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Be Our Guest

Plan a Creative Escape in Your Own Hometown with the Help of AC Hotel Bridgewater

The minute you step into the elegant lobby of the AC Hotel by Marriott Bridgewater, you feel your worries slip away. 

The hotel, which opened in January on Rte. 202–206 across from the Bridgewater Commons Mall has been busy making inroads into the local community, partnering with area businesses and showing residents what is special about their hometown. 

Knowing that quarantine-weary couples are seeking opportunities to add some luxury and worry-free adventure to their lives, the hotel has embarked on a series of creative “staycation” packages that make guests feel like they’re a world away, while remaining in the comfort of their own area. 

“Local leisure travel will be the first type of travel to return in this post-pandemic world,” says Vinnie Cicerale, director of sales. “We thought a great way to kick-start local travel was to offer creative packages that build relationships with local partners and goes beyond guests simply booking a hotel room with us.”

One featured package is the “‘Tell 'Em Vinnie Sent You’ Upscale Italian Dinner Experience,” which includes both a $100 gift card to Café Emilia in Bridgewater, a family-owned establishment known for its fine Italian dishes, plus transportation via hotel shuttle to and from the restaurant. 

“A few days before the guests arrive, the hotel staff reaches out to establish a connection, set up the reservation and arrange for transportation,” says Vinnie. “When our guests get here, we make sure they have a great welcoming experience. They receive VIP treatment by being greeted at the door and escorted to the elevator, so they can go to their room and unpack. We hand-deliver the gift card, and the guests are welcome to have an espresso in the lobby or a cocktail at our bar. When they arrive at Café Emilia, they will have an upgraded experience as well. All they have to say is ‘Vinnie sent us.’” 

The hotel staff knows that as people start to venture out from their homes seeking overnight adventures, they still want to have peace of mind. “We understand that people may still be on edge; we are here to reassure them that the Bridgewater location is No. 1 in cleanliness and No. 4 in service out of 82 AC Hotels in North and South America and the Caribbean,” says general manager Eric Compton. “The package removes the unknowns: Is my hotel clean, is the service good, is it worth it to leave my house right now? We partnered with a restaurant that has the same standards, and the guests have their reservations and transportation. They don’t have to worry about anything.”

The package reflects the mission of the AC Hotel chain, which prides itself on a clean, modern, European aesthetic and strong relationships with the local community. Other featured packages include the “Axe Throwing at Stumpy’s in Green Brook,” for which guests receive a gift card for one hour of hatchet throwing with hotel transportation included and the “Porrón Experience for Two,” which includes a $25 food and beverage credit at the AC Lounge.

“The Porrón Experience is a nod to the hotel’s Spanish roots — the hotel was founded in Spain by Antonio Catalán, the 'AC' in the name — and represents the creativity in our packages,” Eric explains. “Porrón is a hand-blown glass with a spout that Spanish herders would pass around to share a communal drink by pouring it into their mouths without having the bottle touch their lips.” 

An important part of AC Hotel’s brand identity is its relationships with local businesses. At AC Hotel Bridgewater, guests can sample offerings from The Kombucha Bar in Flemington and Somerville's Cheech’s Own Coffee Company and Carol's Creative Chocolatez. Eric says the staff gets to know the local business owners and understands the stories behind their products.  He explains, “This allows us to be able to share those stories with our guests and to make the connection between them and the local businesses.” 

The hotel offers 150 rooms, an indoor pool and fitness center with Peleton bikes, the AC Lounge lobby bar — which features an outdoor patio and creative cocktails — and a lobby lounge seating area. Later this year, it will open its rooftop bar, The Bradford, which will have four separate bars, fire features and retractable walls to showcase sweeping views of Somerset County and the Watchung Mountains. 

“We seek to create experiences for people that are unique, based on what they find entertaining,” says Vinnie. “Our goal is to get the local community out and experiencing things in their own backyard.”