Disclosure: We received a complimentary stay at Camelback Lodge to facilitate our post. All opinions are our own.
After hearing all the buzz after its 2015 opening, we felt excited to experience a night at Camelback Lodge & Spa, the new state-of-the-art family destination first-hand. When I think of the Poconos, “skiing” comes to mind – and while Camelback Lodge & Spa is perfectly poised to offer your family the ultimate ski getaway, its numerous amenities and activities transform Camelback Resort into a year-round destination the entire family can enjoy regardless of their experience level on the slopes.
As we drove up to the resort, I was impressed with the sheer size of Camelback Lodge. Camelback Lodge offers 453 guest rooms and suites in 20 different configurations, designed to accommodate families of any size, including multi-room suites. The lobby, and many elements of Camelback itself, featured elements of exploration reminiscent of safaris and jungle adventures – setting the stage for the family adventure that awaits during your visit.
At check-in, the front desk presents guests with a Passport to Savings booklet, offering $250 in savings at Camelback facilities and chip-enabled wristbands which double as room keys (and credit cards, if desired) – likely why the lobby was bustling with excitement behind us, with families in full winter gear headed to the slopes for night skiing, and others in flip flops headed to Aquatopia, the indoor waterpark on property which happens to be the largest in the Northeast.
On our way to our room, we saw a door-sized poster wishing some lucky guest a happy birthday – this must excite birthday girls and boys, not to mention make a nice souvenir! After unpacking in our own spacious room (with a gorgeous view that overlooked the slopes), we decided to head straight to Aquatopia!
It’s no surprise that just four months after opening its doors, Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark had received the recognition as USA Today’s “Best Indoor Water Park” in the country. Its sprawling 125,000 square foot layout features seven pools, 13 waterslides, 120 nationally-certified lifeguards, on-site concessions and plenty of lounge chairs to rest and relax by the pools.
The Texlon transparent roof allows guests to enjoy natural sunlight during the day, while sitting at a comfortable 84 degrees all year round. During our visit in February, it was such a treat to feel so warm and comfortable in our bathing suits, knowing full well that the slopes and snow were just outside!
Young children will love visiting Kartrite’s Quest – an immersive aqua-play structure with five age-appropriate zones and slides. Other highlights include an adventure river and the Bombora Flowrider – a surfing and boogie board experience. Adults can enjoy refreshments at the swim-up bar – something you would anticipate in a Caribbean resort, not in the middle of winter in Pennsylvania!
A nice perk to staying at the Lodge is that your Aquatopia access doesn’t end at 11 am the day of checkout – you have access for the rest of the day before you depart in case you’re looking for even more fun before you hit the road.
Looking for even more fun and adventure? Check out the indoor ropes course, pottery painting studio, and indoor arcade with dozens of exciting games that kids can play solo or with a partner, and trade in their tickets for prizes from the Treasure Trove.
After working up an appetite at Aquatopia, we pondered the onsite dining options – Hemispheres Buffet, Neptunes sushi restaurant and Trails End Pub & Grille. We decided on Trails End Pub & Grille and appreciated not only the delicious fare, but also the speedy service and reasonable prices. We used our Passport to Savings coupon to score a free starter – pretzel bites with cheese fondue – which we highly-recommend!
After a fun-filled and relaxing night’s stay at the Lodge, we were ready to take on the mountain. Camelback Mountain proved easy to navigate, with large trail maps at the base near many of the lifts, and at the top – so planning our runs felt like a breeze. The mountain offered a healthy variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails. We were impressed with the snowmaking facilities on the mountain as they had done a great job ensuring that the trails had plenty of snow despite the relatively warm conditions.
With 34 trails open, we fully experienced during our fun ski day on the mountain. I was impressed with the relatively affordable lift ticket price of just $67 on weekends for adults and $49 for juniors, with midweek rates at just $53 and $45, respectively. Twilight packages are even lower, and military discounts are also available. We were also impressed to see Ski and Stay packages that offer lift tickets for just $30!
I loved seeing participants in the adaptive ski program on the mountain, which enables differently-abled skiers to experience the slopes. We also saw lots of people on the mountain coaster and snow tubes!
The opening of Camelback Lodge rejuvenates the Poconos as a family destination entirely. The numerous variety of activities prove ideal to keep everyone happy and occupied during a multi-day stay, or offer respite for families who aren’t ready to spend the entire day on the slopes. For rates and availability, visit www.camelbackresort.com.
Photo Credit: wojciech_gajda/Thinkstock