Nestled in the Northwest Pocono Mountain Lake region lies Hawley, PA. It is full of culture, activity and charm. While there, I was able to visit a fantastic hotel known as Ledges. It is a luxurious, modern inn that will take your breath away and charm you with her blue crystal fire pits and viewing platform of the Paupack Waterfall which it is set up against and that takes center stage and will draw you in.
It is perched over the Wallenpaupack Creek and is seamlessly integrated into the natural stone ledges of the river gorge falls and surroundings. Ledges is aptly names, due to the “ledges” of hand-cut, blue slate-shaped stone that dominates this area of the Pocono Mountains. It was once home to the O’Conner Glass Factory, which operated there in the late 1800’s. I enjoy how the owners have combined the old with the new, preserving the integrity of the building, yet making it a modern-day, luxury hotel, having hired architects that are leaders in adaptive reuse and sustainable design.
With its clean-line architecture, over-sized rain shower bathrooms, massive soaking tubs with stunning views, and living room suites with large kitchenettes, this is the ultimate in luxury for this area
I even have to mention the softness of the sheets (I believe they are the softest in the world!) made from not 600 thread counts, but instead from microfibers. Three of the four travel writers that stayed in the hotel mentioned the comfort of the sheets to me the first thing the next morning:
“What did you think of the sheets?”
“Can you believe how soft they were?”
“Who makes them?”
We all had questions about those sheets!
“When on earth does a colleague ever mention the softness of a set of sheets on their queen size bed in a hotel they just stayed in?”
“Never, that’s when!”
Which is why I want to mention them here, as they are just that good. I went to the trouble of finding out the name of the manufacture and duly emailed them for more information and a price list for their product. Come to find out, the name of the company is Comphy Co. (Comphy.com – A company with the tag line of “Changing the world, one bed at a time.), located in Seattle WA. They specialize in luxurious linens for spas and hotels, but you can order their products directly online. I still dream about my nights sleeping in those sheets in that wonderful hotel and can’t wait for my sheets to arrive, as I think I cannot live without them!
Now, back to the hotel:
The waterfalls are not the only “stage” at this hotel, as Ledges is located next door to the Hawley Silk Mill, which is also owned by the same family. As the current owner, Justin Genzlinger, discovered when he did a renovation of the blue-stoned building a gigantic furnace right in the middle of an upstairs room, which at one time coal was shoveled into to heat the entire building by steam. They have created a music and stand-up venue known as The Furnace Room, literally in the old furnace room.
The lighting in the building in the late 1800’s was coal-powered as well, which provided diffuse lighting for the running looms in this facility that employed 500 young women. Both the old glass factory and the the silk mill buildings have been renovated and are now state-of-the-art facilities located next to each other in a gorgeous setting.
I was surprised that two verifiable Woodstock generation owners (Mr. Genzlinger’s parents) started this whole process of refurbishing the buildings in this region of the lovely Pocono Mountains. They currently own the craftsman-style Settlers Inn as well, where their chefs feature local organic farm to table foods at the Dining Room and Chestnut Tavern. As mentioned before they also own Ledges Hotel and the Hawley Silk Mill which now has a second-floor college, a first-floor workout facility, a charming natural products grocery store, two art galleries, and the above-mentioned Furnace Room. There is also a detached coffeehouse right across the street, known as Cocoon Coffee and Catering Company. And, to top it all off, they are currently under construction to merge the steps of the Ledges Hotel to the Hawley Silk Mill, so that guest staying at Ledges will eventually be able to walk up the back side of the waterfall over to the “Hawley Silk Mill for coffee, snacks, lunch, art walk, work outs and, of course, the music venue. But given all that information, that is NOT EVEN THE BEST part of this story.
“Well, what is?” You say.
The BEST part is how the Genzlinger Family gives back to their community by supporting the local members who supply food and products to their Farm to Table restaurant at Settlers Inn, as well as the suppliers of many of the products sold in the general store at Hawley Silk Mill. They strive to use only the freshest ingredients found locally and grown organically. While in Hawley, I had a chance to visit these farms where I met with the owners of the Ant Hill Farm, who created a routing system through the Pocono Mountains to enable the smaller farmers in the area to get their products to distribution centers within a timely and cost effective manner. It is a community of one neighbor helping another neighbor, who helps another neighbor!
I also had a chance to meet with the local owner of the Electric City Roasting Company, that supplies the Cocoon Coffee House with imported coffee beans from farmers in Central and South America and works closely with its farming system in order to educate them about proper bean growing techniques.
This area is filled with community members who give back locally as well as worldwide. They give great thought to the systems needed to include the local farmers into the makeup of these upscale businesses. It is absolutely forward thinking in every since of the word and I am so delighted I had a chance to stay here and meet these wonderful community members.
In addition to all of that, I had a chance to eat an eight-course dinner at the dining room of Settlers Inn, paired with local wines and plated beautifully in small portions as to showcase each dish. It was a wonderful end to my last evening in Hawley, PA.
What: Ledges Hotel
Where: 119 Falls Ave, Hawley, PA 18428
TripAdvisor Rating: #3 out of #6 hotels in Hawley, PA, USA
Restaurants: Glass Wine Bar and Kitchen
Rooms: Regular hotel rooms, one bedroom suites and two bedroom suites
Price Range: $211 – $309, dependent on season.
Disclosure: My trip to the Pocono Mountains was provided by the Pocono Mountain Tourism Board in conjunction with the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). All opinions expressed here are certainly my own!