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Reviewed 7 August 2012

Visitors to Hersheypark looking for 4 star accommodations have a bit of a dilemma. The Hotel Hershey is the obvious choice – it’s luxurious, historic, and very close to the park. It’s also incredibly expensive. Other options near the park are only 3 stars or less and are generally pricy during the summer travel season. Harrisburg is only 15-20 minutes from the park, and while some sites list the hotels here as 4 stars, Trip Advisor has them more accurately at 3.5. Not perfect, but with more reasonable prices it seemed like out best choice.

We took our chances with Priceline (which, to its credit, only listed up to 3.5 stars in the area) and ended up at the Crowne Plaza. My first concern after researching the hotel is that we’d end up in a room with only one bed (we brought sleeping bags for the kids just in case). This is only an issue with Priceline – if you book through a regular website you can pick your room. The second thing I noticed was that parking was somewhat pricy – it’s valet only and it’s $18 per night. Given the area this is a bit overpriced but it’s a common technique to keep the list price of the rooms lower.

My first concern was allayed when we checked in. As suspected there were no rooms with two double beds available but they were able to get us into a room with a king sized bed and a pull out couch (those sleeping bags came in handy). The valet parking systems works OK; you can scan your claim ticket in the hotel lobby and watch a video monitor to see when your car arrives. Still, you’ll have to give yourself some extra time; it can take ten minutes or longer to have your car brought up (it’s probably worse when there’s an event at the hotel).

Our only major incident happened when we first tried to open the door to our room. It would unlock but not open. I headed back down to the front desk, which explained that some of the door locks work backwards – the handle needs to be pulled upwards to open the door. They said even their engineer couldn’t figure out why it worked that way. A hotel employee (I think he was a manager, and I should point out he was friendly and apologetic) came up to help us open the door, but once we knew how it worked it wasn’t difficult. The situation was handled well but there’s really no excuse to not fixing an issue like this, even if it means hiring a new engineer. At the least, there should be a list of rooms with this problem at the front desk so guests can be warned.

The room itself was OK. It was relatively large and looked new and clean (even if the decor seemed a bit generic and dated). It had a small kitchenette (sink, mini-fridge, and microwave). The bed was OK but not as comfortable or luxurious as in nicer hotels. On the downside, we found a leftover takeout container of soup in the fridge (gross), some fixtures were loose (the handle on the shower and the base on the flat panel TV) and the lighting fixture above the sink was titled a bit. None of these were terrible, but its details like this that will keep this play firmly at 3.5 stars.

An indoor pool is a welcome feature at any hotel, but here too we ran into some disappointments. The location is less than ideal – it’s surrounded by the hotel’s ballrooms. Fortunately there were no events at the time we visited but I’d rather not walk through a formal event in my swimsuit. The pool had the same shape as the one in the pictures but not the same water – it was much murkier. Not quite so bad that I wouldn’t swim in it, but certainly not the clear “see to the bottom” water in the picture either. On the plus side, there were plenty of towels left out and it wasn’t very crowded.

The lobby of the hotel was nice and service at the front desk was fast and friendly. One perk was a freezer with free ice cream bars which the kids really enjoyed, although I’m not sure if this is a regular thing.

Overall the Crowne Plaza is a good choice if you know what to expect. The staff is friendly, the rooms are (mostly) clean, and it’s not far from Hershey so it’s a good choice for families. For the price I paid I was quite happy.

Still, it seems as if it the hotel was built to be a 4 star property (and some sites still have it listed as such), and here it falls a bit short. Although the rooms seem to have been recently refreshed, the hotel will need to spend a bit more money on the next go around for higher quality bedding and fixtures to get that 4th star back. It will also need a staff that is not just friendly but obsessed with perfection. Fridges need to be cleaned out, pool water needs to be clear, fixtures need to be tightened, and door handles need to work normally. For our fun family stay these details didn’t matter much, but if these things are a big deal to you look elsewhere.

Room Tip: This hotel has a wide variety of room sizes, some with only a single queen sized bed. Make sure you book a room large enough for your needs.If you need the kitchenette that was in our room you'll probably need to call the hotel directly, as this feature isn't listed anywhere online that I can find and probably isn't standard in all the rooms.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank jtl10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CPHBGMGR, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2012

Thank you for sharing your experience! I appreciate your analysis and will strive to ensure that all of the areas you mentioned are corrected immediately. The pool is actually closed today for maintenance to rectify the cloudiness. No excuse for left over items in a refrigerator or door handle mishaps. These are trainable areas for our staff and will be rectified with urgency. The ice cream was a big hit all summer, glad you enjoyed it! Thanks again!

Safe Travels,

Stephanie Foose
General Manager

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Reviewed 4 August 2012

Jusf returned from a two night stay here, while attending a conference in Hershey. We received the Conference Rate of $99 a night and for that price it was worth it. I wouldn't stay for more than that though just because the rooms are older and small and the parking is valet only and $18 a day. The Hilton next door has a self-park option and the rooms are bigger and newer and, at regular rates, runs the same price. Also for a room this size and age, the Riverside Comfort Inn is free, self-park and much, much cheaper. That said the rooms were totally clean, the staff was excellent and friendly and the pool was awesome!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank behindeverycloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CPHBGMGR, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2012

Thanks for sharing your experience! Hope you enjoyed your conference! Glad you enjoyed the cleanliness of the Hotel and had fun in the pool! Our staff enjoyed hosting visitors to the conference in Hershey this past weekend.

Safe Travels Always!

Stephanie Foose
General Manager

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Reviewed 4 August 2012

I was assured a handicapped accessible room three times before arriving and was told at check in that none were available. I checked in for four nights. 1st room I was put in had no shower handle and hair dryer blew a fuse each time it was turned on, also was inaccessible for mobility issues. 2nd room was dirty and inaccessible for mobility issues. I asked for clean sheets and was shoved a pair of flat and fitted sheets by housekeeping to change myself. The housekeeping manager apologized, but never passed the info along. I was charged 2x for the room, as I had paid for it by priceline, then re-charged on my card.Each day I asked for the room to be cleaned and vacuumed, sheets changed and aside from changing them myself, never had it done. I did receive three new towels, but the floor had old hair elastics and food on it from someone else. When I asked to speak to the general manager, I was given the front desk manager who gave me breakfast and dinner for my "trouble". I was looking for a handicapped accessible room, which was never provided even though I asked repeatedly. Horrible experience. Horrible room. Completely inaccessible to anyone with any type of mobility issue. I am very disappointed that after 4 days I still could not speak with the general manager.

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank julie40827
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CPHBGMGR, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2012

Thank you for sharing your experience, please contact me at 717-920-1781. I truly need to better understand the challenges. I am concerned about the booking through priceline and the need for an accessible room. My understanding with Priceline is that they confirm one single bed. I am not aware that they have the ability to confirm accessible rooms. In order to help future guests that are in need of accessible rooms, I would love to speak with you to learn whether you called priceline three times to get an accessible room, or our Hotel. When a guest books an accessible room through normal reservation channels (not priceline or hotwire) specifically, they get an accessible room...that is a standard and guarantee without question. Please contact me so we can both assist future guests with special needs to get exactly what they require to enjoy their hotel experience.
Thanks,
Stephanie Foose
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2012

My husband is a PRiority Club platinum-whatever that means member - he travels 3 weeks a month all year long- so needless to say, he looks for a loyalty club hotel that treats him right, and as his wife, I also hope he is being treated right. We recently traveled with him for the weekday trips he had and I was appalled at the service he received from this Harrisburg location. I was hoping to see how his travels are during his busy work week, with long drives in between cities. I was exhausted when we got to Harrisburg, but me husband assured me he had stayed here before and it was quite nice. We were "upgraded" upon arrival, so I was very impressed, until I saw the room. Paul, our bellhop, insisted on bringing our valet up, which at first I though unnecessary, but proved invaluable - upon opening our room it was very warm. He called maintence with 3 seconds and said someone would be up to take care of this. We tipped him and were very pleasantly surprised when 2 maintenance guys showed up within 5 minutes. Here's where things got weird.

The maintenance guys deemed WE must have turned the air down to low and we were putting it to the test so to speak. We explained thT we had only been in the room for 5 minutes - we all agreed to give it another hour or so, so we went out to dinner. Prioir to leaving for dinner, we checked in at the front desk with Andrew, who to his credit, seemed genuinely concerned, and asked US to give him a chance to rectify the situation. We thought, great.

One hour later, we returned from dinner approaching the 8:00pm hour with our child in tow. Andrew the front desk person asked he if he could escort my husband to the room, which he did. They arrived In the (upgraded suite room) with the room temperature now at a 76 stuffy degrees on a 93 degree day. Andrew admitted that this was unexcetable on anyone's standards and seemed to believe if he could just get upper managents approval, we might be able to find anything that would suffice. After an hour wait, Andrew was the bearer of bad news that they did not have any other rooms available. He graciously made reservations for us at the Hilton next door and they very generously put us on the Executive Level - good move on Hilton's part, this HOtel far surpasses Crown Plaza on every level.

After this experience, I will encourage my husband to stay at Hampton, Hilton Inns and show them brand loyalty - I want my husband to be taken care of on his many, many business trips awAy from home - I should also mention my husband was nursing a terrible head cold on this trip and I would hate to think he is treated this way whilst away from home.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank kewood99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CPHBGMGR, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2012

Thanks for sharing your experience. As a Platinum Priority Club Member, your husband's travel and loyalty to the IHG brand are very much appreciated. I am so sorry that the air conditioning unit in your room was not working properly. Andrew had shared with me your experience on Monday morning, explaining how desperately he tried to get a second King Leisure Room for you as you are very Valuable Priority Club members. He was so upset when he discovered that because we were close to being sold out that all other upgrades were occupied. I know, after speaking with Andrew he wanted so much to please your family. Your kind husband was gracious when he understood the efforts Andrew made in trying to fix the AC issue. Although another upgrade was not available, I am glad Andrew assisted your family in being comfortable for the rest of the weekend next door. Glitches may occur from time to time, however, ensuring your happiness is what is important to us and what's important in life. And, please.. please take advantage of the free night at any IHG Hotel that Andrew provided on your husband's Priority Club Account. You deserve it! Glad you enjoyed Paul's hospitality. He is a great concierge!

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Reviewed 1 August 2012

My family and I stayed here on a 4 Day Tour when we first entered our room was very cold as the air conditioner was on full blast the room was clean and comfortable but the washroom was laid-out kind of strange, it had been updated, renovated and modernized but the toilet was very close to the washroom door and stuck out from the wall about 12 to 14 inches to accommodate the new washroom sink & counter top but it was well done and the washroom was also clean. The swimming pool here is fantastic we can all swim well, but be careful if you can’t swim or have small children as the pool is 3 feet deep in the shallow end and 9 feet deep in the deep end with a fairly rapid slope

Room Tip: Be careful if you can’t swim or have small children as the pool depth ranges from 3 feet in the shallow end to 9 feet deep in the deep end with a fairly rapid slope.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank GrantFamilyToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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