Wilderness and Style Meet at Rex in the Poconos
Inside the stylish new invisible-service micro-hotel in the Poconos.
Finding the right hotel in the Poconos can be daunting. You feel like you’re choosing from three options: a fussy spa resort, a budget or mid-range hotel with rustic, dated lodgings, or a cloyingly quaint B&B where the proprietor’s aware of your every move. But now there’s a fourth option for Goldilocks travelers seeking a perfect mix of style, privacy and convenience in a wilderness escape. I got to check out the Rex one wintry weekend in January, and I’m already eager to return.
“Our goal was to embrace the outdoors while keeping things clean and simple,” co-founder Joanna Linton told me. She and her husband opened the doors to their 10-unit micro-hotel in August 2021. “Instead of bear-themed wallpaper or log-wood bed frames, we opted for subtle nods to our outdoor setting by including knotty pine trim and butcher-block countertops.” Trendy appliances and decor look as if they’ve been plucked from your Instagram feed. It’s easy to see the Joybird, Brooklinen, Smeg and Solo Stove products delighting city dwellers who enjoy minimalist color schemes, mid-century modern touches and boho-chic flare.
And those put off by nosy B&B owners will appreciate the Rex’s invisible-service model. It might feel a little like Big Brother, but any smartphone user is already accustomed to these devices anticipating our questions, interests and needs. You’ll receive emails prior to arrival with your entry code as well as text messages throughout your stay from a concierge who uncannily anticipates your next question. Not sure how to operate the outdoor hot tub? Just text, and they’ll send you a how-to right away. I didn’t miss the personal interaction with a front-desk staff — in fact, the experience was so socially distanced, I could have made it the entire weekend without seeing a soul.
In wintertime, it’s easy to just relax inside your cozy cabin, enjoying the array of shows the smart TV offers. The only thing that got me out was walking across the street to the Old Rangers Inn for some no-frills bar grub and chats with friendly locals. The Rex will provide the coffee, but make sure to bring food to cook in your cabin’s spacious kitchen if you don’t want to go out for every meal. The fuel will be essential for warmer-weather activities like hiking, swimming and kayaking right outside your door. The Rex faces the scenic 6.3-mile Boundary Trail of 3,000-acre Promised Land State Park — no driving or human interaction required.
The Details: Rooms range from $199 to $599 a night; 103 Tauschman Road, Greentown; pets allowed; staytherex.com.
Published as “Jaunt: Weekending at the Rex” in the April 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.