I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Hershey, PA as part of the Sweet Welcome 2016 Tour. When they say that Hershey is the “Sweetest Place on Earth” They really mean it. Every person that I came in contact with from grounds keepers, front desk associates, trolley drivers, ride operators, hotel staff, etc were extremely kind. Maybe the chocolate gets in their blood. It was a pleasure dealing with everyone during my stay.
Hershey, PA is a top choice for vacations, conventions, and conferences. And, since many attractions are open year round, this is the perfect choice for either a quick get-a-away, or a week long trip. The Official Resorts of Hersheypark consist of three properties, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, and Hersheypark Camping Resort. These resorts provide the ultimate Hersheypark experience.
The Official Resorts of Hersheypark
The Hotel Hershey
During the Great Depression, as part of his “Great Building Campaign”, Mr. Hershey built The Hotel Hershey. This campaign allowed the Hershey townspeople to continue working during the depression and not rely on welfare. Taking influences from a postcard of a hotel in the Mediterranean, the Hotel was designed with Spanish and Italian architectural styles, including mosaic tiles and archways, a villa-style balcony, a grand fountain, and a circular dining room (now known as The Circular Restaurant). Many of these details have been carefully maintained and can be enjoyed to this day.
Built on top of a hilltop, the grand hotel looks over the town of Hershey and of course the Hershey factory. You can sense the luxury and classic elegance just on approach. The Hotel Hershey is considered a landmark hotel here in America, and I can see why. With the formal gardens, fountains, terraces, classic style, *sweet* services, modern amenities, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy all the Hershey has to offer. With 276 deluxe guest rooms, and 48 premium cottage rooms, the Hotel has room for everyone.
The Hotel Hershey felt like something out of the movies, a resort with family activities, but with a very formal feel. Your family will never be bored, with activities like chocolate bingo, giant checkers, trivia, s’mores, photo scavenger hunt, crafts, character meetup, and so much more. Don’t forget about the indoor and outdoor pools. The outdoor pool area also has cabanas for rent, which allow you to relax in a shaded area with a TV, ceiling fan, table, chairs, lounge chairs, and a refrigerator. I know for me and my family, a cabana is must have. It allows us to enjoy being outside, but with the comforts of inside.
Guests of all ages will surely enjoy the basketball, volleyball, bocce, shuffleboard, tennis, hiking trails, and fitness center. There is something for everyone at The Hotel Hershey.
There are several places within The Hotel Hershey to sit and dine. I had two favorites. Iberian Lounge is an upscale lounge serving signature cocktails and lite fare. And, when I say signature cocktails, you know I mean chocolate. I has the best chocolate martini here in Iberian. Lucky for me they also have recipe cards! We also had Truffle Fries – which have pecorino romano cheese, chili flakes, and fresh herbs. It doesn’t sound like they would go together, but it was awesome. I can’t wait for my next visit; I might sit in Iberian all day sipping martinis and eating fries.
You also have to try the breakfast in The Circular Restaurant. When the hotel was built, Mr. Hershey specifically wanted a rounded dining room. Allowing all guests great views while dining was very important to him. And, it show! They view from the place is amazing. And the food is even better. Everyone who heard we were dining there for breakfast told us, “you have to get the buffet” Man, they were right. The buffet had the perfect blends of traditional made to order omelettes, fresh squeezed juices, pastries, cereals, breakfast meats, fresh made belgian waffles, and so much more. But, there were also a few surprises in there. Mainly the Chocolate Bread Pudding and Whipped Cream. I don’t normally like bread pudding, but the idea of chocolate bread pudding really interested me. I am so glad I tried it. It was like dessert for breakfast. And the the amazing whipped cream for a topping (along with some extra chocolate toppings) make for a melt in your mouth, out of this world, best thing ever
The Spa at The Hotel Hershey
After a long day in Hershey, you must visit The Spa at the Hotel Hershey, also known at The Chocolate Spa. Although the Spa was created in 2001, the architecture and design were inspired by Kitty Hershey’s love of roses as well as inspirations from High Point Mansion (Mr. Hershey’s previous home). The Spa is of course famous for it’s chocolate treatments, but also has traditional services as well as Cuban Spa treatments. The Cuban treatments pay homage to the time Mr. Hershey spent in Cuba, as well as the sugar mills and plantations that he owned there. This year The Spa at The Hotel Hershey was awarded the prestigious Forbes Four Star distinction!
With over 30,000 square feet of space, the Chocolate Spa is a must stop for full service European-style spa services. Since the spa overlooks the formal gardens and reflecting pools, it is the perfect place to relax. If that doesn’t sound relaxing enough, be sure to take advantage of the several relaxation spaces, such as the Silent Room, the Whisper Room, or the Aromatherapy room before or after your treatment.
I was able to enjoy a *Sweet Hands* treatment at the Spa. The Sweet Hands is “the ultimate chocolate experience for your hands! Enjoy a classic manicure with a chocolate sugar exfoliation, intensive moisturizing treatment, and a nourishing chocolate massage”. I want to go back every week for this manicure. The entire time I was there, I felt like I was being pampered. Soft music was playing, I was wearing a spa robe, and voices were quiet. All the ingredients for total relaxation, which hard to find at home.
The manicure was about 50 minutes and was over way too soon. I enjoyed every minute of the chocolate exfoliation and chocolate massage, it almost put me to sleep. The lotions and oils are heated, which makes the treatment not only feel great, but smell amazing. The whole spa smells of chocolate, yummy delicious chocolate.
The technician explained every step, and made sure I was not sensitive to any of the the ingredients. After hand and arm massages, heated oil treatment, and warm scented neck wraps, it was time to pick a color. With so many beautiful colors to choose from, it was a hard choice. But I chose a color that reminded me a chocolate, of course! The whole experience was awesome. I can’t wait to do a girls weekend, and with exclusive overnight and day packages available, I’m sure I will be back soon!
I am rough on my nails, but it was amazing to see that 9 days later, I still have a great looking manicure. I usually get only a few days out of a manicure on natural nails. If I can’t get back to the spa every week, I might just buy the nail polish!
While staying at The Hotel Hershey, be sure to stop over at Hershey Gardens. They are making big changes this year, with the addition of the Conservatory and Butterfly Garden.
Hershey Gardens was opened in 1937, to “create a nice garden of roses”, which was his wife’s favorite flower. Now, 75 years later, Hershey Gardens features a breathtaking assortment of flowers and shrubs, a stately collection of rare, signature trees, and even a unique “Hershey Rose”, all on 23 acres.
Opening in May 2016 is the new Conservatory and Indoor Butterfly Garden. Several local artists were commissioned to create a variety of decorative pieces that will be found throughout the Conservatory, including Custom stained glass butterflies that are hung from a glass ceiling, and metal work for trellis planters.
The Indoor Butterfly Garden will house 600-800 butterflies, in as many as 300 varieties. Since the Butterfly Garden will be open year rounds, it gives the availability to host school groups more often.
The Hershey Lodge
The Hershey Lodge is one of the Official Resorts of Hersheypark. While The Hotel Hershey was amazing, with an old-world classic style, it seems as though The Hershey Lodge is the place to be for conventions, conferences, and families. The Hershey Lodge is a full service resort with 665 rooms, 15 of which are suites. It’s fun to walk around the Lodge and see all the chocolate themed decor and artwork. Even the wings of the resort are Chocolate themed. There are usually rooms that are reserved just for guests to view, in case someone wants a sneak peak before they book an *sweet* get-a-way.
Read Momma Lew’s FULL REVIEW of Hershey Lodge HERE
I thought it was so cool, in the lobby, there is a separate check-in area just for the Kids! So, while Mom or Dad is checking in to the resort, the kids are learning about all the resort has to offer. They might even get to see their favorite Hershey Character, right in the lobby. At kids check-in, children will learn about any ongoing events, contests, kids’ activities, and even the s’mores schedule. Kids can ask questions, and get excited for all the Hershey has to offer. And, with with the best discount to Hersheypark, you know a trip there will be on the list!
Kids will be excited about the NEW Hershey’s Water Works at Hershey Lodge. This new 30,000 square feet indoor water pool complex will be opening Memorial Day weekend, and then will be open year round. My kids would love this, with Twizzler’s Twist water slides, a Reese’s Water Walk adventure, a zero-entry pool, sandcastle spray zone, lighthouse tipping bucket, basketball hoops, 24 hour arcade, outdoor splashpad, as well as a full service restaurant, my kids might never want to leave.
The Water Works is still under construction, but I can see the vision coming together. Having an indoor pool is always a great option for winter weather, or even just bad weather during the summer. But, what is essentially a water park as an option?? Yes, please! The whole area is really a great space for families. And, since there will be several areas, it makes it great for families of all ages.
The Hershey Lodge is not just for families. In fact, The Hershey Lodge is one of the largest convention resorts in Pennsylvania. With over 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Great American Hall (the largest and most advanced meeting space in the region), and a team of Certified Meeting Professionals right on site, Hershey Lodge makes sense for your next conference or convention. While we visited Hershey Lodge, there was a singing competition/convention taking place. It was fun to see everyone getting ready, and rehearsing for their turn. While the convention space is large, it didn’t seen like it was all convention space. It really did feel like a lodge, especially with the fire in the lobby!
Hersheypark Camping Resort
My unexpected favorite within the Official Resorts of Hersheypark was Hersheypark Camping Resort. That’s right. My favorite. I am NOT known to like camping. At all. But, with the Hersheypark Camping Resort, they really put the resort in camping. With 300 sites, from rustic to deluxe, there is something for everyone.
There were plenty of space for hook-ups, including total pull through sites as well as sites for tent camping. But, let’s talk about the cabins! Wow, these cabins. The Camping Resort offers two types of cabins, a Log Cabin, and a Deluxe Cabin.
Both cabins are great for families. Especially big families. I have 6 people in my family. So, we don’t fit in the basic hotel room. And, even if we squeeze into a hotel room, we are often faced with the issue of, “how do we stay up after the kids go to bed”. Those with bigger families know what I’m talking about. It’s hard to put the kids to bed, turn the lights out, and then sit in the dark waiting for them to fall asleep. I don’t know about you – but I usually fall asleep.
The deluxe cabins allow for separate sleeping areas! Seriously, the deluxe cabins make me want to camp all the time. And, when I say camp, I really mean have the luxury of indoor plumbing, showers, heat, a/c, full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, etc. The 2 bedroom deluxe cabin is the way to camp. Sleeping arrangements for up to 7, it allows big families to survive a vacation. With a queen in one room, a bunk room (twin over twin, and twin over full), an eating area, and sitting area, it’s the perfect layout.
In addition to the deluxe cabins, there are also the log cabins, allowing guests some comforts of home. And, with bathrooms nearby it’s a great choice for those who do not have a camper, tent, or RV.
Of course, you don’t go camping to spend all your time inside. Hersheypark Camping Resort offers a variety of family friendly events and amenities including 2 outdoor pools, a kiddie pool, indoor game room, fire rings, movie night, live entertainment, and of course visits from the Hershey Characters.
If that’s not enough, there is also volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard, multiple playgrounds, and much more. Don’t forget your Hershey Chocolate bars to make s’mores!
I can’t wait to go back with my family to Hershey. With three amazing choices from the Official Resorts of Hersheypark, I know I can’t go wrong!
While in Hershey, there is so much to do! I would hate to miss anything. With all the activities within each Resort, HersheyPark, ZooAmerica, Hershey Milton School, The Spa at The Hershey Hotel, Hershey Entertainment, Hershey Gardens, Hershey Trolley Tour, Hershey Theatre, etc, your stay in Hershey will be jam packed.
Read Momma Lew’s full review of Hershey Park here!