My family and I recently returned from Skytop Lodge and I cannot say enough about the awesome days we spent there. Skytop Lodge is a stunning piece of history that sits upon 5,500 majestic acres atop the picturesque Pocono mountains.
Although this resort is only a 1.5-hour drive from our home in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, I never heard of it before this summer. Even though I have traveled to the Poconos more times than I can count, this was an entirely different experience. From the moment we arrived, until the moment we left, we could not look at the old world charm of the stone lodge without being in awe.
Vacationing at Skytop means taking a step back in time. While they have all the modern conveniences we have come to rely on, it is the 4 pm afternoon tea time you look forward too.
Tea time is served in the main lobby or Pine Room and features an assortment of large, fresh-baked cookies, ice-cold lemonade and an assortment of teas. Once you have made your selections you can choose to enjoy your treats in the main lobby or as we did sitting in rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the grounds.
My boys loved the little chipmunk that decided to join us for tea and cookies. He was very polite and ate a small piece of whatever cookie you gave him.
Downstairs the arcade really takes you back to a time when families were unplugged and played games of ping-pong or went to the malt shop AKA the Tea Room where you will find an old-fashioned luncheonette counter reminiscent of an old-time soda fountain. Order up an egg cream or one of the “World’s Greatest Milk Shakes.”
The halls are peppered with photos and artwork of the Lodge and the many events that have taken place there since 1928. The dog shows, sled races, golf tournaments, tennis matches and so much more. All around you will find pieces from the rich history of this historic resort.
Climb the stairs of the Lodge all the way to the Skytop Observation Post which was used for spotting and reporting enemy aircraft during WWII. It was manned around the clock by volunteer staff, guests, cottagers and townspeople. for the duration of the war. The observation tower has views of Skytop’s 5,500 acres as well as the Delaware Water Gap and beyond. It is a great place to take photos and just imagine what it must have been like to be a lookout during the war.
Spending time out in nature is something I think a person should do every day, whether it is a morning walk, having coffee admiring the birds in the feeders or a challenging hike, it is good for your mind, body and soul! Skytop has trails throughout the estate property that let you embark and gaze upon the peace and beauty of nature at its finest.
All kinds of trails are available, guided tours, self-guided tours, trails suitable for strollers and trails that are much more challenging. They take you to crystal clear waterfalls, pristine lakes, mountain vistas, ancient forests and more.
The forests are alive with all kinds of wildlife, downstairs there is chart where people list what they saw that day. While we were there, someone spotted a black bear on hole 11 on the golf course, a family of otter swimming under one of the falls and so much more. Beyond that there are blueberries and huckleberries galore.
Downstairs in the lodge there are wildlife exhibits of live snakes and turtles, booklets about wildlife and guides you can take if you are brave enough to venture off on one of the trails yourself.
One of the highlights of our time at Skytop was the time we spent with their naturalist Rick Koval. Rick took us on a tour of the butterfly house and a guided tour of falls. The butterfly house is new and you can take a tour where you will learn all kinds of interesting facts about butterflies and get to feed them. It is utterly informative and absolutely amazing. There are many great photo opportunities too! Check out the caterpillar that looks like he is smiling in the collage below.
The hike with Rick was a real treat. After your first hike with him, you will be scanning the activities’ sheet to see when the next walk or hike with him is. Rick kept parents and kids engaged with his wealth of knowledge about the trees, flowers and wildlife found in the northeast Pennsylvania region and hands-on learning and tasting along the way. Who knew sassafras smelled and tasted like Fruit Loops?
He showed us some of the most poisonous mushrooms, we did not taste test those but took his word for it. We all got hands on with nature and wildlife like the adorable newts we met along the way. The highlight was the beautiful waterfall we all stopped to admire and as we reach the end of our hike we immediately wanted to know when and where the next one was.
After a nice hike it was time to hit the pool. Choose the outdoor or indoor pool or do both since they are connected. Relax and unwind on a chaise while your kids and maybe your husband if he is like mine, cannonball to their hearts desire. Then swim laps in the lap lane of the indoor pool. There is a kiddie pool and large hot tub for adults to soothe sore muscles in.
There are plenty of choices for dining. In the morning there is complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby along with fresh fruit and some fresh-baked goodies. If you are looking for a full breakfast, you can eat at the Windsor Dining Room.
The Windsor Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their cuisine is innovative and supports local farmers and ranchers. Everything is served in a classic setting. Be aware that no jeans, t-shirts, hats or shorts are permitted. On Saturday evenings, jackets are required for men. Ladies and children are also required to wear proper attire.
We really enjoyed the Tap Room, it is more casual and nice for families. They serve a full menu of traditional pub fare including lunch, sandwiches and dinner. I had a BBQ brisket sandwich that was so good my husband could not wait until I said I was too full to finish it! There serve large portions and the food is amazing.
The Inn-Between Deli is conveniently located in the Inn at Skytop between golf holes 9 and 10. The deli serves a light sandwich and salad menu. We found the Inn-Between Deli to be very convenient when we were at the lake and beach with our kids.
Also located at the Inn is the Lakeview Dining Room. Enjoy your meal in a relaxed setting overlooking one of Skytop’s lakes and award-winning golf course. The menu is extensive and offers something for everyone. Jackets are not required but jeans, t-shirts, hats or pool attire is not permitted. The front desk staff can assist with any questions about dining options and make reservations for you.
At night enjoy a marshmallow roast around the campfire or have fun playing Bingo with the other guests, movies are also shown in the afternoon and evenings. There is even a Camp in the Clouds for kids and so many other activities.
Even though in our first few days we had quite a bit of rain it was not constant and in the times of clearing we still were able to do so much. The last couple of days the weather was beautiful and while we did not believe the place could be more beautiful it was. Every time we went about we discovered something new and yet there was still so much we have not experienced.
Besides The Lodge there are other choices for accommodations on the property like the Inn at Skytop, The Cottages and the Stream Side Cottages. We chose the Lodge because we wanted the full, rich experience that only staying in the Lodge can provide.
The Lodge guest rooms were newly renovated in 2015 and the inspiration for their design was Skytop’s history, traditions and the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains. Incorporating that rich history with today’s modern conveniences led to the three signature designs of the Lodge guest rooms: Water, Garden and Mountain. There are also individually designed suites inspired by Skytop historical figures.
Our Garden theme room was gorgeous with a view overlooking the gardens, outdoor pool and the butterfly house.
Three dormer windows let in the natural light and let us peer down on everything below. In the closet were 2 large umbrellas, 2 handcrafted walking sticks and 2 luxurious robes. Waiting for us when we arrived was a plate of fruit and cheese along with flatbread crackers and a note from the staff. The housekeeping service was excellent and made sure we did not want for anything.
The valets were so accommodating and friendly it really was like coming home every time we came back from an activity, hike or trip into town. Shay at the front desk is a real treasure and always had a smile on his face, upon check in he remembered speaking to me the night before and went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect for our stay. Christy, director of group sales worked her magic to make sure we had everything we needed. The smiles were genuine as was the desire to really help guests have the best possible experience.
Down by the Inn, a short walk from the Lodge is a lake with a beach area. There is a large inflatable island of fun out in the lake that my kids just loved. There is a sandy beach area that is filled with lounge chairs, tables, beach umbrellas and more.
Nothing is overlooked at Skytop, the pool area has stacks and stacks of soft, fluffy, cabana striped beach towels. Down by the lake there are sand toys galore kids can use as well as more stacks of soft, fluffy towels. There are ample lounges, chairs and tables at both pools and on the beach. In the pool area they have fun noodles, diving rings, balls and other pool toys.
The grounds are impeccable and off the porch you will find a nice large playground for kids, a lawn chess set, a kid size golf course and so much more. All kinds of lawn games are available like crochet, volleyball, badminton, lawn bowling and more. If you are the competitive type, there are tournaments you can take part in.
If you are a golfer, you will love the award-winning golf course with spectacular views and the ability to see a variety of wildlife as you are teeing off.
Among the beautiful perennial flowers the gorgeous butterflies and birds. A white gazebo adorned with flower boxes filled with vibrant, red and white geraniums awaits. Take a seat in one of the comfortable rocking chairs and spend some time listening to the calls of area birds like the Northern Cardinal.
The SkyLites Activity Newsletter informs you about all the different activities happening each week. There are daily activities, 7 days a week and an activities desk to register for the things you want to do.
For the adventurous, the Adventure Center has a 3-hour treetop adventure course with challenging obstacles including elevated bridgeways connecting tree platforms, logs hanging from ropes to walk across, ladders, a cargo net and 7 different zip lines. This is not for the little ones, you must be a height of at least 5’11” with your hands above your head and must have a waist size of less than 41″ to participate. Other activities include paintball, rock wall climbing, archery and more.
Skytop Stables in on the property and you can take a western style wilderness ride to the top of the west rim tail for a picture perfect view of the property. The horses are well-natured and there are professional guides to make sure everyone has a great experience. Pony rides are available and you can also go on a hay ride.
If you are in need of pampering, look no further than the Skyview Spa. The Spa offers a wide selection of stimulating, healing, and innovative spa services that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
Bring your dancing shoes because every Saturday night following a tradition from the early 1940’s, children and adults of all ages celebrate the tradition of the Grand March accompanied by the Doug Smith Orchestra. An elimination dance is held right before the Grand March.
Shuttles are available to take guests to different activities and hiking trails from the North Porch. A beautiful gift shop will let you take home memories in the form of a beautiful pottery mug, silver-plated Christmas Ornament of the Lodge, Skytop logo clothing and more.
Skytop truly is a hidden jewel atop the Pocono Mountains just beckoning to be discovered. Spending time at Skytop is not a vacation it is more than that, it is an extraordinary experience that I feel blessed to have discovered. I know why people return every year to Skytop, it is the perfect blend of past and present where you will create memories to last a lifetime. I know we will be back, next time with the whole family!
If you would like to make reservations at Skytop you can right on their websiteYou can also stay in the loop with them on Facebook and Instagram. If you have any questions please ask in the comments and let me know if you have experienced Skytop, I would love to hear all about it.