The Peacock Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
What We Love
- Central location near the Princeton campus, green squares and buzzing restaurants
- The bar’s libations and small plates, enjoyed with a bevy of locals
- Hand-painted walls of “townie” scenes in downstairs Prohibition-era speakeasy turned private dining room
What To Know
- There’s no elevator, so it’s a climb to rooms on the third floor
- Pets are not permitted
- There's no lounge, so the front porch and bar are the only places to socialize or relax
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Housed in an 18th-century building that once belonged to Thomas Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Peacock Inn is a charming historic hotel within strolling distance of Princeton’s buzzing village scene. Reopened in 2009 after a three-year, tip-to-toe renovation led by interior designer Annette Palmieri, today the 16-room inn has a sleek, modern look with carefully preserved interior accents, including John Held Jr.’s witty 1920s caricatures, which hang above the fireplaces.
Bed and Bath
Spacious guestrooms have an unfussy contemporary style, with dark wood furniture and coma-inducing beds topped with Hollandia mattresses, Frette linens and Sferra blankets. Media systems include flat-screen TVs, Revo Internet radios with iPod docks, and free WiFi. The inn is suited to romantic escapes, but desks are there for business travelers, and some rooms have futon-type sofas. Bathrooms range from petite to apartment-size, but all have heated tile floors and separate glass and tile rain showers or Jacuzzi tubs. Other cozy amenities include cushy white Frette towels, robes and slippers, plus lovely Molton Brown products.
The lively bar, domain of gregarious mixologist Josean Rosado, becomes a buzzy evening scene for guests and locals, but don’t linger too long — the inn’s culinary standout is just across the hall. Diners book well in advance to feast on the signature dishes of Puerto Rican–born chef Manuel Perez (who cut his teeth at Manhattan’s Le Bernardin and Water Club restaurants), including gnocchi with wild mushrooms, and tasty salmon wrapped in filo pastry. The continental breakfast buffet of juices, yogurts, cereal, granola, fruit, home-baked croissants and muffins is free, as are newspapers and valet parking.
In the Area
Start your day in Princeton with a stroll through the town and campus, which are richly populated with Seward Johnson sculptures. Essential stops include the Princeton University Art Museum and the Princeton University Chapel — the third-largest university chapel in the world. Stop in the Yankee Doodle Bar in the Nassau Tavern on Palmer Square to check out the wall of vintage photos, and don’t miss the Einstein memorabilia in the back of Landau’s department store. The gorgeous Morven Museum & Garden showcases the early 1750s governor’s house morvenmuseum.com, and Drumthwacket is New Jersey’s official governor’s mansion. Grab to-go grub at Chez Alice or Princeton Soup and Sandwich, then picnic on Lake Carnegie, where the Princeton crew practices, or on the periphery of historic Princeton Battlefield, which was a turning point in the Revolutionary War.
How to Get There
I enjoyed my stay at the Peacock Inn, which I chose because it was very close to the Princeton campus, and walkable to the Firestone Library, where I wanted to do research. My stay was immediately after graduation and reunion weekend, so I believe I benefited from lower rates and smaller crowds. The hotel was quiet and the staff very friendly. I had a few little nit-picks, and because it was a small hotel, and likely had a smaller staff because of a quieter time, I did not make a big deal of things like a problem with my TV remote control device. I had very nice (not cheap) breakfasts, but was in a mode of wanting to pamper myself. The hotel may have issues regarding accessbility (not an issue for me, but might have been if I had been with my late nusband. A good place to stay to be close to campus and interesting Princeton restaurants, but if you need a place to work, a more utilitarian place with desk space may be better. I was not managing a car, but took Lyft from the Princeton Junction train station. Again, had very nice interactions with the staff; if you want a lot of bell staff, etc., this is more like a B&B. But Location, Location, Location
The Peacock Inn is located just a short walk from the Princeton campus. This is the most luxurious of the close to campus hotels and it’s much quieter and smaller than the Nassau Inn. Also, the bar and restaurant is far superior in terms of food and service. Our room was on a corner and had decent space although it was strangely laid out with the shower door about 3 feet from the bed. Also, the toilet room and sink were very small with no shelves or counter space for any toiletries. The service was excellent and all the staff seemed willing to help. They have valet parking if you have a car.
The staff and the building of the Peacock Inn create a welcoming atmosphere. The pleasant balcony invited to have a relaxing pre-dinner drink. The dinner was excellent and served with pleasure and commitment. It exists a kind of family-feeling. The helpful hotel bell boy turned out to be a very professional waiter as well. Since the hotel has no elevator – it might be troublesome for people with handicap.
The hotel is virtually just a stone’s throw away from the famous university and its campus.