Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

City parents who dream of a gorgeous place where children can swim, dad can play golf, and mom can enjoy a spa treatment have found their dream come true at the Crystal Springs Resort in the mountainous New Jersey Highlands region. Located 47 miles from New York City in Vernon, NJ near the NJ-NY border, the Crystal Springs Resort offers outstanding panoramic views from luxurious guest rooms in the Minerals Hotel (which includes an Elements Spa) and six renowned golf courses. Children are enrapt the hotel’s swimming pool area, and for good reason: cliff diving, indoor and outdoor pools, a waterfall, a secret water cave, spurting fountains, hot tubs, a sauna and even a “cool-off” tub are all part of the picture. Children of all ages will find this resort eye-popping.

Dine poolside in the sun at the outdoor grill area, featuring kid-friendly food, a nearby bar and lively music. You can also enjoy meals indoors in the hotel’s Kites Restaurant. The nearby Restaurant Latour is affiliated with the resort and provides exceptional gourmet cuisine.

Children may want to go horseback or pony riding at the stables across from the resort, or visit the Mountain Creek Water Slide Park nearby. The Minerals Spa also has a workout room in its sports club for exercise devotees, a basketball court, racquetball and tennis courts, and an indoor running track. On the lawn, play croquet or bocce, softball or sopccer. Mountain biking, hiking, fishing, antique and crafts stores, and local wineries will round out your vacation and keep the kids enthralled. For extended stays, consider also visiting the Space Farms Zoo and Museum in Sussex, NJ and the Wild West City in Byram Township, NJ.

The Elements Spa at the resort was awarded a “Salon of Distinction” title by Salon Today, and is a warm respite of copper hues, lulling fragrances, and smiling employees. Everything comes up roses here: visitors sit in oversized terry cloth robes, post-treatments, and soak their feet in water softened with rose petals as they munch on candied rose petals and sip tea. The facials, massages and other spa treatments are as relaxing, professional and thorough as anywhere on earth.

Parents will love that they can have their own room with an adjoining door to the little ones at the Minerals Hotel, and parents of teenagers know that their children will appreciate this too. The well-appointed rooms are spacious, and have a balcony with a bucolic, farm-and-mountain view by day and “star-splashed sky” view by night. Cable television, a coffeemaker, a kitchen and big, roomy tubs render these condo-style rooms extremely comfortable.

With so much so close by, there’s no reason not to visit the amazing Crystal Springs Resort. For more information and rates, call 973-827-5996 or visit http://www.crystalgolfresort.com. A word of caution: if you rely upon the driving directions given on the resort’s web site, you’ll most likely get lost. This is one trip you’ll want to Mapquest, just to be on the safe side.

Originally published August 2006
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