Have you seen the movie Dirty Dancing a dozen times and thought to yourself that you would love to stay in a resort like the one depicted in the movie? Well, we’re about to make your dreams come true. Pennsylvania’s Skytop Lodge, just a 2-hour road trip from NYC, is an old school resort with activities for the whole family, including dancing, but they keep it clean, and trust us, no one will be put in the corner; as long as they behave that is.
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The Skinny on the Hotel
Built in 1928, Skytop Lodge (1 Skytop Lodge Drive, Skytop, Pa) is located on 5,500 acres of land in the Poconos, and it is an outdoorsy person’s paradise.The property, which is about a 2-hour drive from the concrete jungle we call home, boasts two lakes – one for boating and one for swimming – three waterfalls and 30 trails.
Activities at Skytop Lodge
Skytop has a different activity literally every hour of the day, if you count meals as an activity. Seriously, other than meal times, there are activities starting very early in the morning and lasting until around dinner time. Organized activities include arts and crafts, hayrides, hikes with a naturalist, trivia and campfires with s’mores. Fancy a game of croquet or would you prefer to partake of lawn bowling? These games are set up outside and people can play at anytime. That’s really just skimming the surface of all the activities that Skytop has to offer, as the list is plentiful. Once on site, take the property tour that is offered every morning to learn all that Skytop has to offer and make the most of your stay.
Most of Skytop’s activities take place outdoors, so make sure you pack warm clothes for everyone. Hiking the trails is definitely one of the top activities. The trails that are probably easiest for kids to hike are the Lake Trail and the Indian Head Trail; the latter will bring you to Indian Head Waterfall which will serve as incentive to get the kids to keep going to the end; either that or candy. Whatever works for you; we won’t judge.
If the adults want to do one of the more complicated hikes or go golfing, kids can be left at Camp in the Clouds, which is Skytop’s Kids Club. Don’t worry that your kids will be stuck inside all day and miss out on all that lovely smog free air. Unlike other hotel kids clubs, which are mostly indoors, Skytop takes the kids outdoors to experience nature. They take them on hikes, to the playground, and in warmer months, they go swimming. They also participate in other activities around the property.
Good to know If you book the All American Family Fun Plan, most activities, including Camp in the Clouds, are included with your stay. As part of this plan, greens fees are included for adults. If you don’t book the Family Fun Plan, Camp in the Clouds costs $8 for the morning and $16 for the entire day. With this plan, three meals per day in the main dining room are also included.
Where You Sleep
At Skytop Lodge, rooms are located in three areas: at the main lodge, in the cottages and at the Inn. Each location is a bit different, and as such family preferences will come into play. The main lodge is where all the action takes place. So if you would prefer to be able to walk downstairs to meals, walk outside to lawn games, and sit outside and stare at the flowers in the garden, then this the location for you. The main lodge is the oldest of the buildings, as it is the original hotel.
What will your room look like? If you’re staying in the main lodge, it kind of depends on the luck of the draw as all the rooms are different. The Cottages are four double rooms that share a common area and a porch. You can take one or multiple rooms in a cottage. If you’re traveling with extended family or just want to be closer nature, this would be a good option for you. The Inn is a smaller building up by the golf course and the swimming lake. This location is ideal for golfers or for those who want to be away from the hustle and bustle, such as it is, of the main lodge. It’s about a five minute walk to the main lodge or a short shuttle ride.
What You’ll Eat
Skytop Lodge has one main restaurant that serves three meals daily. If you’re on a package that includes the meal plan, all non-alcoholic beverages at meal times are included as well. If you’re staying at the Inn or you are out golfing for the day, there’s a deli located at the back of the Inn overlooking the golf course. The hotel also has an old fashioned Tea Room that serves sandwiches and burgers and killer milkshakes, as well as a pub, that used to operate as a hidden speakeasy; you can still see the sliding door that hid the bar when the police came to call. Please note that if you are on the All American Family Fun Plan, meals at the latter two locations are not included.
The Nitty Gritty
Pricing: Your hotel bill will depend on the season. Fall is a slower season and will therefore have lower pricing. For a weekend night for a family of four in the fall, prices start at $319 per room per night. This is for the room only. For a family of four in the fall, the price for the All American Family Fun Plan starts at $411.75 per room per night.
Getting There: Skytop Lodge is located about a 2-hour drive from New York City. To get there, take the George Washington Bridge to West on I-95 to I-80. Continue West on I-80 through New Jersey to the Delaware Water Gap Bridge Toll Booth. Approximately 1 mile beyond Delaware Water Gap Bridge Toll Booth, take Exit 309. Merge immediately into left turn lane and make the first left onto Route 447 North. Follow Route 447 North to the village of Canadensis, (follow signs for 447 north at all intersections) at the traffic light in Canadensis, turn right on Route 390 North, the entrance to Skytop Lodge is three miles from this point on the left. The address may not work with the GPS but as an alternative, you can search for the Skytop Golf Course.
– Mikaela Walker
Photos 2, 3 and 5 courtesy of Skytop Lodge