On my recent trip to New York City, my fellow San Diego travel companion (who likes to remain anonymous) and I opted to stay at the Ramada Limited in Jersey City as opposed to a more expensive option inside New York City. Some of the nice benefits of staying there is that they offer complimentary airport shuttles to Newark’s Airport (which we were both flying into, albeit on separate airlines), free Wi-Fi, and complimentary continental breakfast all for about $100 a night. ($110 with all the taxes and fees.)
Another key selling point for booking here was the fact it’s located a block away from the PATH trains which head right into New York City. I used Google Maps to run public transportation estimates on how long it would take to get to Carnegie Hall from the hotel and back, and of the reasonably priced options in Jersey City, this one allowed for easy public transportation options twenty-four hours a day with approximately 45 minutes travel time each way, which is roughly the equivalent of getting a hotel about two miles away from Carnegie Hall and walking but at less than half the price. I absolutely had to do this trip with as much savings on cost as possible so that pretty much ruled out an in the city hotel for this trip for me.
Most of the reviews I saw for the Ramada Limited in Jersey City were positive, the only real complaints seemed to be that the hotel wasn’t in the best looking neighborhood in the world, and that it’s an older hotel, so not the most modern facility. But overwhelmingly people seemed to indicate that they would gladly come back to the hotel and stay again, which was not something I could find for other hotels I could find when I was looking to book. I consider the fact people are willing to return one of the biggest compliments a business can get, so that made me feel quite confident that I was making a good selection.
Aside from a not very personable shuttle driver on the way to the hotel, everything about the hotel was really quite good. Every other employee I encountered were really quite pleasant and helpful and I really had a good time staying there. Like many of the reviews stated, the neighborhood was definitely a little on the scary and run down side, but considering how old everything looked, I suppose it’s not unexpected.
The front desk personnel were extremely helpful and friendly. When my travel companion and I arrived at the hotel from the airport, we had arrived a little after 11 am and we were hoping we’d be able to check in early after the overnight flights we had both taken to get to Newark. I had checked online to see if rooms were available for the night before and they were booked solid so it wasn’t exactly promising, plus our reservation was for one of the junior suites and there’s only nine of those on the property. But fortune was in our favor as one of the junior suites was actually ready to be checked into, so we were quite happy to be able to have the opportunity to get settled and showered before heading into the city to meet up with many of our ABBA friends from around the world for the Kristina concerts at Carnegie Hall. The room was actually quite spacious, it had three separate closets, an entry foyer, a “living room” set up with sofa bed couch, coffee table, television with cabinet stand as well as a counter and desk space that featured a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a microwave. The countertop was a little loose, and when I looked in the cabinets beneath it, I saw covered up pipes that indicated at some point in time the counters used to feature a sink, so no doubt it was like a little kitchenette. The bedroom had a flat panel TV attached to the wall and the bathroom was a bit tiny, but considering the size of the rest of the room, considerably larger than the hotel rooms I’ve seen in New York City.
As we got everything sorted about heading into the city and meeting up with everyone as the location to meet was changed at the last minute, we were getting ready to depart into the city when we discovered the safe that was in the hotel room wasn’t working properly. My travel companion had called for service and someone was up to take a look at it within a few minutes. Ultimately they decided to replace the unit as they couldn’t get it to work, and they just requested that we let them know when we were heading into to town so they could replace it. When we got back, not only was the safe replaced, but we also had quite a warm welcome from the clerk manning the front desk that night.
We both slept in too late to take part in the complimentary continental breakfast offered by the hotel, but that was okay we preferred the sleep. In my case it was the first chance in over 48 hours to get more than an hour’s worth of sleep at a time. I had worked all night the night before my departure from San Diego, took a one hour nap then was up all day getting ready for my flight, then flew to Newark, where I didn’t get more than an hour’s nap on the plane, then was on the go all day until the end of the concert that night. Not much sleep unfortunately, so I got caught up, it was nearly noon before we were ready to get up for the second day in New York.
We didn’t really talk to any employees of the hotel the second day as we just breezed out the door and said hello to the night clerk when we finally did return very late that night. The next day my travel companion was departing for Detroit and not spending another day in New York, so she took part in using the shuttle back to the airport and had the same driver as we had had coming in from the airport. I hope he was a little more personable that time. But we did take part in the continental breakfast this morning. There weren’t a whole lot of sugar free options available but there were some, so I stuck with just those items and it was more than enough tide me over until I got done with a couple of major touristy things to do before I went hunting for a real meal.
Where the Ramada’s staff really shined for me was the final morning I was there. I had some issues with my alarm clock not going off when I wanted it to go off, so I ended up waking up later than I was expecting. So I rushed to get ready and it looked like I was going to be missing the 8 am shuttle departure to the airport. And indeed by the time I was ready and had checked out it was 8:15 am but no one had left on the shuttle so the van was still parked out front. The front desk clerk was actually quite nice and spent a minute or two getting with the driver of the van to see if he would make a special trip to the airport for me, and he had agreed to. They could have easily have not accommodated me and made me wait until the 9 am shuttle departure time, but I would have been a bit of a nervous wreck because my flight was supposed to depart at 10:30 am and that didn’t leave me much time to get through security and get to the plane.
The driver was awesome, this one was not the same one as the one who had operated the shuttle on the day of my arrival. He was quite personable and I really appreciated his making a special run to the airport just for me. He even was so kind as to bypass the hotel shuttle pick-up/drop-off point as well and dropped me off right outside the terminal for my flight. I was really very pleased with this extra mile service. I gave him all the cash I had left in my wallet as a tip, which unfortunately wasn’t much, but I hope he knows it was appreciated. I did make sure that once I got home I sent in a compliment to the corporate web site for both him and the front desk clerk that were working that morning so that hopefully they get some corporate level recognition for their exemplary service.
It’s not often in this day and age to see such great service, so I’m happy to recommend the Ramada Limited in Jersey City as a great option to stay whenever in the New York area. Like so many others who left reviews that I have read prior to my stay, I would also stay here again. In fact, they’re going to be my first choice to check out the next time I need to stay in the New York area. If you’re interested in checking them out, please visit Ramada’s site by clicking here to reach the page specifically for this location.