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“Great location, cool old landmark hotel, but the rooms are way overpriced for what you get.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The National Hotel

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The National Hotel
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   31 Race Street, Frenchtown, NJ 08825   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Frenchtown B&B and Inns
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great location, cool old landmark hotel, but the rooms are way overpriced for what you get.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I was excited about staying at this hotel the first time. It was old and historic and appealing to us. We were meeting old friends who also booked a room. We had a great time at the main bar. It's lovely to look at and the service was great. The apps we ordered were tasty and delicious. The dinner in the main dining room was also very good, service not so much. We tried to order dessert but were told the kitchen staff went home and dessert was out of the question. Really? I think we should have been told the staff was leaving and given the option of ordering dessert first. It was barely 10:00 on New Year's Eve. ( Last year ) so we quickly paid our check and realized the hotel was deserted, not a staff member to be found except the basement bar. ( who could not help with anything upstairs, only drinks in the cellar ). If you got locked out or needed something, We gave them the benefit of the doubt and stayed here again, very recently. We were hoping on a normal weekend, things would be dramatically different. It wasn't. The rooms were overpriced $ 240 and tax maybe? Which would be fine if everything was wonderful. Lots of dissappointments. The room temp could not be controlled, the room had no mirror at all except a tiny one over the bathroom sink. I'm a girl who likes options when I dress and I need a mirror. So I hated that I had to go out in the hallway and use the decorative mirror by the steps. And then I got locked out of my room at 10:15 and there was no one to help because everyone had gone home. There were two of us in the room and only one towel. By the time we reaized that we needed towels, it was morning and of course,no one to help. If you want coffee on the weekends, you have to walk down the street to get it. I know it says coffee is available, but not until the staff comes in at around 11:00. We are up at 7:00. The T.V. was old and the remote did not work. We were limited to the one channel and volume. I dropped my earring by the pillow and reached down and pulled out a whip. It was carefully "hidden" on the platform of the bed. ( I guess someone uses this room regularly?) the hotel could use some renovating. It seems more of a bed and breakfast atmosphere, but without the hospitality or attention to detail, or breakfast. I think it is understaffed and under appreciated by the owners.it needs some TLC. It could be amazing. The bar area is fun and pretty and I will continue to come here to meet friends. I just won't waste my money staying overnight.

Room Tip: Take advantage of the upstairs porch to hang out with friends.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    47
    11
    12
    7
    2
See reviews for
8
38
5
11
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

I first have to say that I am well-traveled but this is the first time I have taken a moment to write a hotel review. This December we were visiting friends who live in Frenchtown (adorable town; historic, artsy, fabulous food, great shops...) and I tried to book a romantic place for my husband and I. I requested a suite with a jacuzzi tub and we were so looking forward to a comfy room after a long week of traveling in budget hotels. I love older architecture and have stayed in many B&B's, historic places, here and abroad and understand that older buildings have their quirks. The hotel lobby is beautiful (although a little messy) and we heard only good things about the restaurant (but did not ever try it ourselves). Upon entering our room, we noticed that the carpet was filthy. It desperatly needed a thorough stain and dirt cleaning. As another reviewer mentioned, it is also pretty dark - more adequete lighting would be nice. The bathroom was down a small set of stairs and in a seperate, almost detached room. The only problem with this was that the ONLY source of heat was in the bedroom (via a very loud wall heater). The bathroom was incredibly cold and we tried to use it as quickly as possible. Not a romantic place to disrobe for a jacuzzi bath! There was a very small pile of towels - no bath mat and no extras. The towels were very cheap and scratchy. The toiletries were piled on top of the toilet and they were a budget brand - most likely something purchased at Walmart? Our bed had exceptionally cheap linens as well and old, very used pillows. There was NO comforter! - only a very thin fleece blanket (which was not ok in a freezing room). Add an uncomfortable mattress and we had two very sleepless nights. We were not bothered by this but if you are looking for a quiet place - this is not it. Music and restaurant/bar noise from downstairs does last until very late.

Because of the lack of amenities or attention to detail and cleanliness, this hotel was WAY too expensive. I got the impression that it wasn't that they couldn't afford to attend to the details, it was that they didn't care?

Earlier in the week we stayed at a humble B&B where they offered lovely linens, nice toiletries, bath robes, the room had holiday lights, etc: and this place was HALF the price of what we paid at The National. I was surprised and dissapointed with our experience. We will for sure be back to Frenchtown but we'll be looking for a different place to stay ;(.

P.s., If you are in Frenchtown, DO check out the basement bar in The National. Cool little space with a great crowd, awesome bartender and live music. Very cozy.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thenationalhotelnj, Owner at The National Hotel, responded to this review, December 28, 2012
Thank you for sending us your feedback and kind words about your experience in our cellar tavern, The Rathskeller Pub, as well as about what others have told you about the high-quality experience they've had at our upstairs Restaurant and Bar. I am, however, concerned about what you shared regarding the room that you occupied. We use only the highest quality towels and linens, and we do daily inspections of the rooms after housekeeping is done, and before the guests check-in. We also constantly bring in new linens precisely to make sure that our overnight guests have the most enjoyable and high-quality experience possible. You are correct that these old and historic buildings often have quirks, but our boutique hotel was completely re-designed and decorated just 3 years ago, all with completely modern amenities, such as hair dryers, free Wi-Fi, exceptional mattresses, etc. In addition, I am at a loss in terms of how to respond to your observation that the wall-to-wall carpet was dirty during your stay this month, because we had just had them professionally cleaned and inspected. I can only imagine that it was the fact that the curtains were closed (for our guests' privacy) that perhaps played with the appearance of the carpeting. And to your last point of the heater, I am again under the impression that perhaps the controls on it were disturbed, because we have never received any criticism about it; on the contrary, we always have requests for that room by repeat guests. And, this is most disturbing, given that we purchased a brand new one just a few months ago, that covers the entire area. I'm heartened to read in your review that you plan on returning to Frenchtown, which you so accurately described as a charming and artistic town. I do hope that you stop by and talk to us upon your return, so that we may have another opportunity to welcome you to The National Hotel. Thank you again for your feedback.
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Milford, New Jersey
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Pooh Pooh on the reviewers that have ANYTHING negative to say about the National Hotel. We are regulars at the restaurant, and when it came to a place to have our wedding party, we could not think of anyone that could handle it better than Pete, Marlon and the staff at the National.

We took over all of the rooms of the National for the weekend. All of our guests raved about the rooms, and thought they were lovely. We had the Loft Suite and it was a perfect place to get ready for our big day, and to get some wonderful photographs. Thanks Marlon!

As for the restaurant, Chef Lisa and Pete made sure that our party was a very memorable experience. The food, as always, was excellent, and everyone raved about it! We had 100 guests and no one went away hungry, or thirsty as a matter of fact, thanks to Toby and Melissa manning the bar! Pete also went out of his way to get our special request for dessert, from another local favorite (need to go an thank them also!).

And where were we just a mere 5 days after our wedding, back at the National having dinner with our friends from the Lions Club!!!! And guess where we will be tonight!!!!

Room Tip: Please keep in mind that this is not a full service hotel, but a lovely boutique inn. The building...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We had eaten several times at The National Hotel and looked forward to staying there for two nights. The restaurant is quite good, but the rooms in the hotel leave much to be desired. First off, the rooms are in desperate need of an upgrading, not a modernization, but new carpteting, closet redesign and a tv and radio that work more efficiently than the ones in our room during our stay. The bathroom had no space whatsoever and the shelf above the toilet bowl could not accommodate anything because it was not a solid ledge, but an open horizontal design. I will note that the room was very clean, but there is very little service other than the maid cleaning the room. There is no in-room coffee, and despite the hotel guide in the room listing continental breakfast, we were informed that that is only for the weekend. There is nobody on duty early in the morning(by early, I mean, I saw nobody before 10:00AM). When questioned about the roll-up shades in the room, I was told to "just wrap them any way since they have tried to repair them, but people continually break them so they do not replace them and would not put anything new in since it would destroy the old feel of the room". Old is one thing, but need of repair and refurbishment is something else. Again, I will repeat that the food here is quite good. We had the Middle Eastern platter and skirt steak as well as a bottle of well priced wine. All were good and service, too, was good. Unfortunately, the inn can be a real gem if effort in improving service (welcoming people and showing them to their rooms, calling up to see how everything is, suggestions for seeing what's in town, etc) and refurbishing rooms as well as at least, having coffee in the lobby (although then somebody would actually have to be there before 10:00AM to make coffee) would be a good place to start. Eat at The National Hotel, especially at the bar, but forego a stay here until many needed improvements are made.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thenationalhotelnj, Owner at The National Hotel, responded to this review, September 29, 2012
We truly appreciate your feedback and were pleased to hear that you found the room to be very clean. You have helped us tremendously, because your online review allowed us to have a conversation with our staff regarding the roll-up shades, which you pointed out were an issue. Our staff is now properly versed on how to instruct guests on how to open them, rather than never bringing this to management's attention and suggesting their own method of handling this. If you had not posted your response, we would have been unaware that this was a problem--and one that is so easily resolved. Thank you for your contribution. As far as the concierge desk, I can only say that this either happened on a Monday, when we leave our cell phone numbers in case of emergencies (and usually at least one of us are on premises doing inventory, cleaning, or other such tasks), since our front desk, restaurant, and bars are closed, or if during the other days of the week, perhaps our General Manager or concierge stepped away for a brief moment when you came down, because our front desk is always staffed from 9 a.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. on weekends. We were also extremely pleased by your review about the quality of the food that is served in our Restaurant and Bar. Once again, thank you for sharing your comments and for helping us improve our procedures--and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Frenchtown, NJ and to The National Hotel.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

My fiancé and I spent a weekend here recently and we can't stop talking about it. The staff was friendly, the food was great, and we got to hear some fantastic local music in the basement bar. The owner was walking around helping his staff and overseeing things the whole time, which is always a good sign in my book. If and when we have a chance to go back to Frenchtown we will definitely be staying at The National.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

The National Hotel in Frenchtown NJ is one of the warmest, friendliest and accommodating places you can stay. The staff is attentive to your needs. The restaurant has excellent menu options and the rooms provide a serene environment. We keep coming back, year after year. We tried Frenchtown as a weekend escape years ago and like the fact that it was as yet an undiscovered gem. Thank you Marlon for always making our stay enjoyable. See you in a few months.

Tom and Gila
Hoboken, NJ

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galloway, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

The room was decorated nicely but was dark. When I opened the shades there were bugs on all four of the window sills. Two of the window views were of the roof and there was a soda bottle half filled with liquid and bird droppings within view on the flat top roof. We were registered as a party of four. There were only towels for two people. We called the front desk and more bath towels were delivered but no face cloths! So we had to call again. The same thing with the bottles of water. There were two in the room and we had to ask for two more. It is annoying when the booking was for four people but the management didn't pay attention to the details.

Room Tip: The room on the front side of the building had a lot of street traffic noise.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thenationalhotelnj, Owner at The National Hotel, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention. We had our housekeeping staff look into the issues you mentioned & apparently there was a window that had been kept slightly open, which might have been the cause of the bugs on the windowsill you described. As a policy we encourage guests to keep the windows closed as these are original windows to the building (that dates back to well over a century and a half ago) & there are no screens to prevent insects from entering. Our rooms are equipped with newly renovated air conditioning and heating units to keep the temperature at a comfortable level determined by each guest. As far as the towels, we truly apologize for the initial oversight of just placing the 2 sets of towels in the room. When you correctly advised our general manager of the situation, he brought you up the other set, but quickly realized he was missing the washcloths. Unfortunately, by the time he went downstairs to where these had just been delivered to unpack them & bring you a set upstairs to your room, you had already made the other call. We are very grateful that you pointed this out & will make sure to alert our housekeeping staff to make sure that we have the appropriate number of towels & water in the room whenever we have this number of guests in one room. Thank you for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to The National Hotel and to Frenchtown, NJ.
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Additional Information about The National Hotel

Address: 31 Race Street, Frenchtown, NJ 08825
Location: United States > New Jersey > Frenchtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Frenchtown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The National Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience comfort and luxury at The National Hotel from richly appointed and unique rooms in which to relax and escape today’s pressures, to our quality dining choices, where a friendly and attentive staff can help you unwind as you enjoy local flavors of the area, and end your evening in The Rathskeller Pub downstairs. ... more   less 
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