If this is your first time reading one of my blog posts then you should know I love taking random weekends away with my family and staying at different hotels. I always try to go to different hotels, ones that I have never been to before. What’s better than getting away from it all? Nothing, nothing at all. The last weekend I had away was just a few weeks ago, I booked a one night stay at the Crowne Plaza Princeton, New Jersey.
In this post I will be discussing:
Check in experience/Lobby
The check in prosses was very quick and efficient. I had booked a double queen room on the executive level. There are several benefits of booking a room on the executive level. The executive level offers a lounge and a continental breakfast on weekday mornings. In addition to that there is an extra level of privacy as you need to utilize your room key card to access that floor from the elevator. After being checked in at the front desk, I was thanked for being an IHG member and directed to the elevators for me to be on my way. Since the lounge on the executive level only offers breakfast during the week, I asked if we can get a voucher for breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel, and was gladly given three breakfast vouchers for the next morning. The lounge ended up being not open at all on the weekends but looking through the window it appeared to be nicely decorated. Once I settled in I went back to do my exploring around the lobby of the hotel. The lobby of the hotel is broken up into several levels. The first floor offered some nice modern decor as well as some funky reading materials. With low ceilings by the sitting areas, the ceiling gets higher once walking up to the check in counters. The check in area had three modern lights fixtures coming down from the sky lit ceiling as well as a small waterfall in the back of the desks. There were three clocks that displayed times from different cities around the world. The actual desks had a marble make up that lit up at night adding a beautiful effect when you walk into the hotel. The business center was located in the same area, it consisted of three computers and a printer. Just the basics you would need if you wanted to print out airline tickets or look up restaurants in the area. The second floor had a bar with multiple TVs and a large array of seating options for small groups to have some space and privacy. there was even a fake fireplace that made the area look cozy. The final level of the lobby was a space that had a mini shuffleboard table and billiards table as well as more seating space. The area had a walkway that led to the fitness center, pool and the skywalk to the conference center that was also a connection to a Holiday Inn Express. The area had a balcony to look down over the check in area and the bar on the second floor. I have to say this was a unique layout.
The double queen room I had booked was a nice room but had some minor flaws. Once you walk into the room immediately on the right is the bathroom and on the left is a large closet, once you pass that you enter the main room. With low lighting and dark decor, it gives a nice feel to the room. The room is furnished with a desk with a lamp and a reclining welle chair. There was a dresser with a flatscreen TV on it with drawers and a cabinet that opened up reveal a coffee maker and mini-fridge. Over the desk was a very artistic looking mirror. Next to the desk was a lounge chair with a lamp next to it and a small table that had two bottles of water and an ice bucket for your convenience. The two queen beds were next to each other with a night table in the middle of the two beds against the wall. The beds looked like they were two doubles, rather than queens. On one of the beds were a robe and a packet of creams and a spray which claimed to be for relaxation, sleep, or feeling refreshed. I thought that was a nice touch. I did have a few issues with the bathroom. The bathroom was very small. When opened, the edge of the door was only about an inch from hitting the toilet. The sink kept on getting clogged and took a while for the water to drain out, and the toilet had a leak, every time you would flush the toilet some water would leak out of the tank on the back. It was not a good situation. With such a small bathroom I would never think it would have so many problems. (Before I checked out of the hotel I told the manager about these issues that occurred during my stay and she stated they would add 10,000 IHG reward points to my account. It has been two weeks and nothing had been added.)
This was the first hotel I ever stayed at in New Jersey that offered multiple amenities. The hotel has on-premise an indoor pool and hot tub, an outdoor sundeck, two tennis courts, fitness center, half court indoor basketball court, racket ball court, indoor handball court, and many other indoor courts for your use. The hotel also has its own hele pad in case there are any special guests that arrive via helicopter. I actually was told the Crowne Plaza Princeton is actually making a package that includes the use of a helicopter to transport guests to NYC. During my stay I made use of the fitness center, indoor pool and hot tub. The fitness center was larger than most hotels I have stayed at with multiple weight machines, free weights, and cardio machines it would take you a while to get to use them all. The fitness center had windows looking down into the pool area as well as the various ball courts. The pool area was very nice with high ceilings and different color lights coming down from the ceiling. The pool was large enough to do laps in. The hot tub was small but perfect in my opinion. One nice feature of the hot tub was the color changing visible lights at night. While I was walking around outside the pool area I passed the tennis courts. I have never seen a hotel tennis court actually being used before, there appeared to be people taking tennis lessons. Later I found out that people from the surrounding area rent it out on the weekends. The hotel also offers a bar and restaurant.
The area around the hotel is quiet, not so much to do which is nice if you just want to get away and stay in the hotel. If you are looking to go shopping or to the movies then there are some shopping centers down the road. If you just want to go exploring a cute area then visit nearby Forrestal village. A half an hour drive away is New Brunswick, NJ the center is very nice with shopping and great dining options it is your best option if you want to go out at night. The New Jersey State Theater is also in that area with different plays or shows where you might find something you enjoy.
Overall this hotel is a great option when looking to get away for a short time. With all of its amenities and friendly staff, it is a good choice, even with the issues I had with my room I still had an enjoyable stay. If your looking to stay at this hotel during the fall/winter season then it is a great option with its indoor pool. But if your looking for a hotel with an outdoor pool then you may want to look elsewhere. If I was not a hotel fanatic then I would definitely stay here again but before I do that I have to visit the other hotels in the area.
Thanks for reading,
Disclaimer: This post is not an advertisement for Crowne Plaza or IHG Rewards. The author was not compensated for creating this post. The author has made this post willingly and it is based off of his own experience and opinion.