Many thanks to the Inn at Pocono Manor for hosting our holiday travel.
Here’s a tip to all the overwhelmed parents out there: I highly recommend investing in a bit of family travel, right smack in the middle of December. Leave the prep behind, stop shopping, let the fridge run a little bare, and skip town. Go somewhere where the festive fun is planned for you, and you can’t be tempted back into the stressful hustle and bustle of things to be done. Sure, it might leave you with a bit to do when you get back, but the memories you’ll make will be worth it. We spent last weekend as a guest of The Inn at Pocono Manor, and with great food, holiday cheer and crackling fireplaces around every corner, it was just what Santa ordered!
Here’s a quick video overview of all the fun we found – only 90 minutes away!
Family Travel at Pocono Manor
The Pocono Manor Resort is a historic escape located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. With over 3,000 naturally scenic acres, 240 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor adventure-filled amenities, there is simply something for everyone. The property is even big enough to have its own ZIP code!
The rooms are charming and filled with personality – a lovely benefit of staying in a resort built in 1902. The property itself is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic Landmark, and you can feel it just walking down the wide, winding hallways. There’s just something solid about the floors, the walls, the hardware, the fieldstone fireplaces…everywhere. They don’t build ’em like this anymore, folks.
Our room was comfy and clean. I’m not sure how it happened, but we even had the luck of finding a weekend-long Star Wars marathon on TV. I almost didn’t want to leave the room…
Amenities and Recreation
We arrived during the Manor’s Magical Fireside Christmas event, but no matter when you visit, Pocono Manor has plenty to keep the whole family busy.
- scenic championship golf course with driving range and golf school
- climate-controlled indoor pool
- Manor Sports Club with ATV tours, hiking biking, skiing, ice skating, fly fishing, archery, BB range and lots of other seasonal sports
- arcade and game room
- family play room with ping pong, foosball, pool and more
- children’s playground
- fitness center with juice bar
- on-site full-service spa
- The Ranch at Pocono Manor, with petting zoo, horseback riding, pony rides, sleigh rides, etc.
- shuttle service to local Mt Airy Casino, Kalahari Waterpark, skiing and more
- proximity to premium shopping outlets, state parks and countless other area destinations!
If you have the time and appetite for a longer, sit-down dining experience, don’t miss The Exchange. You’ll want to make a reservation for this one, as it isn’t a very big restaurant. We enjoyed everything from calamari and crab cake appetizers to a fabulous tiramisu, and enjoyed every single bite. My husband and I both swooned over the Chicken Oscar, served with lump crap meat and hollandaise sauce, and the filet medallions in mushroom sauce (one night’s special entree) was, without a doubt, the best steak I’ve ever had. “Melt in your mouth” doesn’t even do it justice.
The kids’ enjoyed cheeseburger sliders that they couldn’t even come close to finishing, and endless apple juice. Huge shouts to the great wait staff, who interacted with the kiddos and were super friendly during the time we were there. I’m not sure the atmosphere was exactly what I would normally choose for 2 rambunctious kiddos (one being only 4 years old), but with a little help from Netflix on my iPhone, dinner was a rousing success.
For breakfast, the all-you-can-eat buffet in the Mountain View Dining Room is the place to be. An omelet station–along with everything from bagels and lox to fresh fruit and warm waffles–are a delicious way to start the day.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, visit the Lamplighter Lounge for pub fare like cheesesteaks and burgers, or the Little Pocono Pizzeria where Italian-American food like pizza, sandwiches and calzones are available, along with hand-scooped ice cream. Water is available in the gift shop or vending machines for $3, which is convenient, but I’d suggest bringing a case for the room.
Suggestion Box: One thing that we would have loved to see at the Inn at Pocono Manor: a coffee shop. There’s nothing like a latte and snackable bites on vacation, and if there was a Starbucks-inspired type of cafe or bistro on site, I dare say the food offering would be perfect.
Magical Fireside Christmas & Other Seasonal Events
Our stay was right during the peak of the holiday season, so Christmas vibes were everywhere. When you book a stay when something special is going on at the Inn, you can opt for all kinds of extra festive options.
In this case, there was a beautiful workshop all decked out, with thousands of light, real reindeer to feed, a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating and elves to help the kids with holiday crafts. Some elves were in character a little better than others, but Santa really earned himself a 10. He was jolly, happy and paid special attention to each child. (He even sent us a personalized letter at home in response to the letter we left in his mailbox at the Inn!)
Elf turndown service was also offered, and we couldn’t turn that down! Our friendly elf showed up right on time, brought milk and cookies for the kids, and read them a really nice bedtime story. She was there for about 20 minutes, and the kids were just tickled by the special details. Then, in the morning, we got some one-on-one time at breakfast with Santa again.
The Real Question: Would we go back?
The kids are already asking when we can go back to “Kopoconos.” They loved their holiday visit, and we’d definitely go back – especially during the Fall Celebration when the leaves are at their peak! Despite a few hiccups overall, this is a destination that offers the best of PA with lots of potential and family-friendly appeal. Visit them online to learn more about upcoming seasonal offers, like the New Year’s Eve Champagne Celebration and romantic Couples’ Retreats.
Check out all the seasonal packages available at the Inn at Pocono Manor.