Traveling with my husband, we stayed at the Mountain Laurel Resort & Spa June 5-12, 2010, and we stayed in a one-bedroom, two-bath time share unit (Unit #216). It was located well for two family events we had that week, and it has very easy freeway access, as it is right off of Exit 95 of the PA turnpike (NE Ext).
The property is older and has changed hands several times according to the activities representive who gave the orientationn on Monday morning. This is somewhat obvious. It is now owned by the same entity as Split Rock (called its "sister resort"), but Mountain Laurel is clearly the step-sister. Having said that, overall, we were comfortable during our stay and had no really major problems with the faciilities.
The Positives - as mentioned, it has easy on/off interstate access, it was clean, our bed was fairly comfortable, there was plenty of storage, the setting is beautiful, and there is especially a lot to do for families or children approx. 8-14 in age, such as tennis, basketball, fishing, paddleboats, a horse stable with kind of a petting zoo, hiking, shuffleboard, and an indoor and outdoor pool. It is easy to get to a great many attactions in the Poconos, including Delaware Water Gap, Bushkill Falls (very pretty), casinos, and shopping. There is a decent restaurant with good service in the resort, but it was closed Mon-Wed of our stay. However, guests at Mountain Laurel can use some facilities and attactions at the Split Rock Resort, and the Split Rock Resort has several restaurants (Split Rock is located about 5 miles away). Check-in and check-out were easy, and although we were told that if we lost "the binder" (they give this to you upon check-in), we would be charged $25.
The activities representative gave a thorough but very long-winded presentation on Monday morning regarding area attractions. Part of the problem was that the temperature in the room was approximately 60 degrees, and no one could seem to figure out how to adjust the AC. The rep rather did go on and on with details that were not relevant to most guests, giving step by step directions to each and every attraction and restaurant she referenced as she went. This would have been better accomplished by noting the destination and having guests get directions from either the activities dept or the front desk at a later time if they were indeed interested. But the rep was pleasant and helpful, and they provided nice refreshments for the briefing.
The resort has a very decent fitness facility - another positive.
The Negatives - Mountain Laurel is very dated and it shows. The decor is 1980's, and the parking lots are cracked and pot-holed and in need of repaving. Also, Mountain Laurel has no hot tub/spa available to their regular guests, either at the indoor or outdoor pools. As a time share owner, we were told we could use the hot tubs in the Spa area; however, neither was working when we were there. I really don't understand how a resort in a ski area, particularly, has no hot tub. Disappointing. Also, the time share units are basically hotel rooms that were joined together. While in and of itself, this is no problem, there were some inconveniences, such as no outlet whatsoever in the second bathroom, and it does make for a somewhat odd layout of the unit.
The resort only has wi-fi in the hotel lobby and in one restaurant. This was disappointing and inconvenient and seemed very "behind the times".
The aforementioned binder seriously needs to be rewritten, from simply a PR standpoint, if nothing else. A whole page is dedicated to detailing to guests how, basically, if they are unhappy with anything or mistakes are made by staff, that's too bad, because they are not in a position to do anything about it other than apologize. While I understood their position, a simple line or paragraph would have sufficed. Another thing is that they seem overly obsessed with guests stealing from their rooms. They make clear in the binder that everything is inventoried and include a price list of what they will charge should something like a coffee cup go missing. It's a little over the top, and makes one wonder if the property is frequented by petty thieves and crooks.
Our biggest negative issue during out stay was downright incompetence by the activities department, and then the front desk, regarding our planned chartered bus trip to NYC. We were the first ones to sign up for this trip (it occurs on Thursdays) and checked with activities staff no fewer than seven times regarding the details, such as where the bus would pick up, how many others were going, and the fact that we would be out of the area until very late on Wednesday night at a family member's graduation, so if there were any changes to the trip plans, they would need to leave us a message at the front desk (phone light flashes when this occurs). I personally checked as late as 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, when we were told that pick up time would be at 6:30 the next morning in the lobby. No message was waiting for us when we returned late that night, so we arrived in the lobby for the trip the next morning at 6:21. It became quickly clear that the trip has left without us, and when I tried to get assistance from the front desk rep, she simply shrugged and basically told me that there was nothing she could do about it.
My husband, being a resourceful person, then immediately contacted the tour company (the number was on our receipt), who told us that we could drive to another resort and meet up with the bus if we left right away. The tour rep did the best he could with directions, but they were sketchy, and we took off on a 35 mile trip to try to meet the bus. We did make it (thank heavens for GPS), and had a great day in NYC (at $69/pp, the trip is a nice one). But this was no credit whatsoever to the resort staff. Firstly, they changed the pick up time without notifying us to 6:15, and then gave the tour bus guide a list of names which did not include ours, although we were the first ones to sign up and had in fact, already paid for it. Secondly, once the mistakes happened, the front desk did nothing to assist us. What would have been ideal (other than not making the first mistakes) is if the front desk rep had known to phone the tour bus company and advise them that we would be meeting the bus, and would have been able to hand us printed turn-by-turn directions to the other resorts where the bus also picks up that morning. While the NYC trip was a highlight of our stay, the way the resort handled it was definitely a low point.
I did indulge in one spa treatment when we were there - a pedicure. It was okay, but overpriced (about $20 more than I pay at my local spa) and the effort was rather tepid. I would suggest avoiding the spa treatments, as they largely seemed very overpriced.
All in all, however, we enjoyed a fairly comfortable week, and although I don't believe we would return, we would not advise that there are not worthwhile elements of the resort, and it was a quiet and well-located destination. We both commented that it would have been a nice place when our sons were younger, as there is a lot for kids to run around and do. If we have occasion to be in that area again, however, we would probably stay at Split Rock.
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- Also Known As:
- Mountain Laurel Hotel White Haven
- Mountain Laurel Resort And Spa
- Mountain Laurel White Haven
- Mountain Laurel Resort Spa