I recently stayed at the Fairfield Inn for one night to visit the Hershey Christmas attractions with family, and overall, I would recommend this hotel. We’ve been to Hershey many times over the years, and we’ve found it difficult to find a reliable place to stay, similar to many other destinations that serve almost solely leisure travelers. There aren’t really higher-end hotels in Hershey (unless you’re willing to pay an arm and a leg to stay at the Hotel Hershey), and the mid-range hotels offered in the area tend to be worn out and beat up from all of the families with kids in and out during the high season to visit Hersheypark. Families with kids simply tend to be hard on a hotel. We’ve often ended up staying in Harrisburg as an alternative in the past, which can be a little bit of a hassle, so when I saw that a new Fairfield Inn had been constructed right in Hershey, I was excited to give it a try. I don’t expect the hotel to be in great shape in ten years unless the staff does a consistent job of keeping things maintained, but I expected that it would still be nice and fresh in December, having just opened in the spring.
It turns out that the hotel is very nice and fresh. I could tell it was a nice property immediately after walking into the lobby. This new Fairfield Inn is like night and day compared to some older Fairfield Inns in other destinations, so definitely give it a try even if you’re not a Fairfield Inn fan. The lobby is nice, open, and large, with a nice big breakfast area and a couple of attractive seating areas. There’s plenty of space (maybe even a little too much) for those who are checking in at the nice front desk area to be out of the way of others. Given the tiny, cramped lobby set-up that a lot of older Fairfield Inns offer, the lobby here impressed me.
We checked in at night, and the front desk staff was very friendly, something that I noticed in all of the staff we encountered here. They weren’t pushy or annoying, yet genuinely seemed nice and helpful. They made a big deal of recognizing our elite Marriott Rewards status, which is always nice. However, one thing I would recommend is that the hotel considers offering more upgrades to elite Marriott Rewards members to go along with that recognition. We were booked in a standard room with two queens, and we were hoping to get an upgrade to one of the suites, knowing that the “suites” here are really just larger rooms with extra space for a pullout couch, and that online, they appeared to have some available the night we were there. Obviously, we had no right to an upgrade without paying extra, and it’s not an actual negative against the hotel not to get one. Maybe they all ended up getting booked or were given to people who arrived before us who were more deserving. However, it would have been a great positive to get an upgraded room, and I read several TripAdvisor reviews in which others mentioned getting offered free upgrades to the suites here for no real reason in particular. We’ve grown accustomed to full-service Marriott properties offering upgrades without asking. It’s just a nice bit of goodwill to offer upgrades to elite Rewards members, especially since we’re the ones who are most likely to be loyal and make an effort to stay at this property each time we visit if we have a good experience. We’re less likely to jump ship for the Hampton Inn down the street if it happens to be a bit cheaper next time.
Regardless, the room we were given (Room 419) was very nice and perfectly clean! The basic room with two queens at this Fairfield Inn was better than many rooms that I’ve encountered at older full-service Marriotts and Courtyards that are supposed to be at a higher level. The age of the hotel makes a huge difference. The hallways outside the rooms were bright and cheerful with fun colors and carpeting, and the room itself was still really fresh and new in shades of orange, yellow, and blue, with dark wood. Everything is still in great condition, and we found the beds to be nice and comfortable (some others might say they weren’t soft enough, but they were great for our taste).
It was interesting because I noticed when I was looking around the room that it wasn’t the largest room. There wasn’t actually enough space to adequately hold a chair, so the chair in the room is a very small one that is kind of crammed between the one bed and the wall. Not that it mattered, but there also isn’t a normal closet, since the room design didn’t include space for a typical closet. Regardless, even if the room was a little bit small, it had high ceilings and mirrors that still made it feel like a nice size.
Even if the room could have used some more space, the bathroom was definitely a nice size, which I appreciate even more than extra space in the room. The bathroom had nice granite counters with a lot of counter space, along with attractive tile and great cleanliness. The only slight issue in the bathroom was that the lock on the bathroom door didn’t work.
I also appreciated that, although this isn’t a high-end hotel, there were several faux high end finishes. Sure, the bedding is a bit thin, but it looks just like the duvets you’ll encounter in high-end hotels. Sure, the bathroom shower doesn’t actually have fancy tile in it, but the cheaper material with textured tiles appears just as nice as what you’d find in a nicer hotel. Sure, the bathroom mirror is just plastic, but it looks just like the leather-trimmed ones that many fancier properties are offering these days. I thought these touches were really clever and ended up looking nice.
There were a couple small things about the room that could use improvement. It was nice that the room had a mini-fridge and microwave, but our refrigerator didn’t work. The free wifi was also nice to have, but a bit difficult to connect to, an issue that we had on all of our Apple devices. Noise from the room above was also a bit bothersome. We didn’t hear from any of the neighboring rooms on our floor, but we could consistently hear the footsteps of those above, which sounded like a loud thud from time to time. At first, I thought it was coming from people jumping off of the beds above us, but after reading other reviews, I think it’s just common noise due to bad sound proofing. It’s a shame that a brand new hotel would have that issue, since I don’t know what (if anything) can be done to fix it, other than requesting a room on the top floor.
There were also a couple of small things unrelated to the rooms that the hotel should work on. We noticed that one of the elevators had a ‘Caution: Wet Floor’ cone in it that stayed there for the entire time we were at the hotel. The floor was not wet at any point when we used it. Just doing simple things like making sure that is removed in a timely manner can go a long way. In addition, we thought it was sloppy that the staff break room on the first floor, which has a window looking out at the parking lot, was so open to those walking by outside. When first walking into the hotel, it made a bad impression that this room was so visible. The lights were on and we could see into the slightly messy break room, so I would recommend simply making sure the lights aren’t always on so guests outside can see in, or investing in better blinds to make this room more hidden from the outside.
We enjoyed the breakfast at the hotel. I thought the continental breakfast here was a step above what I’ve had at Fairfield Inns in the past. The breakfast area was spacious, both in terms of seating and the area where the food was served. The staff working the breakfast area was very efficient and did a great job of keeping things clean and restocked at all times. In addition to standard cold options, there were two hot items offered (scrambled eggs and sausage), and I appreciated that there were several waffle irons for the make-your-own waffles, since they were popular and each waffle takes a few minutes to make. Even the selection of cut fruit was a bit better than what the average free breakfast offers, so I definitely give the breakfast a thumbs up. Is it gourmet? No. But it is one of the better free continental breakfasts I’ve encountered lately. Note that even though there is a good amount of seating, the breakfast area gets very crowded. The hotel was pretty full with families when we were there, so it got a bit chaotic at breakfast after 8:00. I’m sure it’s similar, if not worse, in the summer high season.
Although we didn’t use it, I saw the hotel’s indoor pool, which looked a bit small. There were about four kids in it one time when I walked by, and it looked like it couldn’t comfortably hold many more. Just be aware that the pool is on the small side and may not be able to accommodate all of the families who would like to use it.
In terms of location, the Fairfield Inn is convenient to everything in Hershey. Hersheypark, Chocolate World, and the outlet stores are all about a five-minute drive away. Although this hotel advertises that it’s on Chocolate Avenue, it’s actually a block off, in a sort of unusual residential location for a hotel. However, other than for the fun name, I’m not sure why being on Chocolate Avenue is really much of a benefit anyway. There’s really not much on that street, other than old houses and a few small businesses, none of which seemed particularly interesting. Further down, there is a section of Chocolate Avenue that is a bit more touristy, featuring the Hershey Story attraction and a few other restaurants, such as Chocolate Avenue Grill, Houlihan’s, and Devon Seafood Grill. None of these things are really within easy walking distance of the hotel, though they’re only a couple minutes away by car. The only things within walking distance of the hotel are a CVS a block away, along with a Staples store. All of the rooms on the backside of the hotel look out to the back of the Staples shopping center, which isn’t the nicest view.
All in all, I would recommend the Fairfield Inn. If you’re looking for a convenient option in Hershey that is within easy driving distance of all the main attractions, this hotel fits the bill, with the bonus of being really fresh and new. The rooms were nice and the breakfast was good. I would recommend that the hotel focus on making sure they’re keeping up with maintenance around the rooms and throughout the property to make sure that it doesn’t get the old, tired feeling of similar properties in Hershey. For now, I’d definitely make a point of choosing this property when in Hershey.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Award-Winning Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Hershey Chocolate Avenue opened April 2013. The hotel is located minutes from Hersheypark, Giant Center, Tanger outlets, Troeggs Brewing Company, museums and restaurants. Offering everything you need while in Hershey; spacious guest rooms, high speed internet, indoor pool, workout facility, business center and complimentary full hot American breakfast ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, Hotwire, Cancelon, Priceline, Marriott, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Fairfield Inn & Suites Hershey Chocolate Avenue reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.