There’s no need to leave the state to find a great place to get together with your girlfriends. Crystal Springs in Sussex County bills itself as “New Jersey’s Favorite Resort.” Here’s why:
“Reflections Spa at the Grand Cascades Lodge is the epitome of luxury,” says Michelle Abate, director of marketing. “There is fire-red glass throughout, and 8,000 quartz crystals hanging from the ceiling.”
At its sister property, Minerals Hotel, you’ll find Elements Spa, with an ethereal feel set off by a copper color palette. “Both spas offer full-service menus including massages, body treatments, facials, hair, nails and more.”
“There are four 18-hole courses and two nine-hole courses,” she says. “One of our courses, Ballyowen, is a links-style course reminiscent of what you would find in Ireland or Scotland. It's often on many golf media lists as the best public course in New Jersey.”
Not surprisingly, one of its most popular offerings is its wine tasting classes. “Our wine director is such an amazing talent. The knowledge she imparts, whether someone is a wine aficionado or just a casual drinker, is educational and entertaining.”
One of the most popular outdoor spring activities that guests, especially women, enjoy, is Goat Yoga. Another surprising one is ax throwing. Go ladies!
For nature lovers, there’s forest bathing. “We have a naturalist who leads groups into the forest where people can practice sensory awareness with the elements,” says Michelle. “Afterwards, they can commune with nature. It ends in a guided meditation session.”
Dining and Drinks
“We have a very robust foraging program for our four-star Restaurant Latour,” she says. “Our executive chef will also work the foraged ingredients into the menus.”
The resort also uses many foraged ingredients in its libations. “We try to make the cocktails more interesting than your typical spirit with fruit juice or soda.” The resort also boasts a world-renowned wine cellar.
In warmer months, its most popular outdoor dining venue is The Chef's Garden, which has a plot full of vegetables, herbs, and other produce used in the menu items. “The view is absolutely stunning, and you can often find our chefs in the garden picking for menus at the various resort restaurants,” says Michelle.
There’s a rock climbing wall, archery, fishing, stuffed animal building, educational and fun animal shows and lots more to keep children entertained.
Want some time on your own? No problem. The concierge can recommend a trusted babysitting service.
Accommodations and Amenities
There are many wonderful packages for families, couples and friends. Grand Cascades Lodge has a AAA Four-Star Diamond designation (the only one in the state, boasts Michelle), and the rooms were totally renovated during COVID. “The design style is called biophilic, and the whole premise is to bring nature into the rooms.” The updated Minerals Hotel boasts an impressive AAA Three-Star Diamond.
The resort has also taken sustainability initiatives. “We are the Northeast's largest solar-based resort,” she says. “In 2019, we opened a solar field comprised of 19,000 panels over 25 acres, which generates enough power to accommodate both hotels.”
At the Grand Cascades Lodge, there is an indoor and outdoor pool complex. Its indoor roof allows ultraviolet light to penetrate through, so you can get a tan in January. This also helps nourish the lush, exotic plants that grow year round.
At the Minerals Hotel, there’s an expansive outdoor pool complex with a cliff jump, spray ground, a little cave, and an outdoor heated pool. “It could be snowing in January and you can be having your cocktail in the pool,” says Michelle.
Crystal Springs is also a great summer alternative to the Jersey Shore. “We have the mountains and no traffic jams - it's so peaceful here.”
To schedule a visit, go to CrystalGolfResort.com.