Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mount Airy Resort Casino and Golf Course Redefines Itself

A multi-million dollar upgrade worked wonders on a tired yet "beautiful" Lodge, reinventing itself as Mount Airy Casino Resort. The former hotel, as it was told to me, had to be demolished by the owners, the DeNaples family, and with it thankfully went the days of the “honeymoon-hideaway”; red, heart-shaped tubs and Poconos 70's "kitsch". 

Mount Airy ResortOwner Lisa DeNaples’ personal touch throughout the rebuilt Mount Airy Casino Resort hits the jackpot, from glittering chandeliers and glistening glass fireplaces in the entry to pure chic d├ęcor at Gypsies Night Club (with cages tastefully surrounding the stage for the dancing girls). 

Top-name entertainment performs weekly (check the schedule) and includes a special surprise for the ladies with the Thunder from Down Under revue throughout the summer.  

The resort is clean, has all of the comforts of home and then some; super-comfy plush bedding, flat-screen televisions and digital Cisco phone systems in each room provide weather and wake-up calls at the touch of a button.

Like a phoenix from the ashes, Mt Airy sacrificed itself in order to save and reinvent itself... which was probably for the best.

Mount Airy Casino Resort Dining

Mount Airy Resort served well as a birthday destination for me: who doesn’t love a great meal served by waiters and waitresses who seem genuinely happy to assist (with piano music playing gently in the background?) My special occasion dinner was served up at Red’s, named after the owner’s patriarch. Steaks were cooked to perfection and the cheesecake was delicioso.

Mount Airy Resort Dining

I’m hard-pressed to say which restaurant served up the preferred meal during my stay but, if it was based on the quality of the Veal Marsala, I might have to choose Le Sorelle Cucina…I would journey back here just for the Veal…so tender!

There are several other options on the premises: Betty’s Diner is furnished with what else but a 1950’s theme and a Buffet where my husband and I gravitated to while waiting for our room to become available. Although we didn’t eat at the Buffet, we were impressed by the quality and with only small portions left out in order to keep the food fresh.

A Noodle Bar and Starbucks round out the dining options.

Framed in Betty's Diner was this photo of what looks to be 1970's poolside splendor at Mount Airy Lodge..and the reminder that today, all photos are digitized and in color.

Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge

Mount Airy Casino Resort and Gaming

There is a reason this Resort is called a Casino but I am disappointed to say that, for us, the machines were very tight; we hardly got any play. 

When we got tired of losing, we tried to find outdoor space to catch a bit of sunshine but noticed that there is limited seating on the premises unless you take a short stroll just across from Mount Airy Resort to the golf course. There you will find very restful outdoor seating/dining overlooking the lake. I understand that there is also a walking and bicycle path at the entrance to the Resort …but I was later warned to beware of tics and bring  bug spray (and sunscreen) for protection.

An indoor, outdoor pool is currently under construction and set to open around Labor Day which should take care of the lounging issues. The pool is located by the Spa and Fitness Center which looked like a serene place to get away from the hustle of the machines.

Mount Airy Golf CourseEighteen holes of golf were designed by architect Hal Purdy in order to recreate some of the Top Golf Courses in the Country. 

Of course, these golf holes were "inspired" by Purdy and loosely based on the top eighteen (and do not necessarily follow the numbers on this card) but there are similarities. The 18th on Pebble Beach is recreated for example, but the water is on the opposite side of the fairway. 

Whether or not you can see the similarities, you will find yourself tested from the first tee box to your final drained putt. The Palmer Golf Course at Forsgate CC, Burning Tree in Greenwich CT and Fox Hollow in Somerville are among Hal Purdy's memorable golf course designs.

Although there are currently plans on the table for a putting green and range, for now guests who arrive before 11AM can walk or drive a cart to the 18th green for a warm-up (who doesn’t want to practice on Pebble Beach GC 18th green?)

New irrigation system has been added and the course is in great condition. It is a busy golf course, and rightfully so as blind holes and twists and turns take golfers on a journey which frustrates for errant shots and rewards the player for smart play. The rough is thick, there are a number of doglegs and the greens are tricky.

Mount Airy Golf Course
Barry and playing partner pointing out best place to land the shot.

After our round of golf, although tempted to play another nine, we decided to have a snack by the lake and venture into the Clubhouse to relax and watch a bit of golf. This Clubhouse was a total redesign watched over in its entirety, I'm told, by Ms. DeNaples who gave this Clubhouse the feel of a Lodge.

All in all, I would say that Mount Airy has morphed into a present day Casino Resort with a focus on the Casino and with all of the comforts that you would expect from a Resort destination. For me, I felt as if I could stay perhaps a night or two and then be on my way to my next destination. In other words, this is a great travel stopover while passing through the Poconos. If you are a golfer, you will not be disappointed.

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Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


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