I wasn’t planning on writing a post about Mount Airy Casino and Resort. My husband and I are only staying here for one night to celebrate our anniversary. But when I posted about our stay on Facebook, so many people made jokes about heart-shaped beds and Champaign glass-shaped bathtubs that I was inspired to post.
The Poconos totally have a reputation for cheesy romantic hotels. I can remember some of the commercials from my childhood. This one is awesome:
And it’s not like these places are all gone. This couples-only hotel is still open, and the suite in the video below has a round bed, heart-shaped pool, Champaign tower bathtub, and mirrors everywhere.
As far as Mount Airy Lodge goes, I didn’t think it ever reached those levels of romantic cheesiness, although old commercials I found on YouTube indicate it absolutely achieved decade-appropriate cheesiness in the 80s:
If you pause the 80s commercial at the 17-second mark, however, that bathroom does look a little hilarious, like a carousel that was flattened out and filled with water:
And the cheesiness was still going strong in the 90s:
These vintage commercials for romantic Poconos resorts are spectacularly cheesy. Click To Tweet
But then I found this fascinating NY Times article about the demise of the old Mount Airy Lodge, which was definitely the standard-bearer for heart-shaped goofiness. It sounds like it was The Love Boat on land, complete with social directors:
Until the late 1980’s, Mount Airy and its sister resorts, Pocono Gardens Lodge and Strickland’s Mountain Inn, featured a social staff of six, led by the ”Docster,” who would use a whistle to direct guests from the Sports Palace to the ski slopes.
Sadly, the owner of the old Mount Airy Lodge killed himself as the hotel deteriorated, and the entire thing was torn down. What was built in its place might share part of a name with the old resort, but that’s really all they share. There are absolutely no remnants of 80s glitz, glamour, and uber-tackiness, just a tastefully decorated hotel, a wonderful casino, and great food, all of which we took full advantage of during our short stay.
There’s also a spa, which we did not have time to check out, and a golf course, which we took a short walk around until someone chased after us in a golf cart and told us we couldn’t (apparently golf balls hurt – who knew?).
When we arrived yesterday we saw a screen near the front desk that said something about room upgrades being available, so I nudged my husband and told him to say that it was our 18th wedding anniversary. The very nice front-desk clerk checked and sure enough, she gave us a complimentary upgrade from our king room to a king suite.Mount Airy Casino in the Poconos shares only a name w/its tacky predecessor. #Travel @MountAiryCasino Click To Tweet
The living room is gorgeous, with modern furniture and plenty of space:
I’d show you a picture of the bedroom, but my husband is sleeping in there right now, as I write this. Even if he weren’t, the bed is all unmade and messy. If I’d been in blogging mode I’d have taken pictures of the entire suite before we touched anything, but like I said, I had no plans to post until people started mocking the place.
Here’s a chair from the bedroom, though. I took a picture yesterday because I want one in my house. I love the style – I always need a place to put my Diet Dr Pepper and remote control
The bathroom is huge, like Vegas-bathroom big. It does have a giant tub, but no tacky colors or shapes.
The shower was both my favorite feature, and the only thing that went wrong during our stay. It was absolutely the nicest shower I’ve ever used, with water spraying out everywhere. The hot water tanks must be the size of Olympic pools. (I’m not sure if the regular rooms have this shower, or just the suites.) Water coming at you only from above? That’s for suckers. I’m not sure how I’m going to go back to my boring normal shower now.
However, when my awesome shower was finished, I couldn’t open the glass door. I pushed it as hard as I could and still couldn’t get out. My husband had showered twice by that point with no problem, so I thought I was doing something wrong. But finally, I had to yell for my husband and sheepishly tell him that I was trapped in the shower.
He was able to yank the door open, and on closer inspection we could see where the metal frame was bent just enough that it had caught the door at the bottom. We told the front desk and hopefully nobody else will experience that. Not sure what I would have done if I’d been there by myself.
Last night we had an excellent meal at Bistecca. When I asked about substitutions for the pasta primavera and joked about being really picky, the server let me know that if I liked, I could just forget about the menu and tell him exactly what I wanted, and the chef would make it. You have no idea how happy that made me.
According to my husband, his baked clams appetizer was really good, and his steak entree was cooked to perfection. We both raved about the meal for hours afterwards.
This morning we had breakfast at Guy Fieri’s restaurant. Making fun of Guy Fieri is a favorite pastime of mine, and indeed, his face is plastered all over the hotel, making him pretty easy to mock. I couldn’t even escape it in my room.
Breakfast was fine, with no Donkey Sauce in sight. But it’s hard to judge a place by eggs and home fries. Not sure how they do with lunch and dinner.
The casino was a bit slow since it was a Monday night, but that meant we had no trouble finding seats. We even happened upon a $5 blackjack table, something I haven’t seen in years. And if you’re like me and can’t stand the continuous shoes that most casinos use now, you’ll be as thrilled as I was to know that Mount Airy still uses a multi-deck shoe that gets shuffled and replaced. I really hope they resist the urge to switch over.
We played for a couple of hours and won almost enough to cover our room and expensive dinner (how you non-vegetarians can stomach paying for steak, I just don’t get it!). It was the perfect ending to our anniversary, and my husband would want me to tell you that he won twice as much as I did. (But I’m going to take half of the credit, since I taught him my awesome betting system when he first tried blackjack a few years ago.)
I can’t wait to stay here again, but for longer next time – the twenty or so hours we spent at Mount Airy definitely weren’t enough. Since it’s only about two hours from Brooklyn (a bit less from Manhattan) I’m surprised that we waited this long.