I admit that I was totally blown away by both the comfort and style of makeup business legend Bobbi Brown’s George Inn at 37 North Mountain Avenue in stately Montclair, NJ–a town well-known for luxury vintage homes that have been well-preserved. Bobbi and her real estate developer husband Steve Plofker have lived there for 29 years so when the old Georgian Inn went up for sale, the purchased it and gave it a very hip transformation while keeping as many of the stunning original details as possible. The high ceilings and crown moldings in every room–not to mention the spectacular stained glass window that is an original feature from when the blue blood family The Van Vlecks lived in it 115 years ago–make your head turn with every step that you take! Another great feature is that it only takes 45 minutes to get out to Montclair from Penn Station on the NJ Transit Boonton Line train.
The rooms are all very spacious with all different types of windows including very cool porthole windows in some of the top floor suites. All rooms have names and the photography and artwork on the walls are in keeping with those names. For instance, the Dylan Room has photos of both Bob Dylan and Matt Dillon over the fireplace. Some rooms just have initials on them which gives much more leeway for the art. The Z room naturally features a framed black and white photo of Zsa Zsa Gabor who would have appreciated the old glamour meets modern glamour of The George Inn. Headboards feature different kinds of fabric but many have a masculine flavor with classic red Scottish plaid featured.
There are wonderful amenities in each room including the latest Dyson Supersonic space age blow dryer which I love because all the weight is in the handle making it easy to maneuver (it also seems to speed up blow drying time by about 40 per cent). Each room also has retro SMEG refrigerators and Nespresso coffee machines that let you make any type of coffee that you like from cappuccino to American. The toiletries are from the natural EO line (my favorite being the Geapefruit Mint) and guests are given full size tubes of toothpaste from the luxury brand Hello. There is a continental breakfast served on the lower lobby level every morning that includes at least six types of freshly baked scones from the Plume Bakery nearby. There are also fresh berries, organic handmade granolas, yogurt straight from a local dairy and grandma style jams and spreads.
I am nuts for the lovely leather furniture spread liberally throughout each room including a modern take on club chairs as pictured above. All the furniture at The George Inn feels very comfy even though it is keeping in stride with today’s streamlined styles. I noticed that each room has a different dresser and that there is a large wall-mounted flat screen TV that can easily be seen from anywhere in a room.
Another thing that makes The George Inn special is that it is pet friendly and that visitors are warmly greeted by Ms. Brown’s charming dachshund mix, Biggie. This adorable champagne colored little lady just loves making friends with new visitors and has full run of the Inn. I probably could spend a full day there just petting and running around with this mellow pooch. There are four other dogs owned by Ms. Brown that I hear will be making an appearance here and there when The George Inn is officially open for business in early March; late February will have a few “test runs” by guests but I predict that everything will go swimmingly just like the special morning press preview that I attended with some fellow NYC bloggers. Downtown Montclair is tons of fun with lots of mom and pop shops and restaurants and the George will be perfect for staying in town when you want to go to the legendary Wellmont Theater for one of their classic rock concerts.
If you want to book a room, go to www.thegeorgemontclair.com. Rooms will be starting at a reasonable $150 per night. Parking and breakfast are complimentary and there are plenty of car services that service the inn in case you want a quick lift downtown. I think it’s wonderful that Brown is helping bring one of northern New Jersey’s most beautiful and historic towns back for a renaissance. Montclair is a fun town just to go joyriding in and take in the beautiful architecture which ranges from Victorian to English Tudor to Neo-Gothic and back again. The George Inn is perfect for a weekend escape from Manhattan, and if you do not want to take the 45 minute train ride from Penn Station, you can rent a Mint Car and drive out in half the time.