I stayed here last year and had a horrible experience (see earlier review). At that time, after a day in NYC, I returned to my room with some visitors only to find the room looking like Hurricane Katrina had hit it. It was not made up at all!
Anyway I complained and was assured my next stay would be a great improvement. I was informed the problems were related to a change of hotel management and staff and won't happen again.
Taking the hotel at its word, I stayed in the hotel Oct 3-7.
Check in this time was lightening fast.
The pros of the hotel:
Rooms are nice and spacious. Some have fridges and microwaves.
The cons of the hotel:
Safe Deposit - I checked in after midnight and found the in room safe to be locked and hence unusable. “Did someone leave their valuables behind?’ I thought. Too tired to do anything about it at that time, I waited until the next morning, when I woke up at 10:00am and called the front desk to open it for me. I was told that someone would come in a minute or two. Nobody came for 20 mins, so I called again. A few minutes thereafter, the hotels’ engineer, Jim, arrived and after some difficulty, managed to pry open the safe. He stated that it is common for kids to cause such mayhem for other guests and hotel staff.
My suggestion to hotel management: either debit guests who leave the safe locked an amount to reflect the inconvenience caused to the subsequent guests and to hotel staff such as Jim, or, ask housekeeping to check that the safes are open BEFORE considering the room AVAILABLE for new guests.
Hotel Shuttle -The entrance to the Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall by foot is a good 15 mins away.
On my prior visit, there was a REGULAR complimentary hotel shuttle to the outlet mall. The trip took 2 mins.
Now the shuttle is only on demand. Going to the mall it can leave every hour and drops guests off as it makes its way to the airport.
But returning from the mall it is woefully unreliable. Both the driver and the front desk told me to call the hotel when I want a ride back from the mall.
On Oct 7 from the mall, I called the hotel at 12:29pm and was told the bus is on the way and will collect me in a couple of mins. I was asked twice where I was so as to ensure I waited in the right place. The “right place” is exactly where I was dropped off, outside the food court. At 12:54am I called again saying the bus has not arrived. The front desk apologised and the bus appeared shortly after 1:00pm. The inconvenience I endured can be measured by the fact that I stood like a scarecrow in a cornfield for 33 mins in the cold and rain when I could have been shopping or enjoying a burger at Johnny Rocket’s.
That was not the only negative experience with the shuttle.
Only the night before, I spent the evening in NYC. On leaving the hotel earlier that day I asked about shuttles from the airport and was told ‘yes we have them at night, no problem’. I arrived back at EWR from NYC at 01:06am.
Thinking that there are shuttles every 30-40 mins, I patiently waited and waited. At 01:40am ALONE at the airport's shuttle's pick up point, I was somewhere between nervous and fed up. I called the hotel and was told there are no shuttles after 01:00am. This is NOT what I was told several hours earlier. After a short chat, the front desk sent a shuttle, which collected me at 01:55 am.
These two shuttle experiences really, really frustrated me. Especially the wait at the airport. Alone. And I bet it would more than frustrate seniors or single women.
Breakfast – cereal, bagels (with cheese, jam, honey), eggs, waffles and coffee are all ok.
If you don't like the breakfast there is an IHOP next door for great pancakes.
Staff – uniformly sporting a positive attitude, I found the front desk was always understaffed IMHO given the volume of guests.
This hotel is rated the #1 choice in the EWR vicinity. But my experiences – low staff numbers at the front desk, guest rooms not thoroughly checked before being released to the next guest and problematic shuttles – indicate the hotel is slipping down the standards totem pole.
That said, the rooms are still nice and the breakfast still passable. And for my money, the hotel
represents very good value.
Memo to management: Please address the issues of shuttle and safe deposit box and you will no doubt keep your rating as EWR’s #1 hotel.
All things considered I'll be back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.