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The Chauncey Hotel: A Countryside Escape in Princeton

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My family and I recently spent an overnight at The Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center tucked away on the 370-acre ETS campus. My husband and I both agreed that it felt like we were much farther away from home because of the relaxed, bucolic setting. Since The Chauncey Hotel is not sitting right on Route 1, it might not be the first lodging option that comes to mind when you’re looking for a place to stay in Princeton, but I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a combination of a country estate with luxurious and state-of-the-art amenities. 

Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

The Chauncey is right off Carter Road on the border of Princeton and Lawrenceville. It’s a few minutes away from Lawrenceville, from routes 95 and 295, and 15 minutes from downtown Princeton. There are no sounds of cars rushing down Route 1 and no views of parking lots. It was originally built as an exclusive ETS facility, but it has since become a popular destination for weddings and conferences. Its cozy ambiance has also made the CBar a local favorite among residents in the area, myself and the POL staff included. It’s one of those hidden gems that shouldn’t be so hidden anymore. 

Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

My husband and I have been to the hotel a few times before for post dinner drinks, but this would be our first time staying overnight as guests. My girls were excited to stay in a hotel and I was just excited to get out of the house for a night- it didn't matter how far we went. Fortunatley, the weather report looked good and we would be able to have a complete experience of the hotel. 

The check-in process was as to be expected: nice and smooth. The girls excitedly rushed up to our room and squeeled upon arrival. I love hotel rooms - especially the crisp white linens and soft pillows that promise the best sleep ever. We were greeted with a lovely welcome basket with a hotel pool towel (yes!) and lots of helpful information of what Chauncey has to offer. The highlight of the room was the personal balcony (all the rooms have one) that looked over the wedding tent. We couldn't wait to have dinner, go to the pool, and try and get a peek at the wedding! 

While the end of summer is normally quiet for conferences and meetings, it's an active wedding venue. Since the campus has both The Laurie House (the B&B) and the hotel on one property, it's the perfect all-in-one pacakge for a couple planning their perfect day. As you'll see below, there are lakes with fountains, scenic walkways, a tent that stays up all summer long, and an elegant ballroom. As an outsider looking in, it made me want to relive my wedding day over again. It also made me appreciate the privacy of the property as a hotel guest. 

After we settled in, we got started experiencing as much of the hotel as possible! Here are a few highlights:

  1. The 370 acres campus has abundant outdoor space for special events and team building, and includes walking/biking trails & bikes to borrow


     
  2. The Laurie House ( B & B ) with 7 guest rooms, meeting room, dining room, living room, library, patio & firepit (house was renovated in Jan 2016 with Ethan Allen furnishings and accessories). The gazebo behind the Laurie House is for wedding ceremonies and small private dining. Adjacent to the house is a lake with fountains– lovely to enjoy sitting nearby and reading, relaxing and chatting and picture perfect for weddings and special events.



    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center



     
  3. The Chauncey is a unique event venue because of the beautiful 80 x 40 Garden Pavilion Tent (May through October) accommodating 150 guests for weddings, private catered events, picnics, bar/bat mitvahs and team building.




     
  4. There are 100 guest rooms (93 in main hotel and 7 in Laurie House) . The main hotel guest rooms are large with great windows and individual patios or balconies. In addition to having wifi capability all throughout the hotel, you could access all pertinent hotel information from the TV. That's how I found the dining service hours. 

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center
     
  5. I have a thing for fireplaces. If there's a bar or restaurant that has one, I'm there. The Chauncey has 4 working fireplaces that will come in handy when the weather turns. When my husband and I came to the CBar after our Valentine's Day dinner, we relaxed in front of the fireplace that sits behind the CBar. It was so cozy that we almost fell asleep! 


     
  6. In Spring 2016, The Chauncey built a brand new fitness center with lots of natural light and a indoor salt water pool with gorgeous patio and fireplace. I should also note that pool bathroom/locker room looked like it could belong in a spa. Cleanliness is key! 

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center


     
  7. The Solomon Room is the main dining room with scenic views of the patio, lakes and gardens out back. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner to both hotel guests and the public. It was also the setting of the wedding that took place the first night. We enjoyed a buffet lunch of healthy options like a salad bar, sub sandwiches, fruit & veggies, and a hot bar with steamed broccoli and chicken. The Solomon also provides room service, which we took advantage of for breakfast. Wow did we have a lot of food! 

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center
     
  8. The CBar, in the heart of the hotel, has 2 stories of windows overlooking the patio and lake. It serves lunch daily and dinner nightly and has weekly events during the year. While there's no kids' menu, they do have pizza! The girls gave a unanimously thumbs up for their thin crust pizza while my husband and I both enjoyed the dinner salads. I toasted the night with their eponymous cocktail made with my favorite - St. Germain. 

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center- CBar
    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center - CBar Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center - CBar Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center - CBar

    Here are some of the upcoming events at the CBar. Grab your friends, a date, your coworkers or your neighbhors!                
  • Wine Down Wednesdays with Live Jazz
  • Trivia Thursdays
  • 1st Tuesday of October/Nov/Dec -  Saki and Sushi Night
  • Each Thursday in October (lunch) is Octoberfest Menu for $10pp
  • Noon on Oct 31st in CBar for Halloween Costume Contest – 1st place 10 free lunches (2 weeks) in CBar, 2nd place 5 free lunches (1 weeks) in CBar,
  • New menu coming out in September for lunch and dinner in the CBar
  • Hungry Hour in CBar, Mon-Fri from 4-7pm, enjoy delicious new small plate appetizers (begins in Sept)
  • Afternoon Tea – Served Friday – Sundays from 3pm-5pm

When it came time to checkout, we all talked about returning on a regular basis for Sunday lunches or dinners. Even though it was only a 15-minute drive home, it felt like we had escaped to someplace farther away. Many thanks to The Chauncey Hotel staff for wonderful stay and for giving me plenty to talk about! To learn more or to book your next stay, visit www.chauncey.com

 

Hilary Morris is the community manager for Princeton Online. Get a peek into her life as a marketer, NJ influencer, girls fashion blogger and mom of 3 girls at @mrsmonj

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