If you are older than a nano-second, you probably remember seeing advertisements for honeymoon hotels in the Pocono Mountains. These featured newlywed love-struck couples lounging in heart-shaped pools or perhaps, canoodling in something akin to a champagne tower. One of these was Mt. Airy Lodge. It even had a jingle that ended with: “Beeauuutiful Mt. Airy Lodge…“
The Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania have always been a draw for vacationers, honeymooners or not. The area is known for beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, and plenty of indoor activities as well. In the old days, it was the kitchy candle and candy companies, heart shaped pools, and honeymooners, that made the Poconos a couples paradise. But times and tastes change. Today’s couples (and groups of adults) prefer elegance and service to kitchy pools and thinly veiled jokes about sex. While the old Mount Airy Lodge fell into disrepair and closed in 2001. in 2007 it re-emerged as Mount Airy Resort and Casino, a completely re-built (with a $412 million investment), elegant casino resort.
If you were one of the guests at the old Mount Airy Lodge, you might remember the “beach and boating” area (now the decorative “lake”) in front of the new resort in this photo above. It’s the only physical reminder of the original layout on Mount Airy Casino Resort’s 1056 acres. But the new resort still attracts weddings and therefore, honeymooners, as the resort has good facilities for meetings and weddings. The ballroom can hold up to 200 guests. The close proximity to New York and other East Coast locales also attracts couples and groups. And, since our web site focuses on intimacy, it is important to tell you that the Poconos still offer a lovely, romantic setting in which couples and relax and re-connect .
Many Come to Gamble But They Stay To Amble and Ramble:
The new resort features 188 rooms with 25 luxury suites, a large casino, a nightclub, bar, spa, golf, new pool area, and restaurants, but it is still centered around casino activity. So to be sure, there are lots of day trippers and people who are coming just to play table games and slots with some of the most sophisticated progressive and single machines available. If you like to gamble you will find the Mount Airy Casino Resort to be first class fun and that will satisfy you.
But there are more reasons to come to the Poconos, and choose to stay at this resort. For starters, there aren’t too many full service, high quality resorts in the Poconos of this type. Casino excitement isn’t all that Mount Airy Casino Resort is offering. Mount Airy Casino Resort provides all the amenities you would expect from any resort including dining, entertainment, a fabulous spa, and golf including some interesting special events (e.g. the International Bikini Team Golf Outing). It’s an easy trip for those who live within a few hours’ drive (it took us about two hours from NYC). The resort is well run, staffed with knowledgeable, helpful people who work hard to make your experience special. In fact, it is Pennsylvania’s only casino resort to have won the AAA four diamond award. If you’re contemplating a destination event (e.g. a wedding) or you just want to get a group together, Mount Airy offers everything you need to make your stay memorable.
The Poconos are beautiful in all four seasons. In the warmer months there is scenic beauty for hikers, bikers, boaters, or ride a horse –and that’s just for starters. In the Winter, the area features eight major ski areas nearby, plus all types of snow-oriented fun in a stunning setting.
At Mount Airy Casino Resort, there is the sort of indoor canoodling that honeymoon dreams are made of. In other words, bring your favorite adult toys, flame-less candles (never burn open flames in hotel rooms). massage oils, and whatever else you want for an intimate weekend. Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel room door, order room service, and just stay in.
Right outside of the Resort, the rest of the Poconos welcome you. Check out the antique stores, enjoy a local art or music festival, tour a living history museum. For those who like to shop, the kitchy Poconos candy and candle factories still exist, and are fun to visit to bring home a souvenir. There are unique attractions such as put put golf and petting zoos, train tours other unique, family run businesses. For those who love to shop, The Crossings outlet mall with more than 100 stores offering discounts from name brands, is very close to Mount Airy.You’ll need to drive to these activities.
But back at the resort, there’s plenty more to do. For starters, there is the brand new Get Wet Ultra Pool — a 1,000 Sq. ft. indoor/outdoor pool, bar & nightlife venue that’s heated and has a swim in/out area. Rent a private cabana for two with a day bed. Soak in a large hot tub and check out the assortment of water features and sculptures! The outside area features a 5,000 Sq. Ft. deck with table-side fire pits (snuggling under blanket, permitted and encouraged)! If you like to party, this is the place to be, as DJs will be making the music. All this is free to hotel guests. Day passes will be available to the public for $10 weekdays, $15 weekends. My only suggestion is that the hotel have some “non party” times for those who just want to read a book and relax, or feel the love with their partner around the pool. After all, that kind of “party” is part of Mount Airy’s heritage.
One area where Mount Airy Casino Resort excels, is in the Spa. For couples, what could be more relaxing than some time getting a couples massage, or other body treatments? And the ones at Mount Airy’s Spa are excellent. But there are also beauty services for anyone who wishes them. Whether you’re a bride seeking hair, nails and makeup for herself and bridal party, or just because you want to be pampered, I was impressed with the range and quality of services offered in a modern and attractive setting. On a personal note, the hot and cold stone massage I had was one of the best I’ve experienced. The spa is a destination in itself, with a nice sauna and eucalyptus steam room, good showers, lockers, changing rooms, and everything is very clean. One could easily spend the entire day relaxing there (obviously the men’s and women’s areas are separate). For those who are just into staying fit, there is a fitness center for all, with weights and cardio machines, available around the clock to hotel guests and no charge.
Dining and Entertainment:
If you are staying at a resort, you expect to eat. There is room service, of course, but there are plenty of other dining options as well. Mount Airy Casino offers guests and day visitors plenty of options to choose depending upon your mood, and your budget. At the time of our visit in April 2014, the dining options included: Betty’s Diner (breakfast/lunch/casual dinner); The Buffet (with Noodle Bar in the Back); Le Sorelle Cucina (fine Italian); and; Red Steakhouse (fine Steak and Seafood) . There is also a Starbucks and some bars and lounges. These offer a range of choices and price points. All of the restaurants we visited offeed good food and pleasant service with the higher end restaurants of Red Steakhouse and La Sorelle Cucina offering the kind of quality and atmosphere that is the hallmark of high end dining, anywhere. Our meals, the atmosphere, the service — all were excellent. Red steakhouse offers seafood and various cuts of meat that rival those served in celebrated New York City eateries with a good wine list offering a range of bottles priced to suit everyone’s budget. However, we visited at the time of a change-over in dining venues. La Sorelle Cucina and Betty’s Diner will be replaced with new restaurants to be announced. As with many resorts, if you choose to dine nicely in the higher end restaurants for several days your bill can start to add up. If you want to keep your costs down, there are other places to eat in the general area (including some other high end restaurants), but you’ll have to do some homework to figure out what suits your taste and budget if you don’t want to be disappointed and you will need a car to access anything outside of the Casino area.
If you are seeking a traditional “heart-shaped honeymoon” atmosphere for your romantic weekend getaway, I didn’t see it at Mount Airy. You can find it down the road where some of the more traditional honeymoon haunts still exist. But if you’re a couple seeking more elegant and sophisticated service and activities. you will be pleased. Mount Airy lacks heart shaped tubs and champagne towers, but the rooms also don’t smell musty with old sex and carpeted walls that make you feel as though you should have brought along antibacterial spray. The Mount Airy rooms are standard hotel rooms in unisex decor. In fact, the entire resort is surprisingly subdued and elegant, especially considering that casinos are not known for understatement. The suites are large and do have jacuzzi tubs (large enough for two), a bar, and flat screen televisions, among the amenities. The standard hotel rooms are nicely appointed and spacious. All hotel guests access the room floors with a key card and separate elevator. This not only reduces noise om the floors it also keeps the merely curious from wandering around. In fact, even though the hotel was supposedly full during our stay, we were not disturbed at all by noise. The rooms have very comfortable beds, although no pillow menu was offered. The bathrooms features a separate toilet room with a door — a nice plus, especially if you relish some privacy. The showers were multi-jet, and excellent (also large enough for two, if that’s your desire). Bathroom amenities were replenished and of nice quality. The only thing I would have liked that was not offered in the standard room? Robes.
Gambling is an addiction. It can bring a couple together (if you both enjoy it responsibly and even better, if you win) but it can also cause plenty of arguments. Make sure you and your special someone agree on whether or not you’re going to gamble before you get to your destination, and make sure you agree on how much you will allocate to this activity. Stick to your agreement, and you will enjoy your weekend without worry.
Mount Airy is a Casino and also a resort, so it does attract plenty of people who are going to come for the day to gamble or for the evening, for a show (and to gamble). With the addition of the new Get Wet Ultra Pool, it will likely also attract day trippers who will come for the pool and take advantage of all the other things the resort offers (e.g. dining, entertainment, gambling). But while it’s a fun destination for a day visit, and the focus is on the Casino there are plenty of reasons to stay even if you never gamble. If you do like to gamble, your entertainment is assured. If you are not into table games, there is “fun” and entertainment in the interactive slot machines which admittedly are gambling, but the focus is more on entertaining you, than winning a lot of money. These games are surprisingly sophisticated. If you are lucky, you can play for quite some time, on just a few dimes (or pennies or quarters). One game I particularly liked and played with a group was “The Wizard of Oz” which allows about six players to interact (and benefit) together. It is really exciting. Another, Alice in Wonderland, kept popping up with favorite characters providing surprises and bonuses. Even if you don’t win anything (actually, I did), you’ll have a ton of fun.
For those who find the smoke of casinos to be a turn-off, there is a non smoking section of the casino on the second floor. It’s smaller, but it’s also more tranquil. There is also a “frequent flyer” type Player’s Club pass available to everyone, Sign up at the casino, then insert your card into each slot machine you play, or give it to the dealer while you’re at a table, and you can accrue exclusive benefits, offers and comps. Play enough, and you might end up in the VIP lounge or win free hotel nights, or more.
Let Mount Airy Entertain You:
If you are at Mount Airy to enhance romance, you can make your own fun. But if you want to go out, there is plenty to do (besides stay in, or gamble) at night. Mount Airy Casino Resort can be a place to relax with friends at a bar or around the new Ultra Pool area, but you can also be entertained in a more traditional way. Headliners and some unique acts perform in Gypsies nightclub (there is a fee that varies depending upon the entertainment) and it’s also a disco. We’ve seen some stellar drag shows there, and Gypsies has a wide variety of entertainers to suit varying tastes, from Grandmaster Flash to comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, to the Stylistics and the Thunder Down Under…something for everyone! The weekend we were visited, Gypsies was hosting a Vietnamese dance party featuring a range of Vietnamese singers. This proved to be very popular with the crowd staying at the hotel for this special event, and also with large groups coming in by car and bus just to attend. The venue was filled with people dressed up and showing off their most impressive Arthur Murray moves on the dance floor while the singers entertained them. Tables with bottle service can be reserved and the rest of the seating is general admission, first come, first served. There is a bar in the back. If you are just general admission, you’ll still find that the sight lines are good.
If you want to venture out from Mount Airy you will need to drive, but there are other entertainment venues in the area that also offer headline entertainment, or you can just cuddle up next to that special someone at the fire pit in the outdoor part of the Get Wet Ultra Pool deck area, or take a stroll under the stars.
The bottom line: The Poconos are still synonymous with romance, but today’s couples and groups want the elegance and sophistication of a modern resort. If you are “just dating” this is a great “get to know you” weekend. If you are a long term couple, it’s a great place to re-connect and “enhance romance.” You are sure to become LoveStruck!
The Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a reasonably affordable, romantic and/or fun vacation option for couples and for groups, and the Pocono Mountains are an attractive option for an easily accessible (from NYC and environs) weekend or week-long getaway. While a car is recommended, the area is also served by many bus lines. For more information visit: http://mountairycasino.com/ or call: 1-877-MTAIRY-1 (1-877-682-4791)
I can’t see myself without you
Now that I’ve had a taste
Every time I close my eyes
I feel your lips
I see your face
I’m taking back every hateful thing I’ve ever said about love
I’ve realized I need it and baby you’re the one
I only smile when I’m with you
I spend all day missing you
I’m love struck in your head
Every thought, every breathe
You’ve turned this boy into a man
I promise to love you like no one can
Here we are hand in hand
My dream came true, now I’m your man
(Falling falling falling falling falling… fafa fa fa…)
So in love with you
(I’m so lovestruck)
And all the things you do
(I’m so lovestruck)
I know you’ll get me threw
(I’m so lovestruck)
I was livin in hell until you casted your spell
(So in love with you)
(I’m so lovestruck)
And all the things you do
(I’m so lovestruck)
I know you’ll get me threw
(I’m so lovestruck, oh lala la la la lovestruck)
(“Lovestruck” Blood on the Dance Floor)
this report was submitted by Alison Blackman for Leather and Lace Spice