best hotels in Hershey, Pennsylvania

At this stage of my life, I admit to loving a little bit of luxury in my travels. The Hotel Hershey did not disappoint, and is undoubtedly the best hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Be sure to treat yourself–if you have a generous budget. The Hershey Hotel is expensive (as is the Hershey Lodge), but you’ll feel good knowing that you are contributing to the Milton Hershey School and other community projects under the wing of the Hershey Trust Company, as all profits from all Hershey Company holdings go back into the trust fund and the Milton S. Hershey Foundation.

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The grounds of the Hotel Hershey allude to the grandeur of this historic hotel.

exploring the best hershey hotels: The Hotel Hershey

My room at the Hotel Hershey was lovely, but it was the decor and nostalgia found throughout this beautiful property–and the decadent services of The Spa at the Hotel Hershey (affectionately known as The Chocolate Spa)–that leave me longing for a return trip.

best-hotel-hershey

The grounds of the Hotel Hershey are beautiful for strolling. There are paths, gazebos to sit in the shade, ponds and pools, and the omnipresence of all those flowers. What is pictured here is not a swimming pool, but rather a pond.

Milton Hershey and his wife Catherine (Kitty) Hershey loved to travel to exotic places, and found inspiration for the Mediterranean-style design of the Hotel Hershey in Spain, Italy, Cuba, and Egypt–specifically the Heliopolis Hotel in Cairo.

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The Fountain Lobby of the Hotel Hershey was the original lobby of the hotel, and was inspired by Hershey’s love of Cuba, where he spent winters from 1916-1937. It is now a spacious area where guests can comfortably sit and lounge and enjoy the beauty of the fountain, custom-made furnishings and stained glass lamps.

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I loved the beautiful stained glass lamps in the Fountain Lobby of the Hotel Hershey.

It took two years to construct the hotel, initially opening with 170 rooms in 1933. An additional 100 rooms were added in 1977 as the West Tower. The Spa opened in 2001 and was expanded in 2004, and in 2009, the premium Woodside Cottages were added to the offerings on this magnificent 300-acre property, increasing the total number of rooms to 276. I strongly recommend the complimentary historic tour of the hotel that is available to guests.

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You would never know you were in Central Pennsylvania, while in the Hotel Hershey due to its Moorish design and influence. Pictured above is the entrance to The Circular (dining room.)

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Dining at the Hotel Hershey is quite exquisite. I loved the cocoa-dusted scallops and would love to see more savoury dishes featuring cacao/cocoa on the menu in The Circular (dining room.)

The Hotel Hershey has several restaurants, the finest being The Circular (dining room), a glorious room built with a circular design, as Milton Hershey detested how many eating establishments put single people like him (following the premature death of his wife) in corners or behind pillars. You will find neither pillars nor corners in the Circular Dining Room. Instead, you will find a bright welcoming dining room overlooking the gardens and immaculate grounds of the hotel. Other than the fabulous desserts, I only noticed one savoury menu item featuring cocoa–the cocoa-dusted scallops–which were fantastic. Here’s hoping that will change in the near future, as cocoa cuisine would really enhance the underlying theme to all things Hershey: chocolate.

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The selection of desserts in the Oasis Restaurant of the Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey will send any calorie counter off the scale. But yes, there is fresh fruit as well.

indulging in the chocolate spa

Which brings me to the spa. The Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey is the chocolate lover’s dream. A word of caution: book your spa treatments well in advance, as this destination spa is heavily booked. Don’t expect to book your spa treatments on arrival in Hershey as you may be disappointed.

There are chocolate tidbits throughout The Hershey Spa to fuel your chocolate spa experience. The Oasis Restaurant and Lounge has a buffet lunch that offers both healthy choices and pure decadence. I opted for a blend of both, but revelled in the choice of desserts shown above to accompany my chocolate martini.

Following lunch, it was time for my spa treatments. I enjoyed the Whipped Cocoa Bath, but wished it was more than the mere 15-minutes allocated for the treatment. I also wished there was a bit more cocoa in the water, as it wasn’t quite as rich and creamy as I’d envisioned.

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Getting the chocolate facial in the form of the Cocoa Facial Experience at the Chocolate Spa at Hotel Hershey was a fabulous experience.

The creme-de-la-creme (best of the best) was the 75-minute Cocoa Facial Experience. That was ultimate bliss. My therapist, Sarah, was an expert in her profession, and truly made the experience worth the trip! I really enjoy chocolate (cocoa) full body wraps when I visit chocolate spas, and wouldn’t have thought of getting the facial–complete with edible chocolate mask–but thanks to my host at the Hotel Hershey, I indulged in this treatment and was thrilled that I did.

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Enjoying dinner in The Circular (dining room) at the Hotel Hershey with a writer friend from the area. Could my skin be glowing because of the effects of the chocolate facial? Or could it be the chocolate martinis, great food, ambiance, and conversation? You decide.

I also spent a night at the Hershey Lodge, but after the bliss of the Hotel Hershey, the noisiness of the children and busyness of the lodge (it is a conference centre with lots of traffic) was unsettling. I was glad to find great food and solace in the Fire & Grain restaurant at the Hershey Lodge, and then head straight to my room for some quiet time.

I spent a couple of nights at the new Courtyard by Marriott in Hershey and really enjoyed it. It is roughly half the price of the Hotel Hershey and a great choice if you are looking for fewer frills and have your own car to get you to your choice of the local attractions during your chocolate travels.

Thanks to the Hershey/Harrisburg Visitors Bureau for making my trip possible. If you missed the introductory post to Hershey you’ll find it here. Stay tuned for more about this taste-tempting region. 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

39 Responses

  1. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    What a beautiful setting Doreen – the internal and external. It looks amazingly spotless.

    To top it off you had lunch with tasty cakes (and fruit) and a whipped cocoa bath. Talk about indulgence!
    Phoenicia recently posted…Embrace the introvert or extravert in you!My Profile

  2. Catarina says:

    If I ever go to Hershey I will use this article as a guide to which hotel to stay in. Or maybe I will just send you a message.
    Catarina recently posted…Vanity boosting prosperity and biodiversity?My Profile

  3. Emily
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oooh this made me nostalgic fo the chocolate massage I had in Budapest last year. I actually think I mentioned it in one of my comments here before. But the cocoa facial looked so good! And edible too?! Even better.
    Emily recently posted…I Made These 7 Blogging Mistakes So You Don’t Have ToMy Profile

  4. Janice
    Twitter:
    says:

    Doreen – Why I never thought that chocolate could be used as a spa treatment, I’m not sure, but why the heck not? It’s something I’ll have to try sometime. What a fun post this must have been to write…I loved it!
    Janice recently posted…New Mexican food: One adopted Coloradan’s discoveryMy Profile

  5. Linda Strange says:

    This whole write-up is just delicious ! It’s difficult to equate this experience with my excitement when my Mom would bring home a Hershey’s chocolate bar from Grand Forks.
    So glad you have the opportunity to visit these places and bring back your impressions and experiences to share. LL

  6. Danielle
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is right up my alley. A gorgeous uniquely designed hotel, food, dessert, and the spa. You’re right, I would have never guessed you were in Pennsylvania at this beautiful place!

  7. It looks wonderful Doreen, in fact, it reminds me of the Four Seasons Kapalua! I’m with you on the desire to treat myself to a bit of luxury now and then. I’m a hiker and a camper, but I also enjoy spas and lazing around a pool! Thank you for sharing with us.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Who Do You Want to Be?My Profile

  8. Janice Chung
    Twitter:
    says:

    The first picture of the Hotel Hershey definitely reminded me of Morocco. Looks like they really invested in the decor. I just want to know about your facial: weren’t you tempted to just lick a bit of chocolate off? Sounds like a pretty luxurious place!
    Janice Chung recently posted…Quirkiest, Most Imaginative Site In Nantes:  Les Machines de L’îleMy Profile

  9. What a beautiful hotel! I wasn’t aware that Hershey’s profits are designated for its Trust fund and I assume support community outreach programs. It will make me enjoy Hershey chocolate even more! I’ve always wanted to visit Hershey and promised myself that I would when I lived in NY. But now that I’m in Florida I think that is more a dream than something that will become a reality.

  10. Jennife Harr
    Twitter:
    says:

    That looks like a really good hotel and wonderful. Many times I see the name Hershey. They have all facilities, many people go there every year. Last year I wanted to go but I didn’t make it. Can you tell me how much money per day charge? I am waiting for your reply. Thanks for sharing your great post.

  11. The Hotel Hershey looks fabulous. I’d definitely want to schedule time just at the hotel, not out and about if I stayed here!

  12. Erica says:

    That cocoa facial looks yummy. If I had it on my face, I would probably try to lick my own face since it looks so good. I’ve never stayed at a hotel in Hershey because I used to live only an hour or so away. But I live in Cali now, so I would definitely keep Hotel Hershey in mind if I were to give it another visit.
    Erica recently posted…A Non-Toxic, Natural, Beauty RegimenMy Profile

  13. This hotel looks amazing and the food looks great, too. I love the photo of you with the chocolate mask! I would definitely want to take the historic tour of the hotel. It all sound fascinating and a great addition to your chocolate experiences throughout the world!
    Debbra Dunning Brouillette recently posted…New article: “Beaches and Beyond” Indiana Dunes article in AAA Home & AwayMy Profile

  14. Hotel Hershey is amazing!! I loved it there. And your spa treatment looks fantastic! Another interesting article; well done.
    Marilyn Jones recently posted…Burano Island is a Venetian TreasureMy Profile

  15. Thanks, Marilyn. Did u visit the spa at all?
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…best hotels in Hershey, PennsylvaniaMy Profile

  16. Ava Wilson
    Twitter:
    says:

    nice post dear, amazing tour to go on with awesome hotel facility……

  17. I’m also at a stage in my life when I want some luxury when I travel. This place looks glorious, and you look so adorable with your chocolate facial. If you’re ever going to go to NYC for some research, count me in, and I know some really luxury spots there!

  18. That is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen to stay at, it is truly amazing. I must of gotten into the wrong profession.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures and story about the hotels.
    William Rusho recently posted…Putting on a Medieval/Renaissance FaireMy Profile

  19. Susan Cooper
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, how cool. I’ve never been to Hershey’s. This sure gives a good reason and with some great recommendations too boot.

  20. The Hotel Hershey is both elegant and romantic and I enjoyed our dinner in the beautiful Circular. They do go all out for Valentine’s month in case any of the ladies want to start sending hints to the husbands just a little early (for planning purposes, of course).
    😀

  21. Sue Reddel
    Twitter:
    says:

    That smile on your chocolate covered face really says it all. I had no idea there was so much chocolatey luxury in Hershey. We gotta check that place out!
    Sue Reddel recently posted…Catching More Than Fish in KenoshaMy Profile

  22. Shannon says:

    I’m with you – I’m all about luxury travel! This place looks right up my alley – swanky, spa and good food!

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