When I had told my Long Island-based extended family that we were planning a fall family weekend in Manhattan, they were excited to have us as house guests. But this wasn’t that kind of trip. A weekend trip starting Friday after-school, leaves one a bit strapped in the time department. Couple that with the drive to Long Island via Belt Parkway (aka hot mess express, minus anything related to the word express). No, this time, we stayed in New Jersey. All I can say is… why didn’t I do this sooner?! Let me fill you in on the biggest secret out there. (Yes, I’m sure it’s not a secret to many, but wow, I had no idea how great this weekend was going to be).
We decided to stay at the Best Western Premier Gateway Hotel, in North Bergen, NJ. The hotel is located a mere 3.1 miles to Central Park. But even more awesome, it is minutes from the most amazing view of the city skyline you have ever seen.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at this! Yes, I took that with my husband’s phone. Want to know more? Keep reading.
Friday night before we arrived at the hotel, we decided to show the kids the New York skyline. I looked up places close to the Best Western and found Hamilton Park, four miles away. We pulled up to this “park,” which is really just a residential street with a wide sidewalk of sorts running along the water, but HOLY SMOKES, it has the most gorgeous views.
We took in the sights for a while and then headed to the Best Western as the kids were really excited to check out the hotel’s indoor pool. When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by Manny, the nicest front desk attendant. He checked us in and sent my husband to pull the car into the hotel’s gated parking garage. The kids and I got some tea and orange-flavored water before heading up to the room to get changed into bathing suits. We stepped out of the elevator onto our floor and the hotel oozed swanky. You honestly would think you’re in New York City- except the rooms were larger and the price was lower!
The kids loved the pool, and it was nice that it was on the fifth floor, so you could see the lights of buildings outside…it gave off a city vibe. We had the pool to ourselves, so the kids took turns racing each other across the pool. They worked up an appetite, so we were thankful there was a lounge right next to the pool that served food and drinks.
We had the best sleep that night on super comfy beds and watched TV on the huge flat-screen that hung in our room. We woke up rested and that was good because we were out of the hotel early on both Saturday and Sunday. But you know we had to take advantage of the free continental breakfast. I’m a sucker for hotel breakfast buffets especially when they are free. So happy to report the Best Western Premier Gateway’s breakfast did not disappoint.
My kids were amazed (ok, I was too) with the hotel’s pancake machine!! All one has to do is press a button and two pancakes are made and cooked on a belt, then popped right onto your plate. My kids loved to watch the magic happen.
We loaded up at breakfast both mornings, eating waffles, pancakes, toast with peanut butter, fruit, yogurt parfaits, cereal…you name it. It was so good! Ok, I know I’m talking way too much about breakfast. Moving on….
After we checked out of the Best Western on Sunday, we decided to head to Hoboken before returning home. After all the breakfast talk, I’m almost embarrassed to say why we were heading to Hoboken. But in the spirit of sharing all things awesome this weekend, I’ll do it. Yes, I wanted to see the New York City skyline during the day-time, but I also wanted to take the kids to Carlo’s Bakery. They love Buddy and watch “Cake Boss” often, so I figured it would be fun to take them, especially while our son -with the nut allergy- was not with us.
We parked the car by Sinatra Park in Hoboken. I love all things Frank Sinatra, and was definitely loving this view.
We then walked a few blocks to Carlo’s and were so excited that there was no line to get into the bakery!! We walked right in and got some sweet treats and a table!
Hoboken is a beautiful town, and as luck would have it, there was a street fair going on that day. #shoptillyoudrop
Even if there doesn’t happen to be a street fair, the markets up and down the blocks are so nice to visit and pick up fresh flowers and yummy fruit.
I have to say I highly recommend staying in New Jersey for your next trip to New York City. There is just so much to see and do. And who knows…my free night voucher, from the Best Western promo (found here if you didn’t see the last blog: http://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/offers/hotel-discounts/special-offer/rewardsrush3.html) may have to be used on another trip to North Bergen!!!
The hotel’s shuttle service to Manhattan is a great bonus. After all, some people aren’t used to driving in the craziness that is NYC driving. But if you don’t want to take the shuttle, there are other options including a bus station just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. Trust me, you won’t regret staying in New Jersey- especially when it’s this close and easy to get into the city!
Well, time to head back to reality. But maybe I’ll just grab a few more baked goods for the road. Diet starts tomorrow.