Red heart-shaped bathtubs gained world fame in the '70s in Pocono resorts, and now three of these mementos of American romance are attracting a new clientele in West Virginia.
Three tubs have made their way into luxury vacation cabins among the national parks of southern West Virginia, where they've become exceptionally popular draws, according to Jennifer Breuer of Country Road Cabins.
"The three cabins in which our tubs are located are now our most popular vacation rentals, which is really no surprise given the popularity of romantic mountain vacations," says Breuer, who came across the first tub nearby in Oak Hill, far from where one might have expected to find one.
"We happened across it at a sale right here in Oak Hill, of all places, and it inspired us to begin hunting down others -- one of which we found in the Poconos in Stroudsburg and another in the Smokies near Gatlinburg and another in Buffalo, N.Y.," she said.
The first wave of popularity for red heart-shaped tubs came in the '60s when hotelier Morris B. Wilkins fashioned one of tile and concrete for his ostentatious couples-only hotel in the Poconos north of Philadelphia.
A photo of a couple bathing among bubbles in a 1971 issue of LIFE Magazine caused the tub and the Poconos to become synonymous with honeymoon vacations, and the heart-shaped-tub-craze exploded.
By the '80s, with the advent of cheaper air-travel, the popularity of Pocono honeymoons was eclipsed by the allure of romantic retreats in Las Vegas and almost anywhere imaginable, and many tubs were removed as hotels were updated.
Jennifer Breuer still isn't sure how one wound up in southern West Virginia, but the tubs are attracting couples aplenty to the New River Gorge region.
"Though our cabins are high-end, they're certainly not the flamboyant affairs that rooms had been in the Poconos in the '70s. Still, I think in this day-and-age many people are looking for a relaxed retreat in the woodlands," Breuer said.
Country Road Cabins offers a romantic cabin-getaway package that can include champagne, chocolates, breakfast, steak dinners, a bed covered in rose petals, and an amenity basket that includes coffee mugs with heart-shaped handles.
Breuer's triple-diamond rated cabin retreat is located in the scenic highlands between the New and Gauley rivers in southern West Virginia, one of the most popular outdoor-adventure destinations in the Mountain State.
Other vacation packages the cabins offer include golf, fishing, whitewater-rafting expeditions and canopy and zipline tours in the national park.
For more information, visit Country Road Cabins online at WVCabins.com or call 888-712-2246.