I work for a trade association that held its annual conference at this hotel in February 2013 (2nd time at this hotel after several years at a different hotel in the same area). In addition, I travel to numerous other conferences that are held by our sister organizations in other states, so I have some perspective on the quality and value that are often present at these types of functions.
Three of the most important hotel factors in hosting a successful conference are: 1) the quality and comfort of the meeting rooms, 2) the quality of the food, and 3) the service provided by the hotel staff. Each of these is discussed below.
The Holiday Inn Harrisburg East (HIHE) offers a variety of meeting rooms (we used several for various functions related to our conference), and all were well-suited to our needs -- they were right-sized and properly equipped with A/V and wireless internet connections (where needed) and "Board Meeting" tables and comfy chairs in other rooms. The auditorium is an exceptional facility with multi-level classroom-style seating so that all attendees have a clear view of the stage and screen (which we used for a live webinar being broadcast from off-site).
Serving large groups is always a challenge, but the HIHE was up to the challenge. The quality of the food served at each of our several meals and breaks was of better-than-average quality (better than the food at most of the other conferences I have attended this year) and was plentifulf - there were no empty pans for the last person in line.
Finally, the staff was attentive and readily available. We had a few last-minute A/V needs and other issues that were resolved within minutes in each case. Can't say enough about how much that was appreciated!
The hotel is located very conveniently -- close to the airport and just off the Interstate.
I suspect that it is a combination of the above that is at least partly responsible for the fact that we had our biggest attendance in years at our 2013 event (after hosting it at this same hotel in 2012).
To be fair, one must also note that this is an older (but reasonably well-maintained) hotel. The decor is a bit dated in the sleeping rooms and hallways, but the rooms are clean and the beds are very comfortable (and appear to have been updated relatively recently).
The room rates were very reasonable and , overall, I think that the hotel offers a terrific value! Because of this value, we are planning to host our event there again for at least the next two years. I have no hestitation in recommending the hotel to other value-oriented conference organizers and travelers who want the best possible bang for the buck!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Harrisburg hotel is convenient for travel and vacation. Just minutes from the airport, we offer a complimentary shuttle to make transportation simple. While you're here, explore historic, family-friendly, and exciting attractions around town and beyond. Our hotel near Hershey Park lets you indulge your sweet tooth. History buffs can visit the National Civil War Museum and the Gettysburg Battlefield. We're also near Lancaster, the famous Amish Country. You can experience history, culture, and chocolate here in Harrisburg. If you're coming for business travel, our hotel in Harrisburg contains a 25,000-square-foot meeting facility. We have a state-of-the-art amphitheater along with free Wi-Fi. There's also our restaurant, Season's, a great place to enjoy a productive business lunch or a delicious dinner. For relaxing after your meeting, we have an Olympic-size outdoor pool. We're a pet-friendly hotel, as well, so you can bring the whole family on vacation. With comfortable rooms and convenient features, Red Lion provides the value you need to get local and explore everything Harrisburg has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Harrisburg East (Airport Area) Hotel Harrisburg
- Harrisburg Holiday Inn