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“Christmas in July at Hershey Park & Hershey Lodge”
Review of Hershey Lodge

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Hershey Lodge
Ranked #6 of 25 Hotels in Hershey
Medford, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Christmas in July at Hershey Park & Hershey Lodge”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Staying at a Hershey property is always a good choice. Parking isn't optimal, I'll admit, but the Hershey facilities themselves are well done, whether it be the amusement park or the hotels. The whole town smells like chocolate (bonus), they give you full-sized chocolate bars upon check-in to the Hershey Lodge, the bed linens have a Kisses-themed print on them, and the complimentary toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, and lotion) are chocolate-scented -- you have no idea how easy it is to get my 8-yr-old son into the tub when it smells like chocolate!
The Lodge has a free shuttle to/from the Park, which runs every few minutes. The shuttle drivers were honestly the nicest and most friendly staff I've encountered on multiple stays here. They really seemed to care about the guests and their job.
There are 2 outdoor pools; one is oriented toward smaller kids. They're clean and maintained well enough, but a little more pool-side service would be nice. I'm not saying this because I need to waited on hand-and-foot. I'm saying this because the place isn't cheap, and after a long day at the amusement park (usually in the heat and humidity), parents are exhausted. Not only would we appreciate a little more attention but we'd also be more likely to buy more drinks and/or snacks if you came around a little more. When I was able to snag someone, they were nice -- just not present enough.
There are other recreational options on the Lodge property, including mini golf, basketball, and a playground, but we haven't yet actually used them on any of our trips to Hershey. There is so much to do at the Park that we have yet to explore the rest of the Lodge.
There are several places to eat on the Lodge property, but again, we're out and about, so I can only speak for the little deli (got a bagel sandwich one morning; it was OK) and room service (quite good, each time). The chocolate martini is highly recommended.
The Christmas in July event is brilliant. I just loved the concept that Santa is on vacation in Hershey Park, and he was wonderful (in both appearance and demeanor). My biggest complaint was that it was so hard to find him. It was like a hot, muggy, and frustrating game of Where's Waldo, dragging an anxious 8-yr-old through the park, torn between wanting to see Santa and wanting to ride the rides. Guest Services could only offer that Santa was wondering between the Main Entrance and the Boardwalk - in other words, half the park. We kept asking Park employees if they had seen him and which way he was headed, and that's when it got disheartening because we literally (no exaggeration) asked 7 different employees at little stands, with carts, in maintenance uniforms, and security badges who had no idea what I was talking about. One girl, pushing a popcorn cart, thought I was messing with her, like Candid Camera or something. To get her to believe me, I actually had to show her a photo on my digital camera on my son (in his current summer outfit) hugging a candy cane at the front gate and posing with a Christmas-themed Mr. Hershey in red hat and scarf. Obviously, she was no help in locating St. Nick. It's clear that Hershey Park tries hard to make a good amusement park, so it's baffling that so many employees would be unaware of an advertised event, especially one that included holiday décor and music. Odd, right?
Anyway, my son said his trip was awesome and couldn't wait to tell his friends, so I hope they continue with their holiday ideas. Let's just get some GPS on that jolly old elf, OK?
Also, tip for parents: Go to the Park first, and leave Chocolate World for later. First, it's air-conditioned, which will give you a chance to cool down after a hot, humid day on the pavement and in the sun. Second, some of the activities are free, so you don't have to put out extra money if the kids have hit all the rides; you can dole out a few bucks for your kids to make their own chocolate bar (or a custom photo wrapper), but you don't HAVE to, and you can still enjoy the place.
Additionally, if everyone is hungry, the food in the Chocolate World area is so much better than the little trailers among the rides. They have real kitchens to make real food, like an authentic-to-PA baked mac-n-cheese a side-dish size portion that is perfect for kids. They also have some healthier options -- I like the cool turkey and red pepper hummus in a spinach wrap on a hot afternoon, but the cheddar broccoli soup in a bread bowl is delicious too. It's set up as several little counters offering only a few targeted foods, so it keeps the lines down, but you might have to break up your group to gather everyone's choices. The bake shop also offers things like cupcakes that will make your little one's eyes pop out!
Finally, Chocolate World is the place to buy your souvenirs. They've got more variety than in the Park area AND (newsflash) chocolate melts if you try to lug it around the Park or stash it in a Park locker. Hit Chocolate World on the way out to grab the goodies to take home to friends and family.
Oh, and don't miss the free tour that shows you how chocolate is made. This has been my favorite part of visiting Hershey since I was a kid. It's been updated in recent years, and I miss the little mechanical dioramas, like the cargo ship and the guys picking cocoa beans, especially the one that looked like Juan Veldez trying to pull an uncooperative donkey, but I still love going through the faux oven to get roasted like a bean. I'd love to see the dioramas return and replace at least some of the silly animatronic cartoon cows; they look too much like Disney's Goofy. However, I can only criticize so much when they give you free samples at the end.
As an added little surprise, a Monster Energy truck and the Wienermobile were visiting Chocolate World this past weekend. Photo op!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank LisaT08055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
State College, Pennsylvania, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 15, 2013

This is the second year we did the Hershey Park Lodge Experience. I was a little disappointed with the room we got because of not far it was from the main entrance, but how dark the hallway was. Also, there was dirty dishes in all the hallways waiting to pick up. Also, the hallway between the tower and the main lodge was so cold because it was turned up so high it was unbearable and the exit sign was broken and hanging. When you take those in combination, it made that part of the lodge look really dirty and undesirable.

I do want to say that the room we got was clean and was nice size for our family of four. Also, the breakfast buffet this year was very good and the waitstaff was excellent.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MelissaAnnOG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

Very nice 1 night stay at the Lodge with a family group. Room was clean with comfy bed although it had a slight old smoke smell. Kids enjoyed the pool (note: pool only has a few umbrellas and gets HOT), mini golf. Desk staff was helpful.

We really took advantage of getting into the park free the evening before (part of a package) and went on lots of rides. Hersheypark's rides are great!

2 complaints:
1. Shuttle service took a long time -25 minutes-to pick us up at the park at 9:30 pm. That is too long.
2. Housekeeping was obnoxious trying to clean our room. Check out is 11. At 9:45 they knocked ONE time and before I could shout "wait!" they had opened the door as I was changing. 20 minutes later they opened it without knocking at all.

It made me feel very rushed and more importantly, they should be trained not to just open the door. Guests pay a lot of money for the 20 hours they get in that room and their privacy should be respected.

Overall a good experience. I'd recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank perrystreet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgeport
Level 6 Contributor
220 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I stayed here for one night with my family (husband and two 9 y/o). The checkin was quick... But I think we just beat the crowds (there was a huge line behind us). The lobby was very nice, warm and inviting. The rooms were clean as well. But the bathrooms were very tight -honestly only one person at a time could fit in there - and with kids that is problematic. The two other problems I had... No pool towels available at the pool. And the reason was the bins with the towels were late and they didn't know when they would get there??? And my other problem was the "complementary shuttle to the park". There is not set schedule... The front desk said to just go outside and wait - it could take up to 45 mins. That is unacceptable to me. The lodge is like 4 minutes away- I think hershey lodge needs to invest in more shuttles so that families are not standing in line waiting 45 mins for a shuttle. There is 15 $ fee to park at the park... So it made us want to wait for the shuttle... But I think that this should be an easy fix. They should take pointers from Disney . And I only complain b/c the cost is pretty significant to stay here so you should get what you pay for...

Room Tip: Lots of walking involved ... Ask to be near the pool if that is what you'll be doing with the ki...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jpsunshine99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ann arbor
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I grew up in Hershey and recently came back for combined business and family vacation. It was nice to see that while the Lodge has grown since my youth, it has retained many of its original features including the duck pond. The staff was great as were our rooms. Dinner in the Forebay Lounge was very nice and the waitstaff was good. My kids enjoyed the pool. The lodge is busy and buzzing with energy. We also liked the coffeeshop in the lobby.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank eleniAnnArbor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

Conveniently located near park with free shuttle service. Standard room with 2 queen beds over $300 per night. Clean rooms but no laundry machines. Discounted park tickets which I appreciated. Decent but way way overpriced for what it is...

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Jch0643
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We have been coming here for the last couple of years. The Lodge is a major part of our overall experience. The hotel/grounds are beautiful. Plenty of extra activities for the little ones: 3 pools, mini golf, game room, Hershey characters in the lobby etc. The food in the restaurants is above average but a little pricey. Take advantage of the perks that staying here include..free shuttle service to/from Hersheypark and guest are able to enter the park and hit the rides 1 hr earlier than everyone else. My little one rode the superdooperlooper 3 times before the park officially opened. There are many area hotels that are cheaper, but we will always stay at the Lodge.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Pete G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hershey Lodge

Property: Hershey Lodge
Address: 325 University Dr, Hershey, PA 17033-2800
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Hershey
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Hershey
#6 Family Hotel in Hershey
#6 Romantic Hotel in Hershey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hershey Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 665
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offering 665 guest rooms and 100,000 square feet of function space, Hershey Lodge provides convenience and comfort for families and guests of all ages. We hope you'll enjoy the sweet hospitality and iconic chocolate details around every corner. Hershey Lodge is also one of The Official Resorts of Hersheypark, alongside The Hotel Hershey and Hersheypark Camping Resort. Guests to each of our resorts enjoy the value, convenience, and special access of our FREE resort benefits. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hershey Hotel Hershey
Hershey Lodge Pennsylvania
Convention Center Hershey Lodge

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