Santosha on the Ridge is a peaceful sanctuary of a bed-and-breakfast located inside the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, overlooking Kittatinny Ridge and 70,000 acres of park land. Owned by Leslie Underhill, the unique four-room B&B opened in 2006 and joined the Conservancy’s Green Lodging Partnership five years ago, in early 2015.
Santosha translates from Sanskrit as contentment—as Leslie describes it, “the ability to be happy where you are.” Leslie first built the house as a primary home in 1999, but after a divorce, chose to turn it into a B&B and, for a short time, a yoga studio.
Although the property was not originally inside the Delaware Water Gap boundary, the park recently expanded to protect an old growth forest surrounding Leslie’s eleven acres. Interestingly, Leslie has a personal connection to the park—her father was instrumental in its designation as a National Recreation Area, and she has a background in forestry.
Recognizing how important it is to protect our forests, waters, and wildlife, Leslie has been an active participant in the Green Lodging Partnership and finds that her guests almost universally respond favorably when asked to donate $2 to local conservation. “They are right in the middle of it here,” Leslie explains.
Most of the guests staying at Santosha on the Ridge are coming from the nearby cities, and Leslie notices that when they first arrive, they are tense and barely smiling, but by the end of the next day, they are relaxed and happy. She feels that the property, the surrounding nature, helps people let go.
Leslie and her partner Gene Prospero maintain flower and vegetable gardens on the property and belong to a CSA. Guests enjoy homemade meals prepared with organic ingredients (the breakfast pizzas are a particular favorite), and Leslie is happy to accommodate dietary needs. Nearby hiking trails, waterfalls, and the Delaware River provide plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and connect with nature—or, guests can just relax on the veranda and enjoy the spectacular view.
Participation in the Green Lodging Partnership means that with every stay, residents and visitors to our region are making a direct contribution to the protection of everything that’s special here—now and for future generations. The Conservancy thanks Leslie and Gene for their investment in local conservation and invites you to learn more about Santosha on the Ridge at santoshaontheridge.com or about the Green Lodging Partnership at delawarehighlands.org/greenlodging.