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POCONO's - Pocono Gardens Lodge my review

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I recently took a trip to the Pocono's for 2 nights
before going I did some research on the net, also a
friend recommended the Caesars resorts. I searched the internet and found several hotels, and ordered brochures. The hotels I was looking for were the type that catered to lovers with various ammenities
in the rooms such as whirlpool baths, saunas, & pools. Anyway I chose the Pocono Gardens Lodge a part of the Mt. Airey Lodge trio, the price was about $80 less than Caesars for the best room in the brochures. Upon arrival at the resort I started to have doubts right away, the outside of the main building had various concrete planters that were broken with nothing growing out of them and the exterior of the building was in a state of disrepair, however on entrance the interior was in better shape, not glamourous but much better than the outside. At checkin the person at the desk was not very cordial (however other people that we spoke to at the desk later were a bit more cordial). We were required to pay the $520 for 2 midweek nights in advance which was unusual, this included a $100 required room deposit which they require when you reserve the room, and 6%25 tax & Gratuities. When asked exactly what came with our reservation the checkin clerk was less than forthcoming, according to the brochure all you can eat dinner and breakfast were included, I told the clerk this then she filled out a meal ticket, apparently if I hadn't said anything it would not have been given. She then gave us the key to the room and a zeroxed copy of a map to our room, I guess there was no bellboy on duty. We drove down the road to a set of small buildings called the amorattas, this scared me since the room I reserved (the best room they have) was called a nestlewood chalet and amoratta was not even listed in the brochure. Anyway we arrived at the building which houses 4 suites, 2 on either side, after climbing the stairs we found room 2317, it was sparsely furnished, it had a heartshaped whirlpool bath, a sauna, and a builtin pool. The brochure showed pictures of a cabin with lots of foliage and beautiful wicker furniture, instead we got one plastic plant that was plastered into a concrete pot and an old 2 seater couch & one chair. We walked out to the patio which just turned out to be a wooden enclosed balcony, in the brochure it showed a stone tiled floor with lounge chairs and foliage, instead we had 2x4 floors no foliage of any kind and no chairs. The aledged plush carpet was just standard commercial grade stuff, the king size bed was more queen size and round, there wasn't even a do not disturb sign for the doorknob. We left to go for dinner and speak with a desk clerk, I asked the clerk about the room, she was much nicer than the earlier clerk, anyhow she said the room we were in was actually better than the nestlewood chalet as they were just redone (could've fooled me) and that some lounge chairs and a do not disturb sign would be put there in the morning. It was 6:15 pm and dinner was at 6:30 so we waited in the lobby, the brochure was quite specific that jackets were required and no jeans were allowed at dinner, so I was dressed semi-formally. I was pretty shocked when I saw most of the staff dressed in jeans and most of the patrons in t-shirts, It was country western night in the restaurant, no wonder. At 6:30 the maitre'd still was not letting anyone in, by 6:35 some people just walked in and sat down tired of waiting, we followed and were chased out. At 6:40 they finally let us in. We were seated at a table and we looked at the menu, I ordered NY strip steak, all the portions were tiny, though you were given appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert. When I got my
steak it turned out to be 2 deli thin slices of roastbeef that were at least %2540 fat. Needless to say after the dinner I was still hungry, they served coffee but try finding someone to get a second cup. It was easy enough to buy bar drinks but to get a second cup of coffee impossible. Apparently the policy of the Mt Airey Lodge chain of resorts is that to get anything you have to ask and they will make it as hard as possible to ask, nothing is provided for you, that way they can say you never asked if you complain. They did provide live music and a comedian for dinner, very good. Everything the resort had was the cheapest of its type from the towels to the food. To get ice you had to go approximately 1/4 mile from your room to the bar, where it was given in a tiny plastic bucket, a big diffence from the silverplated wine cooler shown in the brochure. In the morning we returned to the restaurant for breakfast I ordered oatmeal, ham&cheese omelet, and sweet rolls. We had a different waitress that explained to us that we were indeed entitled to eat all we wanted. Anyway the oatmeal was terrible but the small omelet was the best thing I ate there during the entire stay and I was able to get a second cup of coffee. We returned to the room and found a do not disturb sign, so I went out on to the "patio" to find not lounge chairs but the nylon cushions that go with them and they were very dirty. That evening I decided to go to dinner wearing a t-shirt, to my dismay this time most people were dressed up. We sat down to order dinner and had the same waitress as for breakfast,(we were smart this time as we had gone to a local steak house with excellent black angus filets 2 hours before, I was not going to bed hungry tonight) I ordered chicken which was far better than the entree I had the night before, still small portions but better prepared. The live music was not as good as the night before but it was live music, no comedian though. The entertainment director walked around trying to sell raffel tickets and $10 drinks. In the morning breakfast was the same as the day before however the omelet shrunk, must have been a half egg, the day before it was a whole egg omelet. Now it was time to check out, my final opinion is that its a low rate hotel at top rate prices, the jacuzzi, sauna, and pool made for great enjoyment but the decor, amenities, and landscaping sure left a lot to be desired, there was loose garbage scattered around the grounds near the chalets. Just down the road the Caesars Paradise resort appeared much better so if you want to go on a lovers trip to the pocono's that would be my suggestion.

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