For decades, the Pocono Mountains have been synonymous with the words “honeymoon” and “heart-shaped tubs.” Many people probably still remember when the Pocono Mountains began getting a lot of attention as a popular honeymoon spot.
Visitors living only a drive away would flock to the area from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Indiana and Ohio. “They saw the Pocono honeymoon resorts as a cruise ship on land,” said Tom Wilkins, whose father, Morris B. Wilkins, introduced the first heart-shaped tub in the Pocono Mountains in 1963. He was also the founder and President/COO of what is now known as the Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts.
These iconic tubs symbolized romance and luxury for couples looking to retreat to a scenic and quiet getaway without having to travel far. Probably some of the most well-known honeymoon resorts from this era were Cove Haven, Pocono Palace and Paradise Stream. All of these resorts are still up and running.
In 1958, Morris and his business partner, Harold O’Brien, purchased Cove Haven. Since he introduced the first “Sweetheart Tub” at Cove Haven, it has since been copied by many other resorts worldwide and jumpstarted the heart-shaped tub phenomena throughout the area. In 1971, Life Magazine even featured the heart-shaped tub at Cove Haven, which helped solidify the Pocono Mountains as “The Honeymoon Capital of the World.”
Honest Phil is Cove Haven’s own Chief eXcitement Officer (CXO). He has held this position for 40 years and has first-hand knowledge of what it was like when these renowned tubs were introduced. He shares some company folklore: “Morris and his partner “Obie” knew they wanted to have whirlpool bathtubs in every suite. The first whirlpool they purchased was a common circle. When Wilkins and Obie were carrying the prototype down a flight of stairs, they ran into a corner.
In order to make the turn, they needed to distort the shape a bit. When they finally got the bath through, they realized it reflected a heart shape…perfect for a couples resort.”
During the late 1980s, several venerable Pocono honeymoon resorts shut their doors, which led to the decline of the honeymoon business locally. In addition, vacationers discovered Disneyworld and the islands as attractive honeymoon spots and began traveling further.
Other popular resorts from the heyday of the honeymoon era were The Summit Resort and Penn Hills, which are now closed.
Where Are Some of These Tubs Today?
Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts Owned by Starwood Hotels
Cove Haven Resort on 194 Lakeview Drive in Lakeville, Pocono Palace Resort on Route 209 in Marshalls Creek and Paradise Stream Resort on Route 940 in Mount Pocono. These three all-inclusive couples-only resorts are no longer just for honeymooners, but for anyone looking for a romantic getaway. Combined, the three resorts have a total of 386 in-room pools and 652 in-room whirlpool baths (heart-shaped and otherwise!). For more information, visit covepoconoresorts.com or call 1-800-432-9932.
Mt. Haven Country Resort
This resort is tucked away in the woods off Log Tavern Road near Milford and is run by the Filone family, who opened Mt. Haven in 1973. Five cottages still feature the heart-shaped Jacuzzis. For more information, call (570) 296-8502, or 800-553-1530 or visit mthavenresorts.com.
Fernwood Hotel & Convention Center
Couples still come to Fernwood to relax and reconnect in one of the Dream Suites, which all feature a heart-shaped oversized whirlpool, in-room sauna and king size bed. Fernwood Hotel & Convention Center is located on Route 209 in Bushkill. For more info visit fernwoodhotel.com or call (570) 588-9500, Extension 0.