The Pocono Palace is an all-inclusive resort in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, roughly 90 miles west of New York City. It is one of three resorts in the Poconos owned by Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts, which also include Cove Haven and Paradise Stream. The resorts are spread throughout the Pocono Mountains and each carry the romance theme, yet in their own individual ways: Cove Haven is the ‘Intimate Couples Retreat’, Paradise Stream is the ‘Contemporary Couples Hot Spot’, and Pocono Palace is the ‘Intimate Couples Adventure Resort’. The resorts are all ‘couples only’, so read further only if you are married, in a relationship, or want to clumsily sweep your crush of their feet and steal them off to the ‘Land of Love’.
The three resorts are somewhat similar, and have almost exactly the same activities, facilities, and room types (with several exceptions). After careful deliberation (reading reviews, scanning through pictures, and measuring activities) my little lady and I chose the Pocono Palace. The basic breakdown in making this choice went like this: Cove Haven was the biggest, yet the oldest and potentially more run-down, Paradise Stream was the smallest, yet the newest but had little to do, and Pocono Palace was somewhere in the middle… yet it boasted the newest and best rooms… namely, The Roman Towers suites.
Upon driving through the wooded pathway to the resort, you first get a glimpse of what you are in store for with a defiant sign reading “Land of Love”…oh boy. The resort grounds were spread out, separated by a golf course, edged up to large lake on one side, and disintegrated into the woods on all other sides. The facilities are just a tad bit dated, but so is everything else in the Poconos… just driving through the town I would have guessed it was 1997, with the main indicator of the actual time being the gas prices. The range of ages of the couples walking about the resort was vast… from middle-aged couples attempting to light their fire, to old couples kicking back and enjoying each other’s company, to honeymooners from rural america who cannot believe their luck that their room has a flatscreen TV. The Love theme, if nothing else, is consistent… with restaurant names like Spooners Cafe, Flames of Passion, and Tanlines… and activities like the Naughty Newlywed Game, and X-rated Trivia.
We were able to get one of the Roman Towers Suites… only offered at Pocono Palace, and the best suite ($$$) of all 3 resorts. The room is gigantic… its two stories (technically 4 levels) has its own heart-shaped pool, sauna, massage table (with heat lamp), large living room with a fireplace, sofa, and Tv. The master bedroom was incredible, equipped with a King sized round blush bed, celestial ceiling (with stars scattered about), flatscreen mounted TV, and built-in stereo system. The bathroom is large, with his and her sinks, separate room for the toilet, and nice sized shower. Finally, the centerpiece of the room is a 12 foot tall champagne glass jacuzzi (intense), which actually ended up being quite comfortable. It made for an incredible little getaway with my little lady, for it truly was a getaway- we often did not need to leave the room. This room truly was incredible. We asked to see the other rooms (which in the pictures looked very nice) and nothing comes even close. The Champagne Towers (which is supposed to be very similar to ours, yet smaller and less equipped) had the ambiance of a bowling alley, along with the rest of the rooms… which felt worn out, dated, and unkept… so do not be fooled by the fancy, well-taken pictures on the website, the only suite that holds true is The Roman Towers. Pocono Palace has roughly a dozen Roman Towers Suites, so if you decide to pick Pocono Palace for a little getaway, The Roman Towers is the only suite to choose (and it will probably be one of the best suites you will ever stay in). Furthermore, the other two resorts do not have the Roman Towers suite, so I highly reccomend Pocono Palace over Cove Haven and Paradise Stream.
The resort is nestled against a large lake, offering activities like boating, canoeing, and fishing (we went in early may so swimming wasn’t yet an option). They tagged 50 trout roaming about the lake- catching a tagged trout rewards the captor a cash prize or free night. I reunited with my inner fisherman, yet the fish weren’t digging what I was dishing… and those valuable trout proved most elusive. We went out on a row-boat… which was strenuous on the arms, but fun, romantic, and scenic. There is an outdoor pool, Indoor pool (like we needed it… we had our own), tanning booth (hey, why not), fitness center, and an entire upstairs level in the main facility devoted to mini golf and arcade games (watching a 64-year-old man getting his quarters stuck in ‘Time Crises 4′ was amusing). One also has the option of utilizing the activities facilities at the other 2 resorts (though they are both at least a 30 minute drive away). There also are daily and nightly activities hosted by resort staff… including gameshow type competitions where couple teams battle other couple teams for prizes like free nights (we got second place in a tournement against 16 other couples, which yielded a teddy bear).
In a word, the food could be better. As mentioned earlier, the resort is all-inclusive, yet does not include alcohol or lunch (there are several cafes serving lunch, yet it is simply meager fast food). For breakfast, you have the choice of breakfast in the main hall, or receiving breakfast in bed (which we opted for each morning) which is limited to egg sandwiches, cereal, coffee, and juice, it was delicious… but hardly resort-like. For Dinner, they offer a three course choose your own adventure meal… the general choice breakdown goes as follows: 1st course… Soup or Salad (though you can choose both at no extra charge), 2nd course… meat, fish, or pasta entrée, 3rd course… dessert of the day or a large sundae bar (or both). Choosing the right entrée is a difficult task, there is usually one moderately good one, while the other two taste like they came out of a diner. It became a game for me and my loved one, to see who could pick the entrée that wasn’t horrible. The interesting thing here is that this is in fact all-inclusive… so one could order all 3 if they really wanted to (yet that would be both embarrassing and a waste of food). The sundae bar was large and in charge, in that ‘Old Country Buffet’ kind of way… which I saw other couples intensely indulging in… I’d probably have trouble feeling sexy after that sundae bar excursion. I wasn’t expecting the food to be marvelous, it is an all-inclusive resort in the middle of border-line hick Pennsylvania… and it did seem like they were really trying (they put edible orchids on our wilted salad). Yet the average-ish food felt like it was a part of the experience (somehow) and didn’t turn us off really at all.
What I find to be the most interesting about this place, with of all its campy love tactics, truly made me focus constantly on my loved one. The place almost laughs at itself with its up-front corny lovey-ness, but at the end of the day, it is all about reminding you that if your loved one is next to you… there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your arm around her, whispering “I love you” in her ear. I guarantee there is no place quite like this one- of course there are many couples only resorts… but none as shameless, proud, and determined to keep its 30 year long running reputation of being ‘The Land of Love’.
I recommend the Pocono Palace for a little getaway.