Watch for the hidden costs and annoyances A review of Howard Johnson Hotel Newark
THE GOOD: Low price to start. The rooms were relatively clean and the hotel appears to be somewhat new and is well taken care of, overall.
THE BAD: The maids are up bright and early and don't seem to consider respect the guests desire to sleep. They're banging doors and yelling up and down the halls to each other in spanish! Also, the "50 channel satellite TV" - well, there are 50 channels, but only about 6 of them are actually clear enough to watch. The rest are so fuzzy that they are black and white and extrememly difficult to watch. My guess is that they split the signal between ALL of the rooms. But none of this surprised me - you get what you pay for.
THE UGLY: And I only paid $60 CDN per night - which I thought was a good deal. But when I found out about the $15 USD per night parking fee, I was sadly disappointed. But, as it turns out, most of the hotels in the area have similar charges. I just wish it had been listed up front.
THE WORST: The shuttle. This was the big problem - every 20 minutes turned out to be every 30-45 minutes. When you call for the shuttle, they tell you "it'll be there within five minutes". 30 minutes later, out in the cold and still no bus! And when it did finally come, there were so many people to get on the bus that it took another 15 minutes to load. It was well over an hour before we got back to the hotel which is less than 3 miles from the airport! And that was two nights in a row - their excuse: "there was a problem". They have at least three buses that I saw - two of them sit idle! The bus is shared by Holiday Inn, so if your plan is to stay in Newark and use the shuttle to get to the airport to make your way to NYC each day, consider neither of these hotels. If you can afford to spend a bit more, I would recommend Ramada, Sheraton or Marriott for shuttle alone - while waiting for the HoJo bus, each of these hotel's shuttles were there every 5-10 minutes. What really irked me was on the second night, our bus loads up and we went to the Sheraton anyways and all the people that were to go to the Holiday Inn were told to check in at the Sheraton - duh! Six Sheraton buses went by with just a couple of people in each....they couldn't have taken those people?!?!
CONCULSION: If you can live with the parking fee and a SLOW shuttle, then it's a good hotel for the money.