by Kristin Franks & Erica Lamberg
Hotel Hershey is about a five-minute drive to the Hersheypark — but you don’t need your car thanks to a free shuttle bus that runs every 10 to 15 minutes. The original hotel, built more than 75 years ago, has since expanded to 230 guestrooms. Its Mediterranean style, indoor and outdoor pools, and reflecting pools, is grander and more elegant than Hershey Lodge.
Hotel Hershey unveiled its $67 million renovation and expansion known as “The Grand Expansion” in 2009 to celebrate the Hotel’s 75th anniversary in 2008. This expansion included the introduction of 10 cottages that house the Hotel’s most premium room offerings; construction of a new restaurant, Harvest, which focuses on American cuisine; the addition of a recreation campus that features a full aquatic facility, year-round ice-skating rink and a variety of other offerings; improvements to the front exterior to allow for a more satisfying sense of arrival; renovation of the check-in lobby; and the addition of seven boutique shops that all create a more luxurious resort experience.
The multi-pool swimming complex with an infinity-edge pool, a restaurant, and 10 guest cottages created a wonderful addition to the Hotel, and an even sweeter experience expecially for multi-generational travel.
Our Editor Loves
- Chocolate-filled buffet
- Zero-entry pool
- Guest rooms, cottages and suites
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The 278 rooms available are decorated in cream and chocolate color (of course!) and filled with historic photographs of the area. Turndown service includes Hershey Kisses on the pillows to promote sweet dreams. Rooms are available with one king, two queen or two double beds, a mini-fridge with adjoining rooms available in some areas.
More than 20 "premier" suites are available with special themes, such as the Milton Hershey Suite with a central parlor, two guestrooms, a sun room and a veranda overlooking the town of Hershey.
Offering Hotel Hershey's finest accommodations, the Woodside Cottages border lush Pennsylvania woodlands, directly behind the hotel. These spacious cottages offer more room for your gang to spread out, along with some added privacy. Families have the option of staying in individual bedrooms, or for additional rooms and space, reserving the entire cottage. Four- and six-bedroom cottages are available, making its easy to accommodate larger families and family reunions.
Cottage guests enjoy private accommodation entrances, porches with rocking chairs, adjacent parking spaces and all of the services and amenities of the Hotel Hershey. Each cottage features double or king-size beds, chic dark wood furniture, flat screen TVs and DVD players. The cottages also features a refrigerator and elegant marble bathrooms with double sinks, a Jacuzzi and a separate shower, and a modern rain shower. Each cottage offers daily maid services as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. In the center of each cottage a great room provides families with a perfect gathering spot, featuring a fireplace, microwave, refrigerator, flat screen TV and gorgeous French doors leading out to a porch.
Guests of the cottage share all of the same amenities and services of the Hotel Hershey.
I went for a 2 day retreat and Hotel Hershey did not disappoint. We initially were in a room on the 2nd floor but the window was facing a wall at situated above equipment. I asked to switch rooms and Alisa was kind enough to oblige. We ended up in Room 729 that faced the woods. A much better view. The staff was very friendly. Every time we walked past an employee, they greeted us with a smile. I enjoyed the fitness instructor, Suzanne, at the Fitness Center. She was awesome! My only gripe is with one of the employees at Trevi 5 (her name starts with a "N"). She was very rude. I'll spare the details of her behavior since it was only one incident that wasn't reflective of the rest of the staff or my encounters. I enjoyed the Hershey Story museum and Hershey Gardens. There is a Tangers Outlet close by. There are also other fast food restaurants nearby (Wendys, Panera Bread) as well as Red Robin and Bob Evans. The "West" side rooms are a little smaller; however, it is the side where the Fitness Center, Spa, and a couple of stores are. The other side is above the conference room area and the rooms are slightly larger. I preferred the "West" side. If you're taller than 6 feet, you may have an issue with the height of the shower area of the room.
The hotel and staff are just wonderful. I found the staff to be especially friendly and helpful on my last trip. I met an old school friend and we made it a girl's spa week-end. We were able to coordinate services and fit in a lunch at the spa where we could relax and catch up.
All Hotel guests -- both in the main Hotel and the cottages -- enjoy free admission to Hershey Gardens and The Hershey Story, The Museum On Chocolate Avenue; access to Hershey Golf Collection's distinctive golf courses; the best price on Hersheypark tickets; complimentary shuttle bus service to the Park; exclusive early Park admission via Hersheypark Sweet Start; priority access to rent a private cabana at The Boardwalk at Hersheypark; and more.
The shallow end of each pool starts at three feet; there is no zero-entry. Lifeguards were seen at all of the pools, which aren't overly-crowded because the majority of guests tend to spend their time at the amusement park.
The Chocolate Spa
One of the highlights at Hotel Hershey is the spa. The spa is elegantly appointed with a quiet room (no talking), an inhalation room (soft fragrances open the sinuses), and a seating area that serves coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and muffins. The spa has a full menu of body treatments and facials, a handful of which are centered around chocolate. For instance, you can indulge in Chocolate Fondue Wrap, which is basically a massage and mud wrap with the essence of chocolate. The spa is designed for adults but there are a few treatments dedicated to 13 to 17 year olds, like manicures and facials.
The amusement park is more than 100 years old. It celebrated its 100th birthday in 2007, and has continued to grow and change over the past century. The Boardwalk pays tribute to east coast beaches like Coney Island and the Jersey Shore. Open from May through September, the Boardwalk features an assortment of water rides from tame to daring, carnival games, and places to eat. All are casual with a lot of kid-friendly fare like hot dogs and grilled cheese. Guests at the Boardwalk wear their bathing suits. The changing room/locker area is situated at the entrance to the Boardwalk. Admission to the Boardwalk is included in the one price admission to the park. If you go, bring towels, bathing suits and suntan lotion.
Families who stay at Hotel Hershey or the Hershey Lodge get free admission to Hershey Gardens. (If you are not a guest of the Hotel or Lodge, there is a fee) Most guests tend to skip a visit to the gardens, which is a shame. This was one of our favorite places because of its peacefulness and beauty. Also the arboretum has plenty of places for kids to run. The Children's Garden has chimes on the floor that children can dance on, and many hidden treasures. One exhibit had a cement tub filled with herbs used to create soaps. Nearby was a clue for children to find a pair of cement slippers that they could try on. The Children's Garden had many playful areas with objects to climb on. It is also right next to the Butterfly Garden. The 23-acre botanical garden opened in 1937 also devotes 3.5 acres to a wide array of fragrant roses. From up on a hill in the rose garden, you can see the amusement park down below in the distance. The shuttle bus drops guests to and from the garden. Or if you choose to stay at another hotel, the drive up the hill from the amusement park is an easy one. If you go, bring food. The gift shop only sells bottle water and ice cream.
Circular Dining Room
When Milton Hershey traveled the world alone, he was often forced to sit in a corner when dining out. He decided he wouldn't put anyone in a corner at his hotel, creating the Circular Dining Room with views of the property's formal gardens. Diners sit beneath a blue sky while selecting from an American menu. Don't miss the Sunday brunch, complete, of course, with a number of chocolate desserts.
For a casual lunch or dinner, Harvest is geared toward all ages. Serving up American fare that even picky kids can enjoy, the menu consists of local, seasonal and fresh ingredients.
A modern Italian dining experience, this restaurant remains family friendly but may be best suited for a quiet night out for mom and dad.
This small cafe features coffee drinks, desserts, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt and pastries. Families will enjoy this quick grab-and-go stop before heading out the door to explore.
It wouldn't be Hershey is there wasn't a place dedicated to desserts. Sweets is all about cupcakes and offers three sizes of a dozen daily flavors. But the fun comes in decorating your own cupcake.
For casual lunch dining by the pool, guests can select from pizza, sandwiches, soups and salads.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Offering impeccable service, amenities and hospitality, it's no wonder why families come back to this award-winning hotel year after year.
Each room offers daily maid services as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. Evening turndown services with Hershey's Kisses Chocolates are also provided.
For families, babysitting services are available as well as seasonal supervised children's activities. For families with smaller children, cribs and pack and plays are available upon request.
The Hotel Hershey is located a little more than two hours from Philadelphia and about 30 minutes from Harrisburg. The Harrisburg International Airport is located about 25 minutes away and the Philadelphia International Airport is located a little more than two hours away.
Complimentary transportation is available around the hotel's grounds, although the walk from the cottages to the entertainment and swimming complex is an option for most guests. Shuttle service runs through the cottage complex area pretty regularly, more often in the high season of summer. If guests don't readily see a shuttle, a quick call to the main hotel solves that issue.
Complimentary shuttle service is also available to and from all Hershey attractions including Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens and Chocolate World. Guests can pick up this shuttle outside of the hotel's main lobby. For an additional fee, airport and train station shuttle services are available upon request.
For Mom & Dad
The Chocolate Spa
Take some time for yourselves and indulge in one of the many treatments offered at the hotel's spa. With an unmistakable touch of Hershey, this spa offers a number of services ranging from traditional massages to chocolate and red rose body treatments and whipped cocoa baths. Each treatment is sure to put your mind at ease, allowing you so slip into a total state of relaxation.
This cozy, bar lounge features a grand fireplace and delicious signature chocolate cocktails. Light fare is also available here.