My wife and I were looking for a short getaway in the mountains to finish up the summer with some light hiking, sightseeing, walking and eating. We had been hearing that the Delaware Water Gap was a great place to visit some waterfalls and commune with nature.
I GOOGLED "Yoga retreats Delaware Water Gap" (my wife does yoga five days a week). Santosha was the first place that came up.
And while they no longer offer yoga on premises, this LOVELY Bed & Fabulous Breakfast is serene, clean and just what the Doctor ordered.
While it's not too far off the beaten path, its deep enough into the woods on the side of a mountain overlooking another mountain ridge (on the NJ side of the river) and it's just perfect.
From the moment you drive up and see the whimsical and spiritual labyrinth and wonderful vegetable garden and the house. Oh, the house! It's spectacular. No, really, it is. Architecturally speaking, it's stunning.
Our host, Leslie, greeted us at the door and invited us to take off our shoes inside (I like that practice... and if Leslie didn't have a cute little dog, Lucy, roaming the house, you might be tempted to eat off those floors, they're THAT clean). Leslie is a yoga instructor and vegan baker and master cook, among other things.
She runs a tight ship and is a fount of information of things to do, sights to see, mountains to hike, wineries to visit and places to eat.
The view from the RELAXING and EXPANSIVE back porch has to be taken in. The air is clear and I was able to breath deeply there and enjoyed playing my guitar on the back steps while I watched the hummingbirds flit about, to and thro from the hummingbird feeders strategically placed around the house. My wife climbed into the hammock and oohed and aahed while I rocked myself on the swing. It was a pretty nifty Mayberry RFD moment.
Part of the B&B experience for us has always been the room.
Our room - the Sunrise Room - really met our expectations and then some. The King Size bed was inviting and the epitome of comfy, as were all the furnishings in the room. The bathroom was large with a rain shower and large arched picture window like the one in the bedroom. There was a large walk-in closet. A pair of Santosha Robes for after the shower/bath... a bookshelf filled with interesting reading. And a self contained Sony CD player with a nice selection of Windham Hill style New Age Jazz and Easy Listening.
We love the Leslie's design sensibilities, decor and taste. Modern meets rustic with some truly inspired spiritual and funky touches throughout.
There is a large living room downstairs that overlooks the expansive porch, I've already waxed prophetic about. Leslie keeps tons of reading material, menus and maps here. And she is quick to provide very detailed driving instructions to any local attraction.
Our goal was to unwind at a waterfall and visit the sacred stones of Columcille, which is a mini-Stonehenge type private park that offers some hiking and quick exploring. We did all that and squeezed in a stroll through East Stroudsburg and a visit to a local winery.
Now, about Breakfast (with a capital "B").
Who was it who asked, "Why is it that other people's breakfasts are always so much better than one's own."? Well, that's particularly true at Santosha. There were always FRESHLY BAKED COOKIES available at the kitchen counter (and hot tea for late night snacks).
But BREAKFAST?! Wow. I don't know where to begin, other than to say, the coffee? Fantabulous, hot and plentiful.
The baked goods? Craaaazy delicious.
The eggs? Delish!
Whole grain & Oat Pancakes with real upstate NY maple syrup? Shut the front door!!
An assortment of seasonal fruits. And an organic smoothie to get your DNA going!
Whatever she served, we consumed. Happily, I might add.
It was all gastronomically devine.
I mean that.
We were only at Santosha for two nights but we decompressed to the point we felt we'd been away for a week.
To cap off the zen experience at Santosha, Leslie leaves each guest with a warm hug, a stone with a meaningful message you get to take away with you as a keepsake and a ritual wherein you burn away any challenges or stress (don't ask... it's a nice touch, believe me).
We will definitely be back and recommend Santosha for Fall Foliage trips (I'm pretty sure she's booked up the next couple months, however).
Santosha is close enough to home - yet far enough away to really give you a vacation not far from your own front steps.
And tell them FAMILY GUY FROM NJ sent you!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 72 miles west of Manhattan, nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, Santosha on the Ridge Bed and Breakfast is a secluded sanctuary overlooking the Delaware River valley. With 4 rooms available for accommodation, exclusivity and privacy are key elements of your relaxing getaway. Wake up to start your day with an amazing home cooked breakfast, then explore the beauty of the region or just relax on the front porch with your favorite book. However you define your retreat, we will make you feel welcome. ... more less