courtesy Grand Summit Hotel
Published August 04, 2017
Back in 1868, the path from the Lackawanna Railroad Station to the front steps of the Blackburn House was well worn from the weight of horse-drawn carriages transporting New York nobility to their seasonal digs in Summit, New Jersey. Bobbing top hats and dainty parasols shielded visitors from the summer sun as they arrived in high fashion for vacations amidst the city’s “salubrious climate and pure water supply.”
The influx of visitors necessitated more accommodations in Summit, and in 1929, the site of the original Blackburn House was transformed into a luxurious hotel, built in the style of a classic Tudor mansion. The hotel later became known as the Grand Summit Hotel, and today, it offers a glimpse into its glamorous past with updated rooms and amenities that rival any chain hotel in the area.
Where visitors once unloaded from their buggies and carriages, guests are now invited to sit back and enjoy the welcoming environment of the hotel’s glass-enclosed artisanal coffee shop and lounge — the Arts and Crafts Lobby Coffee Bar — before checking in. The Grand Summit Hotel offers 149 recently updated rooms and suites, each featuring in-room coffee makers with Starbucks Coffee, 32-inch flat-screen televisions with on-demand movies, complimentary bottled water on weekdays, and Aston and Cooper bathroom amenities. Guests are treated to a complimentary hot breakfast each morning in the HAT Tavern, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
Along with a seasonal outdoor pool, the hotel also has two celebrated on-site restaurants and more than 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, with multiple floor-plan options that can fit the style and size of each event. Since opening, the hotel has been in high demand by meeting groups seeking a unique place for corporate events and meetings, and in August 2014, the hotel’s meeting spaces were all extensively renovated. Today, the historic spaces are outfitted with fresh carpet, updated drapes and new banquet chairs that welcome small groups for memorable celebrations, corporate outings, meetings, receptions and more.
With more than 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the Grand Summit Hotel offers ample room for gathering with friends and colleagues. There are more than 17 meeting options available, among them the Grand Ballroom, for up to 500 guests, divisible into two separate rooms; the Crestview, for up to 150 guests, divisible into two separate rooms; the Atrium, for up to 150 guests; the Coach Room, for up to 50 guests; the Morris Suites, for up to 125 guests, divisible into five separate rooms that can be adjoined or sectioned off as needed; the Union Suites, for up to 100 guests, divisible into two separate rooms; and the Summit Boardroom, for up to 50 guests.
Every guest staying at the Grand Summit Hotel receives complimentary access to the hotel’s on-site fitness facility as well as complimentary day passes to Equinox gym, a five-minute drive from the hotel, and the Summit YMCA, which is within walking distance. The hotel also offers parking for a small fee per night with Tesla Destination Charging Stations available, as well as complimentary shuttle service to downtown Summit and the Summit Train Station. There is a shuttle service to and from Newark Liberty International Airport for $35 each way, and sedan service can be arranged for guests at additional cost.
Along with two on-site restaurants, the Grand Summit Hotel also offers a dedicated culinary crew to cater to special events and meetings held at the property. The team offers diverse menus and impressive displays, as well as a range of themed meals. Their wide-ranging selection of buffet dinners includes Classic, East Meets West and Latin Fusion, with meatball shop stations and sandwich grinder stations available as well. Plated dinners, quick snack breaks and other menus are also available, but many guests are eager to try out the unique burgers and sliders at the HAT Tavern. Alcohol is available.
Before and After Events
Meeting guests and hotel guests alike can enjoy the historic and preserved spaces of the hotel, from the original interior lobby with chestnut woodwork and gold-leaf detailing to the original stone fireplace. But for off-site adventures, the hotel offers convenient access to Baltusrol Golf Club, Canoe Brook Country Club, The Mall at Short Hills and the Prudential Center. The hotel is in downtown Summit and is within walking distance of more than 37 bars and restaurants in the downtown area, as well as the train station, which offers quick access to New York City.
Grand Summit Hotel
Location: Summit, New Jersey
Size: 149 rooms
Meeting Space: More than 10,000 square feet
Access: 12 miles from Newark Liberty International Airport and within walking distance of the NJ Transit Train Station