We had two adjoining rooms, traveling with two teenage sons and 7 year old daughter. Nice helpful staff, but not overly friendly, and prompt check-in. I had 6 packages shipped to the hotel and four were waiting upon our arrival. The other two, I had to check at the front desk for. There were no indication on the phone or paper messages left letting me know that they had arrived. Rooms were clean and equipped with a small bar fridge. Ice machine and vending machine as expected. Rooms were renovated and nice. Nice fluffy towels along with basic toiletries in the clean but tiny bathrooms.
We stayed four nights and three days walked to Penn Station and on return every evening, i called for a shuttle pickup as we got off the train. We were impressed with the prompt and courteous service of the driver especially after reading the previous reviews. We never had to wait more than five minutes. As promised, they were on their way!
We did not use any amenities of the hotel or have any meals except breakfast which was more than sufficient. There was hot and cold selections, nothing fancy but enough to start your day with. Hard boiled eggs, pancakes from the pancake dispensing griddle, and microwaveable egg/bagel sandwiches, toast and bagels, corn muffins, a good selection of cold cereals, hot oatmeal, juices, whole apples and oranges, and a coffee machine is more what my family needs to start the day. The staff were friendly in there as well.
The PATh train is $2.25 to the World Trade Centre or around the corner from Madison Sq Gardens/grand central station. The problem is that depending on where you need to be, you may have to pay again for the ny train system which now equates to a $40/day trip for the four of us (our daughter was free says the attendant on the first day). You can purchase one metro card from the dispensing machine and reload for everyone. Just insert card And go through one at a time. Don't take the NJ Transit train unless you are in a hurry - it's much more expensive.
NJ Penn station didn't seem as bad as what the reviews were saying about it. It was clean, didnt smell and during the day it was a busy place. At night, 9-10pm, it was quieter and the homeless were more noticeable. I did not at anytime feel endangered or frightened by anyone. And like I mentioned before, the shuttle service arrived promptly which was great!
As for whether or not it was worthwhile saving a bit of money staying out on the city, I'm not sure whether it is if you are only coming for a few days. When The trains were running on weekend service, trains were crowded and the wait times were quite long in addition to the time the train takes to get to and from the city. You could be spending more than 2 hours a day traveling in and out of the Manhattan .
Bottom line: next time, for the price of two rooms like we had, we'll spend a little extra money and stay in Manhattan using Flipkey.com rentals, park the car in NJ at the train station for the duration of our stay, take the train in, and pick up the car on our way home. Great hotel stay and good convenient location if you're willing to make the commute, just convenience and spending as much time in the city is more of a priority to us.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.