The Hotel Hershey at Christmastime
I’m sure most of you know that I LOVE Christmas, AND I LOVE visiting Hershey, PA. Our family spends a LOT of time in Hershey, and you would not believe the number of miles I have put on my car just in trips to Hershey! In the interest of proper disclosure, my family and I purchased season passes for this past year, and we have already renewed for 2016. For this trip, I was given a free night’s stay at The Hershey Hotel and a trip through the Sweet Lights in hopes that I would share our experience with you. And share I will! I hope you have your cup of coffee or hot Hershey chocolate ready because we’re going to take a “virtual” trip to Hershey!
The Hotel Hershey is a beautiful historic hotel. The beauty of the era in which it was built is still evident today. While the country was reeling from the depression, Milton Hershey was pushing forward, creating business and jobs (and The Hotel Hershey). While this photo wasn’t taken during the holidays, I am sharing it to showcase the fountain in front of the hotel.
This is the view of the lobby upon entering the hotel. There is a Hershey-themed gift shop to the right and a few other shops down the hall to the left.
We stayed in room 209. The decor is what I would have expected from a historical hotel, and I’m glad they have kept those touches while still being up-to-date, so to say. I think it is well-balanced. The Hotel Hershey is a AAA 4-diamond hotel and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, National Trust for Historic Preservation.
All through the hotel, you can see the history. There are photos on the wall with scenes from the past, and each photo has a description of what was happening in the photo. Of the historical lodging we have stayed in, The Hotel Hershey is the most well preserved.
Now, I have to talk about this area. It is my favorite place in the hotel! It’s painted to look like the outdoors, and it is a beautiful place to find a seat and just relax! On a previous visit to The Hotel Hershey, I asked the front desk about areas that were open to those who weren’t actually staying there. The kids and I had actually gone to the Hershey Story, but we decided to roam over to The Hotel Hershey just to check it out. The lady at the front desk told us about this lobby upstairs. She said that the current lobby used to be the parking garage, and the room above was the original lobby designed by Mr. Hershey. Of course, we had to go up and see it.
Here’s a better view of the fountain. There are couches and chairs around this room, so guests can congregate. My daughter likes to grab a couch and just look around. The restaurants and bar are located up on this level, too.
We ate at trevi5 in The Hotel Hershey. Trevi5 turned out to be a great option for us in that there was a wide variety of choices. The kids’ menu had enough choices to please most kids, and the adult menu had lots of great choices, too! Even some interesting vegetarian options. I chose to have Vegetable Antipasto, an appetizer, for my meal, and Don had the Pizzoccheri. Both tasted great!
The Hotel Hershey has some great outdoor spaces with gardens, games, and a seasonal outdoor pool.
I mentioned gift shops at the beginning of the post. Besides the Hershey-themed gift shop, there is also a more upscale clothing gift shop and a gift shop that carries home decor near a coffee shop called the Cocoa Beanery. If you have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of sweets at the hotel, including the Hershey Bars at check in. 🙂
There is also an indoor pool, and the pool is staffed with a lifeguard. There is also a Spa. We didn’t partake of the Spa services, but we did stop in to buy some chocolate lip balm.
Hersheypark at Christmastime
The three resorts of Hersheypark have bus service to Hersheypark. After checking into The Hotel Hershey, dropping off our bags, and taking a stroll around the hotel; we hopped on the bus to go over to Hersheypark. It was still light, so I was able to get a few photos of decorations before dark. See Santa taking his rollercoaster… umm… sleigh ride? There is also a Christmas show called Music Box Christmas.
Glad to see that Christ is still in Christmas at Hersheypark. You’ll see a light display later that kind of says it all, in my mind.
One of my favorite Christmas additions to Hersheypark is Santa’s reindeer. While we were watching, the person working with the reindeer went into a little shed. The reindeer crept closer and closer to the shed. When she came out with apple pieces in her hands, the reindeer were all ready for her.
Soon, it was time for us to head over to get some hot chocolate and s’mores. We like to get the Christmas mugs each year. $1.00 of each mug purchased is donated to Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. So, on top of getting a cool-looking mug and reduced pricing on hot chocolate refills, we are also helping out the children’s hospital. Win, win!
There are a whole lot of lights around Hersheypark this time of year. From the Christmas green and red lights on the outside of Laff Trakk to the 12 Days of Christmas displays to NOEL (lights synchronized to Christmas music).
Here’s a peek at a song from NOEL.
You know, there are even rides open. Not all of them, but you can freeze your face on a few fun coasters and even ride Laff Trakk, Hersheypark’s newest (and INDOOR) spinning glow coaster. Did I mention it is indoors? A lot of the smaller rides for the kids are open, so this is a great way to expend some energy before seeing Santa Claus. You can see what parts of the park is open here.
At this point, it was getting colder, and Marvel Boy was sneezing and starting to get miserable, so we hopped on the bus over to The Hotel Hershey to get our car and head over to see the Sweet Lights. Sweet Lights is not very far from The Hotel Hershey. It does cost to go through the lights, but it’s not that much per person, depending on how many people you have in your car. You can find the pricing on the Sweet Lights page.
Drive-through light displays are a favorite of ours. When we lived in Missouri, there were a couple that we liked to go through there. One time, we even bundled up and put the top down to cruise through the display. We were really bundled up to do that…
Remember how I said earlier that there was a display I really liked that said it all? Check out the one in the upper left-hand corner. That is it: Celebrate Our Differences.
Obviously, I couldn’t post pictures of ALL the displays at Sweet Lights as there are nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays along two miles of road. But here are a few of my favorite ones. It was really hard to choose as there were so many fun ones! Plus, well… I also had to choose based on which photos turned out ok because the directions at Sweet Lights say not to stop. We did crawl very slowly right behind the person in front of us.
Here are a few more displays that we liked, and with the end, we headed back toward The Hotel Hershey and our beds. The beds were comfy, and the toiletries were divine! I could have just stopped and smelled the soap all day long! I even bought some bar soap to take home to smell when I wanted to think about our trip to The Hotel Hershey. I was going to buy some shampoo, too, but they were out. I may just have to stop on our next trip to Hershey to see if they have gotten more in. Or, I might just have to order it online…
If you haven’t been to Hersheypark and The Hotel Hershey, I encourage you to check it out! The people here are so friendly, and the park is clean and fun! Make sure to check out more of my posts about Hershey and Hersheypark: Allergy-Friendly Dining at Hersheypark, Laff Trakk at Hersheypark, and Our Experience with Hersheypark’s Accessibility Program.