If you don't want to splurge for an A.C. casino hotel, you have virtually unlimited choices on Routes 30 and 40, from the Garden State Parkway to the boardwalk. I booked the Relax Inn last weekend, purely on the basis of its being the highest rated tripadvisor motel for the least money. That was a mistake. Whether the outstanding reviews were in violation of tripadvisor's policy or whether they were honest reviews by people who are truly clueless, it is in no way above the lowest level of motel. There are many better choices to be had in the same price range.
Literally in the shadow of the GS Parkway, the Relax Inn is about as far from the casinos as possible. That means you have to drive 10 miles, half of which is a gauntlet of traffic lights and hotel/motel/restaurant entrances. All that to arrive at a small (16 units or so), exterior entrance, in-wall air conditioned, basic unit. While the room is fairly large (I had 2 queen beds), the sink was in the main room (not on a hidden entrance to the toilet, as is usual) and as for claims of "quiet," I heard my neighbor's television all night long. As another traveler reported, everything was unplugged, so the room took a while to warm up to a comfortable level. The bedding is old style (sheet and bedspread, no comforter or even blanket. As for the included breakfast, it was only served 8 AM to 9:30 AM, and food had to be taken back to the room -- there is no breakfast area. I had a donut and small muffin; both were the standard institutional fare that come frozen and are defrosted. Certainly not the same as a local bakery product! A much better choice in my opinion is the Comfort Inn in Absecon. Only 4 miles from the casinos, that property is separated by a causeway and bay, so you do not have to go through the congested stretch as you do with the Relax Inn. Breakfast was better, had longer hours, and you actually had a place to sit and eat.
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