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Jersey Shore, NJ Weekend Vacation Getaway

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Where To Stay

Anyone can find a room in any destination, you don’t need us for that. But not everyone can find those special places with a particular charm to them. That takes time, tenacity and a special perspective. We try to find places that evoke a “wow” when you open the door to your room, places you’ll tell your friends about when you get home.

The Chateau Inn & Suites  |  Ocean Place Resort & Spa
Ashling Cottage  |  Hewitt Wellington
Inn on Main  |  Oyster Point Hotel

The Chateau Inn & Suites
500 Warren Avenue, Spring Lake

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Long the standard for accommodations and service in this part of the Jersey Shore, The Chateau Inn and Suites in Spring Lake remains the choice of many, including celebrities who visit the area. They raised the bar even higher a few years ago with their departure from the "Victorian and wicker" decor that characterizes so many places at the Shore. Today, the Inn has a wonderful European sophistication to it that reminds me very much of one of our favorite hotels, XV Beacon in Boston.

The location couldn't be better, set in a serene section of Spring Lake, just blocks from the beach and the delightful downtown area, filled with boutiques, galleries and antique stores. The Inn is flanked on one side by Potter Park with a gazebo that features musical events in the summer and on another by Divine Park and "The Lake".

Your introduction to the Inn is a warm lobby with polished mahogany paneling and front desk, fresh flowers and palms and soft lighting. To the right of the front desk is the antique filled Brighton Room with leather chairs, a library, and marble fireplace. Breakfast, afternoon refreshments and coffee and tea are served here at tables looking out onto the park.

The 37 rooms and suites are decorated in a soft palette of beige, cream, gold and brown and offset by dark mahogany furniture, rich Italian fabrics and deep chocolate leather sofas and chairs. Plump pillow top beds are covered in luxurious 300 count linens. Artwork is a blend of local, historical and colorful modern and Impressionist styles. Tin ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, paddle fans, potted palms and sea grass and mahogany blinds complete an elegant "Tommy Bahama" kind of feel. Marble bathrooms feature Aveda toiletries and many have Jacuzzis and/or soaking tubs. Flat screen TV's, DVD's, wireless Internet access and refrigerated wet bars head the list of other amenities.

As with many older properties, no two rooms are alike but all are elegantly decorated. Be sure to ask for details when booking as not all amenities are available in every room. We like the Luxury Parlor Rooms located on the second floor with views of the Lake. In particular, we like the Stockton Parlor with its corner fireplace, four poster bed, leather sofa and balcony overlooking the Lake. Suites and Parlors have sleep sodas so are ideal when traveling with children.

Most good hotels and inns offer special add-ons to enhance your stay, but frankly I find them to be generally overpriced and don't include them in our review. Here, however, they are not and may explain why so many locals stay here...right in their own backyard....just for a little escape. Here's a couple of samples;

Bed and Breakfast
Scented Candles, chilled Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio, Fresh Cut Flowers, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Room Service Continental Breakfast — $99

Picnic Lunch
Take the day to explore Spring Lake on our Chateau bicycles, bring your picnic basket to the park or boardwalk that includes a bottle of Kendal Jackson Chardonnay, specialty sandwiches and fresh desserts, take pictures with your Kodak disposable camera for lasting memories. — $79

Special Evening
Sprinkled Rose Pedals on Bed, Box of Godiva Chocolates, Moet White Star Champagne, Scented Candles and Bath Oils, Room Service Continental Breakfast for two the next morning. — $139

Whether you are looking for a little romantic getaway, a weekend at the Shore with the kids or have friends coming into town, this is an absolutely delightful place to stay.

RATES:  : Range from $89 out of season to $219 in season.

Rates include free beach (and towels and chairs) and tennis passes in the summer and weekday Continental breakfast in Winter. Throughout the year afternoon refreshments are served (iced tea, lemonade, bakery fresh cookies and nut breads), gourmet coffee and tea service is available at 7am, passes to the Atlantic  (health) Club are provided and local morning newspapers are available complimentary. Two night weekend minimum. The Inn has a very generous Family Plan where children 12 and under are free, over 12 just $25 per night.

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Ocean Place Resort & Spa
1 Ocean Blvd
Long Branch

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Sitting right next to the lively Pier Village with its boutique shops and restaurants, Ocean Place is the only full service hotel directly on the ocean at the Jersey Shore. The views from the rooms are spectacular up and down the beach.

This recently renovated gem offers generous sized rooms decorated in a South Beach-inspired theme with light woods and neutral color palettes highlighted by soothing ocean teal and gold accents. All have private balconies, most with direct or partial ocean views. The comfortable beds are dressed in luxury linens and duvets and rooms are equipped with flat screen TV's, coffeemakers, IPAD docking stations and complimentary WIFI.

The new 70 ft. marble lobby bar offers well crafted cocktails with views out to the ocean. The lively Tiki Bar opens in the warmer months and the indoor/outdoor Aquaviva is perfect for poolside drinks.

The hotel's restaurant, Seaview, is helmed by Executive Chef Barry Walling who makes great use of the Jersey Shore's bounty from local farms and waters. You'll enjoy items like jersey clam chowder with clams, smoked bacon, sweet corn and cilantro; drunken clams, a dozen middlenecks, steamed in Blue Moon ale with fresh herbs & garlic; pan seared sesame yellowfin tuna, rare thick center-cut with shrimp fried rice, exotic mushrooms, bok choy, orange-ginger glaze and cusabi sauce and stuffed soft shell crab, lemon panko crust, heirloom tomato, olives, baby arugula, radish, asparagus, garlic, peppadew peppers and saffron e.v.o. Other options includes, steaks, pork tenderloin, chicken and more.

Seating is available in the stylist dining room that has cozy booths, at the magnificent 70-foot marble bar or on the beachfront terrace.

The property has a full service spa, a fitness room and a second floor pool. Monmouth Park Race Track is minutes away, there is local golf, local deep sea fishing, outlet malls, Asbury Park (you may run into Bruce at the Stone Pony!) and of course, miles of sandy beach.

RATES: Weekend rates range from $239 off season.

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Ashling Cottage
106 Sussex Avenue, Spring Lake

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Spring Lake is a delightful seaside community with beautiful tree lined streets and charming old Victorian homes with lavish gardens. Even the huge new homes remain true to the architectural style for which this town is known. The downtown itself, is a wonderful collection of boutiques, shops, galleries, antique stores and cafes. The Lake, at the southern end of town, is a beautiful oasis with wood bridges and lovely gardens. It's perfect for a picnic, to fish or to row a boat.

Ashling Cottage is an utterly charming B&B only a block from the beach in Spring Lake. Decorated in a kind of Laura Ashley country style, the Inn has a very comfortable "lived in" look, a little like what you may have left at home. The living room has plump chairs and couches surrounding a working fireplace and plenty of books and magazines to while away the day. There's a great wraparound porch with cushioned wicker chairs that's ideal for reading the morning paper. The view from the porch to the gardens and beyond is wonderful. Relax on the porch, read a book in the hammock or enjoy free beach passes, umbrellas, chairs and towels for a day on the beach. There's also use of bikes and guest passes to a local health club. A full breakfast is served each morning from 9am in a wonderful, bright and airy glass enclosed room overlooking the lake.

The 11 rooms have been recently redecorated and feature ceiling fans, private baths and air conditioning. This is such a delightful, comfortable place with innkeepers who really seem to care about their guests.

We recommend Rooms #1 and #10 because they have fireplaces and #7 because it has its own private porch.

RATES:  In season rates from $209. From $159, quiet season.Two night minimum in season, three night on holidays.


Top rated by Trip Advisor for Spring Lake
Recommended by Travel & Leisure Magazine
Fodor’s User Rating 4.8 on 5.0 scale

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Hewitt Wellington
200 Monmouth Avenue, Spring Lake

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Another choice in Spring Lake is the Hewitt Wellington, a 100 year old grand Victorian style hotel located right on the Lake. The hotel underwent extensive renovations in the late 80’s to convert an old building into a modern hotel. Fortunately it has retained its old world charm and distinction.

The public rooms are elegantly decorated and the delightful wraparound porch is the perfect place for an afternoon nap or just some quiet time.

The 12 rooms and 17 suites are generous in size and decorated in quality Drexel Heritage furniture, custom window treatments and have marble bathrooms with brass fixtures. Many have wonderful lake views from the room and/or outside balconies.

My favorite rooms are either the very comfortable Lake View bedrooms with balcony or the Lake View Luxury Suites (Rooms 2, 5, 8, 11 and 15) with balcony. All face the lake with views to the ocean.

The hotel has a heated swimming pool and a very good restaurant, Whispers, on premise. Beach badges are provided

Two night minimum on weekends, 3 night on Holiday weekends, in season.

Housed in the same building is the acclaimed restaurant Whispers, rated one of the top restaurants in New Jersey with a 27 food rating.

RATES : From $239 in season, from $139 off-season.

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Inn on Main
152 Main Street, Manasquan

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Like many in the area, I was disappointed when the Inn on Main closed after only a few years. There had not been many properties if this caliber in the area. Ownership and management problems spurred the closing, so the news of new ownership and management was welcome news. New owners have hospitality experience and are already making positive changes.

The Inn has 12 beautifully decorated and large rooms, some with balconies, all with sitting areas and all with fireplaces, pillow top beds, thick terry towels and Bio toiletries. Each room has its own distinctive character, but all are luxurious, comfortable and make you forget you are in Manasquan. These rooms are as nice as ones we have seen in Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Charleston and Key West and other places we have traveled.

All of the rooms are spacious and well appointed. Third floor rooms are slightly larger. My favorite rooms are #302 and #305, they are particularly large, very cozy and have balconies, fireplaces and large marble bathrooms.

This is the perfect place to house a wedding party, overflow relatives at the Holidays, friends coming to town for a reunion. And, if you need to get away from the kids for a night, there is no better place for romance in the area.

Walking distance to local restaurants, shops and the beach is 1 mile away.

Equally as welcome is the new restaurant on the ground floor, Blend on Main. with acclaimed local chef Lou Smith as chef/owner. Serving excellent food, the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, with outside seating in the summer and a warming fireplace in winter.

RATES: Rates from $199 in season, from $119 off season.

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Oyster Point Hotel
126 Bodman Place, Red Bank

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Red Bank is just about the hottest town in this part of the Jersey Shore. Great restaurants, a hopping night scene, delightful shops and boutiques and wonderful antique stores are all part of a revitalization project started about 10 years ago. It is working beyond anyone’s imagination. This is a fun town, day or night.

If small inns or B&B’s are not your style, we recommend the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank. While it is about a 20 minute ride from most of what we recommend here, The Oyster Point is an elegant, boutique style, full service hotel overlooking the scenic Navesink River. It is by far the best overall accommodation at the Jersey Shore. It is also close to our two concert venues, the PNC Arts Center and the Count Basie Theatre and our top restaurant, Nicholas, just across the bridge in Middletown.

The hotel has 58 guest rooms and 2 suites, all beautifully decorated in contemporary colors and traditional furniture. I particularly like 2 North Suites, bedroom and sitting room, luxury bath, river view and balcony.

Breakfast is served from 7am in Pearl, lunch from 11am. There is a fully equipped fitness room that overlooks the river and is open all the time.

The hotel has a comfortable bar overlooking the water that is particularly lively on Friday nights and dinner is served in the Pearl Dining Room

RATES:  From $219 summer. From $179 off season.

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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