In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
There is a wide misconception about the description of Heaven and Hell in Quran.
1- The 72 virgins story come from the unauthorized books of Hadith, while in Quran God mentions magnificent spouses.
2- All descriptions of Heaven and Hell in Quran (as well as in previous scriptures) are allegorical. The believers are those who believe in the unseen (meanings) and put it above the visible materials, they are appreciative of the righteous meanings attached to the visible creatures, they are not too blind (like the disbleievers) to feel them with their hearts (not their 5 senses). Thus they are the ones who can really appreciate the allegorical descriptions of Heaven and Hell on a soul level, while those who are blind will only see the physical sense to the descriptions as they only believe in the visible (visible gods..etc).
Rashad Khalifa highlighted a very crucial word that God uses when describing Heaven, it is the Arabic word "Mathala, the example of..", thus signifying that these descriptions are only to bring the feelings attached closer to our minds, or rather our souls.
[47:15] The allegory of Paradise that is promised for the righteous is this: it has rivers of unpolluted water, and rivers of fresh milk, and rivers of wine - delicious for the drinkers - and rivers of strained honey. They have all kinds of fruits therein, and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are they better) or those who abide forever in the hellfire, and drink hellish water that tears up their intestines?
Excerpt from Appendix 5 of the authorized english translation of Quran by Rashad Khalifa, the messenger of the covenant
The descriptions of Heaven and Hell throughout the Quran are allegorical. And the Quran tells us so whenever such descriptions occur as independent statements, not within a general subject. See 2:24-26, 13:35, and 47:15.The word "Mathal" (allegory) is used in these verses.
Linguistically, the word "Mathal" in these verses can be removed, and we still have perfect sentences. But it is there because the descriptions of Heaven and Hell are allegorical.
What Heaven and Hell are really like is far beyond our comprehension. Hence the need for allegory.
How can one describe, for example, the taste of chocolate to a person who never tasted chocolate? Allegory will have to be used. The person has to wait to actually taste chocolate in order to know what chocolate tastes like. Whatever allegory we use to describe the taste of chocolate can never approximate the real thing.