As a sort of late Valentines, my partner and I got away to the Poconos this past weekend where Select Registry sponsored our stay at Ledges Hotel, *delighted sigh. The weather was cool and crisp and we took a leisurely morning getting to Ledges, breezing over the rolling, wooded back roads of the Delaware Highlands, stopping at a few of the numerous antiques shops. Caught up in our adventure, as we rounded a wide bend I was so enamored by the battlement-like top of the largest bluestone building (in the world, actually) we missed our turn. Inevitably, this beautiful building happens to be the Hawley Silk Mill which rests on the ridge just above Ledges Hotel, and therefore was our turn.
Aptly named Ledges Hotel, the building is posed on the edge of a series of cascading falls that once powered the buildings original purpose, John S. O’Connor Glass Factory. The falls were frozen on our visit and it took all my control to not stare at them the entire time, endless patterns in silver and blue intricacies of ice with the flow of the falls dancing underneath, breathtaking and likely to wander off with my wonderings. But I digress, the once factory, whose stones know the blue collar determination of revolutions is now a boutique hotel nestled away in the Pocono Mountains.
Clean contemporary renovations and design touches made by disciples of Frank Lloyd Wright create and comfortable atmosphere. The rooms high ceilings open up to you as you enter with warm neutral tones and crisp whites, all of it framing and leading your eyes to the center piece, Paupack High Falls.
We were told that much of the furniture, handcrafted locally, had been artfully repurposed out of beams from the Hawley Silk Mill. All the art is for sale and tastefully curated throughout the hotel in inviting scenarios allowing you to explore both the art and nature in unison.
A common space they call the great room is flanked by a large fireplace and groupings of couches for leisurely and sipping tea, Vanilla White Grapefruit, I was presently surprised. The architect who did the renovations, Bohlin Cywinshi Jackson is actually a native of the area. Large windows look out on multi-tier decks leading up to the base of the gorge and the tiers lead up to the top of the falls and the base of the bluestone walls of the Silk Mill.
The stones of the sister buildings are ripe with a rich cultural heritage which you can almost hear the whispers of in the falls. Seamlessly, the design has combined architectural history and integrity with contemporary renovations that honor the natural majesty of the environment mirroring its hues and textures in the comforts of its furnishings. The Eco-minded choice of all elements that are brought in for the guests experience and use of local artists and craftsmen sustains a spirit of community.
Glass Wine Bar
Lots of natural wood, finished and unfinished mixed with the rustic stone and brick walls give an impression of being at a subterranean level. The beautiful geometry of prints from the factory’s original patented blue prints hang between the bar and the stairs that descend from the Hotel. We sat in a polished wood booth with a table of organically shaped wood between us.
We decided to follow the lead of our server and go tapas style and although Glass is a wine bar we went with beer, making selections from local purveyors in both regards. So they poured us some This One Time at Band Camp IPA by Evil Genius and we started off with Crispy Shrimp Tacos with crumbled manchego. Yes, all of their beers have memorable quote related names, genius, I know.
This vicinity of Pennsylvania must breed a particular culture of humor because the cheeses we picked from Calkins Creamery, mainly because they were also local and sounded delicious were punnily named Smoke Signal and Vampire Slayer. We paired these with Country Mushroom Pate, Duck Salami, and Potato Latkes. The last made with a vadouvan curry and may have taken first place for my favorite way to eat a potato, and Lord knows that is a long exclusive list.
As we were finishing our meal, a few couples of ladies sat at the bar drinking cocktails and a two-piece began to set up in front of a rustic wall and display case with some of the cut glass the factory used to manufacture, lit from below. We stayed for a few songs and then retired to our room, after another short stroll and general canoodling by the falls.
Now they knew we were writing a review, so naturally we got a room with one of the best views. That being said, the whole area is breathtaking so it’s hard to believe there is a mediocre view in the house. As we entered our room after check-in we were greeted by the last few beams of the sun sneaking in and glinting off the frozen falls as the sunset.
In the main room, still full of natural light, was a sleek common area with sofa seating, a desk, wet bar, and spiral staircase leading to the master suite. Only because the woman who checked us in was still giving us the tour did I postpone my reenactment of Marlon Brando in “A Street Car Named Desire”. That would come later, uninhibited after drinks, I’m really a method actor, anyway.
The colors and textures chosen were pleasing moments of design that mirror the natural beauty of the environment and reference back to the Ledges focal point, the falls. An organic ripple pattern on the modern simply shaped lamps next to the contrasting warm and cool tones of the pattern of the sofa and arm chairs around gleaming natural slab of unshaped wood, which was strewn with an assortment of brochures and treats for us to explore and nibble at our leisure.
After dinner, we cozied up in the French Bathtub and enjoyed the view, because that is obviously what they wanted for us. We slept like only those not sleeping in their own beds do, cozy and lost in dreams. There is truly something magical about the white sheets of a hotel room, and Ledges was no exception, soft and cool. I woke early enough to take in the sunrise on the window sill where I drank tea and painted the crisp clementine of the sun coming up over the cool voluptuous hues of the falls.
As an artist myself, naturally I was excited by the gallery style of original works Ledges had showcased throughout the spaces. I was especially tempted by a lithograph by Keiichi Murakami which hung above the wet bar in our suite. Another test of self control in not purchasing it. Ledges Hotel has links on their website to some of the artists featured and the Hawley Silk Mill is a bevy of artistic expression, the building houses a variety of artist spaces, boutiques, market space, and music venue. I was absolutely in love with the postcards Ledges offers, a reproduction of a photograph, the falls full and raging, all of my best pen pals got one.
Settler’s Inn Breakfast
A light assortment of pastries, breads, fruit, coffee, and teas are laid out between the fire place and the large window in the main room in the mornings at the Ledges. And a more substantial menu down the hill in town at The Settler’s Inn, a sister venture. In kind the spread is local in ingredient and recipe. A good hearty meal for the factory worker or weekend-awayer alike.
Depending on the room choice, Bed and Breakfast rates run between $130-$350. We stayed in a one bedroom suite, they also offer hotel style bedrooms which looked just as cozy. Ledges have several weekend/getaway packages, one being a Springtime waterfall tour which we, after such a lovely stay, are tempted to return and enjoy. The ledges is really an all season destination.