Hershey Pennsylvania - A Perfect Weekend Retreat
Disclosure: I was recently invited to visit Hershey Pennsylvania by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. Accommodations and schedule of activities were provided by HE&R. All opinions are my own.
While you might immediately think "family vacation" when you hear "Hershey Pennsylvania"... after my recent visit I am convinced it is also a perfect location to get away for a couple of days as a couple... or for a girls getaway. Having experienced what Hershey Entertainment and Resorts has to offer I can tell you I had a blast without my kids (even though I love them to pieces... I love them more after I've been away a couple of days). With the group of bloggers I was with, there were just so many things to do... and we were really able to enjoy all of the special details.
History & Attention to Detail
Our tours of Hershey, Pennsylvania had so much history and detail about Milton S. Hershey's life. I'm not a huge history buff... but bringing chocolate and history together was so interesting to me. Hearing about Hershey's travels, and relationships, and family... it brought so much depth into my understanding of what Hershey brought to chocolate, and what chocolate brought to Hershey. While my children would have enjoyed some of it... I loved having the time to really concentrate. To slowly wander the hotel looking for almost hidden details. To listen and learn about Milton and Catherine (his wife) and their love of children and how they couldn't have their own... about the school they built... about the support they offered all of their community. I left having a new found love for Milton and Catherine Hershey. I don't think that would have happened if I was with my girls.
As I look back at some of my photos I can't help but think it looks opulent... luxurious. Milton S. Hershey built the Hotel Hershey in the midst of the great depression. But he spared no expense while providing work and income during the building and construction of the hotel. He wanted it the way he wanted it. And today the staff still keep the history alive in the details (things like Hershey's wife Catherine's favorite flower being included with the yellow roses in flower displays, and the spa robes being yellow, and rose petals being used in spa treatments).
Hershey had his hand in the details... and you can still see all of that today. I absolutely loved the photographs throughout the Hotel Hershey. Photos of Hershey and his wife and friends. Photos of how the building was placed on the walls as they are today. It was so fun for me to stand in front of a photograph and be able to look around the room and make comparisons
And, um, details people. Details not everyone even notices!
The spa at The Hotel Hershey is simply to die for. We were treated to one treatment and the spa lunch. It was so amazingly relaxing. I can only imagine how the stress would melt away if I had a whole weekend to spend in the spa. We started out filling out a bit of paperwork... and then they led us off to the locker room to change into robes and slide slippers. Once we were changed they gave us a little tour on the way to the lounge where we would wait for our treatment times. As we walked past a little aromatherapy room I thought that I'd happily spend an entire day reading in that room. It smelled heavenly. Not QUITE as heavenly as my Sweet Toes Pedicure Treatment though (which included a chocolate sugar exfoliation and a chocolate foot mask). Three weeks later and my pedicure still looks perfect! I will admit I wasn't as excited about the spa lunch as I was about the spa treatment. I pictured all things healthy and "spa like". Now... while the health and spa were there at lunch... so was a spa cocktails menu (can we say bellinis and martinis?) a delicious and filling buffet, and a selections of desserts to drool over. I would be neglectful if I didn't tell you to grab a piece of the Hershey Peanut Butter Pie the minute you see it. It will run out. It did run out. It's actually available at all of the restaurants (or so we were told) AND the recipe is available!!!
All of the food we ate all weekend was amazing. I can't remember who mentioned it... but it seems that Hershey has become quite the town for foodies. The food we ate on site (at the Hershey Lodge and the Hotel Hershey) was delicious... but we were also treated to a meal at Devon's Seafood & Steak. Every single thing I tasted was perfect. I chose the Seared Georges Bank Scallops... and I have to say they melted in my mouth. My mouth is watering as I think about them again. And while we were having lunch, we were lucky enough to get a few minutes to meet Executive Chef Wesley Hellsberg. Bloggers always ask the fun questions... and I LOVED hearing about how he cooks at home with his sons. Knowing something about the chef in charge of your food creations makes it just a little special somehow.
Obviously Hershey is FULL of options for sweets. But without the kids... there was no need to share a bite of anything with anyone! Plus... there were some quite fancy sweets. I've already mentioned the peanut butter pie... and if you're in Hershey don't miss that. But honestly... every sweet treat was completely satisfying. Worth every single calorie (although as far as I'm concerned calories don't count on a day in Hershey). I stopped into the Cocoa Beanery each day to try a different coffee concoction (and iced Caramel Kiss latte was my favorite!). And the best thing? Bedtime kisses and sweet dream wishes from Milton S. Hershey. (And will no kids... the treats were all mine.)
The Hershey Bars
I'm not talking about the candy bars. I'm talking about the hotel and restaurant bars. The Hershey's Signature Drinks and Specials were all like dessert in a glass. I'm sure they wouldn't suit every taste... but for a person like me... sigh... sweet goodness with a buzz to match. I wish I had taken a photo of the drink menu at the Hershey Lodge back lobby area bar. So many yummy choices... and I can't find that list online. I also wish I had taken a photo of each of the drinks I had... because they were all so pretty. My favorite may have be a Take 5 Martini... or the Chocolate Buzz Martini. But really... I think everyone's favorite is the Hershey's Kisses Signature Chocolate Martini (the one pictured with the kiss).
Seriously an amazing all girls weekend was had. I can't thank the Hershey Entertainment and Resort staff enough. I'm trying to figure out how to plan a weekend away without the kids again soon. Hershey being only 2 1/2 hours away makes it the perfect little getaway! And while it's obviously a good family travel choice... I feel like we've uncovered a secret spot for adult only retreats!