Having spent most of my time growing up on the sand near the waves, I wanted to find a place close to home where the boys could enjoy (and I would learn to love,) snow activities. I’ve heard that Camelback Resort is a great family experience and a close drive from our NJ home, so I was excited when they graciously extended an invitation for us to experience everything they had to offer as a family.
Upon arrival at The Château Resort, we were greeted by beautiful night views of the slopes. We turned in early since we had a packed schedule, and in the morning we were set to meet with the wonderful Kelly, our Guest Service Coordinator. Kelly is friendly and upbeat and so helpful. Always easy to reach via cell phone, she was available to us throughout our entire visit. Kelly did a fantastic job at making sure our family was organized with our lift tickets, ski rentals and lessons. You could say she was our very own “Ski Concierge.”
Although it was a very busy Saturday in February, the resort was well staffed and the lines were moving quickly. We were guided to the rental area and we were helped by the Camelback staff with our equipment needs. After we were geared up, we looked around just to acclimate ourselves with our new surroundings, when I noticed there was an orange staff jacket at every corner to answer questions and guide people to the correct areas. Thumbs up, Camelback!
My big boys hit the slopes to warm up on their snowboards, while myself and the little guy took a break in the lodge to warm up our toes before his private lesson. At 11 o’clock the sun started to peak out and my big boy hit the group lesson with his snowboard instructor, Richard. My little guy went up to meet Jennifer for his private ski lesson, and she was so amazing with my four-year-old. He had never experienced skiing before, but she assured him she was his new teacher just like at preschool. Jennifer even helped him gear him up since I was no help (I can only work a pair of flip-flops, not a pair of ski boots.)
Once everything was buttoned, buckled and tied, Jennifer took my little guy up to the Kid Ski School area. It was such a beautiful and open space for parents to watch lessons. The kids were having a great time whether being in a private lesson or a group lesson. The group lessons were kept small, with a small instructor to child ratio. My older son’s snowboarding lesson was so small that it basically turned into a 90-minute private lesson. My husband and I had a great time watching the kids and the instructors took their time at each little hill. The boys were able to build up their confidence before moving to the next level and watching this was exciting.
After a busy day of “Snow Fun,” we were starving and looking forward to a delicious dinner at desaki restaurant. Close to our resort, desaki is a brief drive, where we were greeted by a modern lodge inspired restaurant lit up beautifully against the snow backdrop. Upon our arrival, desaki owner, Vince, greeted us with open arms. He explained this was a family run business with his daughter hosting and serving, and his sons were making sushi and working within the restaurant. We were quickly seated at our table anxiously awaiting to see what our chef had in store.
For starters, we noshed on delicious sushi and had a few yummy cocktails (which were well deserved after a day on the slopes with little ones.) The kids were entertained by the face painter, balloon maker and fun music. Every Saturday night, desaki has entertainment for the kids while the parents could relax and enjoy their drinks and dining experience.
Our chef, Friendly, arrived with jokes and tricks like setting his hat on fire and flipping food into peoples mouths! Food was fresh, cooked to perfection, and I can honestly say that I have never seen scallops so big in my life. I highly recommend going to desaki for a fantastic hibachi experience with the family or on date night sans kids.
Sunday morning we awoke excited to try Camelback’s tubing and monster coaster experiences. Finally, activities for me to try! Tubing was fun because it involved very little work. You pick up your tube, ride the magic carpet up the hill, and it’s all downhill thrills. A great activity for the whole family, especially non-skiers who practice staying cozy at the lodge with hot cocoa.
After tubing for a while, we decided to head up back to the mountain. It was a quick drive but one could easily take the shuttle provided by Camelback. The Mountain Coaster is definitely an experience you should not miss when you’re visiting the resort. My husband and I took our eight and four-year-old boys on the coaster and it was so much fun! They both said ‘Please can we go again!’
Right near the lodge and coaster is an all-new (huge) resort, hotel, and indoor waterpark. Camelback’s new hotel and resort is almost done, taking reservations for April 1, 2015. It looks fantastic based on the pictures and the descriptions from Kelly AND…it’s hosting 125,000 square-foot indoor waterpark. The resort is literally walking distance from door to the lodge and you can hop on the slopes from there. My family and I are really looking forward to traveling back to Camelback to try out the new waterpark and stay in the new hotel rooms right at the base of the mountain. It looks like a great spot any time of year.
Camelback Road, Tannersville, PA 18372
The Château Resort
475 Camelback Road, Tannersville, PA 18372; Ph: 570.629.5900
desaki Japanese Restaurant
2054 Route 611, Swiftwater, PA 18370; Ph: 570.839.2500
Photo credits: Dana Finn
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