My husband, Paul, and I disagree about lots of things: when to pay bills (I’m always early, he’s just on time), drinking from the tap (I fear rusty pipes, he hates bottled water), and the appropriate time to wear long underwear (below freezing for me, early November for him). But we are in total agreement about what makes a marriage work: quality time together and quality time apart.
That’s why The Lodge at Woodloch was a perfect fit for our romantic weekend away. Clocking in at just over two hours from New York City, the brand-new spa in eastern Pennsylvania gave us numerous opportunities to indulge in the things that make us happy as a couple—plush king-size beds, long massages, multi-course meals crafted from local ingredients—and the activities that keep us content as individuals—hiking and mountain biking for Paul, reading by the fire and morning yoga for me. The spa took our “separate but together” approach a step further by balancing the gender-exclusive saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpool baths with a co-ed “aqua garden”—a watery playground replete with large indoor pool, soaking pools, heated hydromassage water walls, and outdoor Jacuzzi with radiant heat deck (so it’s fun to get wet, even in the winter).
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At breakfast the next morning—fresh fruit smoothie and poached eggs Florentine for me, coffee and bagel with smoked salmon for him—we toasted to a perfect weekend together…and apart.
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I’m in love with a man who cringes at gratuitous ruffles, who scoffs at decorative doodads. So imagine my relief to see that Calistoga Ranch in northern California avoids fussy spa trappings in favor of natural simplicity. Tucked in a canyon, each guest lodge offers both floor-to-ceiling windows and total privacy—an exhilarating combo, we city dwellers learned.