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Cover Image courtesy of the Jim Seelen Motel Images Collection

Well folks, here we are with another new year and a new Motel Monday. Speaking of the New Year, some of you reading this may have actually rang in 2023 at today’s featured accommodations. After all, Cove Haven in the Poconos has been ringing in the New Year for nearly 65 years now.

A Heart-Shaped Hot Tub

Picture postcard of dining room at Cove Haven resort with people dancing and eating circa 1960s.
Dancing and dining at the Cove Haven Resort in the Poconos. Postcard c. early 1960s. Public Domain.

In 1958, Morris B. Wilkins and Harold O’ Brien bought the 18 room Hotel Pocopaupac on Lake Wallenpaupack. However, after one week of answering phones “Hotel Pocopaupac on Lake Wallenpaupack” they knew they had to change the name. They also soon added entertainment and started billing Cove Haven (their new name) solely as a honeymooners resort. It was an immediate success.

The two business partners also wanted to add a little pizzazz to their rooms and give their guests something unique.  One night, Morris woke up with the idea of a heart-shaped bathtub. He immediately ran down to the basement and drew a heart on the floor. The next day Harold came over and the two began planning on how they would build these “Sweetheart tubs”.

In 1963, supply couldn’t keep up with demand after Life magazine featured a two page photo-spread on the tub. The resort ran out of brochures as the phones constantly rang with people asking to make reservations. Indeed, the Cove Haven had cemented the legacy of the Poconos as a romantic getaway destination.

Bubbly Bathtub

In the 1970’s, Wilkins came up with more innovative ideas for guests, One of these included bringing in heated heart-shaped swimming pools into guest rooms. However, it would be in the 1980s that he came up with one of his most unique and sought after inventions.

By the eighties, Wilkins and O’Brien had sold Cove Haven Resort to Caesars World Las Vegas; still, Wilkins stayed on as president and CEO of Cove Haven. He was also still an innovator.

During one particular board meeting in Las Vegas, Wilkins pulled out a picture of a champagne glass. His idea? A 7-foot-tall champagne glass whirlpool bath for two.

The only problem that the higher-ups saw with Wilkins’ bubbly tub was where to put it. So, they got together and designed a four-level spa-themed suite. The rooms included a heart-shaped pool, dry sauna, wood-burning fireplace, steam shower, massage table, and the champagne glass whirlpool. It became s popular that reservations had to be made at least a year in advance.

Picture postcard featuring picture of champagne class hot tub and guests enjoying heart-shaped in room swimming pool.
The Champagne Room complete with a heart-shaped heated pool. Postcard c. 1980s. Public Domain.

Caesars Pocono Resorts recognized that it was the original Cove Haven Resort that had made their Pocono resorts so successful. As a result, they changed their name in 2010 to Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts. Two years later, an independent hospitality management firm named Highgate Hotels obtained Cove Haven Entertainment Resort. As soon as they closed the deal, the McSam Group began managing all of the resorts operations, including Cove Haven.

Still a Lot of Hot Tub Hubbub

Today, Cove Haven has 256 luxury suites along with indoor and outdoor amenities. Of course, the resort comes with all the up-to-date amenities like flat screen television, personal refrigerators, and modern furniture. However, they also include all the kitschy coolness that brought people here in the first place include heart-shaped hot tubs, heated in-room pools and champagne glass hot tubs for two.

Is it any wonder that Cove Haven resort is still popular today among New Year’s revelers and incurable romantics alike? If you’re one of them, you can make reservations by calling 1-888-963-3048 or visiting their website here.

Picture of a pink hoodie with Stuckey's logo on front in darker pink.Is part of your New Year resolutions planning more road trips in 2023? Well, wherever you plan to go, don’t forget to also plan to take some Stuckey’s along, too. After all, it’s not really a road trip without bringing along Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls or classic pecan pralines, is it?

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