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Hotel Check: Hershey Lodge

WHERE IS IT? Close to most Hershey attractions, this large hotel offers plentiful amenities to both business and leisure travelers. Hershey is a short drive from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, and Amish country, making it both a popular tourist and business travel destination. Shell had given me a gas card so I could explore some of the suggested road trips on their StateEscape website,  and this hotel fit perfectly into my plans.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The fragrance of chocolate is notable the moment you walk in, and that sweet note continues throughout your stay. Guests are welcomed with a bar of Hershey’s chocolate, too. Deeper inside the lobby is a crackling hearth surrounded by leather chairs and sofas facing the fire. It’s a great gathering place for drinks from the bar or do a bit of work on your laptop.

During COVID-19, impressive protocols were in place including hand-sanitizing stations everywhere, an indoor mask requirement and extra cleaning procedures.

Guests can take advantage of numerous perks that come with staying the night here. It includes free entrance to the botanical gardens, an indoor pool and waterpark, and admission to The Hershey Story’s Museum Experience.  Guests also get discounts to ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. There are other resort fee benefits available during the spring and summer.

ROOM FACILITIES Accommodations are comfortable and bright with Hershey-themed artwork and photography. Soft pillows and cozy blankets cover the beds with power outlets on either side. The desk is wide with a rolling leather chair and features additional power outlets. Full-length mirrors, large-screen TVs, coffeemakers and refrigerators complete the amenity roster. Bathrooms feature shower-tub combinations stocked with cocoa-scented toiletries. Turndown service delivers a Hershey’s kiss on the pillow each evening.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are lots of dining options including Fire & Grain, which serves breakfast and dinner from an all-American menu while Hershey Grill provides another all-day option for variety. Fire & Grain has a great happy hour menu that draws a pre-dinner crowd. There’s also Cocoa Beanery, which has all-day snacks, coffee and plenty of chocolate-themed goodies. Cocoa Cabana offers lunch and dinner munchies at the waterpark, but it was closed during my visit. Revelry is the hotel’s steakhouse option, but far more approachable and less formal than one might expect; there’s also a rooftop patio to enjoy in warmer months. Diners enjoy free valet parking with their meal. COVID-19 protocols have changed the dining scene a bit, but in normal times, the food and beverage options here are always a highlight.

LEISURE FACILITIES The year-round indoor pool and waterpark are huge draws for families. In downtown Hershey, guests can also enjoy access to the chocolate-themed spa for cocoa-infused beauty and massage treatments. Three golf courses at Hershey Country Club provide another leisure option for guests.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel is adjacent to the convention center, which adds to the already plentiful gathering facilities here. Meeting venues boast chocolate-themed names, of course, and this property does a solid amount of conference business. Free wireless Internet and free parking add to the appeal.

VERDICT For a family-friendly and chocolate-themed hotel close to all the attractions, Hershey Lodge is a great fit.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 665 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Clever chocolate theme and free access to many Hershey destinations

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $129

CONTACT 325 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, Phone 844-330-1802.