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First, a disclaimer, as it’s only fair to acknowledge that any resort to leave fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies within arm’s reach regardless of the time of day or where you are on-property has no other agenda but to buy its way to a positive review.
The truth? It works.


Glendorn 3The Lodge at Glendorn

IF YOU HAD ASKED ME A YEAR ago where you can find a vacation that allows for small doses of adventure paired with romance and luxury, Pennsylvania – of all places – would not have been a likely recommendation. That was until I found my home-away-from-home…my upscale cabin in the woods…my eat-your-heart-out perfect escape in the small town of Bradford, PA. It’s called The Lodge at Glendorn, and if that alone doesn’t somehow compel you to go pinky-up, indulge me as I explain.


The Glendorn property

Glendorn 8The Lodge at Glendorn

Set among 1,500 acres bordering the Allegheny National Forest, Glendorn - a Relais & Chateaux property - was as built in 1929 by the Dorn family, to which each child added his or her own cabin as their families grew. It opened-up to guests in 1995, and although it took on new ownership in 2009, Glendorn remains the rustic-luxe escape it was intended to be.

Guest lodgings include four rooms in the main lodge, otherwise known as The Big House, plus 12 cabins, each of which has maintained the personality of the child to whom it originally belonged, and – just as I’m sure the family patriarch and matriarch felt about their offspring – while each is unique, it’s hard to pick a favourite. 



Glendorn 1The Lodge at Glendorn

John’s Cabin, which I called home for the duration of my stay, is elegant and classic. The kitchen is equipped with various antique appliances, while the main living room décor is a perfect blend of patterns that might remind you of your grandma’s house. Stoke the fire and pour a good glass of red, and you’ve found yourself the perfect spot to settle in for a night. 

From the moment I arrived, it was impossible to not get caught up in the romance of Glendorn – the remote locale, the soft winter snowfall, the blazing fireplaces throughout, all the while surrounded by the great outdoors, in a setting totally off the grid. But this enchantment was interrupted, if only for a moment, when I found myself holding a shotgun, trying my hand at skeet shooting.



Glendorn 7The Lodge at Glendorn

I’ll admit, this was not my first time testing my skills with the sport, though it was the most advanced set-up I’ve ever seen. Damon, who is responsible for on-site activities at Glendorn and a certified skeet shooting instructor, coached my fellow travellers and I through best practices and techniques. He might have been judging our lack of accuracy but never showed it, constantly calm and patient until each one of us made a successful shot. 

Breaking clays is just one of the entertaining options available to Glendorn guests – I also had time to take advantage of a snowmobiling tour and the cross-country ski trails. (Visitors in the warmer months can opt for activities such as fly fishing, hiking and canoeing, to name a few.) 



Glendorn 4The Lodge at Glendorn

Regardless, you can bet that whatever time of year you choose to visit, you’ll be blown away by the amazing cuisine prepared by Glendorn’s award-winning culinary team. With made-to-order breakfast and lunch, followed by either a four-course menu or a six-course degustation for dinner, I never left hungry – but always left wanting more. 


When you go: 

Location: 1000 Glendorn Drive Bradford PA 16701
Telephone: 814-362-6511

Get there: Glendorn is just under 4 hours driving time from Toronto, 6 from Ottawa and 7.5 from Montreal; Bradford Regional (BFD) and Buffalo-Niagara International (BUF) are the two most accessible airports.

Budget: This type of luxury comes with a price, of course, with a two-night stay starting anywhere from USD$375 to USD$875 for two people per night (including breakfast), though prices vary based on the season, time of week, and accommodation type.

Who should go? The Lodge at Glendorn is for the discerning traveller – for those who want an understated upscale getaway in an unassuming location; for those who want to escape but don’t want to leave home. 


This article originally published in the winter 2016 issue of Canadian Traveller.

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