Wonderful hotel in a crappy part of town A review of Hilton Meadowlands
Front desk staff very helpful. We reserved a king, non-smoking room and when we got there, it reeked of smoke. They switched our room, after at first offering to "freshen it". But, when we said we'd rather just have another room, they gave us one which smelled much better. We were on one of the Club Floors (19-21) which is definitely the way to go. You could hear a pin drop on these floors at night and breakfast and evening snacks (which were included in the rate) were wonderful. The person in charge of the evening snacks in the Club Lounge on Floor 21 was so nice. His name was Jaime (I think it is pronounced Hi-me). The view of NYC from the Club Lounge is to die for. Worth every penny of the Club Floor price to get this view. Ask for a room with a NYC view. We did and after being told they "didn't have any available on that floor", we ended up being able to see lower Manhattan from our room window as well as a nice view of the river. The 3rd floor fitness center, indoor pool and jacuzzi was very nice. We had it to ourselves most nights. You can walk out onto the sun deck from the 3rd floor and have amazing city views as well.
There seemed to be "private" bar parties in the lobby every night. You have to hold your breath to get to the elevators or die of carbon monoxide poisioning from all the cigarette smoke. They shouldn't allow smoking in their lobby. It technically isn't the "lobby", but the front desk is no more than 2 feet from the area where all the "skanky business people" were sitting around smoking and drinking. This area seems to be where all the people there go to "hook up" as we witnessed one lady in business attire dragging a very intoxicated man by his necktie from the elevator into their hotel room. No, they were not there as a couple. They became a couple after getting drunk at this hook up party. I hope they don't have spouses back home! The part of town that the hotel is in and this part of Jersey any way is not nice. Very industrial. Not that it mattered to us, but there is no shuttle to the Giants Stadium even though their shuttle advertises transportation within a certain mile radius. Since this is just up the street, I am sure it fell into that range. Yes, there is a bus stop right next door to the hotel. But, don't plan on taking this bus into NYC to visit. It is only a local bus and goes no where near NYC. We ended up taking a bus over on Lyndhurst and Polito Avenues (a couple miles away) into NYC. Whatever you do, DO NOT take the 190 back from the Port Authority (the bus terminal in New York) to Jersey. It does NOT stop at Lyndhurst/Polito, even though you can be picked up by this bus to go into NYC. We thought since we rode the 190 bus into NYC that we could take it back to where we were picked up. WRONG! After passing up the stop, we figured the bus would "circle back around". It did not. After an hour we figured out we were not going to be dropped back off where we started. No, we weren't just "dump tourists" who didn't push the Request For Stop Button. The driver didn't go within a mile of where we had been picked up or we would have just walked! When we asked the bus driver what we should do after we figured out he wasn't going to drop us off where we were picked up and that we were lost, he dropped us off in the ghetto! I swear we saw a man shooting himself up with some sort of liquid in a syringe and also smoking out of a crack pipe right next to where he made us get out , because he said it was the last stop. We were sooo scared and we live in D.C. so we know about the bad part of town. This made the "bad parts" of D.C. look good! We got totally screwed and had to take a 50 dollar cab ride back to where we had parked, because the bus didn't go back that way. Take the 192 or 191 instead!
I had a starry-eyed view of NYC, but after a 2nd visit there in a couple months, I must say I am disappointed. Only the touristy spots in NYC are nice: Times Square, Empire State Building, Central Park--in the day time of course. Most of NYC just smells and is quite dirty and gross. So, is the part of New Jersey closest to NYC, which unfortunately this hotel falls into that part of Jersey. 4 out of 5 stars for this very nice hotel who unfortunately is surrounded by a not-so hot location.
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