Its getting harder and harder to find a good hotel in the Lancaster PA area that isn't either too expensive for what you're getting, or not worth what you're paying. I'm not asking for a lot, a clean comfortable room where everything works and if not friendly - then at least professional-acting staff. Like most vacation spots, you need a room to sleep in, change in, and shower in and thats about it because you're planning on going places and doing things. And heaven forbid you need a hotel like this during any weekend the PA Renn Faire is doing anything - like in the case of our stay, the Celtic Fling. You know something is going on when you can walk into Walmart at 11pm and see men in kilts and women in corsets wandering around. Admittedly the hotel is a good drive from the Faire, 35-45 minutes or so. But, that drive puts you closer to Lancaster where there are tons of restaurants, shopping locations and other things to do so it still works. And if you're not heading up towards Manheim then this hotel is practically in the middle of it all, just a short hop back to route 30 and everything Lancaster has to offer awaits you.
The rooms - comfortable, roomy enough, clean. Bathroom - clean. Pool - looked nice but I didn't use it. Location - seemingly rural although closer to Route 30 then you might think at first. Some people might be nervous about the fact the front desk isn't 24 hours, but the staff was incredibly helpful when I called to check on the times because I knew I'd be staying at the Faire pretty late and then have to drive there. If you ask they can leave your room key somewhere for you. A minor quibble would be the internet service - there is indeed free Wifi available, in the lobby. Our room was about a half a dozen rooms off the lobby and we couldn't get a signal in it, which I knew was a possibility in advance. However, you can camp out in the breakfast room in perfect comfort at anytime during the day or until the lobby closes for the night. When we were there the staff offered to let me stay a few minutes extra if I needed to while she closed up, but I didn't want to cause her any bother. Something to note - the lobby sells soda's for about 25c less then most grocery stores and convenience stores. And if you have any late night internet needs while the weather is good there's a nice wicker settee outside the lobby that I took advantage of during my stay.
Breakfast - not as extensive as some places might be, but quite good with some unexpected goodies available. The Sunday morning I was there, it was towards the end of the meal and they did run out of a few things but I expect that. Two staffers were working constantly to keep things stocked, fresh and clean. They had what looked to be bread from the Bird in Hand Bakery (home-made style), bagels and other things you could toast. The usual butter, jam, cream cheese, peanut butter etc, a few types of cereal, milk, juices, various pastries. They also had make your own waffles (there's always a line for these, everywhere) with sugar-free or regular syrup, some biscuits and sausage gravy, fresh fruit, and my favorite surprise - locally made peach and strawberry yogurt.
There's also a free movie about the Amish for viewing in the lobby and a free tour available, which we didn't take due to time constraints. All in all this hotel ends up being a bargain for the price.
- Also Known As:
- Mill Stream Country Hotel Smoketown
- Mill Stream Country Hotel
- Country Inn Smoketown
- Smoketown Country Inn
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