The Lodge at Glendorn, Rustic-Luxe in Bradford PA

The Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford PA

Situated on 1,500 acres, Glendorn was built in 1927 as a country retreat for oil baron, Clayton Dorn, and his large family. When the property went up for auction in 2009, locals feared that the land would be grabbed by lumber companies eager to clear it. The aptly named Forrest’s (Cliff and Tracey), frequent Glendorn guests, purchased the complete 1,500 acre parcel, keeping it intact and opening it up as a rustic/luxe getaway. Though upgraded to the standards of a Relais and Châteaux property, the Forrests kept the furniture and other elements from the Dorn’s years here. The effect is homey, personal and exceedingly warmhearted. And, naturally, top notch in  cuisine and service.

First Impressions

Open Gate to Lodges at Glendorn

Open Gate to Lodge at Glendorn

Stop at a call box by the property’s wrought iron gate, check in, and you’ll be swept through a dense hardwood forest on a tree-line lane leading to a small reception house. Along the way, you might see one of three fishing ponds and streams that are sprinkled throughout the landscape, along with several luxury cabins.

Main Entrance, Lodges at Glendorn

Main House, Lodge at Glendorn

A friendly staff member greets you at your car, determines your needs, and, if staying there, guides you to your room in the “Big House” – part log cabin, part Swiss Chalet, part tree house and 100% exquisite. Opulent, oak-paneled and country-luxe – it could be a hunting lodge as imagined by Cole Porter. A massive dining room, patio sunroom where breakfast is served, a billiards room/bar, and a quiet library are all open to guests.

Guestrooms at Lodge at Glendorn

The three-room Dorn Suite is perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary couple who wish to avoid the hoopla of a big city or trendy inn. Prior to arrival, the wood fireplace is lit – a bottle of wine and two stem glasses reflect the dancing flames. The warm welcome and rapturous first impression will surely put you in the mood before you even take those winter coats off.

Dorn Suite, Lodge at Glendorn

Dorn Suite cold weather welcome, Lodge at Glendorn

The Suite, with two real wood-burning fireplaces, a library of leather bound books (the Complete Works of Shakespeare), an enclosed patio room, plenty of bunnies in bronze, porcelain and paintings (Mrs. Dorn loved rabbits), pillow-top bed and, in keeping with the preserved heritage of the home, a vintage bathroom, feels slightly nautical. Minus the working fireplace, the sleeping quarters could be mistaken for a ship’s cabin- albeit a stately one fit for the Captain.

Dorn Suite Patio, Lodges at Glendorn

Dorn Suite Patio (with bunnies), Lodge at Glendorn

Other rooms are plush as well, with furniture, pictures and knick-knacks that hark back to the Dorn family’s life here. There are twelve chambers and cottages on the property, each with its own personality.

Lodges at Glendorn Personal Turndown

Sweet, personal turndown at Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford PA

Staff at Glendorn know how to coddle guests. Turn down service is among the best I’ve experienced: rose pedals, chocolates and a personalized note on the bed. It’s a delightful way to return to the room after an exceptional dinner.

Extraordinary Dining

Dining Room, Lodges at Glendorn, Bradford PA

Dining Room, Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford PA

Dinner begins with cocktails and hor d’oeuvres in a billiards room built for whisky and cigars after the hunt. So by the time you wander into the great room, crackling fire, all cozy, rustic and elegant at the same time, you are primed for a transcendent meal. I watched newlyweds staring soulfully at each other and a group of friends sharing wine and jokes at tables near mine.

Haute Soup, Lodge at Glendorn Dining Room

Haute Soup, Lodge at Glendorn Dining Room

New Executive Chef, Katelyn Steffan is one of 35 women chefs among the 565 chef  Relais and Chateaux Association, and seems to imbue seasonal ingredients with magical powers. All dishes are both beautifully plated and thrilling to eat. A four-course dinner with wine pairings, meant to be savored, is a prix-fix $105 (plus tax and service) per person.

Breakfast, Lodge at Glendorn

Breakfast, Lodge at Glendorn

You can take a hot, made to order breakfast (included in the room) in your cottage or in the Main House enclosed patio.

Chefs will prepare a picnic or “backpack” lunch, generally a sandwich, chips and signature chocolate chip cookie, because chances are you will be hiking, biking, fishing or hunting during the noon hour.

A Bounty of Amenities

Billiards Room, Lodges at Glendorn, Bradford PA

Billiards Room/Bar, Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford PA

As a destination luxury resort, you can spend a few days at Glendorn and never have to leave for any reason. Chances are you won’t want to.

Fly Rods and Waders, Lodges at Glendorn

Fly Rods and Waders at Lodge at Glendorn

If you are an angler, or would like to be one, Glendorn, an Orvis-endorsed property, has some of the best fishing in the state. There are four miles of privately owned trout streams, another three trout ponds on site, and several more “fishing holes” offsite for the fly-fishermen or women. Expert Orvis guides will help you come up with some good lies, er, I mean, flies and casting advice. Note to spouses of fishing enthusiasts – a Glendorn getaway makes an excellent Anniversary or Birthday gift.

Bicycles at Lodges and Glendorn

Bicycles at Lodge at Glendorn

Upland bird-hunting (Grouse and pheasant) is very popular here, with an Orvis-Endorsed Wing Shooting program on site. Glendorn supplies gun, dog and guide: $275 for half day, $400 full day.

Also on site: horseback riding, carriage and sleigh rides (in winter), guided jeep tours and Skeet and Trap shooting (the Dorn family loved this sport so much, they installed a padded telephone booth in the trap house so family members could conduct business and then return to the range). There are tennis courts, an outdoor pool, x-country and snow-shoeing in the winter. Not so outdoorsy? You can spend an afternoon with Award Winning chefs in the kitchen, learning how to prepare your favorite meal.

Just the Facts

Rates from $475 – $2,300 per night, (Dorn Suite $680 per night) includes gourmet breakfast, unlimited ice cream in the ice cream parlor, shuttle service, use of fly-fishing equipment, tennis rackets, access to trout streams, use of bikes, s’mores bonfires, and use of facilities. Lunch and dinner, guided tours and skeet shooting extra, though some packages are available.

In Category: Hotels, Pennsylvania

Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine,, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

Show 1 Comment
  • Mary English June 5, 2016, 7:30 pm Link

    What a beautiful resort. My father worked for Forest Oil in Calgary Canada. He and my mother attended corporate meeting there in the 1980’s. I recall their stories and the wonderful pictures they shared of the time spent there.

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