February 27, 2004
I have never stayed at a Country Inn and Suites before, so, of course, I was rather surprised at how comfortable and almost homey the lobby looked. It almost resembled a large living room with a front desk that was thrown over to the side. I was impressed by the large overstuffed chairs and sofas as well as the small library of books they had near a large fireplace. My opinion of the hotel, however, took a dramatic drop when we began speaking to the front desk clerk. While she began checking us in, I casually asked of things to do in the immediate area and promptly got a rather unconfident and indifferent answer. Most of the staff members we spoke to were discourteous or completely unhelpful, except for Chanel who ran the complimentary breakfast in the mornings in the large comfortable room off the side of the lobby. Chanel was so helpful and in such good spirits that the next morning at breakfast our impression of the hotel changed again, but for the good this time.
The rooms at this hotel are rather comfortable with a large chair, a small work area, and a pretty comfortable bed; however, the sheets felt a little starchy, as if they had been bleached too often. The bathroom size was tolerable, with an average sized tub and, of course, little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and a few bars of soap. The insulation seems like it was pretty sufficient because you could barely hear anything from other guests or even activity in the hallways; however, you could definitely hear the passing planes taking off and landing at the Newark Airport.
We took advantage of the military rate of $107 that included the small breakfast in the morning; however, I had the option of staying at the Marriott right near the airport for just a few dollars more. I now somewhat regret that we did not stay at the Marriott as I have stayed there before and was completely satisfied during my last stay. Even though we did receive breakfast and the price of the room was lower, the treatment of guests by most of the staff made me definitely not want to return.
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From journal Harrison NJ, now it's my turn.