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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paramus, New Jersey / Crowne Plaza

June 2013, Weekday, 1-night, King guestroom #257

Status perks and check-in
I did not receive a room upgrade, although I received an amazing goody bag. This was probably the best goody bag perk I have ever received--not considering the times that I have received a full bottle of wine with fruit, cheese, and crackers delivered to the room. The goody bag contained all of the items shown here: baked chips, single-serve bottle of Woodbridge merlot wine, small bottle of water, fruit snacks, trail mix, sugar-free cookies, and a small package of cheese crackers. I was impressed with the wine and the sugar-free cookies. It was great to receive something out of the ordinary like this. I also received a coupon for the breakfast buffet the next morning.

I usually ask for a top floor guestroom at the end of the hall because it is often quieter. This is an older hotel, and there is no elevator. The front desk agent asked me if I was aware of this, and if this was okay. I had researched the two hotels in this area that I considered before this trip, so I was aware that there is no elevator. Since I had a smaller carry-on bag, I told her that was not a problem. She told me that someone could help me with my luggage, if I wanted.

Guestroom 257
The guestroom had been recently updated, and it was comfortable. The work area was spacious with plenty of room to work. The bedding was good quality, and the bed was comfortable. 

The guestroom contained the following: large desk work area and chair, plenty of lamps/lighting throughout the guestroom, one bottle of water with the ice bucket, a single-serve coffee maker with supplies, a soft chair with footstool, king size bed, flatscreen TV on an armoire, suitcase bench/bench seat, and nightstands with lamps, and a lighted alarm clock. There were two telephones in the guestroom; one on a nightstand, and one on the desk. A closet with an iron and board was located across from the bathroom. 

I probably would have been very happy at this hotel with this guestroom, had it not been such an old building with some other faults. The walls were extremely thin, and I could hear my neighbors on both sides. One neighbor was having a heated discussion with his female friend about their child (apparently) for several hours--first on the telephone, and then in person. And, the guest on the other side was either a night owl, or s/he sleeps to the TV noise, because I could hear the TV most of the night.

Other downsides to this being an older building, were the small bathroom, and the guestroom had a musty smell to it. 

The bathroom vanity was very small with no counter space. A low quality hairdryer was mounted on the wall. The toilet seemed to be a newer style with low water flow flushing; however, it did not work very well.

The musty smell in the guestroom was somewhat bothersome. I keep odor reducing spray in my travel bag when I am traveling with more than a carry-on, and I wished I had had it with me this stay. Apparently, the dampness had not been removed during the remodel, and the new carpet and such did not cover up the smell.

The fact that this guestroom contained a bottle of water for no charge, gave me the impression that it is a concierge floor room. Usually, I do not see bottled water included in guestrooms unless it is a concierge or executive floor room. Other than the water though, this room did not appear to be an executive or club floor room. The guestroom diagram on the back of the guestroom door, showed this room to be one of the smallest rooms on this floor. The front desk agent did not tell me this is an executive guestroom, and the bill I received did not say that it is. If this is an executive room, it is a poor one. If the guestroom diagram is to scale, I would say this is a basic guestroom.

Food & Beverage
This hotel has a breakfast area and the evening restaurant in the hotel is the Bonefish Grill. A breakfast menu was available in the hotel restaurant, and I should have asked if I could use my buffet coupon toward an a la carte item, because the buffet was not very good. The foods I recall were basic non-fresh scrambled eggs, white breads, cut fruit, and cereals. Beverages were included, and I was happy that V-8 juice was available. I have found that many hotel restaurants do not carry V-8 juice, and servers often try to give me tomato juice without letting me know that V-8 juice is not available--as if I would not know when I taste it! The service at breakfast was very good.

Bonefish Grill is located in the hotel, and it is accessible without having to walk outside. I was able to eat in the restaurant and charge it to my hotel room. The bar area was quite busy during my visit, and the service was mediocre to poor. I received much better service at breakfast than I did in the evening. The bar service was not solely my experience; the patrons seated next to me had to get the bartender's attention to place their food order over 10 minutes after they had requested a menu. I also had to request a menu and my check. Even though the bar was active, it was not so busy that the bartenders could not keep up. They had plenty of time to chat with each other; they were just inattentive to guests' needs. I have been to several Bonefish Grill restaurants, and this was the worst service experience I have ever had. The service was not terrible; however, it was not up to par compared to past experiences. The food, as always, was excellent!

Business center
The business center is located in the lobby near the front desk. It contained basic equipment, and I was able to print items for no charge.

Fitness center
I was glad that there was not anyone in the fitness center both times that I used it, because it is not very big. The equipment was in working order, and the hotel does offer free passes to a nearby gym. The photos on the hotel website are an accurate depiction of what is available at this hotel.

I thought all of the staff members at this hotel were accommodating and professional. As much as I liked the Platinum member goody bag and the bed comfort, I do not think I would choose this hotel again. The reasons I would stay elsewhere are the thin walls and the damp smell. Had it not been for those two factors, I would choose this hotel again. Even though the bathroom in the guestroom is small, that is something I could overlook when traveling by myself.