Perhaps it’s “togethering” that keeps generations of families returning year after year to Woodloch Pines Resort in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. A word coined by the Kiesendahl family, who has owned and operated Woodloch Pines since its inception in 1958, “togethering” means side-by-side activities. Brad Kiesendahl, a third-generation family member who serves as the CEO/Owner of Woodloch Resort Properties, explains, “People connect with one another here. It’s always nice to see parents, grandparents and kids interacting with one another, being silly and having lots of fun.”
Jami Weinstock, the matriarch of her family who first started coming here in 2007, says, “The feeling you get here is that you really matter because everyone is so friendly and caring.” Nicknamed the “Stealth Pigeons” as they “fly” from activity to activity, the Weinstock family often brings as many as 40 family members. “The warmth, creativity, energy, professionalism and atmosphere of absolute joy is beyond belief. It is truly unique,” she adds.
“The entire family makes time to come,” says daughter Jennifer Davis. “The social staff here is incredible, and Social Director Joey Ranner goes beyond the call of duty. There’s not enough time to do it all.”
Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort, is part of Woodloch Resort Properties. Woodloch Springs is an exquisite golf course community with vacation rentals. The Lodge at Woodloch, an adults-only luxurious destination spa, has been widely acclaimed as one of the finest in the country.
Service with a smile is not a cliché at Woodloch Pines, it’s the “culture” according to Managing Partner John Kiesendahl, a second-generation family member who is the face of the resort and is recognizable by his signature pants adorned with various character designs. His affable personality is infectious, and he can always be found with a wide smile greeting guests in the dining room.
In fact, there is no shortage of smiles throughout Woodloch Pines, from guests who race from one activity to the next (there’s a never-ending array on any given day) to caring employees who bend over backwards to ensure the needs of each guest are met. “We try to treat every guest as if they are company in our own home,” says Brooke James, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Hospitality/Owner of Woodloch Resort Properties, a third-generation family member. “We ask our staff to be themselves by being genuine.” Everything here is done with a singular purpose: to provide “togethering” for families who desire quality time with one another.
Lake Teedyuskung serves as the centerpiece of the resort. As the headwaters of the Delaware River, the lake is one of the purest in the Pocono area. Families gather by the lake to swim, fish and participate in numerous water activities. Several pools, both indoors and outdoors, include a kids’ splash pool equipped with spraying jets and a mushroom waterfall and a shallow indoor pool with a variety of age-appropriate obstacles.
“Where do we begin?” is a common question guests ask themselves when they first arrive. With so many activities from which to choose, it takes a little planning to create an itinerary. Feeling competitive? Athletic contests include beach volleyball, horseshoes, bowling and a home run derby. Test your intuitive skills at a scavenger hunt, or get a little silly with some Family Double Dare games. From bar games to bingo and amazing races to archery tag, the fun never ends. An activity schedule via the Woodloch app is available.
Guests can choose from a variety of lodging options including over 160 guest rooms that can accommodate up to six people each on the Woodloch Pines campus, and over 70 privately owned vacation rental homes that are available between the resort and nearby Woodloch Springs.
Food is never an afterthought at Woodloch. Despite serving up to 500 guests each meal, Dining Room Manager Corey Neenan and a highly skilled culinary team see to it that all special dietary requests are honored. Guests who stay at the main resort property receive a meal plan with two or three meals daily served in the spacious main dining room. This is not your typical banquet-type fare. On the contrary, delectable cuisine served fresh, fast and full of flavor is a staple of a Woodloch vacation. “The food is incredible and they always keep up to date with the latest culinary trends,” says Mike Bova, Weinstock’s son-in-law. “The meals are always cooked according to your preference.” Staying at Woodloch Springs offers more flexibility with the option to add a meal plan or dine around the area.
A highlight of the Woodloch Pines experience is the theme show held in the nightclub produced by Joey Casella. Always rated “G” for the entire family, the high-energy show features outstanding music and dazzling choreography, all provided courtesy of Woodloch at no extra cost. A family-fun wooden horse race that allows for friendly wagering is one of the resort’s most popular events.
Over the years Woodloch Resort Properties has methodically expanded in order the meet the needs of a growing marketplace, in particular guests from the New York metro area, Philadelphia and New Jersey. “It’s been a slow evolution to the resort it is today,” says Brad Kiesendahl. Constructed in 1992, the Country Club at Woodloch Springs is home to a nationally recognized golf course.
Perhaps the most dramatic transformation occurred in 2006 with the addition of The Lodge at Woodloch. With a philosophy of personal awakening, the Lodge is a sanctuary for the senses. Whether relaxing in the co-ed Whisper Lounge or enjoying the Aqua Garden’s Hydromassage WaterWalls, you can choose to be as active or relaxed as you wish.
Chris Barrett, President/CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, says, “The word ‘Woodloch’ has been synonymous with family vacations in the Poconos for the better part of a century. The Kiesendahl family has welcomed successive generations of families to their properties in the best tradition of true hospitality. This is not just for our guests, but also the countless team members they have touched over the decades. Through responsible expansion of the resort including the Lodge at Woodloch, a world class Destination Spa, the Pocono Mountains is indebted to Woodloch Resort for its commitment to exemplary guest service and top shelf amenities which are an inspiration for our industry.”
“I can’t imagine the level of care and concern displayed here, nor the high quality, being matched in any other family vacation destination,” says Jami Weinstock.