Monday 30 April 2012

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Hyatt Regency Jersey City

We arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City by way of limo. It wasn't our choice, as the car was arranged by the concierge at the Hilton Times Square, but it was definitely an attention getting way to pull up to a hotel. It might, however, have been the cause of some confusion. Here we were, riding around in a stretch limousine only a few blocks from Giants stadium, on the very day that Tim Tebow was scheduled to arrive in New Jersey to make his first appearance as a New York Jet. Actually, if there was some confusion, that would explain a lot.

I'm not sure if Tim Tebow uses "Steve Pratt" as his fake check-in name for hotels (although it seems strange that he would use the name of somebody as famous as I am), but if he does it might explain the service that we received from the Hyatt in Jersey City. For days before our arrival, we were peppered with e-mails
Hyatt-Jersey-Bedroomconfirming the details of our arrival, although the best I could give them was "We'll be there sometime on Friday" (sounds like a celebrity not wanting to reveal too much to me). When we arrived at the hotel, the bellhops addressed us by name, and although they tried not to show it, I caught them exchanging amazed glances at just how out of shape Mr. Tebow was. At check-in we were greeted by a V.I.P. host who gave us an overview of everything in the hotel, and assured us that our needs would be top priority should anything arise. We were being treated like the superstar that Tim Tebow is, and while I suppose it's possible that they offer this kind of service to everybody, any doubts that there had been a mix-up were removed when we got to our room.

This was a room truly worthy of a superstar. Sure, the real Tim Tebow probably wouldn't have had to burn a guaranteed upgrade certificate to land this type of room, but I wasn't complaining. The Hudson River Suite that we were upgraded to had a giant bedroom with a super comfy king size bed, and a window that gave a great view down the south shore of Jersey, including the Statue of Liberty (whose torch makes a really great nightlight if you leave the blinds open). There was also a nice work desk (for reviewing the playbook), a 42" flat screen TV (for watching game film), and a window bench all along the wall (ummm...for practicing kneeling?).

The living room had a giant couch that was big enough for two of our kids to sleep on without fighting, another 42" TV, and a bookshelf that contained a large number of literary classics. Much to my surprise, this actually interested my kids, until they found out that there was no way for them to download the books. At that point their interest turned to the snacks that had been sent up as a welcome gift. Apparently Mr. Tebow likes humus, olives, pita bread, and has a thing for Pepsi.

The best part of this 700 square foot room however, was the 20 square feet of balcony. The Hyatt on the Hudson is right on the water, directly across from Lower Manhattan. If you want to really enjoy a view of New York, this is the best one that I've ever had. Removed from the city you get fresh air, tranquillity, and a view of New York that stretches from Times Square right down to Battery Park, then across the river to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I could have sat out on the balcony all day, imagining what it would have been like to be there when Sully landed the plane in the river or, tragically, on 9/11. It only got better at night when the lights came on, and none of my kids wanted to close the blinds at night, no matter what time the sun was going to come up.

Tim Tebow probably has a car and driver, but for the rest of us, as a point for venturing out the Hyatt is about as good as it gets. If you're trying to navigate New Jersey, the transit exchange is right out front. The PATH train station is right underneath the hotel, making it ridiculously easy to get into New York or further into New Jersey. You're also only one station away from Hoboken, and a visit to Carlo's Bake Shop. For you seafaring types, the Paulus Hook ferry station is a two minute walk down the boardwalk.

Look, let's be honest. Nobody mistook me for a finely tuned athlete brought in to be the savior of the New York Jets. I'm more likely to be mistaken for an accountant than a quarterback, but the point is that the service at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City is exemplary. Lori and I are diamond members with Hyatt, which I'm sure accounts for some of the attention (and explains the suite upgrade certificate), but from what I saw everybody was treated very well. Even if you have no status at all with Hyatt, I highly recommend giving this hotel a shot. If you're a Diamond member, you have to stay here, and on the off chance that Tim Tebow finds himself reading this ( could happen), I'm pleased to report that the Hyatt on the Hudson is ready  for your visit sir. If you could though, please stop checking in under my name.