May Stays: Romantic Getaways Throughout New Jersey

Five romantic spots for a spring fling with your special someone.

The Bernards Inn
27 Mine Brook Road

Number of rooms: 20
May rates: $199-$300 per night
Each of the rooms in this romantic, 105-year-old boutique hotel has a name and a decorating scheme all its own, though a few special touches—tasteful oil paintings and plush antique furniture—are found throughout. Bernardsville offers plenty to do in May, including art-gallery tours and hiking, but the biggest attraction here might be the inn’s beautifully appointed dining room and its progressive American menu under executive chef Corey W. Heyer. The restaurant garnered three stars from New Jersey Monthly in February 2011; its carefully edited wine list has earned the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for the past 13 years.
May is a good time to visit for the Sumptuous Spring package ($485 including gratuities, taxes additional), which includes a one-night stay; a four-course tasting menu paired with wine at dinner; breakfast (or brunch if it’s Sunday); and in-room touches like a pitcher of signature blood-orange iced tea and an artisanal cheese plate.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Atlantic City
1 Borgata Way

Number of rooms: 2,000 plus
May rates: $99-$359 per night (suites cost more)
An affinity for slot machines is one reason to stay at the Borgata, New Jersey’s biggest and arguably most luxurious casino-hotel, but you can find plenty of others. The property recently underwent a $50 million redesign; now 1,566 of its rooms include a 46-inch flat-panel TV; iPod charger and player; and beds covered by 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets with Fili D’oro linens. Big-name entertainment is always a sure thing at Borgata; Joan Rivers, Wanda Sykes, and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons will play the premises in May. If you’d like a theme to tie around your stay, try the Winecation package (from $425 per night, double occupancy). It includes an overnight stay in a classic room; a Vinotherapy spa treatment; a wine tasting at the Water Club Vintage Wine Boutique; and a three-course prix-fixe dinner for two at Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar, one of five acclaimed restaurants on site. (Izakaya, the stylish Japanese pub at Borgata, earned three stars in November 2008 from New Jersey Monthly.)

Lambertville House
32 Bridge Street

Number of rooms: 26
May rates: $200-$300 per night
The 200-year-old Lambertville House—a onetime stagecoach stop serving U.S. presidents, dignitaries and businessmen traveling between New York and Philadelphia—tempers its quaint, historic vibe with modern touches. Yes, you will find early-American reproduction furniture, and yes, all but three rooms have fireplaces. But you will also find that you can adjust the heat or AC to your liking. Best of all, Lambertville House is centrally located in this laid back, but hip town, where antiquing is the local sport and inventive restaurants pop up faster than shad swim up the nearby Delaware River come springtime. In May, proprietor Mary Ellen Mason recommends checking in on a Friday night and heading to the riverbank, where a fireworks show starts at dusk. The weekly pyrotechnics are done by 9:30 pm, at which point visitors can enjoy a cocktail and live music in the courtyard. Inside, the Left Bank Bistro serves breakfast, Mediterranean-inspired lunch and dinner (room service available), and an extensive martini menu awaits at the Left Bank Lounge. Check the website for May bargains.

Peacock Inn
20 Bayard Lane

Number of rooms: 16
May rates: $200-$600 per night
Barry Sussman, proprietor of the Peacock Inn, could brag about the history of his boutique hotel, which dates to the 1700s and once housed members of the Continental Congress. But Sussman is mostly content to let the inn’s website and its Colonial architecture do the yesteryear talking. He prefers to emphasize the property’s affiliation with the Small Luxury Hotels of the World organization—the lone New Jersey hotel to earn that distinction. Luxury is serious business here. The inn underwent a multimillion dollar renovation six years ago, and in addition to modern, comfortable furnishings, rooms now boast Hollandia mattresses, down pillows, Sferra comforters and blankets, Molton Brown bathroom amenities and Frette slippers (like the mini shampoo bottles, they’re yours to keep). Dining is also a top drawer enterprise here; Manuel Perez, executive chef of the Peacock Inn Restaurant, trained for three years at Le Bernardin and was chef de cuisine of Nicholas in Red Bank. New Jersey Monthly gave the Peacock 3 ½ stars in September 2010 and it appeared on our 2011 list of the state’s 25 best restaurants. May is busy in Princeton; Sussman says rooms are nearly impossible to come by—but those who do score a reservation will find plenty of shopping, museums and nightlife in town.

The W Hotel
225 River Street

Number of rooms: 225
May rates: $300-$500 per night
If you’ve ever stayed at a W Hotel, the contemporary-chic vibe will be familiar. But because Hoboken’s W is still relatively new—it opened in 2009—it may be even more spectacularly hip than fellow locations. The hotel houses New Jersey’s only Bliss Spa, and its guest rooms are kitted out with pillow-top beds, “totally wired” technology, gratis snack boxes (no need to hit the minibar) and waffle-weave bathrobes. Then there are views of the Manhattan skyline, unsurpassed even if they’re not on the uppermost (26th) floor. This being Hoboken, nightlife, restaurants and shopping abound. Scenic Sinatra Drive and its waterfront park are at their stroll-able best in May, and the annual downtown Spring Arts and Music Festival happens May 5, a few blocks from the hotel. There’s always a deal at the W, too, like the “resident exclusive” 15 percent off on Thursday-through-Saturday arrivals. Just flash your Jersey driver’s license.

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