My husband and I booked the Grand Cascade to celebrate our 12th anniversary. We had been visiting with my father in New Jersey and wanted to find a nice place not too far away. Grand Cascade was just the answer. I couldn’t believe this place was in NJ. I lived most of my life in NJ and had never heard of it.
We booked a Jr. Suite with a spa package. The room itself was nice (although housekeeping could have done a better job dusting) but the room had a view of the parking lot and you could constantly hear people moving their luggage in—not exactly the romantic view we had in mind. They did not have a room that they could move us to the first night but for the second night of our stay they moved us to a one-bedroom suite on a higher floor with beautiful sweeping views of the mountains and the golf course. We had a big balcony where we enjoyed the bottle of champagne which they provided in celebration of our anniversary. I must say I was very impressed that management made an effort to meet our request.
There weren’t any major downsides to our stay, just a few minor things that I will mention. Firstly, I found that the staff at the front desk were cordial enough but certainly not friendly. When you are paying the kind of money that Grand Cascade charges you would expect a very warm reception. Secondly, at check-in they asked us if we were interested in turn down service and asked us to indicate at what time we would like the service. The time was noted in the computer. Despite this, we did not receive turn down service on either night. When my husband told them about this, the person with whom he spoke proceeded to explain to him what turn down service is. Being well seasoned travelers, we know full well what turn down service is and we didn’t get it.
Thirdly, the concierge woman was just plain grouchy, looked tired and overworked and didn’t seem particularly interested in helping us with dinner reservations. She seemed a bit annoyed that we didn’t make up our minds regarding a dinner choice quickly enough for her liking.
I had a deep tissue massage at the spa which was very good. The therapist really knew her stuff and I very much enjoyed my massage. The only downside was that the spa is a bit noisy and busy. There was incessant chatter in a place that was supposed to be quiet and relaxed.
Crystal Springs consists of several different properties. On our first night after dinner we went across to the Mineral Springs nightclub. It was a fun scene and we found what we felt was a bargain on the wine list. The bartender however was rather surly and inattentive.
The biosphere pool was beautiful with the waterfalls and plant life. I enjoyed the whirlpool and steam room when there weren’t noisy children running in and out of them. It was difficult to find a lounge chair in the biosphere as this is a very popular hangout for all visitors to Crystal Springs.
The highlight of this property in my opinion is the food. Every meal we had was excellent. On the night of our anniversary we splurged--and I do mean splurged because it was extremely expensive--on the seven course wine pairing menu at LaTour. We were not disappointed. I highly recommend this. We also had a tour of the wine cellar---extremely impressive. My husband is in the wine business and we are big wine drinkers and big foodies. We enjoyed the tour and the maître’ d was extremely knowledgeable about wines and was full of passion. Everything we ate at Grand Cascades was delicious and we tried all of the restaurants.
I was particularly impressed by the fact a manager got in touch with me after I completed the visitor's survey. I mentioned on the survey that there was a discrepancy on my bill that I noticed as I was leaving but didn't have time to wait in the long line. Before I even had the opportunity to call, the manager contacted me via telephone straightened out the problem and went through the few negative points I raised in the survey.
Overall it was a fabulous weekend. The property is breath-taking, the rooms are spacious and well appointed, and the staff is friendly and helpful (save the few exceptions already mentioned). I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a romantic getaway.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Grand Cascades Lodge, the NY metro area's newest and most luxurious resort hotel. Ideally situated in the scenic mountains of northwestern New Jersey and just 47 miles from Manhattan, this elegant retreat offers spacious designer guest rooms with gourmet kitchens, fireplaces and balconies. World-class amenities include a distinctive Biosphere Tropical Pool Complex, the luxurious Reflections Spa, six award-winning golf courses, an 18-hole grass putting course, 4-star Restaurant Latour, 3 indoor/outdoor heated pools, meeting and conference rooms, on-site pro shop, gift store and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Cascades Hotel Hamburg
- Hotel Grand Cascades