There's a lot to mention, so I'll try to be as comprehensive as I can.
Activities - One thing to note is that the resort is more reminiscent of summer camp than a luxury resort.
There are PLENTY of activities for all seasons. We visited during this current non-winter season. Despite the lack of snow, CH still managed to make enough snow that my wife and I were able to try snowmobiling for the first time. It was going in a circle, but still lots of fun. They had plenty of indoor activities, ranging from mini golf to billiards, rollerskating, archery, ice skating, etc. We didn't try everything, but we'll hopefully get to try more next time we come. Everything is scaled down, so the facilities aren't nearly as big or glamorous as a stand alone facility. (mini golf course, skating rink, etc).
The people -
At CH, everyone was incredibly friendly. Not just staff members, but every single couple we ran into was incredibly friendly and upbeat. It seemed that my wife and I were the only first timers at the place. We met people who had visited 4-5 times, and others who were on their 23 visit! A staff member pointed out to us that the resort is for couples, so you get to skip the drunken singles, lonely hearts, and third wheels. People are just happy to be together.
The staff seems to be a group of long timers. We met people who have been there for 20 years, enjoying the day in and day out.
Entertainment - I mentioned this separately because while you can entertain yourself with the difference activities, there is lots of entertainment provided. Each day has a different agenda, detailed in a brochure called "The Hot Spot."
The best activity (most likely vouched by anyone who attends) would be the XXX Newlywed/Not-So-Newlywed game, led by Honest Phil for a couple dozen years. To those who attend, I hope you're not offended by vulgar language. If you are, attend anyway and laugh your butt off. I won't ruin anything, but trust me, attend. And don't come with your parents or in-laws.
One of the coolest things was the deer feeding with Honest Phil. Around 4:15, a couple times a week, (I honestly don't know if its daily), Phil walks to one end of the camp yelling for the deer. He brings out some food and lays it down. Out of no where, a few deer appear. Then a few more... and more from the woods ALL over. I counted no less than 30 deer that come up to Phil and the line of food. I guess if you've been feeding the generations for more than 25 years, they know you and trust you.
In the evening, there was a house band which did a great job. People were dancing and the music was good. Following, a comedian came out. While we didn't stay too long for him, there was a crowd.
The Food - Included at the resort is breakfast and lunch. If you arrive before 11 am on your check in day, you're entitled to breakfast that day. Come as early as you can to get the most of it. The food is fresh, and you can order custom entrees. I have a weakness for Eggs Benedict and was pleasantly surprised that they fulfilled my request with no issues. The food was fresh and delicious. Better than any summer camp, or even neighborhood buffet that I've ever been too. The dinner was very good too! Appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. The night I went was Strip Steak night. The steak was very good, and my wife got salmon as she's not a red meat eater. She was very happy with her food as well.
I do suggest stopping at a Wawa/Turkey Hill/Subway/whatever before you arrive. Lunch is not provided and I wasn't able to hold out from my large breakfast until dinner. At the newlywed game, I was able to buy nachos. And everyone seemed to love their wings too.
There is alcohol available, both to purchase for your room or cocktails at the shows.
During mealtimes, you are seated with other guests. This is a great way to talk to other people as they are all very friendly. And you also discover that the resort isn't a massive establishment where you get lost. You'll see familiar faces.
The Rooms - Saving the best for last. My wife and I stayed at the Cove Harbor room. This was a double level room. When you first walk in, there is a 'living room' with couches and a fireplace. down the stairs to a round bed with a really cool star light effect on the ceiling. All the lights have dimmers too. The bathroom was clean, with the infamous heart shaped tub. If you plan to use it, you may want to bring bubble bath from home, or just use shampoo. Also, start filling about 15-20 min before you want to use it. All the guests said the Garden of Eden Apple rooms are the best, but I can't vouch for anything yet.
We got lucky that our room was ready right when we arrived around 9:30 am.
The only issues we had with the room was the weather stripping was a bit weak. So during strong gusts of wind, it sounded like a leaf blower was outside our door. We called maintenance to help while we were out and about. They left a message saying they unfortunately couldn't fix it. I was able to call and get us moved to a different room, slightly further from the central area. But we had quiet.
I was able to sleep pretty well but my wife wasn't as comfortable in the bed. I don't think the mattresses were that great. (the round was novelty, but I don't think it had an impact on our sleep quality).
Also, the room was cold when we got there. We had to blast the heat on high for a while. The fireplace was on the top floor, so we didn't get the benefit of sleeping by the fire.
A few suggestions:
1. Bring your own logs for the fireplace. But don't get a room specifically for the fireplace. We barely used it or were close to it. (maybe different in different rooms)
2. Bring your own bubble bathroom or just use the shampoo in the bathroom for the tub. They sell large containers in the gift shop, but you may not need that big a container.
3. On check in day, arrive as early as possible, especially if you are only staying 1 night. You'll spend most of your day having fun on that day. On the day you check out, you are able to stay and enjoy the resort until 5. But because of the remote location and distance, we left around 1 pm after spending the morning having fun at the sports place and roller skating.
4. If you forget any personal essentials, the gift shop has a good variety to cover many needs.
5. Don't be afraid to sit with other people at the shows. There's lots of empty tables or large tables with one other couple. Everyone is welcoming and friendly.
6. Gratuity is included for the rooms and food. But please tip the servers.
7. Bring alcohol for the room. You can buy it there, but why?
Last note - I was a bit put off by the price at first. But when you look at everything included, (gratuity, food, entertainment, activities), you realize it is a good price. We already booked our next overnight-er.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cove Haven Resort is a romantic Poconos all-suite hotel. Many of our guest rooms feature whirlpools, saunas, fireplaces, and/or round king-size beds. Tennis, racquetball, and watersports are available ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cove Haven Hotel Lakeville
- Caesars Poconos
- Caesars Cove Haven Poconos Lakeville