by Amanda Geronikos
If you’re traveling to Hershey with a large family or additional family, this is your place. Owned by Bluegreen Vacations, The Suites at Hershey is a timeshare property, but non-owners still have the option to stay here. As a non-owner, you’ll be able to book a room up to six months in advance (timeshare owners can book up to 11 months in advance) — and you should, as the property is consistently occupied, and with good reason.
The Suites at Hershey is located just two minutes from Hersheypark, allowing families to wake up at a reasonable time, get to the park and [hopefully] avoid long waits for rides. Also, the property is centrally situated between Troegs Brewery and Tanger Outlets, two breathing spaces for parents who need a break from the theme park (and those who are lucky enough to have a babysitter in tow).
Though the hotel’s location is a major sell, its apartments — spread across three buildings — are an equal draw, as many of them accommodate up to eight guests in separate bedrooms, fully equipped (and quite spacious) kitchens and dining and living areas.
The property also touts two swimming pools- well, three, if you count the kids pool, which is just one foot deep and situated next to the indoor pool. The outdoor pool is adjacent to a playground, which, after renovations in Spring 2014, will feature a train theme. Teens and ‘tweens aren’t forgotten in the mix, either — there’s an arcade in Building 2, with several coin-operated machines and foosball and air hockey tables.
Our Editor Loves
- Spacious apartments for large groups
- Two pools, an arcade and playground
- Two-minute car ride to Hersheypark
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The apartments are situated in three buildings, simply referred to as Buildings 1, 2 and 3. In 2013, Building 1 underwent renovations, which included granite countertops, new appliances, new flooring and the addition of flat-screen TV's; Buildings 2 and 3 will receive a round of updates by 2015. The updates in Building 1 are quite obvious, though Buildings 2 and 3 are just as appealing, in our opinion. The only downfall (if you can even call it that) is that Buildings 2 and 3 don't yet have flat-screen TV's. Buildings 2 and 3 still have an advantage over Building 1 though -- all of their apartments have Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces.
Across all buildings, the apartment floor plans generally remain the same, and each one has two separate bedrooms -- the only difference is the size of the beds in the rooms. In Building 1, for example, there's a room with a king bed and another with two queen beds. In Buildings 2 and 3, there's a king bed in one of the rooms, and two double beds in the other room.
Upon entrance into all units, you'll walk into a large, fully equipped kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, full stove, microwave and dishwasher, along with all the utensils and plates you need to prepare meals. Next to the kitchen is a closet, which houses a washer and dryer, either stacked or side-by-side, and laundry detergent is provided. In front of the kitchen, you'll find a dining area (some of the units have large tables with cushioned bench seating) and a living area, with a large, pullout sofa, chairs and a TV. On either side of the living area is a bedroom, each with its own TV and spacious bathroom, which include shower and tub combinations and Bath & Body Works toiletries. In some units, one of the bedrooms will have two queen or two double beds, while one of the other rooms will likely have a king bed. All told, you can sleep up to eight people in each unit.
Highchairs and Pack N' Plays can be delivered to your apartment upon request. Wheelchairs are also available upon request, as are five handicap-accessible rooms.
This resort is within walking distance of Hershey Park & Tanger Outlets however there is a railroad line very nearby. The freight trains pass by frequently and throughout the night blow their whistles so it is noisy. The units are adequate for a family. We are grandparents who traveled with our daughter & son in law & two grandkids ages 6 & 4 months. Units are clean, not very large. Kitchen layout is not great, lacking storage.
Spent 4 nights here the end of October - the perfect time for the leaf viewing. The location of the property is right in the middle of many tourist spots - Hershey, Lancaster, Amish Country, Gettysburg and Harrisburg. Our 2 bedroom suite was well appointed with a full kitchen, washer/dryer and living area. One king bed and 2 queens in the second bedroom with a pullout couch. Workout room was good, indoor pool and outdoor pool as well. Only drawback was the train tracks next to the hotel and the conductors would lay on the horn at night - tough to get a good nights sleep in with all the noise. We asked for a fan at the front desk and that helped with the noise. Front desk staff was friendly and accomodating. Lots of chocolate treats. A more quaint property than some of the other Bluegreen properties we have visited. Not as many kids activities, but for us this was okay. Would come back and spend additional time in the area exploring all the sights to see.
Hersheypark and its neighboring attractions, such as The Hershey Story and Chocolate World, are where all the fun is at, and you'll spend much of your time at one or all of those places. The Suites at Hershey recognizes that the excitement is also tiring and offers several activities for kids and parents to enjoy when they need a reprieve.
Located in Building 2, there's an indoor pool with a separate kids pool that's just one foot in depth. Both pools, which recently received new tiling, are open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and are complemented by lounge chairs and tables, music and locker rooms, located just outside of the pool area. The locker rooms particularly come in handy during the winter months, and for those staying in Building 1, this allows them to properly bundle up and change into their swimsuits in Building 2 (it's not a long walk though -- the buildings are close to each other). If you stay in Building 2 or 3, however, you're in luck -- both buildings are connected by an enclosed walkway, so you'll never have to step outside and kids can wear their bathing suits right to the pool (which we're guessing they'll prefer).
During the summer months, the outdoor, heated pool and hot tub are the most popular spots to be. They are open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., but note that none of the pools are manned by lifeguards, and children must be at least 14 to swim without adult supervision. Also outside is a basketball court, along with a playground, which will have a train theme upon completion of renovations in Spring 2014.
Teens and 'tweens will get a kick out of the arcade, too, which includes Ping Pong, air hockey and foosball tables, along with classic, coin-operated machines. In the same room, there's a kids area where staff members occasionally host activities, such as arts and crafts and games. In recent years, however, there hasn't been much of an interest in the program, so it generally sits empty. The game room is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Because The Suites at Hershey isn't a traditional hotel (though it might as well be), and because all of the apartments offer fully equipped kitchens, it doesn't offer any onsite restaurants. To stock up on groceries for your apartment, visit Giant Food, located at 1250 Cocoa Road.
If you want to go out for a meal, the hotel's location, once again, puts you at an advantage, since it's located near several restaurants. It's right next to Troegs Brewery, which welcomes kids (we saw several during our visit) and serves some of the best food in the area, believe it or not. Other recommended options include What If- of Hershey and The Chocolate Avenue Grill; there's also a Houlihan's and Red Robin nearby.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Inside the property's main clubhouse (where you'll check in upon arrival), there's a small lounge area with sofas and a flat-screen TV. You can come here to relax or sip complimentary coffee in the mornings while you browse a bevy of brochures for sightseeing ideas.
You'll find a fitness center at the hotel, too, which actually resembles a living room -- it even has a fireplace (don't worry -- it's just a display and doesn't actually heat the room). The gym is open 24 hours a day, and has several cardio machines and free weights.
Guest computers and printers are also available, if you need hard copies of tickets for local attraction visits.
The Art of Smart Timing
The Suites at Hershey is consistently occupied -- almost at maximum capacity -- though it sees a slight lull during the month of January, and remains somewhat quiet throughout the winter. The excitement -- and the highest rates -- pick up in the warmer months, when Hersheypark's season is in full swing.
The hotel is about 20 minutes from Harrisburg International Airport, and you can get there via a rental car or taxi. If you plan to travel by car, your GPS will likely get you there via I-81.
Hersheypark is a two-minute drive from the hotel, but still too long of a walk for families, especially if you've got strollers and bags to bring into the park. You'll want to have a car to get around the area, regardless. Plus, hotel parking is free, and even if you have a second car for your group, the hotel provides a few overflow spots at no cost.
For Mom and Dad
While Troegs Brewery welcomes families, it's best for a date, and you and your significant other should take full advantage of its location right next to The Suites at Hershey. Reserve a $5-per-person guided tour (several weeks or even months in advance), and follow up with a tasting. You can enjoy a tasting flight of three beers for just $5, or drink a full glass (or more) of your favorite brew, all at cheaper prices than you'd pay at a bar back home. If you've never had Troegs, introduce yourself via the Nugget Nectar or Mad Elf (you're welcome). Order a few snacks, too -- the food is exceptionally good!