Pros:In New Hope, quiet, reasonable rates
Cons:Past its prime, not well maintained and “it’s always something”!
The Bottom Line: It puts you very close to a pretty neat little town in at least reasonable comfort.
In the Southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, gracing the western bank of the Delaware River sits a delightful little town that goes by the name of New Hope. Often referred to as the Greenwich Village of Pennsylvania, it is precisely one mile square with a year round population of just under 1,000 people.
Its narrow winding, hilly streets are home to a fascinating collection of small shops and restaurants and the Bucks County Playhouse where you can catch an incredible touring Broadway show in a small, intimate (if somewhat uncomfortable) theater for a ridiculously paltry sum (by Broadway standard).
The atmosphere in town is light and carefree reflecting the artistic venue that is New Hope.
During late spring through mid fall the town at times seems over run by tourists. Most come for the day or a day or two, but at times they seem to choke off the tiny lanes that make up this pretty little town.
You might sense from reading this that I have more than a tourists knowledge of New Hope. Youd be right. New Hope was the romantic getaway of choice during my courtship of the ravishing Mrs. Xeno. Our love nest was the now defunct Hacienda Hotel tucked into the winding lane known as Mechanic Street. This lovely place was recently demolished to make way for the construction of townhouse condos. (Grrrr!)
So in love with this little town were we that following an excellent lunch at The Logan one perfect spring day we made the momentous decision to settle there. In what seemed like only days we would take possession of a cozy farmhouse on five acres just outside the village proper. And, almost nine months from our first night in our new home came the birth of the youngest Xeno Sister, our beloved Jenna (J.J. to her friends). The stars were aligned.
Hows that for a romantic backdrop? But what does it have to do with the Best Western New Hope Inn? Absolutely nothing. Its backdrop. No, thats not entirely true.
One of the problems with a stay in New Hope these days is that there is a real scarcity of hotel rooms. The Hacienda is gone. The Raven is exclusively gay (not that theres anything wrong with that. (see Seinfeld, Season 4, Episode 57, 1993). And, Motel in the Woods does double duty as a mildew ranch.
That brings us to the Best Western New Hope Inn located just south of town on Route 202. The New Hope Inn stands in contrast to all else that is New Hope. Far from being a quaint inn, it is in all but setting, any of the hundreds of hotels/motels you find along Interstate 95 between the Northeast and Florida.
While Im not sure exactly when this hotel was built my guess would be sometime during the 1970s. All access to the 156 rooms of this three story structure is by way of outdoor balconies.
Having stayed there just recently, I found the rooms have been recently refurnished and re-carpeted. This is a good thing as up until recently the rooms were looking a little thread-bare. The beds are firm and comfortable and there are no musty odors to the rooms as there had been in recent years.
Each room has a 27 TV featuring an entertainment system (games, movies, etc.) During my most recent stay there the system wasnt working and no one seemed to know why. While things like that happen on occasion everywhere, it seems to be symptomatic of the Best Western New Hope Inn in general.
In recent years it has been my experience that something is always not working at this place. If its not the entertainment system, your key card may not open the door. Maybe the air-conditioning/heating is not working properly. But in the immortal words of the late Rosanne Rosanadana Its always something! If its not one thing, its another.
Maintenance at the New Hope Inn is spotty at best. A walk around the property reveals a lot of crumbling and rust stained concrete, a shame because its such a great location.
At at mile and a half from town, its quiet enough to get some sleep at night but close enough that you can drive to town in under 5 minutes. For the more adventurous the distance can be walked in about 30-40 minutes.
A large well maintained pool is available to guests between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There is also a black top tennis court and a newly built toddler playground. All seemed in decent shape. All rooms are equipped with high speed internet connections.
This hotel at one time had an active lounge and restaurant that could be counted on for hot tables of hors doeuvres and pretty decent meals (breakfast and dinner). Today, the lounge and restaurant are open Tuesday evening through Saturday and never looks busy at all (not a good sign).
Their web-site lists rates of $89/night during the week and $129 on weekends. During the summer they may be slightly higher. But there are special unpublished discounts available and I usually pay only $59/night.
So, given all this why stay here?
Well as mentioned earlier hotel rooms in the area are limited. There are several Bed & Breakfasts in the area but they book fast and often far in advance and can be significantly more expensive .
So, while this is certainly far from a favorite of mine, it puts you very close to a pretty neat little town in at least reasonable comfort. On the other hand if this property was an I-95 motel I guess I would choose to stay elsewhere. The Best Western New Hope Inn gets only a qualified recommendation from this reviewer.
But hey! Youre in New Hope and life in Pennsylvania doesnt get any better than that. Whats that they say? Oh yeah. Location, Location, Location!
Enjoy your stay in New Hope.
© Rudi Xeno 2006
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