Nassau Inn is not perfect (I'll address its downsides in a minute), but if you are going to Princeton for a non-business reason OR your work-related reasons mean you'll have to be in the "downtown" area, then this is the best place to stay--let's set aside the fact that there's no alternative like it. It's such a great choice and there are two big reasons why. First is the simple fact of location. It is about three minutes' walk from the University (and if you're visiting students, like beautiful locations or want to see a small gem of a museum you're in the right area). Also, it is in downtown Princeton. This is a congestested area, filled with foot traffic, parking troubles and everything else that comes along with too many people in too small a space at the same time. You have everything that defines Princeton at your command and no hotel shuttle however convenient can duplicate that. There's a great worth to "being there"; location is important, particularly in a town where, with the exception of an inn down the road, all the hotels are located off of a wretched strip of highway where no left turns are allowed, traffic in the am and pm can be wretched and there is little else around but some deer and chain restaurants. The Nasssau Inn, however, embeds you in history and gives you the option to take in as much as or as little as you please. Also, if you're visiting a student, this is by far the best option.
History brings me to my second point. This hotel, with its narrow staircases next to modern elevators, oak panels, powder room, bar with fireplace and an original Normal Rockwell ("Yankee Doodle") on the wall is steeped in old Princeton history. Walking from the lobby to the bar (the Taproom as it is known), you'll see the wall lined with portraits of famous Princeton grads from James Stewart of _It's a Wonderful Life _ fame to Brooke Shields to, yes, current FLOTUS, First Lady Michelle Obama. IT's a celebration of Ivy League continuity and you won't be able to experience it at any other hotel.
As for sundries, the menu is passable, decent but not exceptional. Also, I don't believe room service is 24-hours, but that's just a personal quibble. The staff can be either incredibly kind and capable or clueless--luck of the draw. The rooms, similarly, can be spacious and lovely, but others are cramped. Revolutionary War comfort, I suppose.
I am critical of the fact that this establishment cannot seem to make up its mind what kind of hotel it is--a glorified Hilton or a boutique? The room might be charming and view even better from shuttered windows, but down the hall is an ice machine...and it's out of service. That's just the strange conflict that strikes me.
Nonetheless, shortcomings aside, if you are Princeton-bound, the Nassau Inn is the place to go. When you tuck in to the local tea house in the morning, you'll understand why.
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- Also Known As:
- Nassau Hotel Princeton