NEW JERSEY Travel Guide
If you have tickets to the Super Bowl but haven’t booked yet, all we can say is, yikes.
But, you might be in luck afterall. Since hotel rates are, in some cases, absolutely outrageous, a group of B&Bs are making a last-minute push for business.
Sixteen New Jersey inns (all part of the Preferred Inns of New Jersey Bed & Breakfast Association) are offering promotions via HuddleNJ that include breakfast and Wifi with rates between $150 and $300.
Since you can’t drive to the game, a major selling point is that they are located near NJ Transit stops. That said, many are a good hour and a half train ride from the stadium (which is reflected in the prices). You can see a complete list of the inns here. Some are taking their offerings a bit further with football themed food and drink, but you’ll have to check with each property individually when booking.
[Photo: Majestic Hotel]
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Logic would suggest that, as a notable event approaches, the excitement one feels for attending said event would increase.
The 2014 Super Bowl, however, keeps trending in the opposite direction.
When it was announced that the NFL's championship game, traditionally played in warm weather or in the comfy confines of a dome, would take place outside in North Jersey during the month of February, we scratched our heads. Then when our sister site Jaunted reported that the NFL had put a ban on tailgating for the Super Bowl -- meaning we wouldn't be able to get properly hydrated for the game -- we really dug into our scalp. Potential sub-zero temperatures and no pre-game cocktails? Hmm...
Everyone knows that gambling has a dark side but Chanize's recent experience at The Borgata took it to an entirely different level with her being accused of something completely outrageous while at the blackjack table. Here's her story in her own words. Our mother really was right--nothing good happens after midnight...or 3am.
I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the powers-that-be at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel or furious with them, so I'm going for a happy medium. On the eve of their 10-year anniversary, the casino suffered a trauma, and in their flustered state ended up accusing me of, how to say it gently—soliciting services.
Now I’ve been called many a thing in my time, but hooker is a first. Until now.
But let’s back this thang up and tell you how the hoopla went down.
Apparently while many guests (including myself) were at The Borgata’s Event Center watching The Roots tear up the stage with Slash and Jill Scott, a robbery took place. According to this article , at 8:45pm a group of men came in and boosted $500,000 worth of jewelry from a Borgata store. Of course, we were none the wiser, enjoying the concert and all.
Read on for the rest of Chanize's cautionary tale.
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A few weeks ago, we visited the southern-most beach town of the Jersey Shore, Cape May, located at Exit Zero of the Garden State Parkway. Unfortunately, the words “Jersey Shore” have been heavily tainted in recent years, so we must first ask that you get all that bad imagery out of your head.
Cape May is far from the obnoxious Jersey boardwalk scene you’ve seen on television. It boasts great seafood, raw bars, wineries, campgrounds, beach bars, and the second-highest concentration of Victorian buildings behind only San Francisco – most of which house bed and breakfasts.
During our visit, we spent the night at the Blue Rose Inn, one of the newest B & Bs in town. We chose them not only because they recently opened at the beginning of the summer season, but because they are putting a new spin on the B & B concept, one we think other future inn owners might want to consider.
Last time we checked in with Revel, they were in the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Last week, a court judge approved a $250 million financing plan that will allow the hotel and casino to continue its operations, including employee wages, sustaining loyalty programs, and paying its bills.
That’s good news for visitors this summer, who, in theory, shouldn’t see any operational changes if they look to help Revel make a comeback. That said, Revel laid off 83 workers last Wednesday from a variety of positions, so it remains to be seen whether those cuts will have any noticeable effect on the consumer (they still have 3,217 employees, so we’re guessing they’ll be all right).
According to the Associated Press, Revel is also rumored to be considering whether to drop its non-smoking policy, which is thought by many, including HC, to be one of the reasons for the casino’s poor performance. It is one of the few Atlantic City venues to have such a regulation.
[UPDATE: We received an email from Revel's public relations firm who has asked us to reword our story to indicate that the hotel "plans to file a consensual prepackaged chapter 11." ] Things just keep getting worse for the Revel in Atlantic City. On Tuesday, the most expensive casino ever built in New Jersey announced that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
While it is a shame to see, we suppose it doesn't really come as a surprise as Revel's performance has not only been under tight scrutiny since its opening last spring, it has also been pretty poor, consistently at the bottom of the rankings when it comes to gambling revenue in Atlantic City. A lot of that disappointment and inability to attract a wide variety of clientele has been blamed on the hotel's non-smoking policy and high-priced restaurants.
Apparently, the house doesn't always win.
We had the pleasure of being invited to the recent Savor Borgata Event in Atlantic City where chefs Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Geoffrey Zakarian and others were there presenting food demos and a huge culinary showcase for a crowd we were delighted to see come out in droves to support the city just a week after Hurricane Sandy hit.
We were lucky enough to spend a few minutes interviewing some of the chefs. We talked about some of their holiday plans, and more importantly what’s on their hotel horizon.
We spoke with the personable Wolfgang Puck:
We had the pleasure being invited to the recent Savor Borgata Event in Atlantic City where chefs Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Geoffrey Zakarian and others were there food demos and to present a huge culinary showcase for a crowd we were delighted to see come out in droves to support the city just a week after Hurricane Sandy hit.
Though the Borgata and sister hotel The Water Club are not on the Boardwalk, they did feel some of the effects of Sandy, but, as they say, the show must go on—and that it did.
We were lucky enough to spend a few minutes to interview the chefs. We talked about some of their Thanksgiving Plans, and more importantly find out what’s on their hotel horizon.
We spoke with Bobby Flay, after his Thanksgiving-dinner demo where he showed his huge audience how to properly cook a turkey, prepare a spicy pumpkin soup (with chipotles, of course!), convinced naysayers to embrace Brussels sprouts, and bigged up Geoffrey Zakarian's Lamb's Club at The Chatwal as one of his favorite restaurants--despite Zakarian telling us Conde Naster's were getting too fat from his food!
A little more from Flay:
A little more from Flay:
Things are tough all over! Some hotels and travel apps are whining about our reports that their Hurricane Sandy fees aren't unfair at all, and now it looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers are in trouble! They'll have to march right back home after their game against the New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. scheduled for 4:25pm on Sunday.
Why? There’s simply no room at the inn. Any inn,(not even the no-tell motels?), to take on the 53-man football team.
The Steelers' regular hotel in Jersey City is without power for their booking tomorrow night and they can't find alternate lodging. This will force the team to fly the great distance to Newark (an hour) on the day of the game (the NFL requires visiting teams to arrive at least one day before kickoff) and return to Pittsburgh that same day. But again, take note of the game time: 4:25 p.m. So, we’re not talking a break-of-dawn flight, here, buddies. Perspective!
Today, for the first time in 40 years, Newark has a new hotel—the Courtyard Newark Downtown. Don’t roll your eyes! This is good news for several reasons. First, for those who have to, for whatever reason, fly out of Newark and also must stay overnight in the area, there's now a brand-spanking new option in a place where the selection has become a quality crap shoot.
This property is four miles from the airport (there's a free shuttle), plus it's within walking distance of Newark Penn Station, so if you can’t afford NYC hotel rates, bingo—you’ve got a friend in Newark and it’s only a short train ride away.
The 150-room hotel is owned by Tucker Development and Robert Finvarb Companies, but managed by Marriott International, so the well-known amenities and points are in place, but there are more in case you haven’t checked out a Courtyard in a minute. At this outpost the traditional front desk experience has been abandoned in favor of the more au currant boutique hotel method with individual welcome kiosks for a personal and private check-in experience.
Free WiFi and a business library with complimentary computers and a printer gets a thumbs up, as well as the Courtyard’s GoBoard 4.0, which dispenses local info such as maps, weather, news, and even flight information on a 55-inch LCD touch screen. It has mobile integration so guests can send the info directly to their smart phones! And, guests can dine and get Starbucks coffee at The Bistro, as well as get snacks and must-haves 24/7 from The Market.
We've been chatting about Revel, Atlantic City's newest hotel/casino for a while. The project has been an exercise in patience that culminated in a grand-opening event this past Memorial Day with none other than Beyonce.
We thought it was time to actually go in and take a look now that most of the resort is completed, so you know what to expect in case you book a stay at this behemoth boardwalk property. Here is our experience, in living color:
Our stay coincided with the Atlantic City Airshow and needless to say, the Revel was packed. From our gallery, you'll see just how long the check-in line was. Now, there are kiosks that are supposed to help this kind of congestion, but they were broken.
We were appalled to see senior citizens with canes, wheelchairs and the like being made to wait in what seemed like an endless line, while we, the media, were whisked away to check-in within minutes. When we mentioned this to the Powers That Be, they assured us that this wasn't a normal occurrence to have special-needs customers ignored.
At any rate, the best way to show the Revel is through pics, because honestly, the place really is a sight to see and will give other hotels in A.C. a serious run for their money.
Keep reading to see photos of The Revel!
Lately we've been entranced with in-room iPads and fancy-dancy remote controls. Both seem to be getting super hi-tech and we're all for it so long as the boasted features actually work. We're not keen on lengthy how-to sheets that give us agita.
We'd like to see the end of multi-remote controls in hotel rooms and instead be able to power nearly everything with a touch of a button. Well, we saw just that recently at Atlantic City's Revel Resort. While our full gallery of A.C.'s newest hot spot is coming soon, today we're hyper-focused on this little gem--the room's souped up Prodigy PLX3 remote control.
The same size as your average TV remote, this little powerhouse actually controls just about everything the buttons on the front panel says it does. And we know because we pressed them all just like a little kid would!
Here's what worked--and the one thing that didn't.