Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Hotel Check: Best Western Premier The Central Hotel Harrisburg, PA

WHERE IS IT? With complimentary transportation within a small radius of the hotel, guests have convenient access to the airport as well as downtown Harrisburg without the traffic of the city center. Despite the drawdown in business during my visit, the hotel went above and beyond to assist with transportation, which was extremely appreciated.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The large, yet cozy, atrium-style lobby features glittering lights and conversation seating areas with armchairs and work stations. Many guest rooms look inward toward the atrium, which is a popular gathering space, especially when groups are in-house. The hotel is popular with conference groups and small meeting functions, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it continues to see small events thanks to the plentiful space in conference rooms for social distancing. Best Western Premier is Best Western’s upscale, full-service hotel brand offering more amenities than a standard Best Western. In addition, the brand’s impressive cleaning protocols include transparent partitions at reception, mask requirements indoors and hand sanitizing stations everywhere. During my visit, a Santa Claus mailbox promised a direct link for kids to mail their letters directly to the jolly old man.

ROOM FACILITIES Rooms are bright with striped carpeting and green and beige patterned wallpaper. They feature spacious work desks with ample power outlets on the side and rolling leather chairs. I appreciated the additional power and USB outlets by the bed as well as five big pillows up against the cushioned headboard, which makes it great for reading or working in bed. A sofa (that converts to a bed) in the corner of my room would be ideal for families, and several rooms come with balconies. Another popular feature for families is that some rooms that open directly to the indoor pool patio. The flat-screen TV facing the bed sits atop a credenza housing a refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, and tray with sealed cups and a welcome bottle of water. Bathrooms have black tea and fig-scented Pharmacopia toiletries, and I was grateful for the spacious shower with dual-sliding glass doors so you can turn on the water without getting sprayed, scalded, or frozen before you are fully awake. Clever design touches like this go a long way in improving the guest experience.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS O’Reilly’s Tap Room & Kitchen serves American fare for three meals a day as well as craft beer and cocktails. A daily happy hour for two hours slashes the price of drinks, and an early-riser breakfast deal for $5 offers a hearty spread if you want to watch the sunrise.

LEISURE FACILITIES This hotel seems to cater to both business and leisure travelers thanks to a large indoor pool (said to be the biggest in the area) with stacks of towels and lounge chairs to relax in any type of weather. A 24-hour fitness center faces the pool, and a small arcade has video games to keep kids and the young at heart entertained. There’s a laundry facility, too, which can prove handy on long road trips.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel’s strongest suit is its plentiful meeting space that comes in a variety of categories from ballrooms to breakout space. Free wireless Internet and modern audiovisual equipment appeal to groups, especially state associations and social events.

VERDICT Convenient amenities, a free shuttle, and staff that goes the extra mile help this Best Western Premier shine.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 174 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Plentiful meeting space, a large indoor pool, and an impressive staff

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $221

CONTACT 800 E. Park Drive, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111, Phone 717-561-2800.