If the Lakewood in your mind amounts to a humdrum of featureless townhomes… you’re in for a pleasant surprise!
Luxury home, indoor pool, expansive tree-lined property, quiet streets, circular driveway, ample parking, beautiful neighborhood… that’s the Lakewood we found, at the Fourteenth Street Villa.
Recently our family had the pleasure of a Shabbos stay with LakewoodHosts, purveyors of beautiful kosher home rentals in Lakewood, Florida and beyond. Exploring the impressive array of rental properties on their site, we were happily surprised at the number of vacation rentals offering pools and jaccuzis, but with the non-stop rainy weather this summer, I’ll admit that the Fourteenth Street Villa’s indoor pool looked really enticing – rain or shine.
The helpful staff at LakewoodHosts.com made booking a breeze, and in short order, we were on our way, seven kids and all for Shabbos!
Pulling into the 14th Street neighborhood was a was a far cry from the repetitious monotony of townhomes I remember as the Lakewood of the nineties. Wide, expansive properties with large landscaped lawns set back from the road set the tone for a beautiful Shabbos in this wonderful neighborhood.
The small look and simplicity of the house from the front had us guessing if we we really at the right place, but entering the large foyer with the ever-unfolding spacious living areas to both the right and left, gave us an almost “Alice in Wonderland” feeling, as room after sizable room appeared.
Luxuriously appointed furnishings, comfortable linens, designer fixtures and the brand new hardwood flooring throughout showed the attention to detail Lakewood Hosts put in to ensure a wonderful stay.
The fashionably new kitchen and contemporary eating area seemed to invite the outside beauty to join us, with its full height, over sized sunlit window showcasing the large backyard and deck.
The included amenities like washing cups, kosher lamps, extra pillows and blankets, and selected siddurim / seforim made us feel right at home.
For food, a short five minute drive took us to the Gourmet Glatt Shopping Plaza where we loaded up on Shabbos delicacies, wine, take-out and paper goods, and then headed back to set up the kitchen for Shabbos. Our kitchen was conveniently outfitted for the frum family, and the included hot-plate, crock pot, kiddush cup, challah board and more made for an easy and quick shabbos setup, and then of course, it was off to check out the indoor pool!
Although right off the kitchen, a nondescript door gave little hint to the oasis hidden behind it.
Entering this entirely separate wing of the house was “alarming” as we set off a child-safety alarm – good to know, as it made us feel quite safe having the pool on premises with kids around.
Vaulted wooden beams supported an impressive skylight-lit ceiling, and a cozy flagstone patio was graced with an ample sized patio furniture set, perfect for drinks, schmoozing and games.
To top it off, this whole wing even featured a built-in surround sound speaker system to play your favorite music right off your phone!
But Shabbos was coming, and we were glad to find a plethora of shuls of every stripe convenient to the house for minyan, everything went smoothly, and as an added bonus the beautiful weather lent itself to a wonderful leisurely walk to explore the neighborhood over Shabbos.
Motzei Shabbos, we invited family over and the kids swam while the rest of us chatted over hot pizza, and enjoyed trying our hand at the ping-pong table in the enclosed gazebo in the yard.
While not as updated as the rest of the house, the large deck had a grill, more patio furniture and plenty of space to run around.
A paved basketball atop the driveway court enhances the stay for those who are sports-oriented.
The staff at LakewoodHosts informed us that there are plans in the works to upgrade the landscaping, yards and outdoor amenities for next Spring iy”H, and a future game room is planned too. Wow!
We were so busy enjoying the rest of the house, that we entirely missed the new over-sized additional guest suite that had just been completed.
Offering a separate (but part of the same home,) beautifully decorated studio apartment with 2 large beds, its own kitchenette, full bath apartment – and this was with us staying there!
This would be a perfect setup for a young couple with little children, a chosson/kallah suite or a quiet zone for Bubby & Zaidy at a family get together.
Considering a weekend getaway, Shabbos Chanukah Reunion or just a great place for the family to relax for a few days in spacious comfort nearby every conceivable amenity a frum traveler could want, consider Lakewood, NJ.
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