by Amanda Geronikos
The centerpiece of Downtown Gettysburg, this hotel was Scott’s Tavern (1797), Indian Queen (1809) and McClellan House (1846) before it was demolished during The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. The former structure was replaced during the 1890’s, when it became The Gettysburg Hotel and flourished as an upscale lodging, known for steam heat, hot baths and an elegant restaurant. It even acted as a temporary White House for President Eisenhower (who later bought a home in Gettysburg), after he suffered a heart attack. In the early 1960’s, the hotel fell on hard times again, and didn’t reopen until a fire overtook the building in 1983. Shortly afterward, and with the help of Gettysburg College, The Gettysburg Hotel was restored, and has since received a slew of renovations.
While the hotel — listed among The Historic Hotels of America — hasn’t been fully restored to its original, luxurious splendor, it offers well-appointed accommodations in the heart of Gettysburg, just minutes from several restaurants (including one that’s located right onsite) and attractions, including Jennie Wade House and Ghosts of Gettysburg (speaking of ghosts, this hotel is reportedly haunted, as are many hotels in Gettysburg).
Our Editor Loves
- Central location
- Rooftop swimming pool
- Onsite restaurant with kids menus
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Gettysburg Hotel offers 119 lovely and -- in many cases -- exceptionally spacious accommodations, about half of which are suites. All units (and common areas throughout the hotel) combine simple dÃ©cor with sophisticated amenities, such as flat-screen TV's, free Wi-Fi access and shower-in-tub combinations. Cribs and rollaway beds are also available; rollaway beds cost $10 per night, while cribs are free of charge.
Traditional Rooms typically come in three variations: Traditional Double Double (two double beds; sleeps up to five with the use of rollaway bed or crib), Traditional Queen Queen (two queen beds; sleeps up to five with the use of a rollaway bed or crib) and Traditional King (one king bed; sleeps up to three with the use of rollaway bed or crib). Fireplaces and Jacuzzis are added in King Fireplace and King Jacuzzi, and Fireplace Double Double, which is best for families.
These units come in several variations, including King Junior Suite, Queen Junior Suite, Queen Queen Junior Suite and, especially ideal for families, Majestic Two-Room, One-Bath Suite, which includes a refrigerator and sleeps up to six guests.
ADA Rooms are available, as well, with a nice selection of choices -- Traditional Queen Queen Accessible, Traditional Double Double Accessible and King Fireplace Accessible -- and amenities, which include visual alarms and sound notification systems.
The pictures set the expectation for a high quality property and boutique services and amenities. That is not the case. The lobby, conference rooms, and exterior are beautiful.
The rooms are bland, bare, loud, and minimal. The rooms remind me of a Super 8. No ambiance or décor in the room, an old fuzzy TV, a simple and small coffee maker, no rom service, and stained countertops.
The front desk staff seemed taxed by simple requests.
So much potential - it is underwhelming.
On first day after knocking on the door at 8 am when the do not disturb sign was out, housekeeper never came back. All 3 days!!! Complained to manager after first day, his excuse was they only had three housekeepers. Everyday we had to ask for clean towels and get the toilet paper ourselves. They never cleaned room. That is not acceptable!
The Gettysburg Hotel features a rooftop pool, open Memorial Day through Labor Day. The pool is just 4 feet deep, yet manned by lifeguards. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, and until 10 p.m. on weekends.
While the hotel doesn't offer specific activities for children, it offers several themed packages, such as A Ghostly Encounter, which includes breakfast and admission to Gettysburg Ghost Tours; and Memories of Lincoln, which provides guests with breakfast, dinner and a visit to the David Wills House Museum, where The Gettysburg Address was crafted.
One Lincoln -- attached to the hotel, yet open to the public -- serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a surprisingly casual setting. Breakfast includes standard favorites, such as pancakes and omelets, while lunch brings sandwiches and salads. You'll find more offerings for dinner, when steaks, chicken, fish and the like are served. Children's menus and high chairs are available; One Lincoln is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Additionally, One Lincoln houses a dim-lit, cozy bar for parents to enjoy; it's typically open until midnight.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The Gettysburg Hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi; you'll be given a username and password to use for access. Other amenities include a fitness center, located in the basement and open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and a business center, where computers and printers are available. You'll also find an ATM in the lobby.
The Art of Smart Timing
The Gettysburg Hotel receives an influx of visitors during the summer and fall months, though winter and spring see a fair share of guests, too, considering the Grand Ballroom, which hosts weddings, family reunions and other large events. Visit during April or May for reasonable rates and small crowds (both at the hotel and in town).
If traveling by plane, fly into Harrisburg International Airport (an hour from Gettysburg) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (1.5 hours away) and rent a car. Alternatively, you can fly into Philadelphia International Airport, which is two and a half hours away.
You'll get to The Gettysburg Hotel via US 30, a consistently busy road; traffic will likely add about 10 minutes to the last leg of your commute (or more, if you get there during rush hours). The hotel is located at Lincoln Square, which surrounds a traffic circle in the center of town; take the exit directly next to the hotel (it's the only one), and look for Race Horse Alley (which will likely be on your immediate right-hand side). There, you'll find a small, inexpensive parking garage ($0.75 per hour).
For Mom and Dad
If you've hired a babysitter or the kids are old enough to look after themselves, walk to Farnsworth House Inn -- dubbed "Gettysburg's Most Haunted Hotel" -- for drinks in the cozy (though creepy) basement or on the outdoor patio. If you need to stay at The Gettysburg Hotel, enjoy drinks in the intimate bar at One Lincoln.