Like many resorts in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, Woodloch Pines began as a family-owned resort on a lake. Today it remains a family-run business, thanks to Harry and Mary Kiesendahl, who purchased a small resort on Lake Teedyuskung in 1958 from another family.
From that original 12-acre resort with room for 40 guests, Woodloch has grown into a 1,200-acre family of resort properties that can accommodate 1,000 guests. Today, John Kiesendahl and other family members operate the resort. What hasn’t changed in more than five decades is the distinctive attraction for families, many who return year after year and generation after generation.
Why the loyal customers? “We are home-grown fun,” said the resort’s Erica Bloch. “There really is something for everyone and we try to provide everything a family needs to have fun together. We use the term ‘togethering’ a lot.”
The families are attracted by the daily planned activities and nightly entertainment, but there are ample indoor activities such as indoor pools, a playground, an arts and crafts room, the Wii Center, and other options.
“We’ll be installing two new water slides at the indoor pool during January and introducing a new themed show celebrating the wonderful world of TV for Wednesday and Saturday evening entertainment,” said Bloch.
Winter brings outdoor activities such as snow tubing and the exciting Family Olympics, but other seasons offer a cornucopia of 30 activities, including Segway excursions, a zip-line course, tennis, batting cages, and water sports such as boating, water skiing, kayaking, and swimming.
“The staff was so polite and friendly. The food was great with kid-friendly options. The entertainment was so fun and family oriented,” said Fran, a November visitor from New Jersey.
The Woodloch “AWAY” (art, wine, adventure, and you) program is available as a package for couples through May and includes art classes, cooking demonstrations, mixology classes, nature excursions, zip-lining, and geocaching options. On Tuesdays, for example, guests can take advantage of a two-hour demonstration of event cooking and wine pairing that provides tips on preparing hors d’oeuvres, small plates, and tapas, as well as wine pairing techniques.
Golf and spa treatments, too
Woodloch Springs is an 18-hole championship golf course, stretching 6,579 yards, and is dedicated to growing the game of golf with family-friendly play.
A newer offering at the resort, The Lodge at Woodloch, opened in 2006 and has reaped awards as a destination spa. There are 58 rooms at the Lodge, or resort guests can use day spa guest passes to access the facilities and treatments. The Lodge has indoor and outdoor whirlpools, an indoor pool with hydromassage water walls, fitness and wellness classes, and spa treatments that change with the seasons.
The resort’s all-inclusive opportunity includes three meals per day with various dining options, but there are also alternative plans with fewer or no meals. Special rates are offered through February. Active duty military guests are eligible for a 10 percent discount.
With all the growth, the most important tradition at Woodloch dates back to the Kiesendahl’s purchase in 1958 — treating guests “as if they are company in our own home.” It’s no wonder Trip Advisor named Woodloch Pines the best resort for families in America and No. 6 in the world for 2015.
Woodloch Pines Resort: woodloch.com