Experiences like these keep me mindful of how lucky I am.
When: November 2009
Where: Chocolate Spa at The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Pennsylvania
Why I wanted to do this: I saw it on the Travel Channel- I am obviously easily persuaded by the Travel Channel. I decided to ask my Aunt to accompany me as she not only is as in love with chocolate as am I, but she is a person who appreciates all things lavish as well. We decided to go for her birthday, as I always like to add it is most important to chose the perfect partner when going on your adventures and I did this time! It would not have been the same with anyone else.
Cost: Room Rate $300/night.....cocoa bath $45
How I paid for it: The advantage of going with someone is that you can split the cost of the room which we did so it doesn't seem as staggering to shell out $150 for a hotel room but I'm not gonna lie I did put everything else on credit cards. It was pricey but the ambiance, grandeur and memories easily were worth ever penny.
What I would do differently: I would very much so like to return to the hotel and spa and here’s how I would like it play out. I’d stay for 3 nights and get every single chocolate spa treatment available to me. I would also bring little bottles of booze to put in the pocket of my robe so that I could be so totally relaxed in between treatments. Having all the cocoa treatments would be approx 4 treatments each day, which would pretty much take up my whole day. I would then go back to my room, put on the robe hanging in my closet. A robe that is softer than any other robe in the world. After that I would spend the rest of the evening sitting on the most comfortable bed, order a pizza or maybe Chinese and watch movies all night. Every room is equipped with a DVD player and a large plasma TV. The room is so exquisite and homey feeling, why leave! Of course before I even checked in I would purchase a few Hershey’s scented candles from the gift shop downstairs so my room would smell like chocolate the whole evening. In the mornings I might go to the circular dining room for a fancy breakfast....oh how I love a fancy breakfast.
Will I go again? I hope I have the extraordinary pleasure of being a pampered guest once again at this hotel-it is luxury in its finest hour.
Something I would recommend? YES YES YES! It is imperative that you do not visit the Hotel Hershey with a diabetic, a cheapskate, someone with ADD, a bachelor looking for love, a young girl celebrating her 21st birthday or a person who does not appreciate the finer things in life. This is a four star resort and a place to come and simply relax. I would also like it to be known that if I am ever in a terminal state, I would like to spend some of my final days here.
Was it life changing? OF COURSE! Indulging in the finer things in life, especially when you are not a wealthy person is even more of a treat and becomes that much more special.
My review of the rooms: They are beautifully decorated, the beds are astonishingly comfortable, you are equipped with plush robes and plenty of chocolate, the bathrooms are charming-all around you get your moneys worth and then some.
My review of the town: As far as the town itself goes, I think a must see for every visitor is the main street that is lined with street lights that look like Hershey kisses. It’s cute and you can get some good photos. We went into the town to visit the Hershey Story and unless you intend to write your doctoral thesis on the life of Milton Hershey you need not waste your time and money. Chocolate World is the place to go. This is the place to buy reasonably priced souvenirs and you can take a free tour to see how chocolate is made.
My review of the spa- The hotel's most notable attribute is the spa where you can indulge in chocolate treatments- would you expect anything less? We chose the cocoa whipped bath and I have to say that I was disappointed as I expected to actually sit in a tub filled with melted chocolate, which is what I thought I remembered being advertised on the travel channel, but maybe it was just wishful thinking. So although I did not bask in the thick liquid the soak was delightful. Firstly, you walk into the very posh ladies locker room, with painted ceilings and dark wooden lockers and you are given a surprisingly comfortable robe and slippers, then your hostess escorts you to your bath. It’s a private room with an oversizedoversized overly comfortable leather chairs. There was a spread of coffee, teas, thick hot cocoa, muffins, and fruit. We sat by the fireplace and talked and then relocated to the chairs next to the window over looking the gardens and fountains, I couldn’t stop thinking what a magical place this would be for a wedding. So in the end the price was absolutely worth it because it wasn't just a 20 minute bath, it was 3 hours of relaxation.
My review of the hotel: The hotel itself is beautiful, everything from the carpet to the walls to the ceiling is uniquely decorated and intricately detailed. We did visit in late November so it was spectacular to see it decorated for Christmas although you do miss out on seeing the lovely gardens and flowers which do look so pretty in all the pictures I've seen. There is chocolate everywhere-overflowing blows of assorted Hershey chocolates which you are able to help your self to. You need not purchase any chocolate while on this trip- it will be in every hallway, on your pillow and handed to you at every doorway, suffice to say, it is the greatest place in the universe.
My review of the restaurants: The first meal we had was at the new Harvest dining room. I think the best thing this restaurant has to offer was the walk there as it is not connected to the hotel so in order to get there you must walk through the garden and my favorite part…down the winding limestone staircase. Neither the food, the atmosphere nor the view was impressive I am sorry to say. With that being said, I am no one to listen when it concerns fine cuisine. I am rigidly biased when it comes to my meats and that night- I knew better. I should have stuck with chicken-how can such a tiny creature generate so much flavor? What was I thinking ordering the ribs? Who the hell did I think I was? I was on vacation and thought I’d get fancy but I know better than that. It’s not often that I falter from my feathered friend but when I do it consistently serves as a reminder that where I may have an adventurous spirit, my taste buds are stuck in a rut, a delicious rut that works perfectly in any meal. According to my McDonalds quality palate I had similar feelings about the meal in the circular dining room. However, if you are like me and mainly concerned with ambiance, it really doesn’t matter what the food taste like here, its grandeur trumps your repas. The ceiling is a stunning mural and if you look closely you will see that each division tells a different story. The windows are all stained glass and over look the garden. When you are seated the hostess pulls out your chair and then pushes it in when after you have sat down, then she places the cloth napkin on your lap. The place setting was a lovely china, you are given sugar cubes to put in your coffee. And every table is given small glass jars of assorted jams and miniature glass bottles of ketchup. To me those things make the meal special. I wish I could be charmed every morning with a set up like this. I would say that this is my favorite restaurant in the world.