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                                                                            The Château Inn

In the small town of Spring Lake, New Jersey just a hop skip and a jump from the city, (well maybe about an hour and a
half drive excluding heavy traffic), there is the most comfortable little hotel called The Château Inn. We arrived around
six o' clock in the early evening  in the very last week of August. Greeted by Robert, the gracious general manager at the
front desk, we were given the key to the room in which Robert mentioned was a favorite of Cindy Crawford's. We took
our lightly packed bags and walked one flight up the narrow Colonial rug steps and entered our room. From the very
first glance I knew I was going to love it. The lighting was moody and atmospheric, adjusted just the right way as to
accentuate the looks of the guests staying here.  Upon entering the room I was happy to see a big king size bed with
comforter and large pillows making me feel at ease immediately. The room was cozy , perfect for two , and adjoined by an
entertainment room just behind it with a big leather couch , a bar and a nice HD flat screen TV.  The expansive porch off
the bedroom , overlooking the town's park was "picture perfect".

We opened a bottle of bubbly purchased at the liquor store next door, (the hotel suggests that you BYOB),
turned on some jazz music, sat back on the big comfy couch  and relaxed for a little while before heading out for dinner  
at Whispers, a restaurant just a short walk along the lake from the Inn.
(Stay tuned for The New York Optimist's review of Whispers restaurant also coming this week).
After an evening in this small town---how do I describe it in a word ? --upscale , affluent-- well thats two words but I
think those words will go a long way in describing the whole town of  Spring Lake,NJ. Here are a few others: well-
dressed, Ferrari, Lamborghini, mansions, and what I will assume is lots of old money (although we all know what
happens when you assume).

The next day we woke to see many happy, well dressed families at the Inn's lobby/dining area. Their serve yourself-style
breakfast included fresh pastries, muffins, coffee and tea. Finally upon check out we met Scott Smith, the very cool owner
of The Château Inn. He reminded me of a grown-up version of Joel from the movie Risky Business. Wearing a pair of
black Ray Ban's, Scott flashed a pearly white smile and offered a brisk handshake once again confirming that optimism
does exist even in Spring Lake NJ ;--)

We recommend the Chateau Inn for a romantic autumn or winter stay as many rooms are equipped with fireplaces and
deep jacuzzi tubs.