Waukesha couple visit adult niche hotels across the country

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Heart-shaped beds and heart-shaped tubs mean big heart-eyed for Waukesha native Margaret Bienert, one half of themed hotel touring duo, A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour.

While adult-themed hotels and rooms typically carry a dubious reputation, Margaret and her husband, Corey Bienert, seek to break the stigma surrounding these vacation destinations.

The Bienerts began documenting their travels on social media and on their YouTube channel in 2019. Together, they take their viewers on a journey, good or bad, through kitschy romantic hotels, assessing things like the romantic vibe, cleanliness and other characteristics.

“If people could see [these hotels]not just for the bad reputation, but for the hotel experience and being open to that idea, I think that would be good for people,” Margaret said.

A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram and TikTok, including model Bella Hadid, musician Kacey Musgraves and actor Neil Patrick Harris. The couple have been featured in numerous publications, including Vice, GQ, ELLE and Refinery29.

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“Pretty quickly there was definitely interest, but it was a lot of mixed interest,” Margaret said.

Despite these mixed reactions, they maintained a stable, enthusiastic and adventurous group of followers.

The project was born out of what, for a time, was already the normal life of the Bienerts. The couple worked for several production companies doing video and photography. The jobs required them to travel and to go in and out of hotels.

As a young married couple with little money, they wanted to try and turn their work trips into a little vacation experience.

“We weren’t just looking for the fanciest places,” Margaret said. “We were looking for cool places where we could afford to go.”

Waukesha native Margaret Bienert and her husband, Corey Bienert, pose for a photo on a seashell-shaped bed in a themed suite at the Black Swan Inn in Pocatello, Idaho.  The couple run A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour, which explores niche romantic hotels across the United States.

Their first adult hotel experience found them at Cove Pocono Resorts in Pennsylvania in 2018, which includes three properties: Paradise Stream, Pocono Palace and the Bienerts’ personal favorite, Cove Haven.

There they bathed in champagne glass-shaped tubs, slept in heart-shaped beds and even had their own private pool in one of the suites. They still have a soft spot for where it all started, Margaret said.

“Margaret and Corey…they seemed more than anyone else to be really passionate about the properties in a really sweet and endearing way. They’re lovely and incredibly kind,” said Kyle Kuczma, Marketing Director for Cove Pocono Resorts and co-star from the very first episode of A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour. “In the post-social media world here, it feels like it’s a little hard to find.”

Kuczma even remarried the couple on their 10th anniversary, and the three remain good friends.

Margaret and Corey Bienert of A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour whipped up this heart-shaped tub with roses and baby's breath before a photoshoot at the Flamingo Inn in Rosemead, CA.

This year is the first year that the Bienerts have carried out the project full-time. Even after three years of A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour, Margaret said there are still new hotels to be found, especially in the Midwest.

“Going back and finding places, not so far from where I grew up, is really weird,” Margaret said.

Wisconsinans can test out one of the hotel chains the Bienerts visited in suburban Milwaukee: Sybaris Pool Suites in Mequon, which scored five out of five on all features.

There’s also the Don Q Inn in Dodgeville, which also got a high rating.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a private, not-so-family getaway, the Bienerts have you covered. Their only request: try it!

“I know we oddly decided to tell everyone about it, but not everyone has to,” Margaret said. “It’s actually something really worth trying.”

Samantha Hendrickson can be reached at 414-223-5383 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @samanthajhendr.

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