Crystal Springs Resort: An All-Season Resort in North Jersey


The secret is out—Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County, New Jersey is one of the top resorts in NJ and the country, thanks to the luxe amenities and prime location that works for any season, whether you’re a skier, golfer, hiker or just want to chill out. My family has been coming to Crystal Springs Resort for years, mainly because when you pull into the gorgeous, secluded setting with mountains in the background, it feels like you are far away, even though it’s only about an hour from our house door to door.

crystal springs resort new jersey hotel and spa

The front atrium at Crystal Springs Resort is newly renovated and welcoming.

Plus, it has a bunch of amenities we’re looking for in a family resort with an indoor biosphere pool (think a tropical oasis with a balmy 85 degrees every day), newly renovated rooms, and a bunch of family-friendly activities at the resort and nearby at the Mountain Creek recreation area to keep my whole crew happy. We recently spent a few days at Crystal Springs Resort, and everyone agreed it was one of our best yet. Read on about our most recent visit and what to know before you go with kids or without. (featured photo taken at Crystal Springs Resort)

Crystal Springs Resort room couch

Newly renovated rooms at Crystal Springs Resort are spacious and modern (and family-friendly). 

A room to call home at Crystal Springs Resort

We made reservations at The Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort, an Adirondack-style lodge that boasts everything you could want in a luxe resort, including top-notch restaurants like the renowned Restaurant Latour, a world-class wine cellar, a top-ranked spa, championship golf courses, and countless activities to do with kids. The vibe is definitely luxury, but for a more budget-friendly option within Crystal Springs, The Minerals Hotel is 10 minutes down the road with family-friendly amenities, too, like an indoor pool and rock climbing wall.

crystal springs resort nj mountain view

I highly recommend requesting a room with a mountain view!

Though we’ve been to Crystal Springs Resort many times, this was our first time bringing my parents along for a family vacation (and a chance to sneak in some adult time). We booked a suite with a kitchen where we could make snacks and some meals for the kids, and it connected to a guest room for my parents. The newly renovated suite had gorgeous mountain views, and we loved peeking out over the outdoor balcony to see the Appalachian Mountains range. The rooms were sleek and comfy, with ample seating, a cozy gas fireplace, and areas for my kids to spread out and play. 

crystal springs resort nj pool

After unpacking, we always head straight to the Biosphere Tropical Pool, where the water is always a perfect 85 degrees.

Biosphere Pool and activities for all seasons at Crystal Springs

After we unpacked in the room, we changed and headed to the Biosphere Tropical Pool, where it’s always a perfect 85 degrees. It’s truly a tropical oasis—with a lush landscape of exotic plants and free-form pools that look as if they were carved out of rock, it feels like you’ve landed in paradise. What makes it even more unique is the German Foiltec roofing overhead that lets in 100% light transmission, so you can soak up rays (yes, you need sunscreen even though it’s inside).

Crystal Springs Resort fish aquarium

The pool and the mini fish aquarium are perfect for kids at Crystal Springs Resort. 

The roof is retractable, and there’s swimming outside even when it’s snowing, much to the delight of my daughter, who loved floating in the ultra-warm pool with flakes falling around her. Also within the 10,000-square-foot complex is an underwater aquarium to watch fish swim by, lounge chairs to relax, a Mexican bar and restaurant, and a 140-ft waterslide. 

crystal springs resort nj biosphere

During the evenings, there are dine-in movies offered at the Biosphere Pool where the pool is lit for night swimming while a movie plays on a big screen.

Throughout the weekend, there was a daily roster of resort activities, like goat yoga, axe throwing, bingo, a scavenger hunt, animal meet and greets, dive-in indoor movies, stargazing, and a cute teddy bear craft. We did a few with the kids, including glice (aka synthetic ice) skating and my kids’ fave—spending time outdoors at the firepit making s’mores. Over at Minerals, there are also a few other kid-friendly things to do, including a new rock climbing wall and a renovated game room and arcade. The resort is also an 8-minute drive to Mountain Creek, with the largest snow tubing and skiing trails in New Jersey and other four-season activities, like hiking, biking, zip-lining, and a water park.  

Quick bites, family-style, and fine dining at Crystal Springs Resort

Dining at the resort was not only amazing because of their top-notch food, but it was also very kid-friendly as they were accommodating with high chairs, a kids menu, and gorgeous mountain views that the kids looked out at. There are over 15 places to grab a bite between Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals, have a sit-down meal, or engage in a full-on gourmet experience, and they all feature ingredients from local farms.

crystal springs resort nj restaurant

Dining with a mountain view at Grand Cascades Lodge.

Our family favorites include Crystal Tavern, with a locally sourced menu and spectacular mountain views (we dined here the most); Kites Restaurant at Minerals, featuring eclectic menu options; and Owen’s Pub, with Scottish fare. If you want grab-and-go, there’s Zinc Cafe with sandwiches and Rosebud Roasters for delicious lattes and coffee drinks. If you’re lucky enough to bring extended family, like us, or have a weekend away from the kids, Restaurant Latour is a must. The award-winning restaurant features seasonal, modern, and stylish cooking utilizing locally sourced ingredients and has long been known as one of NJ’s top restaurants.

crystal springs resort wine cellar

Sample and learn about wines while tasting in their world-renowned wine cellar.

And for wine connoisseurs, The Wine Cellar is an underground stone structure of nine chambers housing some of the world’s best wines. Featuring 6,000 labels, The Wine Cellar has received the Wine Spectator Grand Award every year since 2006 and offers tours, tastings, and a dine-in experience. During summer, we look forward to dining al fresco on the charming Chef’s Garden patio, where each dish incorporates produce picked from the neighboring garden. For breakfast each morning, we chose the Grand Cascades Lodge buffet which was in their wedding ballroom with beautiful views, an impressive variety of breakfast foods and stations, and quick and accommodating service.

Crystal Springs Resort cabaret

The Cabaret is a great night out for parents at Crystal Springs Resort. 

Kid-Free Fun at the Cabaret and Reflections Spa

My husband and I got to enjoy some adult experiences alone, including a wine tasting in The Wine Cellar, where we learned about the collection and tried some interesting and niche wines. We also spent an evening at the Crystal Cabaret, a lounge experience featuring a singer, musicians, and a comedian in a swank setting with cocktails and fondue. The experience was definitely a highlight—we loved how there was entertainment within the resort that felt like we were in a nightclub in NYC.

crystal springs resort spa vernon nj

I highly recommend a couple’s massage at the Reflections Spa at Crystal Springs Resort!

During the day, we treated ourselves to a couple’s massage at the Reflections Spa and the relaxation room for a foot bath with champagne and chocolate. It was pure bliss to spend this alone time together, knowing my kids were also having a blast engaging in activities with their grandparents. Some activities we want to try when it gets warmer are playing a round of golf at one of 6 championship golf courses or working on our game at their on-site academy. We could also let loose with basketball, racquetball, or personal training, and there’s always a calendar of special events and activities around holidays and seasons. We find every time we return, there’s always something new to do or an activity we haven’t done before, so that each visit feels like a whole new experience. And the fact that we all had a relaxing and fun time—kids, parents, and grandparents—makes this our go-to vacation spot whenever we need to get away. 

Crystal Springs Resort pool snow resort

Swimming in the snow at Crystal Springs Resort is a core family memory we will never forget! 

What to know before you go to Crystal Springs Resort

Crystal Springs Resort is a year-round destination featuring two resort properties—The Minerals Hotel And The Grand Cascades Lodge. The Grand Cascades Lodge starts at $400 a night, and The Minerals Hotel starts at $250. The resorts are 3 miles apart and offer their own amenities, some exclusively to guests at Grand Cascades Lodge. Free parking is available, and valet parking is available for a fee of $25 per day. Hotel rooms can be made online, and if you decide to visit the spa, it is highly recommended to book that experience in advance at either the Reflections Spa or Elements Spa. Dining reservations are required for all restaurants at the resort. 

Crystal Springs Resort
1 Wild Turkey Way
Sussex County, NJ 0741

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About Author

Christine is a mommy to two little ones, and the Editor and founder of NJ MOM. She resides at the Jersey Shore with her family, and when she isn’t on her latest #njmom adventure, you can find her experimenting with healthy recipes in the kitchen, gardening in her backyard, practicing yoga and traveling to warm destinations. Some of her favorite things to do around the Garden State are beach days at Manasquan, screaming at the top of her lungs at Six Flags Great Adventure, snow tubing down Mountain Creek and hiking (or biking) any of the gorgeous NJ trails.