There are many accommodation options available when staying within Hershey, Pensyvania but none offer a more chocolate induced Christmas experience than staying at either the Hershey Lodge or The Hotel Hershey. We know because we spent a holiday-filled weekend at the Hershey Lodge.
Some of our favourite features about staying onsite at the Hershey Lodge:
Kids Check-In – During the holiday season you’ll find a special check-in desk just inside the main doors. Although it’s only open from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on designated days, we had no problems visiting it later in the day after our earlier arrival.
Kids get to sign-in to the registry, adding their name, age and where they are visiting from. They are then given a tasty Hershey treat, plus a chance to win a prize by guessing the number of candies in a jar. My youngest enjoyed the colouring pages they had available too. Now the kids have a nice souvenir, their own Hershey Lodge lanyard.
Chocolate Everywhere – If you’re staying in the Hershey Lodge you’ll be rewarded with chocolate. Upon checking in, each guest received their own Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, the full-size ones, plus Hershey’s Kisses greeted us each day in our room, a gift from housekeeping. The cocoa infused bath products are also a nice treat. I loved the body lotion so much I bought the large size in the gift shop. I love smelling like chocolate.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane and Chocolate World Shuttle Service – Hershey Lodge offers a regular shuttle service to and from the Lodge to Hersheypark Christmas Candylane and Chocolate World. You can certainly drive and park there but it can get busy depending on the time of day you go and there is a fee (except Chocolate World, which provides you with 3 hours of free parking).
Chocolate Martinis – Need I say more? It’s been reported that the Hershey Lodge serves approximately 13,604 Chocolate Martinis each year. From my view in the Lobby Bar, I can see how that figure might be true. There are a number of different martini versions you can order too, from the signature version with Pinnacle Vanilla Vodka and Clear Crème de Cacao to the Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini made with Cherry Infused Vodka and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. The price includes a souvenir martini glass with the Hershey Lodge logo. Let’s just say I have two of these in my collection now.
Holiday Activities – Along with the festive decorations that adorn the entrance and lobby area, you are invited to get into the holiday spirit with a number of fun activities planned during the day. There’s a holiday hunt, chocolate making bar, making marshmallow stick men, s’mores out by the lake, holiday movies, and even photo opportunities with some of the Hershey characters. The Lodge Ledger, provided to guests upon check-in, outlines all the planned activities by date and time, along with various dining and recreation options and local events. After a morning at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane or Chocolate World, you can relax at the Lodge and still enjoy some festive fun.
The Hershey Story Museum (and the Little Elves Workshop) – Guests receive free admission to The Hershey Story Museum which is the home to the Little Elves Workshop. A museum visit may not sound that appealing to kids but there are some fun hands-on activities, like creating your own chocolate bar wrapper and putting yourself on the front page of the Hershey newspaper. There are other hands-on experiences like The Chocolate Lab, M.S. Hershey Apprentice Program, and Chocolate Tasting but there are some additional fees for these. Still, they sound like great programs.
The Little Elves Workshop invites kids to create their own holiday ornament out of chocolate clay (not edible). They flatten and cut their shape, decorate it with icing, and even decorate the box to carry their ornament home in. There’s also a small fee for this to cover supplies but the kids get to take home a lovely keepsake. Plus it’s a fun workshop that takes kids from station to station. I know when the kids look at their ornaments they are going to remember their Hershey Christmas trip.
The staff at the Hershey Lodge was very happy and helpful too. The housecleaning staff would wish you good morning, the counter staff in the Cocoa Beanery would share a morning joke, and staff will even help you find your room when you get lost (which happened to my husband). The attitude of an establishment’s staff speaks volumes about the business as a whole and it comes across in a pleasant experience for guests.
Unfortunately our trip was short and our experiences plentiful (with Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, Sweet Lights, Hershey Story, lunch with Santa at The Hotel Hershey, and Chocolate World), we didn’t get a chance to experience all the wonderful elements the Hershey Lodge has to offer in the form of recreation and spa. Did I mention the Chocolate Spa? Perhaps that calls for another visit.