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Crescent Lodge
Route 940
Cresco, PA 18326

Crescent Lodge Home Page

July 2006

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Crescent Lodge in Cresco PA in the Pocono Mountains.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

The inn has plenty of accommodations, from rooms in the lodge to private cottages (some with fireplaces, Jacuzzis, private kitchens, decks – all sorts of varieties).

We opted for the Mountain Jacuzzi – the most exclusive accommodation they offered. The website stated that it had a “secluded mountain setting with pathway leading to facilities.” To us, that meant it was further away than the others, but you could walk to what you needed. When we checked in, we were given directions to drive to the cottage. Lori asked if we could walk from the cottage to the main compound, and was told there was a “secluded hiking trail” but it was quite a distance. That was correct. We drove out of the compound and on the road up a hill to get to our cottage. After examining the “trail” (it was really a grass clearing in the forest) we decided not to use it – it would have required hiking shoes and was not lit. Next time, we would opt for accommodations in the main compound.

All that aside, the cottage was wonderful. It was in a peaceful setting. Inside there was wood trim throughout. There was indeed a full kitchen and full refrigerator (it was a galley style kitchen). There was a small dining nook with a chair and two tables. The kitchen had a pass-through/counter area to the main room. On one end of the main room was a sitting area with love seat, chair, stone gas fireplace, and TV (with a stereo underneath).

Between the living and sleeping areas was a very large sunken Jacuzzi with a stained glass window. There is a spotlight outside the stained glass window that can be turned on at night for a very nice effect.
On the sleeping end of the cottage was a queen-size bed with canopy, and there was a vanity area with sink and plenty of towels, and a separate compartment with toilet and tub/bath combination.
There were also sliding doors out to a large deck with plenty of deck furniture.

The cabin had a country feel, with a dark green thick carpet. It was spotless – truly one of the cleanest accommodations we have ever had. It was so clean that everything looked brand new (maybe it was). It was very comfortable, and we spent quite a bit of time in the Jacuzzi listening to music. This was one of the larger Jacuzzis we have had, and nice fluffy terry robes were provided as well. Probably the only thing we would have changed about the accommodation would be to have a king-size bed – there was plenty of room for it.

Inn Amenities

This is more than a bed and breakfast – it bills itself as a country inn. The main building houses the restaurant and bar, as well as the offices. There are accommodations upstairs. There is a gift shop and very nice public restrooms.

The inn boasts a very large outdoor pool in a pastoral setting. At one end of the pool was a covered area with seating and a ping pong table. The pool water was very comfortable in August – warm but refreshing. This being the Poconos, we figured it probably wasn’t heated (but we don’t know for sure). Prior to our visit, Pennsylvania had been in the grips of an intense heat wave, and if the pool is not heated, that could have served to warm the water up considerably.

There is also an outdoor tennis court and shuffleboard court. An ice machine is available to guests, and there is a vending machine with drinks by the ice machine.

Inn Food

We had dinner at the inn’s restaurant on Friday evening. When Lori called to make the reservation for the room several weeks earlier, she asked about dining reservations, and was told they held a certain number of tables for guests, so she could request when we checked in. We had a glass of wine at the bar and inquired about a table. They readied a table for us and we sat down around 6:30. The restaurant has two very spacious dining areas with lots of bay windows that overlook the grounds and the pool. On the evening we dined with them, there was a wedding party in one of the rooms. Although there were a number of people with the party (and the remainder of the restaurant appeared full), we noted that the staff handled things very well: it was not noisy and the kitchen seemed fully capable of handling things. There was a small dining area back by the bar and we assume this was a smoking section.

We were given a nice table by a window, very close to the piano player. We noted that the music was subtle, and even though we were very close, it was not too loud and blended in perfectly. The inn makes things to order, and we had a leisurely dinner. We ordered a bottle of sauvignon blanc. We noted that the bottles of wine were priced very competitively. Lori ordered the jumbo shrimp and crab cocktail as an appetizer, which turned out to be decent portions of chilled seafood served with a tangy cocktail sauce. Keith had the Tomato and Mozzarella Napoloen – layers of very thick tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, topped with a pesto sauce. When we received our salads, we saw they contained raw mushrooms. Lori is allergic to mushrooms, and the server simply took her salad away and said he would make one for her himself sans mushrooms. We were served some hot and tasty bread. Keith had the veal piccata for dinner, and Lori kept with her seafood theme, going for crab imperial. All told, we spent over two hours at dinner, but it was enjoyable and relaxed. We would definitely return.

We had somewhat of a mixed experience when it came to breakfast. A buffet breakfast was included with our lodging. During the time we visited (a summer Saturday and Sunday), breakfast was available from 8 to 11 a.m. On Saturday morning, we arrived for breakfast at 10 a.m. There were two covered metallic dishes. One contained a sort of breakfast bread, and the other was empty. We did find a bowl of hard-boiled eggs. There were two English muffins left, which we pounced on. Other than that, there appeared to be a selection of boxed cereals. Suffice to say we were extremely disappointed. A man came out of the kitchen wearing a white apron and a red Crescent Lodge hat. Lori had opened the empty metal chafing dish to show that food was missing. He looked at it and scowled and simply said, “There is sausage and bacon coming.” And he closed the lid. We sat down, presumably to wait for food. We ate our English muffin, and had to go to several different tables to assemble napkins, glasses, and silverware. A man who seemed to work there swept through but left quickly. We waited 20 minutes and the cook did not return, so we gave up and went a few miles down the road to a diner for breakfast. We were thunderstruck at the difference in our dinner and breakfast experiences and decided we would give it another shot on Sunday, but no matter what the outcome, we would be sure to voice our discontentment to management.

Sunday was a completely different experience. We entered the restaurant with some trepidation, but were greeted with a smiling chef (a different person) who pointed out the morning’s offerings. He greeted everyone warmly and actually sang as he checked things. On this morning, there were cheese omelets, nice crispy bacon, sausage, and some very tasty pancakes topped with fine powdered sugar. We only wished we had had a similar experience on Saturday morning. We decided the difference in the cooks resembled the dwarfs: on Saturday we had Surly Chef and on Sunday we had Friendly Chef. We checked out immediately after breakfast on Sunday and when asked how things were, we explained about our terrible breakfast experience Saturday, but pointed out that Sunday was completely different and stressed that the chefs were completely different. They apologized and thanked us for the feedback. They also said we should have come and told them on Saturday, but we disagree. If we had only shown up for breakfast 10 minutes before it was over, we could have understood the shortage of food. But the cook was well aware of the length of time breakfast was served and the expectations. And a member of management strolled through on Saturday morning but wasn’t really taking stock of things – if he was, he would have noted the disarray of the tables and the lack of food. Since weekends are presumably their busy times, they should stay on top of this. That aside, our “bounce-back” experience on Sunday morning at least made us consider going back there. If we had had a second bad experience on Sunday morning, we would not recommend it and we would have asked for some sort of recompense to make up for the lack of breakfast.

Inn Bar/Lounge

The inn does have a bar. A couple who were checking in before us asked when the bar opened, and the clerk replied, “4 p.m.” Next they asked when it closed, and she smiled and said, “When the last person leaves.” The bar is dark and quite different from the restaurant. We each had a glass of wine there Friday evening, and on Saturday Lori got some wine in a plastic cup to take by the pool. It is indeed nice to have a bar on-site.

Inn People/Service

We found the people to be friendly and service oriented – all except Surly Chef (see Inn Food above). We were greeted with a smile when we checked in. When we had a drink at the bar before dinner, the bartender talked to us and explained that the head chef was the son of the original owner (the inn had opened in 1948). We thought it was nice that it is still in the family. Around the pool, there were several people who had coming to Crescent Lodge for years, in some cases since they were children. There is something to be said for a place that inspires that sort of loyalty in people. On Saturday morning, the housecleaner discreetly knocked on the door of our cottage and asked if we would want service. We said that we did, and she said she would stop by later. As we stated earlier, the inn pays a lot of attention to the facilities, keeping them spotless and in good working order. The Poconos of Pennsylvania are much like the Catskills in New York in that they are the sort of place people return to time and time again, so service is a real key. It was why we chose to go to a smaller inn over a larger more commercial hotel.

Area/Attractions

Activities abound in the Poconos. It is a four-season resort. In the summer, there is hiking, swimming (either in a pool or at various lakes and parks), shopping, and tourist attractions such as Claws 'N Paws (a private zoo). We did not go to Claws ‘n’ Paws on this visit, but we do recommend it. Another good source of information on what’s happening in the Poconos is: this website, which serves as a good directory to lodging, dining, and general things to do. The Poconos are great in the fall when the leaves are changing, and in the winter they are a haven for skiers.

Dining

Pangea Restaurant – 611, Scotrun, PA 570-629-0250
Pangea's Home Page
After seeing Pangea’s menu online, we thought it looked like an interesting option. We walked in Saturday afternoon and made a reservation for that evening. Pangea is an Asian fusion restaurant. It is very large inside, and has some interesting light boxes on the wall that change colors and patterns. There are plenty of huge windows, and the best seats are on the inside edge, where the windows open to a sort of Asian garden with small waterfalls – a very restful view. We opted for a cold, crisp bottle of sparkling wine (Domaine Ste. Michelle). Our server was not comfortable with opening the bottle, and smartly brought along another server to open it for her. Lori had a bad moment when she saw ice cubes in the glasses (thinking perhaps the bottle was warm and they were going to pour it over the ice – don’t laugh – it’s happened before) but the second server simply informed us she was chilling the glasses – a nice touch. The menu is very creative, and we couldn’t resist appetizers. Keith had the scallion pancakes, which were served with two sorts of sauces. Lori had the tandoori shrimp, which were served on a sizzling platter and were yellow with spicy curry. The bread was a flatbread with herbs and tasted like it had olive oil baked in. We tried dipping it in some of the spare dip that came with the pancakes. There were so many interesting things on the menu, it took us awhile to narrow down our choices. Keith got the spicy capsicum chicken. He didn’t think it was all that spicy, but remember that Keith would happily wake up first thing in the morning and down jalapenos. It was served with a cake of rice that was flavorful and contained vegetables such as tiny corn and watercress. Lori went for the cheese stir fry, which was chunks of home-made cheese along with vegetables in a spicy stir fry sauce, accompanied by the cake of rice. It was interesting and tasty. This restaurant executed things very well, and it was a change. We would definitely recommend it for more adventurous diners.

Barley Creek Brewing Company - Trail & Camelback Road, Tannersville, PA 570-629-9299
Barley Creek Home Page
The last time we had been in the Poconos (10 years earlier) we didn’t recall any brewpubs, so we decided to check out Barley Creek on a Saturday afternoon. Barley Creek is located right by Camelback Ski Area. It was fairly easy to find. The building itself has a high ceiling with plenty of windows and light. There is an outdoor deck. There is also an additional deck on a hill overlooking the brewpub where they have entertainment in the summer. There were four beers on tap when we visited. Keith tried a special summer lager, and Lori enjoyed the hoppy Rescue IPA. We sat at the bar and split their fresh mozzarella platter – a healthy portion of the cheese was served with a couple slices of focaccia, sweet onions, tomatoes, and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was a perfect appetizer – tasty yet not too filling. Although we didn’t have anything additional, their menu also offers up a number of entrees and appetizers and the place seems to be popular with both tourists and locals alike (judging by the huge number of personal mugs that were hanging from the ceiling).

Nightlife

The Poconos certainly has bars and nightlife can be found. We were looking for a getaway and were more than happy to retire to our cottage by 9 p.m. to enjoy the Jacuzzi.

Weather

The Poconos enjoys a summer season – highs are usually in the 80s by day, but since this is the mountains, lows can dip into the 60s or 50s at night. Pennsylvania was just coming off of a heat wave, and the Poconos was no exception, having had their share of 90-degree days. But the days we visited, the humidity was low and the weather was picture-perfect. It is a good idea to take a jacket or sweater for the evening in the event you will be outside.

Tips/Suggestions

Pick up a guide book at any local restaurant – they contain maps and listings of restaurants and things to do. If you plan to hike, make sure you have sturdy walking shoes and you may want to cover up if you are in the woods because of poisonous plants and bugs. Summer is prime mosquito time in the mountains, and we made sure we had our trusty bug spray. Weather in the Poconos can vary quite a bit from surrounding metropolitan areas, so be sure to check the weather before you go and plan accordingly.