119 Falls Avenue, Hawley, PA 18428 website
If you have ever looked at renting a house in the Poconos it can be a little confusing. I think the Poconos is actually the worst marketed area outside of Philly. It can be hard to tell what attractions are near certain areas and to be honest most of the houses with their dated cabin or “campy” charm are not exactly calling my name. This year I decided I was going to just have to figure out the Poconos for myself. Last month I actually found a place that I kind of fell in love with… thanks to a deal on Living Social.
About three hours outside of Philadelphia you will find Ledges Hotel in a tiny town called Hawley, PA. Built in 1890 for the John S. O’Connor Glass Factory, Ledges sits at the base of a small gorge and the Paupack High Falls. The hotel has been turned into an incredibly modern oasis. It is a boutique hotel that rivals anything in New York. Yes, I just said that and no I am not being dramatic.
The first thing you notice after checking-in is the Great Room at Ledges. Surrounded by windows it gives you a 24/7 view of the waterfall. Complete with fireplace and several modern and comfortable couches it is the kind of room you never want to leave. The Great Room leads you to the giant multi-level deck that overlooks the waterfall. In the winter plenty of couples bundle up with a glass of wine and take advantage of view after dinner. In the warmer months they have morning yoga on the upper waterfall deck. The view and the sound of the waterfall and the giant rocks that surround it really are amazing. In the morning I grabbed a cup of coffee a stack of magazines and hung out by the fireplace. It was pretty awesome.
If you go to Ledges your “to-do”list will be a short one. There is not a ton to do in Hawley, PA but there is a plenty to keep you busy for a long weekend. I have never had so much to say about a place that has so little to do so let’s get started…
The first thing I would do is sleep in. The standard rooms are modern, cozy and have a desk and a TV. This was perfect for a long weekend. The bed was comfy and the shower was great. Ledges tries to be as green as possible. The hotel is pretty quite but if you are a lite sleeper I would bring a sound machine. It is not hard to hear someone walking down the hall or the maids in the morning. Also it is a dog friendly hotel. I can’t say that the puggle in the next room ruined my trip but I will say that he did like to wake-up early. Next time I would request to not be next to a room with a dog in it. Again it did not ruin my trip at all just a good tip to remember.
Ledges serves a continental breakfast with rolls, a basic but yummy baked good, fruit, and plenty of coffee, tea, and water. It is nice but if you are planning on hiking you might want to head into town and grab a really great and cheap breakfast at the Hawley Diner. Family owned and operated you can be sure that everyone knows each other in there and the waitress is more than happy to see a new face.
I can honestly say there are two place to eat in dinner in Hawley and they are both owned by the Ledges Hotel. The first night we just went right downstairs to Glass Wine Bar and Restaurant. The food was modern and great. I thought the cocktails were a little overpriced at $14 but other than that is was great. Again the dinning room is surrounded by windows and a portion of it looks onto the waterfall. There is also a bar with live music until about 10:00 p.m.
The next night we ate at The Settler’s Inn (same owners as Ledges). This spot is all redone but with a more formal, kitschy feel, and a lot less modern then Ledges. The food and service were excellent. Truth be told the piano player stole the show. He was an unassuming older gentleman in a tux. All the sudden he broke out into a rendition of YMCA with hand motions. It was all very subtle so if you were not paying attention you missed it. He did some other things but I don’t want to give away all his tricks. Trust me. It was great.
DAY TIME: Hiking around different lakes and waterfalls is the main thing to do in Hawley. The front desk is really helpful because they can tell you about the different options, give you maps, and directions if you need it. We ventured out on our own and just drove around to different lakes. We even stumbled upon Goose Pond Boys Scout Camp, which was closed for the winter. We hiked around Goose Pond and got some amazing pictures. In the warmer months there is much more to do on the lakes like kayaking and canoeing.
ENTERTAINMENT: Harmony Presents is located in the lower level of the Hawley Silk Mill, which sits right above Ledges hotel at the top of the waterfall. It is a two second walk up to the Silk Mill building. Harmony Presents is what I would call a musical pop-up that happens every Friday and Saturday. A large open room with giant windows the room is filled with the character of its former life. Tables and chairs are nicely places throughout the room with candles. We grabbed a seat and again Hawley surprised me. We saw amazing pop loving violinist, Joe Kye, that was on a tour across the country. He played his own original work and then busted out Call Me Maybe by Carley Rae Jepsen. I would absolutely go and see him if he came to Philly. Never in a million years did I think a tiny town like Hawley would have stuff like this going on. Make sure you tell them you are staying at Ledges and you will get a discount on your admission. Shows usually start around 7:00 pm so we did this before dinner.
COZY UP: When your night is over you can head back to the Ledges Great Room or deck and play a game of scrabble next to the fireplace or the waterfall… your choice.
Good Things to Know.
- Make reservations at Glass and Settler’s Inn as soon as you book your trip. There is nowhere to eat in that area so every anniversary, birthday, date night or nice family dinner for the locals is had at these two places.
- When you arrive the reserved parking is for the hotel guest so park there.
- Ledges does not own the falls. Therefore they do not encourage or discourage you from climbing out on them to get a better look.
- Towering above Ledges on the natural rock formation sits the Hawley Silk Mill building built-in 1880. This is a giant stone facade factory that has been transformed into shops, a little market, a health center, and businesses. When you stay at Ledges you have full access to the health center and all its classes. The facility is medium-sized and great.
- Once July hits Ledges and Hawley gets pretty busy.
- The Cocoon is a uber trendy coffee shop located right outside the Hawley Silk Mill. It rivals any urban hipster joint with it cool look, coffee selection, food and music. You can grab lunch or breakfast here before you start your day.
- You can bring your own wine and drinks in the Great Room or the deck. Ledges just asks that you open the bottle and pour your drinks in your room first.
- The suites are the only rooms with refrigerators.
- In the great room there is hot water for tea and filter water all the time.
- Take advantage of the unplugged vibe at Ledges and play some board games. There are some there but pack your own if you have favorites.
I loved it. Our entire trip was relaxing and I would go up there again in a heartbeat. If you are looking for a great getaway without the kids I cannot recommend this place enough.