Close to Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Symphony Hall
Rooms include flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, microwaves, and mini-fridges
Selection for free hot breakfast changes daily
Fitness center open 24 hours and stocked with several exercise options
Free shuttle to and from Newark Airport, which is 10 minutes away
Free Wi-Fi, parking, and newspapers in the lobby
Quiet and cozy business center open 24 hours
Hotel entrance is hard to locate
Essentially off a freeway exit, no paved sidewalk entrance
Room decor is a bit dull
Very difficult to get to and from New York City without a car
While the budget, 151-room Hampton Inn Newark-Airport may be physically tricky to get to -- its hard to access without a car -- the inside makes for a comfortable stay. The lobby is accented with stark white couches, black and white portraits, colorful glass lamps and plant centerpieces, while the bedrooms are a bit boring but do have microwaves and coffeemakers. As its name implies, there's easy access to Newark Liberty International Airport (three miles away) via a free shuttle. Other freebies include daily breakfast, 24 hour business and fitness facilities, Wi-Fi, and on-site parking. Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Newark Symphony Hall are a few miles away, but getting to New York City is less than convenient from the hotel.
Upon entering the chain hotel -- whose exterior is run of the mill with automatic doors and potted flowers -- the lobby is spacious, sleek, and inviting for a budget chain hotel. There's a pattern of neutral color palettes and woody, but generic, decor throughout the hotel. The sitting area's white couches are complemented by black and white gallery-style portraits, antique brass lamps, glossy ceramic green apples, straw-like centerpieces, and colorful glass vases and mini-lamps. Drop ceilings look dated. Along with providing standard coffee, a table in the lobby presents an assortment of hot chocolates and teas to choose from. Guests include business travelers and families and overall, the vibe is quiet.
Off a major roadway by Newark Airport in Elizabeth
The Hampton Inn is essentially off a freeway exit in the mainly residential area of Elizabeth, directly in front of another two hotels on Spring Street, a fairly busy roadway. There is no paved sidewalk entrance leading up to the property, so the location is extremely inconvenient for those on foot. It's also a bit of a journey to venture into New York City, the drive can take up to an hour. Staff at the front desk can provide step by step directions on how to take their free shuttle to Newark Airport, then take a bus from there into Newark, and catch a PATH train to Manhattan. While it's not ideal for those who are in town to see New York, the hotel's close proximity to Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Newark Symphony Hall makes it convenient for New Jersey explorers.
Room decor is a bit dull and generic but rooms are clean and nicer than expected for a Newark airport hotel. All have smoking and non-smoking options and follow the theme of warm, neutral, wood-inspired colors. There are gold curtains, rusty red accent walls, dark brown furniture, and industrial striped carpeting combining the three colors. Sofa beds that come in some rooms have a slate and chocolate color scheme that matches the gray striped wooden headboards. Beds are made up with a white textured comforter and four plain white pillows then topped with breakfast-in-bed style tray tables holding brochures and a list TV channels. Rooms come standard with a flat-screen TV, coffeemaker, microwave, and empty mini-fridge. The mirrored closet doors contain an extra blanket, hangers, a luggage bench, and ironing materials. Bathrooms are plain jane and clean, equipped with just the standard hotel offerings of a shower/tub combo, towels, a hairdryer, and Neutrogena brand toiletries.
Hampton Inn's 24-hour fitness facility is spacious and includes several cardio machines, a rack of medicine balls, a workout ball, and free weights. Words of encouragement like "Act now, feel good later" and "Clear your mind" are plastered across the mirrors. The room's design has an orange accent wall, but low ceilings and little natural light give it a basement-like feel. The business center is open 24 hours, and looks like more of a family's home study than a bland office room. There are olive walls and striped rugs with several world clocks (London, Paris, New Delhi, Shanghai, and Tokyo) hanging on the wall above the printer/fax machine. A tube-style TV is also available in the room. The meeting room is lacking in the design department. Walls are plain white and the lecture hall-style seating arrangements -- six straight, long desks with chairs all face straight forward -- and accessories only cover the basics. There's a rollaway TV, VCR, and projector at the front of the room, while an easel and giant notepad are tucked in the back of the room.
This Hampton Inn's free breakfast is special in that the menu changes daily, switching up the monotony of morning dining for long-staying guests. Other hotel freebies include newspapers (USA Today and the Airport Press), Wi-Fi, parking and a shuttle to and from Newark Airport.
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