JERSEY CITY AND WEEHAWKEN
Exits With Skyline Views
There's no shame in saying, "I slept in Jersey." Especially if you're staying in a Jersey City or Weehawken hotel, many of which offer stellar skyline views, easy access to Manhattan and siren-free slumber. In fact, you might enjoy New Jersey so much, you won't even mind getting off before the Holland Tunnel. Note: Rates do not include taxes.
· All aboard the MV Hyatt. All right, so the 350-room Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson isn't a cruise ship, but it does have that QM2 feel: floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive water vistas, tipsy motion (we blame the chocolate martinis at Vu Lounge). The property sits on a pier that stares right into the eye of the NYC skyline. (The best views are at Vu Restaurant -- which serves such fare as ginger ale-spiked tuna and chicken-fried monkfish -- and in the suites and rooms with numbers lower than 30.) During the week, the hotel attracts the wingtip-shoe crowd, and the rooms are decorated in kind: chocolate-brown furniture, black-and-white photos evoking film-noir stills, generous marble bathrooms and such workaholic staples as coffeepot and high-speed Internet (for a fee). For offshore excursions, the PATH train and ferry to Manhattan are steps away.
2 Exchange Pl., Jersey City, 201-469-1234, http:/
· Is it so wrong to judge a hotel by its carpeting? Hopefully not, since the rooms at the Ramada Limited Jersey City (in the Journal Square area) have springy teal carpets that squish like marshmallows underfoot. Though it's tempting to camp on the floor, the 101-room hotel also has comfortable beds with standard floral bedspreads, kitchenettes with microwave and fridge, and enough closet space to hold a shopping spree at Barneys. There's also a fitness center, a self-serve breakfast room, and a lobby business center with a computer and flat-screen TV showing soccer in Spanish (at least the day we visited). The hotel offers free shuttle service to Newark airport, and the PATH train is just around the bend. Our favorite discovery, though, was the garden roof, where you can lie out in deck chairs and soak up the Jersey sunshine.
65 Tonnelle Ave., Jersey City , 201-432-6100 , http:/
· You wouldn't be wrong to confuse Jersey City's Courtyard by Marriott as an annex of the PATH train station -- that's how close it is. But the 187-room property is more than just location: After a tough day running around Manhattan, guests can unwind around the lobby fireplace, grab a cocktail and a handful of goldfish crackers at the bar or find a slice of calm in the small outdoor oasis with wood tables and a gazebo. For water therapy, you can bubble away in the whirlpool or play porpoise in the indoor pool. And when it's time to collapse for the night, guests repair to rooms with king- or queen-size beds, coffeepots and fridges (10th floor only, but you can request a fridge as well as a microwave). Sinking into layers of high-thread-count linens, you can then plot the next day's adventure using the view outside your window as a map.
540 Washington Blvd., Jersey City, 201-626-6600 , http:/
· The Candlewood Suites is so homey some people actually call it home -- about half the guests are in town for business and stay longer than a weekend. But the 214-suite property is equally welcoming to short-termers. All visitors are treated to sizable suites with full kitchens, including ice maker, dishwasher and fridge, and separate spaces for reading, relaxing and reclining in a La-Z-Boy-ish chair. The hotel also has loads of freebies, such as CD and video rentals, parking, local calls, Internet and fitness center. For dining, you can walk to neighboring restaurants, hop the nearby train to NYC or raid the lobby-level pantry (payment is by honor system). And for those who can't leave home without Fido, pets are welcome -- they just have to pony up $300.
21 Second St., Jersey City , 877-226-3539, http:/
· Jersey City's Doubletree Hotel has free cookies, skyline views and a lounge that mixes martinis and the Mets. For details, see story on Page 8.
455 Washington Blvd., Jersey City, 201-499-2400 , http:/
· Good luck peeling yourself out of bed in the morning at Weehawken's Sheraton Suites on the Hudson, especially if you're staying in an even-numbered room in the new West Wing. The rooms -- as well as those ending in 01, 02, 03 and 04 in the older building -- have eye-popping panoramas of the Big Apple. Yet the suites are more than just a pretty picture window. The commodious, subtly mod spaces include a sleeper couch, a workstation and a kitchenette. The hotel has an indoor pool (watch out for street peepers walking by), a fitness center, free parking and a cafe that serves a $13.50 breakfast buffet. Its Italian restaurant is under renovation, but guests can drink, eat steak and shoot pool at the nearby Lincoln Harbor Complex. And when the city beckons, take the light rail to the PATH station (about 1 1/2 miles away) or walk to the ferry in the hotel's back yard. That is, assuming you get out of bed.
500 Harbor Blvd., Weehawken , 201-617-5600 , http:/
-- Andrea Sachs