To be fair, most of these programs lure in guests with the promise of luxury – and guess what – luxury costs. Luckily, with some research, I discovered a facility that operates by a different standard: More affordability, less luxury. Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa is a 14 acre, full-service campus located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. In operation since 1979, Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa has provided guests with affordable access to healthy meals, exercise classes, golfing, hiking, swimming, massage therapy, and a plethora of other wellness-minded activities, all at a reasonable price.
Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa is not your typical weight-loss camp. There are no early-morning bugle calls to go jogging up a mountain, or bowls of celery soup. At Deerfield, one is completely in control of their stay. Upon arrival, you are greeted at the main house and presented with a calendar of activities to chose from. Daily selections include group aerobic & weight-training classes, early-morning and afternoon hiking, stretching, swimming, spinning, yoga, and pilates. From the crack of dawn, to just before dinner, there is a new activity available each hour. Most classes are held in Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa’s 24 hour gym facility, whose glass wall overlooks the heated pool and sauna. The campus also has a paved court for basketball and tennis, as well as a sauna, located in the basement of the main guest house.
Those looking to leave campus for some adventure will really enjoy being located at the intersection of the Delaware Water Gap, Appalachian Trail, and Pocono Mountains. Certified guides lead daily hikes through the trails that run just a few short miles away from Deerfield. Group hiking trips take you through a variety of breathtaking sights, like cliffside overlooks, waterfalls & ravines, and historical landmarks. Bringing equipment won’t be necessary, either. Deerfield hiking guides provide water, hiking sticks, and even rain ponchos to make the journey easy and enjoyable.
Meals at Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa are all about choice. Daily specials are posted alongside a standing menu of items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each night, guests are given an order slip and asked to select the meals they would like to eat the following day. All meals have their caloric content posted, allowing guests to tabulate and keep track of they’re eating during their stay. Deerfield also invites a chef to teach a nutrition and cooking class each week. This is your opportunity to get down in the trenches and learn the techniques it takes to cook a healthy and tasty meal.
Once you’ve had enough activity for the day, you will retire to one of Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa’s guest rooms. The guest rooms are split between a main house, and an annex. The main house is a 3-level Victorian mansion, comprised of standard-size bedrooms, reminiscent of European accommodations. There is enough room for a bed, chair, and dresser in each room and the decor mirrors the quaint and delicate Victorian ambiance. Accommodations at the annex are in stark contrast. Rooms are more modern and expansive, with multiple beds, multiple dressers, and even rocking chairs! All rooms enjoy access to the campus-wide wifi and a 24-hour sitting parlor that has two televisions, miniature library, and a bevy of board games.
What struck me most about Deerfield is its loyal customer base. Each meal is an opportunity to commune with the other guests. To learn their stories and what brought them to this destination, above all others. Over and over, I heard that this wasn’t the first, second, or even third time guests had visited Deerfield. This phenomenon is a credit to Deerfield’s owner, Joan. When you are invited into Deerfield, it is less like being consumed by a resort, and more like being welcomed into the home of an old friend. The owner, Joan is involved at every level of the business and makes it a point to forge a personal connection with each guest who comes to her property. She shared meals with us, tended to personal details required by each guest, and even spent time bonding over swapped cell phone pictures of kids and animals.
This intentional intimacy makes staying at Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa unlike a stay anywhere else. When one feels like they are are being tended to by an old friend, instead of being watched-over by a drill sergeant, it’s easier to let go of inhibitions and anxieties, and to put that energy into becoming your best self. During my visit, I met men and women from all over the country who had vastly different walks of life, with vastly different motivations for being at Deerfield – yet, at the end of my stay, it felt like I had known them a lifetime. And many of the people I met along the way had taken this experience and parlayed it into an annual pilgrimage to reunite with other guests they met in years prior. If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is.
Weekend rates at Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa run from $520 – $720, and weekly rates run from $1235 to $1875 (lowest price being double occupancy in the main house, and the highest price being single occupancy in the annex). The icing on the cake is that all reservations come with spa credit, which can be used for massages or facials. Your all-inclusive stay also includes 2 snacks per day, workshops, and evening activities like bingo.
Deerfield Health Retreat & Spa
650 Resica Falls Road, East
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18302
+1 (570) 223-0160
+1 (800) 852-4494