This property is located in the mountainous are of northwest New Jersey. The clientele draw seems to be from New York and New Jersey.
If your main focus is golf (lots of beautiful courses) and hanging out at the lovely pools while being lifeguard for your own family, you will like this property. There are some nice (but not overly diversified, compared to other resort experiences) activities to do. Night time glow bocce ball was fun, the sunset golf cart ride, an afternoon at mountaintop on the lake (which had friendly, enthusiastic lifeguards and a very good archery instructor) lead the headlines.
Staff were very pleasant and friendly, helpful when approached. Front desk staff plentiful and helpful. Valets remarkably cheerful and upbeat as well.
Not a lot of spontaneous niceties or chatter, though, from guests, residents, or most staff.
I was born in NYC and raised in NJ, so I realize that this is a geographic specific thing, but I am always mildly surprised when I return to the area. It also may be from the fact that the resort has a residence/real estate base in that people can buy and maintain units for themselves, so it can function more like an apartment building, and people probably have their own routine and social base. Just mentioning this in case you are a traveler who likes to absorb the area culture through interaction.
Pools are advertised as having no lifeguards, and while they use signage to indicate children should not be there unsupervised, it did not appear to be enforced. I observed an approximately 9 year old with no judgement dunking a 2 year old repeatedly, leaving him gasping for breath and choking on water (no parents). I dodged 6 year olds running around with ignited wooded roasting sticks, dumping a pile of new sticks on the fire- they were supervised by a 10 year old (no parents) As you cannot count on parents to comply or demonstrate good judgement, there does need to be lifeguards and a staff member at these events.
The chef's garden area is lovely and beautiful to walk in, I was disappointed that it was closed during the week, leaving a big range between a formal sit down dinner and grab n go at the Biosphere Cafe. Off property dining was necessary frequently.
Our unit was spacious, nice, complete kitchenette and laundry. Do not put anyone larger than a preschooler on the sofa bed, it was not comfortable. The housekeeping team was efficient and could "blitz tidy" within minutes if you had them in while you were in the unit. 5 very polite, thorough staff members got a lot done in 6 minutes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Grand Cascades Lodge, the NY metro area's newest and most luxurious resort hotel. Ideally situated in the scenic mountains of northwestern New Jersey and just 47 miles from Manhattan, this elegant retreat offers spacious designer guest rooms with gourmet kitchens, fireplaces and balconies. World-class amenities include a distinctive Biosphere Tropical Pool Complex, the luxurious Reflections Spa, six award-winning golf courses, an 18-hole grass putting course, 4-star Restaurant Latour, 3 indoor/outdoor heated pools, meeting and conference rooms, on-site pro shop, gift store and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Cascades Hotel Hamburg
- Hotel Grand Cascades