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First Look: The J House in Greenwich, CT

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1114 E. Putnam Ave. [map], Greenwhich, CT, United States, 06878
June 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM | by | ()

Ah, Greenwich, Connecticut, home to finance and insurance companies plus blonde monied madams (both young and old) sporting twin-sets and driving fast cars. Corporate viking GE is in nearby Fairfield, and they also come to play here. So, it's fitting that an old HoJo hotel was torn down to make way for the new J House opened last month care of Brenwood Hospitality Group. We drove our beat-up minivan to the hotel, handed it to the valet with nary a blink, and went inside for a look.

The Room
The 86 rooms are made up of standard, deluxe, and one-bedroom suites. We'll say the best views are those overlooking the pool, but even then, you'll see the parking lot as well. It is strange that some of the rooms have balconies, but you can't actually use them because of old zoning laws. So you may luck out with a usable one--or not. The J House is right off Route 1, which is pretty busy, and not the most picturesque neighborhood. But, the bells and whistles in the rooms, make up for the lackluster views.

First, everyone gets an iPad! (say it in your best Oprah voice) and free WiFi. Instead of cluttering up the place with paper, the iPads eliminate the need for in-room hotel guides and other printed materials. And, they control everything--from the room temperature, to the lights, to even the shades. Still, for technophobes, there's a good-old fashioned bedside control-panel where you push buttons to your hearts content.

Then there's the 55-inch Samsung LED Mirror TV with a media panel that lets you to hook up your tech goodies, which turns the TV into a mega-movie screen (and if you've forgotten your cords, the front desk will loan you one).

The Bathroom
The all-glass paneled bathroom thankfully has frosted windows, so no peep-show issues. Nice touch on the L'Occitane products and Kohler rain shower. But the most giggle-worthy thing is the Neorest R 550 Dual Flush 1.6 GPF "Japanese Toilet" with remote. (Yup. High-tech toilets are officially a trend!) This thing opens up when you walk into the bathroom. And when you sit down to do your business? The seat is heated. Whoa, daddy!

There's a button for nearly everything you want to do, and some things you never knew you could do. So if you're traveling with someone, expect them to be in the john for a while. Don't complain, because soon it'll be your turn. The only thing is, it's hard to turn and look at the electric mirror's television at the same time.

The Living Room
The first thing we noticed was the artwork, especially amusing "Dollar Bill" series (given our location)where each portrait of a crumpled dollar bill spells out a cute message. See if you can make them out.

There is a mid-size pool at the J House and there are five cabanas that can be rented to the tune of...$400 a day. For that price you get a cabana that supposedly fits eight people (we think that's a stretch), that's outfitted with an L-shaped sofa and chairs. Your refreshments are some fresh fruit, and water. We're hoping the hotel rethinks the pricing on this, as we're not sold on the value.

Eleven 14, the hotel's main restaurant was jammed packed on a Tuesday night, filled with both well-dressed and a Docker and boat-shoe clad crowd. They were both there to sup on locally-sourced specialties from Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo's eclectic menu featuring an impressive array of options from homemade spicy lamb sausage, roasted local beets with burrata, and grilled rib-eyes with bone marrow on the side.

Located just inside The J House lobby is The Chocolate Lab, which features house made chocolates with cocoa from the farms of Côte d’Ivoire. Gelato, sorbet and ice cream are all made on site as well as French pastries.

For such a swank location, the J House's starting rates are surprisingly good at $219 per night.

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