When Calgon beacons to take you away, this place is the escape of your bubble bath fantasies. Imagine the ultimate Arcadia, devoid of technology overload. A respite where pastoral simplicity is the norm. An oasis that replaces yappy televisions with the aroma of scented oils.
At Magnolia Streamside Resort, reverie is reality. “We want you to feel like a guest in our home, rather than a hotel,” enthuses Inna Vityuk who, along with her sister, Oksana Babinska, own and operate this slice of heaven in the tiny hamlet of Canadensis.
The nearly three-acre spread belies the resort’s generous lodgings. Rooms are comprised of suites and cottages designed to accommodate four to ten persons. Each has its own kitchen and, in the absence of those TVs, comes a supply of books and board games for nourishing the mind and promoting family harmony. Porches or balconies, equipped with a hammock for afternoon naps, adorn every cottage; here, you’ll find a grill for outdoor cooking. These detached units also boast wood-burning or gas-operated fireplaces. And, in case you don’t want to leave Fido behind, a couple of the rooms are pet-friendly.
The restorative powers of oil are clearly evident during your getaway. “Whether guests want to energize or balance,” Babinska says, “we will recommend a blend that helps deepen their desired state of mind.” But this infusion doesn’t end with perfuming the air. An organic spick-and-span treatment is afforded to all aspects of Magnolia hospitality. “The essential oils are also found in our cleaning and laundry products. We only use natural ingredients,” adds Vityuk.
A pair of New York transplants, this sister act made the leap from urban sophistication to small-town quaintness a year ago when they purchased Martinville Streamside Cottages and anointed the new Magnolia moniker. “We were looking for a break, a way to ease the tensions of city life. It started out as a search for a place that our family could escape to, but when Martinville came on the market, Inna and I took a chance and made the escape permanent,” says a smiling Babinska. And so began their foray into the world of resort management, topped by a just-completed renovation of all guest quarters.
The property’s amenities received an update as well, adding to the utopian aura. Chickens perched in their coop keep a watchful eye on an adjacent kiddie playground. Even a bona fide teepee, perfect for communal gatherings, now coexists among an outdoor pool, a pond with canoe, and other long-standing features.
But the hub of activity, by far, is the large patio, flanked by towering pines. Just sit back and renew amidst stargazing, movies, apple pressing, and casual rounds of tic-tac-toe. Proving that the hearth is the heart of any home, embers from a large fire pit crackle and float into the fresh mountain air. While reclining in a comfy sofa, you’ll probably be seduced by hydrotherapy. The rushing waters of Goose Pond Run Stream envelop much of the acreage and can be easily viewed from each cottage.
Magnolia, which is open year-round, caters to the passions and interests of its travelers. A bevy of yoga instructors, life coaches, and spiritual teachers channel Mother Nature in providing health and wellness guidance. “We want to bring like-minded people together and create an environment for learning and growth,” Vityuk says. Long-term plans, she notes, include hosting corporate retreats in addition to birthdays, weddings, family reunions, and other memorable events. A farm-to-table restaurant, serving what Vityuk dubs “edible landscaping,” is also in the works.
One of Babinska’s priorities is fostering a sense of community among fellow business owners. “This is a refreshing area because of the limit on commercial development,” she explains. “We’d like, for example, to open a stand and sell locally harvested produce.” By strengthening such ties, she feels the area’s overall quality of life improves. Her sister wholeheartedly agrees. “After we bought the resort last March, I wanted to give it a name in keeping with Barrett Township and the surrounding Pocono area. When I returned the following month, all the magnolia trees had burst into bloom. That’s when I knew what our little Zen would be called,” remembers Vityuk.
And this Magnolia is an Eden that’s certain to always bloom. •
By: Tom Eccelston