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“Waiting for the Re-Branding and Renovation -- an Update”

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Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater
Ranked #9 of 16 Hotels in Somerset
Reviewed July 25, 2014

I have noted previously that we travel regularly to northern NJ on family business, and have stayed at this hotel frequently, most recently in June for about 10 days. I believe it remains a good value, though the new owners have been slow to invest in important upgrades. Here are my pros and cons for this place, now:

PROS: (1) terrific front desk staff, great restaurant (Fuzions Grille), great swimming pool, and pretty good rooms at good rates; (2) good location, right off I-287 exit 10, and close to Rutgers University and New Brunswick. Offers pretty good access to New York City for people who want to enjoy it without shelling out for Manhattan hotel rates.

CONS: (1) Key staff positions are under-filled (especially front desk and maintenance); (2) chronic problems with electronic card keys have not been resolved--a real aggravation for guests who have to return to the front desk 2-3 times to get their keys redone; (3) the fitness center is poorly maintained, with crowded machines that may be missing parts; (4) Fuzions Grille boasts a great chef, generous and tasty menu items, and a breakfast buffet better than you'll find in most other hotels...but, the positions of maitre-d', waiter, bus boy and room service attendant are all filled by a single person! This fine restaurant could do a lot more business if it was properly staffed; we've seen many people walk in but leave after a few minutes because no one was at the front to greet and seat them. Short sighted and, frankly, stupid in my estimation. The new owners need to get and remain more involved unless they plan to rely solely on the big tour groups that are keeping them afloat at the moment. Family and individual travelers will become discouraged if they don't put some effort into its renaissance.

We still like this hotel, and have come to grips with the electronic lock issues. Further, I'm told that serous renovations should begin "this year," in which case it should improve markedly.

Room Tip: The upper floors are quieter (the large tour groups, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, are genera...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank MontagnardNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle S, General Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2014

Dear MontagnardNM ,

We are excited to announce that we will be rebranding very soon as our renovations will begin in the month of September to be an upscale branded hotel. We are currently under new management and we are excited that we are going forward with our renovations in the near future. I assure you that as the new GM to the hotel , excellent customer service is of the utmost importance to me to deliver the best guest experience that we can to insure your stay is the best.

There are obviously some issues that need to be addressed for the property and they are on a daily basis and we welcome completely new construction with our renovations. We gladly invite you back to see the metamorphosis of the hotel in the months to come.

Sincerely,

Michelle Satanik
General Manager

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132 - 138 of 271 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2014

The star rating should be reviewed at this hotel. Wifi did not work. You hear all that goes on in the hallway. Got served in cardboard plates with plastic utensils during breakfast at the restaurant. The pool was freezing cold. AC made lots of noise. Luckily I got a good price for this as is was certainly not work full price.

Room Tip: Do not get a room close to the ice machine or vending machines.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank JBGoode441
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle S, General Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2014

Dear JBGoode441 ,

Thanks for your comments as we take them very seriously and want to better ourselves for our guests. We most certainly serve on china and flatware . We had a Kosher group that we had in house during your stay and it occurred to me that they thought you were part of that group as they did have paper goods for their breakfast.

As for the pool, It is heated and I am sorry if you felt that it was under temp as our pool is an interior / exterior pool that is attached within our courtyard. I apologize for any inconveniences that it may have posed for you during your stay. We do hope that we see you again soon and I encourage you to reach out to me during your next stay.

Best regards,

Michelle Satanik
General Manager

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Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

check in was easy. wasn't permitted access to pool and gym and had to ask to rekey. front desk lady was tightwad and mean to inform me We don't have access to lounge in our floor. Fine. breakfast I had to pay and wasn't included. Thankfully, One of the over night shift lady at front desk took time to explain things around the hotel to do and hotel menus etc.

Stayed: July 2014
Thank aden0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle S, General Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2014

Dear Traveler,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback . We realize it takes time out of your busy day. I do apologize for any misunderstanding or perceptions about your stay. We do have a full breakfast but it is NOT included in some of our rates we however do have rates that include breakfast. The indoor- outdoor pool located in our scenic courtyard is available for all registered guests to use.


We do have our concierge floor and the Concierge Lounge was out of order that weekend . We do apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused. We are reopening it this weekend but it is only available to our guests on that floor as it is a premium priced room amenity.

We do hope that we see you again . We aim to deliver an excellent guest experience.


Best Regards,

Michelle Satanik
General Manager

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Reviewed July 7, 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at this hotel for the local anime convention a month ago. We had a room on the 9th floor, which is apparently part of the 'concierge' level, I think it was rooms 8-12 in the tower. It would seem on the website these rooms are called 'executive' level.

Check in was OK, no complaints there. It went quickly considering there were many people trying to check in at once.

We went up to our room and found it to be clean and comfortable. We had a refrigerator, I think all of the 'executive' level rooms have one. The refrigerator is mounted inside a cabinet that's part of the dresser - I thought this was a nice touch, you can't hear the noise of the compressor that way. I wish the desk were a little bigger, but you can't win 'em all.

We were hungry after the trip there, so we stopped by the onsite restaurant, 'Fuzion Grille' - with a name like that I was expecting some sort of Asian fare, but it's just a general American restaurant. It was oddly empty, we were the only people there when the place opened, and only one staff member was running the whole place, handling hostess, waitress, and bus duties - we felt sorry for her. After we went in, a few more people came in (reluctantly - they had to ask us if the place was open). Maybe they should add some music or something to jazz the place up.

The food there was actually pretty good - I got the burger, and it tasted like a real homemade cheeseburger, not a frozen patty. My girlfriend got a chicken wrap that she also enjoyed. Definitely beat expectations. The price was similar to what you would pay at Applebees or Friday's.

We went to the con, then came back late at night and tried out the shower, that worked well, good water pressure and temperature. The usual soaps and little shampoo and conditioner were provided. Plenty of towels, no complaints.

Late at night I spent some time wrestling with the thermostat trying to put it into a mode where the AC would only come on if it got above a certain temperature, the best I could do was putting it in "MAX" mode where the fan would run all the time, and the AC compressor would kick on if it got above the 'max' temperature. I would have preferred a setting where the unit didn't run at all until cooling was needed, maybe I'm being a bit nitpicky. The temperature tolerance on it was pretty tight: the unit would turn on one degree above the target temperature and cool the room to one degree below the target temperature, so the unit ended up cycling on and off a lot, which was kind of annoying. The loudness of the unit was average.

I watched TV for a while, you get the usual few local channels as well as some basic cable channels (Cartoon Network, TBS, etc.) Most channels were not HD, but I haven't been to a hotel yet that had such a thing. The TVs are <5 year old LCDs, with plenty of inputs on the back, if you want to connect a laptop or video game console.

The mattress was decently firm. Protip: bring your own pillow from home, hotel pillows are usually pretty flat and worn out from being washed so often. I liked the covers and sheets, they were light enough to be comfortable to sleep in during the early summer.

I work a night shift, so I'm used to sleeping most of the day. I wasn't expecting the best night's/day's sleep, and I did got woken up a few times by other guests, and a few more times by the maids talking in the hallway, but I suppose it could have been worse. Maids did not try to knock on the door or enter the room (this has happened to me in other hotels, even when I had the 'Do not disturb' tag up), so that's a good thing.

My girlfriend was impressed by the breakfast. I forget the details, but I remember it had more than the usual free hotel breakfast. Maybe eggs? I forget.

I did try the bar on Friday night, it was totally empty at 11pm, nobody else there. I got two margaritas to bring up to the room. They weren't mixed that well, way too much lime juice I think. I was expecting a bit better for $9 each.

I was expecting checkout to be a nightmare because everyone would be leaving the con on the same day at the last minute, but staff handled it well, bringing out a fishbowl for people to drop their key cards into, for an express checkout of sorts. I would have liked a bit later checkout, and I think it would have been in the staff's best interest as well, to better handle the exodus of convention attendees.

Summary:
Pros:
Clean rooms
Refrigerator (in executive level at least)
Comfortable bedding
Staff obeys 'do not disturb' signs

Cons:
Tiny desk
Easy to hear noise from hallway (to be fair, this is a fault of every hotel I've ever stayed in)
AC cycles on and off frequently
Weak bar drinks

I would definitely recommend this hotel if you're going for AnimeNext, or any time. If for AnimeNext, I would try to make sure you're getting a room on an upper floor in the tower ahead of time - it seems most of the negative reviews are from people staying in the older ground-level rooms. The first floor would definitely be a bad time with all of the foot traffic, now that panels are being hosted in this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to choose 'executive' level when booking, same price. Might be single king beds only. Ro...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank aleron235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria G, Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to review the Hotel Somerset. I am very glad that overall your stay went well and I appreciate the detailed feedback. Good or bad, we always appreciate any feedback as it allows us to continue to improve in all areas. Thanks again for the great feedback and I hope we see you again the next time you are in town!

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Reviewed June 27, 2014

I stay in many many hotels and motels around the USA and Canada, from inexpensive to expensive. I went with a group and we got 11 rooms of the 11 only 2 had no issues. I will only speak for my room. First off it took 20 minutes to get into to the room, after 3 trips to the front desk I was told groups had last priority on rooms and I caould not get another. Second there was electrical tape on the door to prevent the electric door locks from working so they gave me an old style key to use. Third I could not lock the door, another 15 minutes went by. There was only 1/4 roll of toilet paper 1 bar of soap and 1 bath towel. I could not wait to chek out. Upon complaining to the day staff they said " sorry " Later that day I found my company had messed up and we had to recheck into this hotel again, I got the SAME dump again, I complained very loud and they gave me another room this time but said this was all they had left. Not 1 rooom had been made up they were all messed up and the girl at the front desk said oops they must have forgotten to clen them up. I told them I wanted to go to another hotel and they said they did noot do that. I am in the customer service industry and I understand things can go wrong but we try to fix the problem. This staff did not want to deal with this problem in any way shape or form and said there was nothing they could do and we had to make the best of it. I found an Econo Lodge in Somerset NJ a few miles aaway and they treated us like kings , the rooms were less expensive and personally I think much better I hope this helps someone out and I will sleep in my car before I stay here again

Room Tip: STAY AWAY FROM ROOM 179 if you should try this out for yourself but beware
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jim a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drea J, Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2014

Dear Jim A,

I am very sorry to hear that your room and our hotel wasn't what you expected. Please know that we value your feedback as it helps us identify areas where we can improve in the future. We appreciate your honest feedback and I will share your concerns about the room cleanliness, door locks, and experience with our team members. I apologize for the interaction with our staff and I ensure you that none of our groups are the “last priority”. We take pride in our hotel's cleanliness and superb customer service and are always working toward overall improvements. We hope to see you again the next time you are in Somerset.

All the Best,

Drea J
Front Office Mgr.

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Reviewed June 23, 2014

Tub filled with water as we took showers. Blanket was dengy white. It was just not a comfortable stay with children who like to touch and lay down on everything. It was not to a parents cleanliness for their children.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Yellowshortie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria G, Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded June 25, 2014

I am very sorry to hear that your room and our hotel wasn't what you expected. Please know that we value your feedback as it helps us identify areas where we can improve in the future. We take pride in our hotel's cleanliness and superb customer service and are always working toward overall improvements. We hope you can consider giving us another opportunity in the future as
we move forward to general renovations of our Hotel.

Thank You,
Maria G.

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Reviewed June 21, 2014

Overall not a great experience at this hotel. Upon getting into the room the bathroom was not cleaned, the room smells musty. For breakfast they opened 20 minutes late which is a huge inconvinence. On top of that some of the staff were very unprofessional. The pool was about the only good experience. I'm not normally a complainer but this hotel is one of the worse I have stayed at

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Auggie4me2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria G, Manager at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2014

We appreciate the time taken in order to provide such a detail account of this past experience. As we move forward, we are committed to improving all future guests ‘experiences by using this feedback as a tool that can assist in correcting our challenges, Cleanliness and customer service are a must ! all necessary measures will be taken to prevent this from happening again. Optimistically, I'm so glad you enjoyed our pool and courtyard, our team is looking forward to new property improvements in the near future which will eliminate the noted concerns related to conditions.

thank you,

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Additional Information about Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater

Address: 110 Davidson Ave, Somerset, NJ 08873-1303 (Formerly Crowne Plaza)
Location: United States > New Jersey > Somerset
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 16 Hotels in Somerset
Price Range: $199 - $216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater 3.5*
Number of rooms: 298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Due to the renovations and our efforts to expedite our progress, we are currently not accepting any reservations prior to October 2017. Rest easy in a setting of superb comfort, in the heart of central New Jersey. Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater offers the perfect combination of convenient location and impeccable services. Close to downtown New Brunswick, and with easy access to the Rutgers Campus’ of New Brunswick and Piscataway, our hotel provides discerning guests with an environment of welcoming warmth and repose. Attentive service and a professional staff highlight an ideal setting for relaxation as well as exceptional occasions, corporate gatherings or celebrations. Host a memorable social function or a professional meeting in our elegant event space. With an expansive ballroom, flexible conference rooms and spacious outdoor venues, an event at Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater is an affair to be remembered. And because work is fueled by relaxation, there’s plenty here for guests who want to unwind. Tempt your taste buds with tantalizing New American flavors at Fuzion’s, relax poolside with your favorite drink, or replenish after an event-filled day with a dip in our Jacuzzi. Our well-appointed, smoke-free guest rooms ensure a sound sleep, with plenty of room to stretch out to prepare for the day ahead. Conveniently located in Somerset, near the New Jersey Turnpike and I-287, our hotel brings you within moments of the region’s most notable sights. From nearby shopping to local live shows and the area’s most popular sporting events, you’ll find yourself perfectly placed to experience it all, from our central New Jersey address. •Located adjacent to I-287 from Exit 10 in Somserset, NJ •390 Deluxe Guest Rooms, Suites and an Executive Level •100% smoke free guest accommodations throughout •Complimentary WiFi and voicemail in each guest room •24-hour, full-service Business Center with printing •Indoor heated swimming pool, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi •Tennis courts, basketball courts and volleyball onsite •Well-equipped fitness center with the latest equipment •Concierge services available for all guests •Full service lounge, dining room and room service •Fuzion’s Restaurant and 110 Blu Lounge, onsite ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Somerset-Bridgewater Hotel Somerset

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