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Officially known as The Sweetest Place on Earth, Hershey, Pennsylvania is the destination of choice for anyone with a sweet tooth and a taste for adrenaline. Located next door to Hershey’s Chocolate World, Hersheypark theme park is inspired by the world-famous chocolate brand and boasts 14 rollercoasters and a water park. In 2020, the venue is due to unveil a new rollercoaster set to be its longest, tallest and fastest ride to date. Hersheypark has three official resorts and a bevy of nearby accommodation options to suit all budgets. Here, we look at a handful of the best, from family resorts to romantic B&Bs — all within a 20-minute drive of the park entrance.
Best Overall: Courtyard Hershey Chocolate Avenue
Located a five-minute drive from Hersheypark, three-star Courtyard Hershey Chocolate Avenue is not the most luxurious hotel on this list, nor the cheapest or the most romantic. However, it is the top-ranked Hershey hotel on TripAdvisor, praised for its friendly staff, its cleanliness, comfort, and value. It’s also the best all-around, with spacious double rooms and suites ideal for vacationing families. All options offer premium bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi, a mini-fridge, and a coffee maker; and after a busy day, you can use the smart TV to watch a Netflix show or two.
Contemporary American restaurant The Bistro serves tasty breakfasts and dinners. Come for Starbucks coffees during the day and handcrafted cocktails in the evening. In between visits to the theme park, make time for a swim in the heated indoor pool or for a workout in the 24-hour fitness center. Facilities for corporate travelers include a flexible meeting room, and catering and event planning services, while all guests benefit from the lobby market and complimentary on-site parking.
Best Budget: White Rose Motel
With rooms starting from as little as $65, White Rose Motel is one of the cheapest hotels in Hershey and one of the best rated on TripAdvisor. Set within a lovely garden, it’s a six-minute drive from Hersheypark and offers a personalized level of service made possible by its small size. Though a bit dated in terms of decor, all 23 rooms are known for their cleanliness and come with cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and basic self-catering facilities (a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker). Families who value independence should book one of two cottages, both with a full kitchen, living room, and two separate bedrooms.
In summer, kids and adults alike will appreciate the heated outdoor swimming pool and covered, furnished porches. Laundry facilities come in handy for extended stays and although there’s no restaurant on-site, there are a number of affordable options just a short stroll away. You can choose between Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, and American, all within 15-minutes' walking distance. The White Rose Motel is independently owned and endorsed by TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence.
Best for Families: Hershey Lodge
Hershey Lodge is the most family-oriented of the Official Hersheypark Resorts. The experience starts with a dedicated Kids’ Check-In, where children are given chocolate treats and take part in a fun Hershey’s candy guessing game. Family activities range from animal encounters with ZooAmerica to chocolate bingo and Kids’ Crafts sessions; but for most children, the highlight is the Hershey’s Water Works indoor pool complex. In addition to a zero entry pool, they can explore water slides, water walks, and a sand castle spray zone.
Outside you’ll find basketball and tennis courts, and a miniature golf course. After working up an appetite, there are six restaurants to choose from including sports-themed family restaurant The Bears’ Den. Rooms and suites come in a variety of floor plans, many of which sleep four or six. Large families can find space for eight in the sprawling Bi-Level Suite. All rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, and a coffee maker. Pack & Plays are available upon request.
Best for Luxury: The Hotel Hershey
An Official Resort of Hersheypark and a Historic Hotel of America, The Hotel Hershey dates back to 1933 and is the grandest accommodation option in town. Expect flawless service and a seemingly endless list of amenities, including indoor and outdoor pool complexes and a seasonal 18-hole golf course. Children will love The Hotel Hershey’s character appearances and family s’mores roasts, and can enjoy age-appropriate sports and crafts at the Cocoa Kids’ Club. For adults, the spa is a particular highlight that specializes in chocolate-inspired treatments.
All 276 rooms and cottages boast original artwork and luxury turndown service. For a truly decadent stay, book the signature Milton Hershey or Catherine Hershey suites, both of which have two lushly decorated bedrooms in addition to a separate living room and dining area. There are six restaurants on-site. Fine dining flagship The Circular serves contemporary American cuisine overlooking the formal gardens, while the Iberian Lounge is a romantic spot for chocolate cocktails by the fireplace and live entertainment on weekends.
Best for Romance: The Londonderry Inn
The Sweetest Place on Earth is a fitting destination for a romantic break, and chocolate-loving couples can enhance the experience with a stay at The Londonderry Inn. Located a 10-minute drive from Hersheypark, the hotel is housed in a pre-Civil War building and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Each of its six bedrooms have a unique theme. Channel the romance of a colonial-era safari in the Africa room with its candle-lit Jacuzzi and gas fireplace; or surround yourselves with deep reds and golds in The William Brunner room.
All rooms have period furnishings, a cozy sitting area, and a private bathroom. For a special occasion, arrange to have chocolate covered strawberries awaiting your arrival. Breakfast is served in the elegant parlor or on the garden patio and features seasonal gourmet treats ranging from Dutch Baby pancakes to Hershey’s-inspired pastries. Coffee and tea are available around the clock and refreshments are provided every afternoon. For dinner, you have several excellent choices within a few minutes’ drive.
Best for Business: Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center
Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center is conveniently located just a 20-minute drive from Hersheypark. It’s also only 10 minutes from the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center and the offices of downtown Harrisburg. From the moment you step into the beautiful brick and glass atrium, all your needs are taken care of. Head to the 24-hour business center for printing and copying, host a corporate gala in the ballroom or use the free Wi-Fi to work on a bid at the desk in your room.
In total, the hotel offers more than 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. With a heated indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center, you can play hard, too. When you're hungry, O’Reilly’s Tap Room & Kitchen serves American favorites and Irish specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re up early or finish late, order room service instead. All rooms are spacious and can sleep up to four people. Amenities include a 42” TV, a coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator.
Best B&B: 1825 Inn Bed & Breakfast
Although it’s only a 10-minute drive away, 1825 Inn Bed & Breakfast feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of Hersheypark. Set in the tranquil environs of rural Palmyra, this historic farmhouse was built more than 190 years ago and creates a home-away-from-home atmosphere with plenty of antiques and furniture inspired by its proximity to Amish Country. TripAdvisor reviewers love it for its friendly owners and quaint feel. Although the guest rooms are individually decorated, they all boast private bathrooms, cable TV, and high-speed Wi-Fi.
Those in search of additional privacy should book one of two separate cottages. These luxurious accommodations include a dual showerhead, a fireplace, and a Jacuzzi for two. Breakfast is a sit-down, chef's choice feast, served on the peaceful enclosed porch; while snacks and beverages are available every evening. Divide your time between the parlor, the library, and the game room, or seek out special moments in the gazebo or on the double swing in the serene gardens.
Best Self-Catering: The Suites at Hershey
The ability to self-cater can be a major advantage if you’re planning a longer stay or if you’re traveling with large family groups or friends. The Suites at Hershey is a five-minute drive from Hersheypark and offers smart, spacious villas with fully equipped kitchens. Facilities include a large fridge, an oven, microwave, coffee maker, and all the crockery and cutlery you need to serve up tasty meals. Each villa has two en-suite bedrooms, a dining table, and an open-plan living room.
The communal amenities are equally impressive. Take a dip in the indoor or outdoor swimming pools, challenge the family to a game on the basketball court, or work up a sweat in the fitness center. Kids will love the outdoor playground and can play ping-pong and foosball in the game room. When the weather’s good, fire up the garden barbecue grills. The Cocoa Train observation tower provides an elevated perspective of the trains carrying sugar and cocoa beans to the Hershey factory.
Best Campground: Hershey RV & Camping Resort
If you’re camping your way through Pennsylvania, the Hershey RV & Camping Resort is the ideal base. Situated on 200 acres of idyllic farmland, it’s a 20-minute drive from the park and offers sites for tents and RVs. Motorhome owners can choose sites with 30 or 50 amp power, and decide whether they want full hookup or water and electricity only. If you like the idea of staying in a campground but don’t want to spend the night under canvas, book a rental cabin with air-con, TV, and basic catering facilities.
The campground has a wonderful community atmosphere and plenty of things to do. Cool off in the swimming pool or cast a line in the fishing lake. There are courts for basketball, volleyball, and tennis, Activities Officers host regular arts and crafts workshops, and there’s even a dedicated Children’s Program. You’ll find bathroom and shower facilities at strategic points around the camp, while the clubhouse has a range of convenient services including a store, laundry, and game room.