by Amanda Geronikos
Opened in April 2013, The Fairfield Inn & Suites Hershey Chocolate Avenue is Hershey’s newest hotel, and inside, one of the most aesthetically appealing. With an address on Chocolate Avenue, it’s also one of the most centrally located hotels — it’ll take you 5 minutes to get to Hersheypark by car, and just a few more minutes to access Hershey’s Chocolate World and ZooAmerica.
Typically, the Fairfield Inn & Suites chain offers simplistic, somewhat humdrum accommodations, but not this one. In accordance with a new design by the hotel chain, the hotel presents a chic feel, which immediately envelopes guests upon entrance. The lobby features a stylish business center, complete with boarding pass kiosks and funky, comfortable chairs; even the front desk is trendy, with an abstract, neon light display behind it. The lounge area adjacent to the lobby is even better, with more cozy chairs, tables and booths, and an overall bright, colorful atmosphere (think pastel palettes of green, blue and red). This is where guests enjoy complimentary breakfast each morning, as well — another asset of the hotel — or simply choose to relax with free Wi-Fi and TV.
And the awesome offerings continue throughout the hotel, specifically in the guestrooms and suites, where mini fridges, microwaves and pullout sofas await families after a day of exploration in “The Sweetest Place on Earth.”
Our Editor Loves
- Small, indoor swimming pool
- Lobby lounge and complimentary breakfast
- 5-minute drive to Hersheypark
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All guestrooms and suites, of which there are 105 spread across 5 floors, standardly come with microwaves; mini-fridges; shower and tub combinations in bathrooms; large, hutch-style closets; movable workstations (you can move the desks to other parts of the room and even use them for in-room dining); and sleeper sofas -- all amenities any family can appreciate. Families will also appreciate that Pack N' Plays are available, and at no charge; in fact, the hotel makes a concerted effort not to charge guests for extras, yet another asset we welcome. Other amenities include large iPod docking stations, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards and safes.
Decorated in variations of blue and tan, rooms and suites have the chain's new, contemporary design. Guestrooms have either one king bed or two queen beds; the latter is best for families of four, with plenty of space to spread out. If you've got more than four people in your group, opt for a suite with two queen beds -- it has a pullout sofa bed (which is actually a sectional sofa), so you can sleep up to six people comfortably. If you have a group of four and just want more space, a suite with a king bed and pullout sofa bed will do the trick. Most units' bathrooms provide shower and tub combinations, along with complimentary Pantene toiletries.
Four sets of adjoining rooms, which double as handicap-accessible units, are available, as well.
My wife and I attended a 2-day Joyce Meyer conference at the Giant Center and picked the Fairfield Inn for our overnight stay. What a great hotel! I judge a hotel on 2 things ... the shower and the breakfast. The Fairfield Inn in Hershey gets 5-stars for each one! The room was clean. The price was reasonable. The staff was friendly. Everything you could ask for! Great place. My only suggestion is to put better signage on the hotel ... we pulled into the parking lot and wasn't sure we were in the right place. A "Fairfield Inn" sign leading into the West Areba Avenue parking lot entrance would help a lot.
I stayed here 2 nights Wednesday and Thursday. Checked in room was acceptable and comfortable. The breakfast was simple but good. The staff was ok. The 3 - 11 shift. Could be a little more courteous and more going a little further for the guest. My departure Friday the lady at the desk was very friendly. All in all I would stay here again.
Hershey offers a bevy of activities for families, specifically, from Hersheypark to the Giant Center, where you can watch the Hershey Bears play hockey (and at an affordable cost).
When you need a break from all the action, however, you can relax in the hotel's indoor, saltwater swimming pool, which ranges between 3 to 4 feet in depth. It's rather small in comparison to other hotel pools, but will happily please your little ones just the same. The pool is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., though hotel staff members will often leave it open a little longer.
Complimentary breakfast is served each morning, and includes three hot items -- typically eggs, meat (sausage or bacon) and pancakes -- along with bagels, toast, pastries, fresh fruit, cereal, oatmeal, juice, tea and coffee (coffee is available throughout the entire day, too). You can take breakfast back to your room (and many families opt to do so), but if time and space allow, enjoy the bright, inviting lounge, which seats 75 guests in comfortable chairs, tables and booths (highchairs are available, as well), and has a giant flat-screen TV. The lounge doubles as an ideal space to simply relax, too, no matter what the time of day.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Free Wi-Fi is available and works well throughout the hotel, though you can pay for high-speed Internet if you'd like. Laundry facilities are also available.
Next to the front desk, you'll find a convenience store with snacks, beverages and -- you guessed it -- Hershey candy. Grab a snack and work it off later in the day, either at Hersheypark or at the hotel's chic fitness center, located right next to the pool area on the first floor. There, you'll find a few treadmills and an elliptical, along with dumbbells. Also located on the first floor, a swank business center offers computers, boarding pass kiosks, newspapers, magazines, and cozy chairs to enjoy it all.
The hotel's staff members go above and beyond to provide an enjoyable experience for families. During the summer months, don't be surprised to see them grilling up some burgers in the hotel's courtyard, and in the winter, providing free pizzas in the middle of a snowstorm. The hotel often hosts movie nights in the lobby, too.
Additionally, the hotel regularly offers package deals, with accommodations and tickets at one price. A typical package might include two nights' accommodations and two-day passes to Hersheypark; additional guests cost an extra fee for tickets, but overall, the packages allows you to save money.
The Art of Smart Timing
The hotel is generally a business hotel by winter (though many families stay for local school sporting events during that time), and a leisure hotel by summer. Therefore, you can expect to pay the highest rates during the summer months. For lower rates -- often starting at less than $100 per night -- and a good time to visit, travel to the hotel and Hershey in February, when the area hosts Chocolate-Covered February with a slew of sweet events.
If you'll be traveling to Hershey by plane, fly into Harrisburg International Airport, which is only 15 minutes from the hotel. Rent a car at the airport (most major rental companies have service desks there) or arrange taxi service.
While Hersheypark is only a 5-minute drive from the hotel, it isn't within reasonable walking distance, especially if you have strollers and bags in tow. Plus, you'll need a car to get to all of the area's other attractions. Everything is within close proximity to each other, for the most part, but is still spread out enough that you'll need a car to get around.
For Mom and Dad
If you have a babysitter in tow, head to Fenicci's for a delicious Italian dinner (but be aware that you'll see lots of kids here, since the restaurant offers kid-friendly fare, plus a separate kids menu). For more of an adults-only atmosphere (though one kids are still welcome in -- this is Hershey, after all), head to Troegs Brewery for a guided tour (just $5 per person; book well in advance), followed by a flight of tastings.