Monday, April 28, 2014


Spring arrived but old man winter has had a hard time letting go this year.  Still, seeing the flowers starting to bloom and lawns starting to turn green, refreshes the senses and lifts one's spirits.  It inspired us to plant some flowers in front of The National Hotel's main entrance, to replace all the beautiful flowers that had been planted back in 2009 by Kristine Gryl Marinelli (KM Interior Design), after we took ownership of this historic building.  It seemed like a minor inconvenience losing all those flowers after SuperStorm Sandy, compared to all the damage and destruction that storm brought with it.  But it was time.

It became a "family affair," as so much of our personal lives are intertwined with the love and respect we hold for The National Hotel.  Even on Mondays, when only the Hotel is open, we are often in Frenchtown, NJ tweaking this or that, replenishing supplies, deep cleaning carpets or tending to the beautiful, original pumpkin pine floors that welcome our guests.  Last week we weeded and planted; the week before that we spent Monday resetting computers with our new Spring Menu that was unveiled on April 15th, as well as doing a full staff training that very night.  The latter is an essential ingredient that helps us deliver the quality of service that our patrons demand.  It's our attentive, friendly, and caring staff that continues to amaze us.  We are so appreciative of all of their hard work and their dedication to The National Hotel.

All I can say  is that with their help, WE ARE READY FOR MOTHER'S DAY!!! That all-important day where we have the opportunity to honor our mothers, the mother of our children, or women in our lives who are nurturing and who make all the difference.  We're planning a special menu that weekend that will definitely say to that special lady in your life:  I VALUE YOU!  Make your reservations early; call us at 908.996.3200 or email us, or if you'd prefer, present her with a Gift Certificate to The National Hotel.

And speaking of ladies, following on the heels of our weekly Wednesday Ladies' Night (with 1/2-priced drinks for ladies, 5-7 pm in The Rathskeller Pub, a.k.a. The Rat), which has become a ritual for many, meeting up with friends and often, making new ones, last week also marked the launch of our brand new Wednesday Karaoke Night--something many of you have asked us repeatedly to establish.  We needed to wait to find the right person to host the night, the right music selection, etc.  We have established a long tradition of making sure that we take care of our guests and allow many of our programs to develop organically.  But with your encouragement, we found the right person, as anyone who attended last Wednesday's launch night can attest:
And while The National Hotel offers these great opportunities for community connections often on six nights of the week, Frenchtown itself has been busy creating many such opportunities, from getting neighbors involved to help clean up Frenchtown Park earlier this month, to planting trees at Horseshoe Bend Park (a 450+ acre preserved park with some of the best views of the Delaware River and wonderful hiking trails), to "Fit Frenchtown" which kicked off yesterday, focusing on a campaign for wellness created by the town's mayor, Warren Cooper.  Fit Frenchtown activities included participation from Yoga Loka offering a free yoga class yesterday, engaging students from the Frenchtown Elementary School Running Club, and will continue for the next few months with a women's wellness series planned, a softball game, walks along the bike path (Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park), and more.

And there's a lot to look forward to if you're planning to visit our area from out-of-state, or are a resident in search of new activities, including a world-class archery center that is likely to be built in Union Township across from the entrance to Spruce Run Reservoir State Park, and could be used by would-be Olympians.  There are currently only 3 such centers in the entire country.

As you can see, there's a little something for everyone in our little corner of the world, from sports, to health and fitness, to shopping, to finding that sweet spot when you look to escape from the daily grind.  Our Hotel guests often share that what Frenchtown offers is different from anywhere else they have traveled; a unique and special experience.  At The National Hotel, we'll continue to bring you exceptional programming, wonderful lunch and dinner experiences, fresh and delicious signature drinks, continue to explore new wine and beer choices to complement your meals, and provide you with attention to detail during your overnight stays.  This is at the very core of everything we do, always challenging ourselves to improve and to bring you innovative programs that will help make The National Hotel part of your weekly plans.

One of the best outcomes from the programs we schedule is the feedback we receive from those in attendance and the enthusiasm you demonstrate when these special nights come around.  If you've been to our Bi-Weekly Tuesday Trivia Nights (next one is scheduled for May 5th), then you know first-hand just how much time and effort Russ Coen (the night's creator) and our General Manager, Marlon Aranha, put into each of Russ' unique and well-developed trivia questions.  Everyone is welcome to join and "first-timers" are always embraced.  I have always loved that about The National Hotel's loyal patrons--they are the first ones to welcome you into the group, making it easy for anyone new to feel right at home, especially in the more relaxed Rathskeller Pub, the area's "late night destination," also dubbed "The Frenchtown Underground" by Alex Wolfson back in 2010:

[July 2010 Open Mic Night]

And from that to our regular music that continues to captivate us, from our weekly Thursday Open Mic Night (which, by the way, was also created by one of our loyal patrons, Alex Wolfson), to our Saturday Night Live Music series, to our Sunday Afternoon Music series; we live in an exceptional part of the country, where the appreciation of and for art is palpable.  The musicians who sign-up for Open Mic Night are joyful to perform, while those of us who can sit and enjoy their music, are in awe of their talent and appreciate the gift they bring each and every week.  Thank you to all of these artists, and to you for supporting them too.

Pete and I hope to see you in Frenchtown and at The National Hotel in the near future.  Please do email me with any feedback or questions, or leave a comment on this blog.  You can also reach us at 908.996.3200, or fill out our guest inquiry page on our website.  Stay up-to-date with all of the activities and programs we have planned for this special season:

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Thank you again.