There's a sublime selection of places to stay -- even outside of Cape May
Back when the casinos came to town, there was a big push to add rooms for out-of-town gamblers to stay during their visit to the resort. Beyond accommodations casinos had to offer, it was understood there would still be a need for more places for patrons to crash.
Even now, when there's a sizable convention in town, there can be a shortage of quarters for customers. There are currently plans to add more rooms to alleviate that problem so there won't be a pinch for lodging.
However, there have always been people who want to avoid some of the more "sterile" type of rooms that many hotels and motels offer. They seek out places that have some of the amenities that can only be found at home -- where they provide a more "civilized" way to spend the night.
For those people, there are local inns and bed and breakfast establishments where they can stay. You may not think anything of that sort can be found outside of Cape May, but Atlantic County and its surrounding area has a few choices for visitors looking for a more comfy place to stay.
First, there can be a distinction between an inn and a bed and breakfast (B&B) establishment. An inn can be anything from a large chain of hotels/motels, such as Days Inn, Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn (which, by the way, got its name from the 1942 film), that offer formal dining rooms for all meals of the day, to businesses with more modest accommodations of a few rooms and only serve breakfast, which are also what B&Bs are.
For our purposes here, we'll center on the more humble establishments that offer personalized service for their patrons. Most places have wedding packages and rates quoted are dependent on the season of your stay.
The Colonial Inn at the Historic Towne of Smithville near Absecon is 100-percent smoke free with period rooms of the 18th and 19th centuries, luxurious linens and bedding, oversized steam showers, continental breakfast and afternoon refreshment. You also have all of Smithville and the Village Greene to stroll around. Rooms run from $99-$199. Call 748-8999 or visit www.colonialinnsmithville.com.
|Inn at Sugar Hill|
The Inn at Sugar Hill in Mays Landing has themed rooms that are antique-filled, air-conditioned, with private baths and many with working fireplaces and river views. During the day you can enjoy a quiet walk along the waterfront and adjoining brick of Gaskills Park, and downtown Mays Landing. Prices are $115-$155. Call 625.2226 or visit www.innatsugarhill.com.
In Absecon, The Dr. Jonathan Pitney House is a B&B that offers an extensive breakfast and afternoon teas between 4-5pm upon request. Rooms are decorated with pieces from the 1700s through the 1800s and all guestrooms, except for one, have in-suite baths, early 1900s clawfoot soaking tubs with showers. Winter rates run from $69-$159 along with "Dr.'s Prescriptions" packages. Call 569-1799 or visit www.pitneyhouse.com.
The Carisbrooke Inn in Ventnor is a B&B that has "European Hospitality" offered by an innkeeper who is a second-generation Italian American. Breakfasts are multi-course with home-baked items and entrees made fresh. There's also an evening wine and refreshments period with more homemade treats. All rooms come equipped with cable TV, DVD/VCR players, access to a video/DVD library and run from $85-$325 per night. Call 822-6392 or visit www.carisbrookeinn.com.
Another B&B in Ventnor is the Come Wright Inn, a six-bedroom establishment in a refurbished Victorian home. You can sit by the fire on chilly days, or in the warmer months stroll through the garden. Each reservation includes a four-course gourmet breakfast at your choice of two sittings and afternoon tea. Rooms run $85-$280 and you can get different packages. Call 822-1927 or visit www.comewrightinn.com.
The Cricket Inn in Egg Harbor Township is a B&B that has two rooms, each with a private bath, overlooking a pasture (with horses that are very people-friendly), pond and pool with hot tub. There's a Jacuzzi room with a large tub for two and each night's stay includes a full country breakfast. Rates run from $135-$150. Call 653-8697 or visit www.crickethillbandb.com.
Located in the Absecon Highlands, the White Manor Inn is a B&B that was built by the innkeeper's father and includes unique touches throughout, many created by the innkeeper. There are flowers and plants that adorn both the lush grounds and the interior of the home. Rooms run from $65-$105. Call 748-3996.
The Speidel House is the only B&B in Brigantine. All rooms are non-smoking and have a private bath, access to the living room and fireplace, and include a home-cooked breakfast in the morning. The entire house is furnished with period antiques and portraits. Rates are $100-$200 per night. Call 866-266-3705 or visit www.speidelhouse.com.
If you want your stay in the area to be a little removed from the manic pace of the city, then these choices are probably what you're looking for.
Other details in the $50 million room redesign project include oversized, glass-enclosed showers; larger counter space in the guestroom bathrooms; a "spa-like atmosphere," and more high-tech gadgetry.
Ask connoisseurs of fine dining to list the top-five most reputable restaurants in southern New Jersey, and if the Smithville Inn isn’t on the list they have no right referring to themselves as connoisseurs of fine dining.
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