are cheerful, so you almost forget you are indoors. I loved that the ceiling above the wave pool was glass and I can only imagine how beautiful it looks when it's snowing or even during a thunderstorm. The waterpark is open late and the larger waterslides that sweep you outdoors and back into the building are lit up. It's also less busy at night, which is a great time to go on more slides without the wait.

Spa Kalahari

Naturally, I made time for the spa. While my kids and husband looked forward to the waterpark and arcade, I most looked forward to relaxation and some self-care. When you check into your hotel room there will be a pamphlet with coupons to use throughout the resort. Definitely take advantage of the one for the spa. I booked a Deep Tissue Massage with Steve and enjoyed pure bliss of all the tension in my shoulders and upper back melting away. I highly recommend him when booking your treatment! He's very knowledgeable and really pays attention to what you need in order to walk away feeling completely restored. With your spa treatment you also get access to the Quiet Zone and Hydro Escape. The Quiet Zone is relaxing with salt lamps aglow, a mesmerizing fire place and posh seating. In the Hydro Escape there is a herbal infused steam room, dry Redwood sauna, multi-sensory experiential shower, spacious jaccuzzi that looks more like your own personalized pool, an outdoor patio with lounge seating and an indoor relaxation sanctuary. Most of it is co-ed, which I am not really a fan of, but everyone is different in their preferences. Spa Kalahari also has their Halotherapy room you can enjoy as its own treatment for 45 minutes for $40, or if you choose it as an add-on to an already booked treatment, it is only $20. I really enjoyed my time in the spa and cannot wait to go back.

Tips & Advice

  • Book your stay for a weekday. There are less people and shorter lines.
  • Plan to stay more than 1 night. There is so much to see and do at Kalahari, one day/night is not enough. We stayed only 1 night and didn't get the chance to see/do everything they have to offer.
  • Know restaurant hours in advance to plan when to eat. Restaurants open and close depending on occupancy. For example, The Great Karoo was closed for dinner the night we arrived, but was open for breakfast the next day. Ivory Coast and B-Lux close at 11am and then re-open at 12pm.
  • Take advantage of Kalahari's coupons. You'll find these in your room for the spa, Marrakesh Market, etc.
  • Plan your arcade budget in advance. The arcade has so much to do, but it is definitely an expense and if not planned for, you will spend more than you wanted to.
  • Have a meeting place/time. Just like any bustling city, it's easy for your kids to lose track of you. In the waterpark we gave the kids a time and place to meet back up and check in. We allowed the older boys to have fun in the arcade without us at times, but asked that they sent a text to check in.
  • Relax and have fun! This is such a great way to get the kids off of their electronics and to experience in-person fun with some real life face time. These are the memories that will last!
Kalahari Poconos review - spa, indoor waterpark, resort. #Poconos #PoconoMtns #Kalahari Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Unicorn Bubble Spa Pedicure

Shannon Smyth
While unicorn hair may not be your thing, you can still get in on the unicorn life trend at The 411 Studio Salon & Boutique in Olyphant, PA. They serve up a Unicorn Bubble Spa Pedicure that is equally as magical for an 11 year old girl, as it is for any adult. Sidenote: This is the salon I go to on a regular basis that has the most talented team of nail techs delivering gorgeous custom nail art designs. You can see some of my manicures on my Instagram or check out their Facebook gallery for both hair and nail photo amazingness! I recently had a spa day with my niece and decided to add on the unicorn bubble to her Express Spa Pedicure. I watched my niece's eyes light up as they added a bag of orbeez along with 24K gold dust to her foot bath. As she kicked around the unicorn bubbles, it made this cool sparkle look in the water. For adults who get this add on, you are treated to cotton candy wine or their seasonal homemade sangria, as well. Yum! With the Express Spa Pedicure you get a salt soak, cleanser, scrub and herbal lotion. All of the products are unscented and you get to choose the essential oil you want used to create your custom blend; my niece chose coconut.  
My niece went with a beautiful gold polish as a way to remember this mystical experience. ? If you are local here in Northeast PA or will be visiting the area, I highly recommend booking this pedicure or even their jelly pedicure (I haven't tried it yet, but it looks so fun!) Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Halotherapy at Kalahari Poconos

Shannon Smyth
The salt room at Kalahari Poconos via @agirlsgottaspa #salttherapy #spa #poconos Kalahari opened here in the Poconos with much fanfare a few years ago. My husband used to be a delivery driver who often brought their heating and cooling equipment onto the grounds and would come home and tell me all about the massive indoor and outdoor waterpark with his eyes sparkling with child-like excitement and as big as saucers as he gave me detail by detail. He and the kids would often talk about how amazing the waterpark looked, but what got my attention (of course) was that they had a luxe spa. Halotherapy at Kalahari Poconos via @agirlsgottaspa #spa #salt #spatreatment #poconos A recent addition to Spa Kalahari is Halotherapy (or salt therapy.) Salt therapy has become increasingly popular in the last few years for its many health benefits. At Spa Kalahari their Halotherapy room is separate from their Hydro Escape (which includes a sauna, whirlpool, steamroom, multi-sensory shower and Relaxation Sanctuary), but still located within the expansive spa itself. If you are not familiar with salt therapy, it is known for its anti-inflammatory and bactericidal effects. It's recommended for healthy people as it boosts the immune system to help combat the high amounts of pollutants and bacteria we all breathe every day. The negative ions produced, help combat stress and depression. Halotherapy is not to be a replacement for any medication or medical treatment, but is a complement to traditional medicine techniques. The way it works is that Himalayan salt is under your feet while a halogenerator vaporizes pure salt into the air. Surrounded by salt, you simply relax and breathe it in. You may experience a dry throat and increased coughing during or after your session. This is a natural reaction of the respiratory system in some people. If you experience discomfort, you should end your session.  Sessions typically last for 45 minutes. Halotherapy at Kalahari Poconos via @agirlsgottaspa #spa #kalahari #poconos Salt therapy, while good for the lungs, it is also good for the skin as well. Acne, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis can all benefit from salt therapy. Of course, there are certain medical conditions that it is NOT recommended for, such as infectious disease, acute stages of respiratory disease, cardia insufficiency, COPD with 3rd stage of chronic lung insufficiency, coughing of blood/bleeding, open sores or wounds (because, ouch!), infections accompanied by fever, any form or state of tuberculosis, high blood oressure/hypertension in stage 2, and hyperthyroidism. Have you tried halotherapy? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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The FLOAT Therapy Experience

Shannon Smyth
Flotation therapy via @agirlsgottaspa @lodgeatwoodloch Sensory deprivation doesn't necessarily sound like a very glamorous or indulgent spa treatment. Maybe the thought of being enclosed in a tank or a windowless room feels a little (or a lot) claustrophobic to you. But let me tell you, it is the most amazing thing ever! Floatation therapy, if you don't know just yet what it is, is unlike any other spa treatment you've ever had. Most spas offer it in a pod-like tank or a tank similar to some sort of ice chest. The tank is filled with warm water, not very deep at all, and epsom salt. You then close the tank door once inside and typically there is not a ton of room for you to move, and you simply float. You can choose to have soft lights on or off, music on or off, and you are left alone for 50 minutes. Sensory deprivation or ligh therapy in the float tank via @agirlsgottaspa @lodgeatwooloch What is sensory deprivation? Blocking out most of your senses - sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, creates an amazing wellness tool. You suddenly aren't concentrating on anything other than your own breath. The weightlessness of your own body allows every muscle to relax and release tension. Since the water is as warm as your skin, and due to the high concentration of epsom salt, you literally cannot feel the water you are floating in. All of this is supposed to also help you relax your mind, and for those of you like me who have 50 tabs open at any given time on your computer while holding your phone in the other hand, talking your kids through their homework and holding a toddler on your lap all at once - it is a very welcomed opportunity! The Lodge at Woodloch, an amazing destination spa in the Pocono Mountains, now has a FLOAT Therapy treatment that I was able to experience for myself. You can either go in alone for 50 minutes or 75 minutes, or you can float with a friend for the same time intervals. Thankfully for people like me who tend to get claustrophobic in small, enclosed spaces, their sensory deprivation tank is acutally a room with a pool in it. There is no cover that lowers down on you, but instead has a very large door that you shut to the room. The pool room also has very high ceiling and wide walls. @lodgeatwoodloch FLOAT therapy room review via @agirlsgottaspa How does FLOAT Therapy work? At The Lodge at Woodloch, you are escorted to the FLOAT room where a spa professional asks you a series of questions (do you have any health issues, large cuts, communicable diseases, etc.) She explains to you how the float room works, that you'll need to shower prior to and after your session, that you'll need to remove any makeup you may have on, as well as any jewelry. She then leaves you alone and only comes back (and just waits outside of the room in the hallway) once the floatation system tells her that your session has ended. You then put in silicone ear plugs (theirs are from Leaping Lizard and pretty amazing as NO water got in at all), proceed to shower using their body wash from head to toe and then step into the pool...completely naked. I had brought my swimsuit thinking that this would be my attire, but nude is what you wear for 50 minutes. Once you hit the button to adjust lighting (you can turn it off, have a white light, or have colored lights) or sound (on or off, loud or soft), an automated voice comes over the sound system telling you that your FLOAT treatment is about to start, this sets the time for 50 minutes. There was a neck floatation that I used to keep my head above water and they have a small hand towel that you can use to drape the exposed part of your chest and stomach since the air is a bit cooler than the water (although I found it all balanced out rather quickly once I shut the tank door.) I highly recommend saving the towel for when you may need to wipe your eyes instead. Trust me. I accidently rubbed my eye after my hand had been in the water and was able to rub the stinging salt out right away. Can you image if that towel had been salty and wet? Yikes. I tried every variation of the lighting and no lighting and music and no music. I couldn't get my mind to stop with complete sensory deprivation (no sound, no lights), but I did like low music and no lights. It was quite soothing and relaxing. It felt like floating in space. When the 50 minutes were up, another announcement came on and let you know that you are done and that the sanitation process will begin shortly. My short two steps to the shower were all it took for the salt to begin to crystalize on my skin. You then use the body wash to cleanse your skin again. I was amazed to see salt all over the shower floor. In case you were wondering, the high level of Epsom salt won't dry out your skin. It contains Magnesium Sulfate, which is absorbed through the skin. This typically helps to soften dry skin and can sometimes help treat eczema. I asked if it would strip hair color and if you have recently color treated your hair, it is not recommended to use the FLOAT Tank (if it does not come off on a towel, it should be thoroughly set.) It can remove tints of hair color, though. Overall, it is safe to use on color treated hair. If you have a Keratin Treatment, it would not be recommended. The sanitation process itself is pretty cool to watch.
When I opened the FLOAT room door, someone was there to greet me and bring me back to the Women's Retreat, where I showered again because there was salt in places there should not be salt. Enough said. What amazed me most about this float experience is that my entire body felt as relaxed as if I had just had a one-hour massage. Being all alone in the tank made it even better because I wasn't worrying myself about snoring, what I looked like, and any other thing that comes to mind when someone is giving you a facial or massage. I could just purely RELAX. It was heaven. I can't wait to do it again! Have you tried floating yet? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Spa Pedicure at Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley, PA

Shannon Smyth
Review of Utopia Spa & Salon in Hawley, PA's spa pedicure via @agirlsgottaspa The best part of living in a tourist area (the Poconos), is that there are a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered. For me, this gem has been right in front of my face for 13 years. I've driven by Utopia Salon & Day Spa countless times, but let me be honest, I never really gave it a second thought based on the outside. I guess you could say, I judged a book by its cover. Utopia Salon & Day Spa is located on the busy highway of Route 6 in Hawley, it's also right by an intersection for Wallenpaupack school district and Turkey Hill (where all of those tourists going on Lake Wallenpaupack are gassing up their boats.) When one of my favorite spas was totally booked, I decided to do a quick search of others in the area. Utopia was the first to pop up. I looked at their menu and saw that they were completely affordable and when they said they could get me in next day, I was stoked. It was when I pulled into the parking lot that I realized there was a lot more to the building than you could see from the road. When I entered the back of the building, I was taken back by how beautiful it was inside with its local flare of wood floors, stone fireplace and wood beam ceilings. Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley PA. Review of this Poconos spa, spa pedicure via @agirlsgottaspa I waited for my pedicurist, also named Shannon, and was greeted and taken down to another room to pick my lacquer. All of the polish was Morgan Taylor, and I chose Well Spent, a purple creme. I was then led to the pedicure room which is a quiet, intimate room of 3 pedicure chairs and a bench to sit on for polish drying. I sat in the chair nearest the window that looked out to some trees. I remarked to Shannon, that sitting there, you would never know that the intersection was just a few feet away. Utopia's spa pedicure ($47) consists of 55 minutes of calf and foot pampering. Aside from the typical nail clipping, buffing, polish removed and reapplied, your feet and calves are exfoliated with a citrus sugar scrub and then a hydrating green minty masque is applied. Before painting my nails, Shannon gave my feet a nice massage (honestly I probably would've paid more for her to do it longer because it was so relaxing!) Utopia Salon & Day Spa review via @agirlsgottaspa The pedicure chair is a massager and I sat there in pure bliss while it kneaded out my sore back muscles. Something I particularly loved about Shannon was that she was not an over-talker. We've all experienced those kinds of people at least once or twice while spa-ing where the person giving the treatment just won't stop talking. Shannon spoke when I asked questions, made light conversation, but didn't make silence feel awkward at all. I just felt completely relaxed. When I book my next pedicure, it will definitely be with her. If you happen to be in the northern tier of Wayne or Pike counties near Lake Wallenpaupack, I recommend stopping by Utopia Salon & Day Spa for some extra pampering. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Pre-Natal Massage at The Lodge at Woodloch

Shannon Smyth
Pre-natal massage review of @lodgeatwoodloch via @agirlsgottaspa Your aching back, your swollen cankles, your sore shoulders... if you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, I'm sure you can relate. There's so many things to look forward to with your impending arrival, but feeling like your body is falling apart is not one of them. As someone who absolutely loves her spa massages, pre-natal massage was something I was curious about since massage during pregnancy can have some unwanted side effects (especially if you are considered high risk, like myself.) Before heading to your local spa to indulge in a pre-natal massage, make sure that the therapist is trained in pre-natal. There's pressure points, etc. that are to be avoided during pregnancy because they can trigger contractions (some even say pre-term labor.) And there are certain essential oils you should stay away from. You should also get the all clear with your doctor/mid-wife first, as well. The Lodge at Woodloch, located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, has staff that are trained in pre-natal massage. Once I had the all clear from my mid-wife team for massage, I ventured up during their Beauty Event Weekend in June.  The Lodge at Woodloch offers 50 and 75 minute Pre-Natal Massage, 50 minute Pre-Natal Shiatsu Massage, a 25 minute Gentle Belli Facial and a 50 minute Nuturing Body Polish. The treatment rooms at The Lodge at Woodloch are always relaxing with low lighting, soothing fragrances and tranquil music. When my therapist told me I would first lay on my back, I was surprised. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable or that I'd have difficulty breathing, however the massage table is manipulated in a way that you don't actually lay flat. It was quite comfortable, in fact. Pre-natal massage at The Lodge at Woodloch includes massaging your shoulders, scalp, arms, legs, ankles and bottom of your feet with Mama Mio Skincare. For the massage I had, they used O.Mega Tender Touch Massage Oil which contains avocado oil, jojoba oil, borage seed oil, rose hip seed oil and combined it with an essential oil blend of citrus, lavender and ylang ylang. Avocado Oil - rich oil that readily penetrates the skin due to the presence of Palmitoleic Acid. Avocado Oil is best suited for dry skin applications. Jojoba Oil - the closest oil to your skin’s own sebum; it is very soothing, helpful in healing and protecting skin from the ageing process. Borage Seed Oil - very high in the essential fatty acid Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA – Omega 6), making it extremely valuable in skincare formulations. Numerous studies have shown the topical application of oils containing GLA will effectively repair severely dry skin. Rose Hip Seed Oil - high in Linoleic and Linolenic essential fatty acids, which are key components of the epidermal lipid bi-layer. This oil is beneficial for the treatment of damaged and distressed skin by providing intense moisture. It smelled amazing. Who knew how much my feet were in need of a massage until the therapist touched them? She then moved to my belly for a brief belly massage. I warned her that my son may kick her in the process. However, he must've have felt how relaxed his mom was and didn't move the entire time. Once the front portion of your body has been tamed into relaxation, you then lie on one side with a pillow between your legs, a pillow under your head and a cloth covering your eyes so that a portion of your back can be massaged. Maybe it was just me, but the pillows were literally the fluffiest most comfortable pillows I have ever experienced and I wanted to drift off to sleep. You then switch sides so that she can give the rest of your back the attention it needs. When the 50 minutes were up, I told the therapist I would be OK if she just left me there to sleep. Unfortunately, others needed to be pampered so I couldn't take a nap. Darn. This pre-natal massage was glorious, my only advice is to go with 75 minutes. Take in as much pampering as you possibly can before your little one arrives. My husband gifted me a gift certificate for The Lodge at Woodloch that I intend to split between a pre-baby pedicure (because I honestly can't each my feet anymore) and a post-baby Tension Tamer massage when my upper back will be in dire need of soothing. If you've had a pre-natal massage at The Lodge at Woodloch, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: This massage was comped. However, all opinions and glorious relaxation are all my own.

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Spas in the Poconos: The Lodge at Woodloch

Shannon Smyth
A few years ago when I went to The Lodge at Woodlochfor a facial and massage, I swore that one day I would spend the weekend at their destination spa. The rooms are luxuriously appointed, the spa cuisine is to die for (I had lunch there during a recent event with Christopher Drummond Beauty) and the grounds are breathtaking. Although I only live about 40 minutes from The Lodge at Woodloch, the resort is tucked away here in the Poconos in such a way, that it felt like I was traveling far far away… One of the first things I noticed about The Lodge at Woodloch, was their superior customer service. We (Bryan & I) pulled up to the gated entry to give our name for our stay and by the time we got to the valet, they opened my door calling me by name and once inside, the concierge, also motioned to me calling me by name…all of which made me feel like a valued customer and not just some random person checking in. We scheduled a spa treatment, 9 holes of golf at Woodloch Springs, Wake-Up kayaking for 7am the next morning and made a reservation for dinner. After a quick tour of the resort, Bryan sat down for lunch at Tree while I was whisked away for a Tension Tamer massage with Gwen. If you haven’t heard me tweet and Facebook incessantly about how much I LOVE this spa, then you certainly need to stop by and try it for yourself. I chose the Tension Tamer massage, as sitting at my desk all day working has really had its way with my upper back and shoulders. At times, the pain has become unbearable. The Tension Tamer focuses on this key muscle group to help melt that stress away. And boy did it! At the beginning of the massage I told Gwen that I could barely feel any pressure from her hands in the area surrounding my neck because some of the area had gone numb. She worked her magic and within 30 minutes I was telling her that she was a magician. Suddenly there was feeling back in that area and the tension in the surrounding muscles began to ease up. I honestly did not want to leave after my 50 minutes were up. Gwen told me that due to my line of work, that I really needed to have massages focusing on that area more often. I completely agree! After finishing up a lunch plate that Bryan brought me to the room, we made our way over to Woodloch Springs, which is a private community with an 18-hole PGA 2 golf course. Since I have never played golf before, we decided on just doing 9 holes. The course was gorgeous despite how wet the green was from all of the rain we’ve been having in the Poconos. Bryan taught me how to play and I have to say, golf is hard work! I have a new respect for pro-golfers now! Dinner at Tree was delicious and we each had salad and chicken that was out of this world. At about 9pm we decided a swim was in order and made our way to their Aqua Garden (which has amazing waterfalls) and their Horizon Whirlpool. On a dark night with a view of the stars, it was breathtaking. I slept like a baby that night and I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning because the bed was so comfortable! Made me realize that I’m about due for a new mattress for my own bed. The morning was a little chilly, but we made our way toLittle Lake Teedyuskung for our 7am kayaking. Since the rest of the people who signed up for the session were no-shows, we had the guide all to ourselves! This 1:1 session was great as we learned more about the area we live in and got to take in all of the wildlife. Although the really ridiculous spider that kept jumping into my kayak, which almost made me flip over when trying to get it out, was not so amusing (at least for me, but Bryan and our guide thought it was pretty funny.) After breakfast at Tree, my feet begged me for a Restorative Rosemary Pedicure at their Lotus Salonand how could I say no? The view from my seat was beautiful and the bourbon vanilla soak helped soften my dry heels. I loved the seaweed wrap and Antoinette made my toes look pretty with SpaRitual’s Crystal Water nail polish. All in all, it was a relaxing and fun-filled weekend that we truly enjoyed. So whether you live locally and are looking for a staycation without feeling like you are really still local or are looking for a Pocono getaway, The Lodge at Woodloch should top your list of places to go. If you’ve visited or have had a spa treatment here, please share your experience in the comments! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Some images from The Lodge at Woodloch’s website; disclosure: a portion of this stay was gifted.

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Spa Pedicure at The French Manor Review

Shannon Smyth
Spa pedicure at The French Manor in the Poconos via @agirlsgottaspa Tucked away in the Pocono Mountains is a small slice of heaven at The French Manor Inn & Spa. Following a twisting and turning road up the mountainside reveals gorgeous stone buildings and a glorious view of the valley. My mouth fell open upon seeing it as I mouthed, “Wow.” There are 3 buildings on the property with Le Spa Foret found below the Spa Suites. Upon entering the spa, you are greeted with relaxing scents.   I was invited to try Le Spa Foret’s Huckleberry Mountain Signature Spa Pedicure, which is about 50 minutes in duration. The difference between the spa pedicure and their regular pedicure is the addition of using a foot polisher, a tightening masque among other vitamin and antioxidant treatments to enhance the skin care in your pedicure. Towards the end they also massage your lower legs and feet. The chair I sat in had a massage system, which was so relaxing. I ate yogurt with granola and fruits while my spa pedicure was being done. The scents from the aromatherapy products being used in the water and on my skin were so soothing. I chose Ivy & Aloe, which is a water and citrus fragrance. My favorite part had to be the tightening masque that was applied to my feet and ankles. It was warm and felt fantastic on my skin. At the end I asked to look around the property and fell in love with the Spa Suites. You could hear the soothing music from the spa up in the rooms, which have a sunken tub, King sized beds, flat screen television and sitting area, as well as a veranda that looks out at the valley. Each room is decorated completely different and are very spacious. The French Manor dining area was breathtaking. 2 large fireplaces in a colonial-looking room that opened up to a stone terrace with a mountain view. While I was there, they were setting up for a wedding that would be taking place. The white tents on the terrace, complete with chandeliers made it look like a fairytale. The menu is a bit out of my price range, but the dishes sounded divine. What’s so lovely about Le Spa Foret at The French Manor Inn & Spa is that it is quietly tucked away off the beaten path here in Northeast PA. It is quiet and tranquil and makes you feel like you took a step back in time. The perfect place to retreat to, even if you are a local. You can learn more about them at www.thefrenchmanor.com. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Disclosure: This spa treatment was comped.

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