If you’ve driven/rode/walked down Broad Street in the past six months, you’ve no doubt noticed something new to the street. Heck, it’s new to Newark altogether. Yes, we’ve had NJPAC since 1997. And then came the Prudential Center in 2007. And soon after came the Red Bull stadium across the river in Harrison. But not until September 24, 2012 did the patrons of these venues have a world-renowned hotel to accommodate them and their families. Enter, the Courtyard Marriott.
The hotel manager, Nick Pappagallo, was kind enough to give me a tour of the facilites. I also had the pleasure of staying there for a night so I could get a first-hand perspective of the place, and I’ve gotta say I was pretty pleased throughout.
The Broad Street Courtyard Marriott was designed to be something different than what you may be used to in a hotel. In fact, its designed to be different than what you may be used to in a Courtyard Marriott. Walk in on the ground floor and take the elevator up one flight to the main lobby. It would be an understatement to say the 2nd floor lobby is impressive. Straight ahead walking out of the elevator is the guest services reception. A step away from the customary long granite countertop that greets you at most hotels, the Courtyard Marriott guest services feels more like the ticket counter at an airport gate. To the left is the Market, a 24 our convenience store/snack shop.
One of the focal points in the lobby is a 50″ touchscreen monitor that serves as a virtual concierge. It post everything from meeting listings in the hotel conference/meeting rooms, local and national news articles – which you can scan to your smartphone – and can even print walking directions to nearby points of interest. It also serves as a full airport flight board for Newark International, LaGuardia, and JFK airports and lists locations of Hertz car rentals in area. The lobby also has a boarding pass printing station for jet-setters on the go.
The guest rooms are all roomy and very comfortable. The color palate is refreshingly bright, but won’t scar your retinas. There’s also a bit of a sports theme in the portraits on the wall – a nod to the Prudential Center. All of the guest rooms are kitted with a 42in LCD screen and clock radios equipped with an ipod docking station. Rates range from $99 – $200 off peak to $179 – $200+ during peak season.
In town on business? The Courtyard Marriott boasts 4100 sq ft. of space between the 6 meeting rooms, with the largest room holding over 2000 square feet and each of the rooms has been named after a street or area in Newark. The hotel also has a convenient fitness center so you can get your cardio in, as well as a guest laundry room and dry cleaning service.
Although the NHL strike dampened some business in the area, the hotel has been a wonderful amenity that Newark now offers to anyone going to the Prudential center for an event. Quiet as kept though, it was rumored that Lady Gaga stayed in the hotel when she was in town for the Rolling Stones concert.
It was a pleasure for me and I definitely recommend whether you’re in town on business, visiting family, seeing a show, or just trying to get away for a night, come see for yourself what the Courtyard Marriott has to offer.