Valentine’s Day is almost here, and that oft-dreaded event is unquestionably my favorite holiday. I love the day devoted to love. As a young girl, I was terribly romantic, and wanted to experience true love (kissing) in the most romantic scenarios possible-under the Wildwood, NJ boardwalk, in a restaurant with upholstered seats, and in a heart-shaped hot tub. I’m not sure when the heart-shaped hot tub entered my consciousness, but it definitely appeared in my daydreams for years. And thank to my love of kitsch, it still does. While Blue Valentine was one of the saddest movies I’ve watched in my life, that space-themed hotel room made my pulse quicken with curiosity. A quick Google search let me know that I can indeed spend a night of romantic kissing in the “robot’s vagina,” the phrase Ryan Gosling’s character uses to describe the room, since the suite is located in the Valley Forge Radisson, about 45 minutes away from Philly. Wanting to spend the night in one of these “romance” hotels now has less to do with wooing and all to do with plumbing the depths of experiencing on the road What-the-Fuckery. As much as I adore Castle Dee, I covet a night at any of the following hotels.
1. Cove Haven Resorts, Poconos, PA
The three couples-only Cove Haven resorts-Cove Haven, Paradise Stream, and Poconos Palace- are dedicated to romantic relaxation. According to Cove Haven’s resort profile, it “is the ultimate lovers retreat.” In other words, they have a variety of heart-shaped tubs and pools in their rooms, along with mirrored ceilings and round beds. I’ve never even seen a round bed in person. They are the stuff of luxurious mansions and late-night movies on HBO from 1987. The champagne glass-shaped hot tubs are found in suites decorated in either an Egyptian or a Roman theme. While I’m not sure that either ancient culture had the privilege of enjoying a 7-foot high champagne hot tub nor a sip from a simple champagne glass, I wouldn’t turn down a night at any of these resorts for the sake of arguing an anachronism.
For Chance the gardener or others who like to watch:
2. The Feather Nest Inn, Cherry Hill, NJ
I have no excuse not to drive over the bridge into New Jersey to visit this gem. Accommodations aside, I’m deeply intrigued by the Feather Nest Inn‘s pitch, found on their home page, “Whether you’re planning a romantic get-a-way for two, or a short private afternoon rendezvous, the Feather Nest Inn’s professional staff stands ready to serve you.” Shit, that comment might as well say, “Come on, you wannabe Roger Sterlings-bang your secretary right here amongst our uber-discreet secret-keeping staff.” And I’m not complaining. Good to know that no one will tell my mom when I get close to a dude on a circular bed in the Space Odyssey Room. The decor, composed of many props, found in their Theme Suites truly makes each one a world of their own.
The Feather Nest Inn is just that. No room service, no restaurant, no spa. They do, however, have wallpaper in several rooms.
3. The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA
Now we’re headed into the big leagues of theme rooms and romantic getaways. I wish I’d known about the Madonna Inn when I lived in San Francisco. It was a time of loss, and seeing images of the Madonna reaffirms that fact. (Just kidding, SF was fine. I’m just too high strung to live there, but I’m mad at myself for missing the Madonna.) The inn is currently running Valentine’s Day specials (which are sold out), but it has plenty to brag about all year long, and scads of photos to back their claims. Themed suites aside, the Madonna possesses an opulent pink steakhouse, a cafe, a cocktail lounge, a bakery, and a poolside bar for food and drinks, as well as a gift shop, clothing boutique, and wine and cheese shop. On top of those features, the Madonna Inn also has a spa and fitness center. However, since this is a post about romantic places to spend with your honey (or hookup), my mind is only focused on unusual places designed for a particular type of fitness. I’m thrilled to tell you that you have 110 uniquely adorned guestroom options to review. I will also warn you-there is a lot of wallpaper at the Madonna. While I did not see any heart-shaped hot tubs, I don’t feel it’s a loss here.
I am sitting here in absolute awe of this decor-it’s over the top, campy, and so far from austere that I have to blot the drool from my t-shirt. It’s like someone took armload of dollars and their Barbie Dream House fantasies to an interior designer and left them with one instruction: Make it real.
I lust after a dome chair like you would never, ever know. I think I need a Valium right now. I feel overwhelmed. With joy. It’s so fucking romantic. Whisk me away.
And lest you think that the Madonna is totally serious, please check out the Ren-Dez-Vous rooms. Each room is a syllable in that fabulously suggestive French word:
4. The Roxbury Motel, Roxbury, NY
My dear friend Chris told me about the Roxbury Motel after having a hunch I’d be into it. He was absolutely right. While not quite marketed as a lovers’ retreat, the Roxbury seems suited to hosting any crowd with a sense of humor. The Roxbury is carefully designed to evoke the moods and styles of past decades and their pop culture trends instead of clinging to an “it’s-vintage-rather-than-outdated” vibe that other romance hotels have. In other words, the Roxbury nods at the past and marches forward. It’s freshly decorated and possesses a wink of whimsy with regard to its playfully, yet meticulously themed quarters. Once again, no heart-shaped hot tubs here, but it’s no penalty in light of what is here. Words won’t do the Roxbury any justice, so peep these images.
I’ve never even seen the Sound of Music, but I’d love to live in one big pattern for a weekend. Even the bathroom is tiled in this pattern. With my taste for tedium, I might even try that with my own bathroom one day. Fuck, I’m swooning.
Miss Kitty’s Saloon, room #22, is red-drenched and soaked with an air of debauchery. If I ever film pinup movies, I’m making the trip to do them in this room, come hell or high water. It’s like being inside a throbbing heart without that sticky blood to ruin your shoes.
I wouldn’t want to live full time in a dessert inspired by a confection from Gilligan’s Island, but I’d sure like to marvel at the work put into making this pie/motel room. This is the only white ceiling that is better than a mirrored ceiling when it comes to romantic getaways. I could poke around the Roxbury’s website all day, but I’ve work to do. Instead, go do it for me.
Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXOXOXOXOX,