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“Expect the unexpected.”
It’s the mantra of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa, where J + I spent a long weekend to kickoff this week. It’s also the mantra of apparently this week in general. You might’ve noticed there was no new blog post yesterday on CUR – which is NUTS, seeing as it was hump day, and I don’t think I’ve missed a hump day post since ever. But the unexpected happens…
Fast forward to after our Nemacolin stay, we were driving to Destination #2, a resort in the Poconos for a conference for J’s job. We drove through a ~hella~ big storm to get there, and while we were driving, my phone’s emergency alert went off with a tornado warning. Which never happens around here. We get to the resort riiiiiiight on time for dinner and head straight to the in-resort restaurant without even checking in, only to find out…the power’s out. Like, everywhere. Not only does the restaurant not have power, but the ENTIRE RESORT lost power. And had had no power for about 5 hours at that point. Um what. So we made a spontaneous decision to head to J’s hometown for the night, which meant a lot of driving and not a lot of wifi…and no new blog post. IT HAPPENS, I guess. I definitely didn’t expect the unexpected – womp. Ha!
Nemacolin’s “expect the unexpected” is in a whole ‘notha league. If ya caught any of my Instastories while there (I know it might’ve been tough since it was Mother’s Day weekend!), you might’ve caught glimpses of what I mean.
Nemacolin is one of the top-rated resorts in the state of PA, out in the west near Pittsburgh. It’s on over 2,000 acres and is made up of a series of absurdly high-rated hotels + lodging experiences (we’re talkin’ AAA Five-Diamond award-winning), award-winning golf courses, adventure center, wildlife academy, meeting/banquet halls, spa, multiple restaurants + lounges…the list goes on.
TBH, I wasn’t necessarily planning on doing a full written review of the place just based on how packed my content calendar is this month, but y’all. Y’ALL. It was far too good to not write all about and share with you guys!!!
Fun fact #1: J + I had actually stayed at Nemacolin once before a few years back for a conference; we were only there for a hot sec and didn’t get to experience ANY of the amazing things we saw/did this time, but we DID lovelovelove the rooms so much that we ended up buying the duvet from their rooms online for our master bedroom. So you know it’s legit.
Fun fact #2: The Bachelorette filmed here one season! I believe it was JoJo’s season – and I distinctly remember yelling at my TV “I WAS THERE! I WAS THERE!!!!” when they showed the property. I’m basically famous now? That’s how that works? OK moving on… 😉
P.S. I’ve got a few outfit details below their respective pictures for those that asked!
We checked in on Saturday and were greeted with champagne (they offer sparkling apple cider for any guests not wanting alcohol). Their butler service helps get everything to your rooms – the butler service, tho. There is butler service on hand basically 24/7 for basically whatever the heck your heart desires. They’ll bring you food, reheat your food, iron your clothes – even draw you a bath. If you want to be ~pampered~, it’s a friggin’ treat. Our room was right on the 18th hole of one of their golf courses – which is apparently a big deal. This girl’s knows ZILCH about golf, but I would guess that being on the last hole of a course is pretty exciting come competition time.
After getting settled in, we gave ourselves a little tour to familiarize ourselves with the property and ending up stumbling upon their zoo! They’ve got quite a few zoo animals on site near the wildlife academy, including LIONS. Kicking the stay off with a giant male lion galloping across the field was kinda sorta totally awesome.
The first night, we grabbed dinner at the Amber Bar – a bar/lounge area right inside Falling Rock, Nemacolin’s highest-rated boutique hotel where we were staying. Highlights include the steak + their house made chips with truffle oil.
After, we tested out butler service’s bath-drawing skills (the rooms have full menus of baths that you can ask for); we got a coconut cream milk bath, which also comes with rose petals + candles, so it’s AMAZING. If you’re a big bath person, wow oh wow – you might die of bliss in there.
The night ended with milk + cookies turn down service.
They bring you farm fresh milk + right-outta-the-oven chocolate chip cookies when they come to turn down your bed for the night. UNREAL, YO. At this point I wouldn’t have been surprised if they showed up with a foot rub and puppies. “Expect the unexpected” to the max.
Pink dress (I’ve had this since last spring and it’s still rockin’ – only $20!!!!!) I wore it to my girlfriend’s bridal shower and it was a HIT, and it’s complimented wherever I go…and it’s 20 bucks. #win
Striped pajama set (it’s $18 for the whole set! Runs TTS!)
Our second day was PACKED, and we were pooped by the end! We started off with breakfast in room via the butler service. Which is basically glorified room service in the most amazing sense. They bring your food all plated an position you by the balcony window, and it’s almost like being in restaurant for a hot sec – just in your bathrobe. Too good.
The day’s first activity was off-roading, which they can do since they’ve got SO MANY ACRES of woodlands – which is probably why they’re called Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. 😉 This is a fun activity if you’ve never gone mudding before, especially since there’s the option to just ride along with an experienced driver, or take an instructional and be taught how to drive the vehicle yourself.
Next up: a horseback trail ride through the woodlands, + and visit to the animal sanctuary near the stables. I’m such a wannabe equestrian, so this girl was just about giddy getting to ride a horse again (the last time I had was here, so it had been a hot sec!). Their animal sanctuary is SO nice, as well – everything from a cockatoo to a capuchin monkey, to Chester the camel. If you caught my Instastories, you know what a hoot the capuchin is – she’s a baby, and she loveloveLOVES human attention. While I was filming her, she kept trying to reach out of the cage to grab my phone – and she tried to take J’s sunglasses, too! SO cool for little kids to get that close to an exotic monkey.
After our animal visits, we grabbed lunch at the Tavern – a restaurant near Nemacolin’s Chateau & Lodge (another huge hotel area, which is actually where we stayed our first time at Nemacolin). It’s near a bunch of shops that they have on property, too, which is another cool area to stroll around – especially if/when it rains, which we experienced quite a bit of during our stay! (There’s just so much to do on site that rain literally doesn’t phase ya – unless you were planning on a full day of golf. Ha! 😉 ). If you go, get the pierogies app – it comes with apple butter, and they’re just so stinkin’ good.
Post-lunch, ’twas time for the Shooting Academy. Nemacolin’s Shooting Academy is actually one of their most sought-after attractions, which makes sense – it’s not often you get access to this huuuuuuuuge academy to teach you how to shoot clays, and go through all sortsa stations with it. It was probably a trip highlight for J + I – SO. MUCH. FUN. First off, I learned I am a baller. Now, I already knew I was a baller at some things in life, like downing ice cream sandwiches and adopting cats. But lemme tell ya – this girl can rock a shotgun. If there was a zombie apocalypse, I am fairly confident I’d rock it. Our instructor, Mike, was also a baller. He’s been there for 11 years and just is the biggest help in teaching you how to hold + shoot your gun properly, and how to actually hit the targets as they come flying out of the machines (since this is moving target practice). And apparently…I am a great shot. Newfound confidence over here, folks. Just pass my a shotgun and I’m golden to shoot any flying clay disc that comes my way. 😉
After shooting, we were starving – we freshened up + headed down to Falling Rock’s main restaurant, Acqeuos, for dinner, where I had what might be the best French onion soup of my life. And I don’t say that lightly, because I’m on a mission to try everyone’s French onion soup everywhere. If it’s on a menu, I get it. I mean, there’s bread + cheese IN A SOUP – I can’t be expected to have any semblance of self-control there, folks. 😉 And after dinner, we ordered another bath – this time, a lavender salt bath with extra bubbles – and milk + cookies turn down service again justbecause that’s what they do and it’s AWESOME.
We kicked off Day 3 with a quick trip to the hotel gym in our area, which was much needed with how much good food we’d been downing the past few days – ha! But even more impressive than the gym – the locker rooms. Holy moly, I could move in. I have never seen more extensive locker rooms. It felt like a secret club hideaway tucked in there with a portal to the PGA tournament or something.
Post-gym, we went right back to Acqeous to grab breakfast, and prompty got the BEST peanut butter banana protein smoothies basically ever. WOW. So yum. Also their Acqeuous omelette is to die for, as is the cinnamon French toast. We worked up an appetite at the gym, so all justified. 😉
Day 3 was SPA DAY, so this girl was a happy camper. 🙂 J + I got a couples “Mystic Massage,” which is otherwise known as “80 minutes of pure bliss.” I would 1000000% recommend this one – it’s a combo of a hot stone + Swedish massage, which is everything I never knew I needed in a massage. I’ve gotten my fair share of massages before (it’s one of my fave treat yo’self moments), but I always had to choose between hot stone or Swedish (or something else entirely) and NEVER before had seen the option to combine ’em. So this was heavenly. Between that, the indoor mineral pool, the whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms…we could’ve easily spent the rest of the day at the spa, I’m convinced. Fairly certain J is convinced, too. Ha!
At this point, it was *pouring* torrentially, so we headed over to Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous architectural structure built over waterfalls – since it’s only 20 minutes from Nemacolin! Nemacolin actually has cars on site that you can rent + take out on excursions like this, so it was kinda sorta perfect. The team gives a *great* historical overview + tour of the property here; after, we grabbed a pizza to take “home” from a cute little town near Ohiopyle State Park, which is between Fallingwater and Nemacolin (so there’s just basically ALL THE THINGS to do, casual). So if you’re in the area, pop by Paddler’s Pizza, too – it was YUM.
The sky *actually* looked like this – the most beautiful send-off!
Have you ever been to Nemacolin ? If not, is it on your list now?
The entire time, my mom was texting me with the play-by-play of everything she + my dad want to do when they come with us “next time” – ha! We already can’t wait to go back – total dream weekend.
P.S. For more CUR travels, pop by my travel page!
We’re thiiiiiiis close to the weekend – can ya feel it? Cheers to Thursday, friends!