Having retired in Central Texas, my husband and I often return to our beloved Bethlehem, PA, where we lived and were educated before moving to East Africa as a military family. High school, university, and fraternity reunions and family visits are the highlights of our "golden years," during which we fondly recall our wedding reception in the elegant ballroom of this historic hotel.
As elementary students, we toured the Moravian buildings and cemetery just across the street from the hotel, and now, when we have breakfast each morning, we enjoy a watercolor of the bell tower of the architecturally breathtaking Moravian church, where the world-famous Bach Choir sometimes performs. (And where, by the way, my dad played in the brass choir at midnight on Christmas Eve.)
This is the REAL Bethlehem, where even the cemeteries are wondrous places for historical studies. Although some hotels are, undoubtedly, less costly, the Hotel Bethlehem is invaluable and centrally located enough to facilitate access to Lehigh and Moravian Universities. Bethlehem was settled well before the country was the country, and some of the houses within walking distance of the hotel are pre-revolutionary. The home in which I grew up actually has a brass plaque announcing its historical importance, but NOT because I lived there!
Although the city now "boasts" a Sands Casino and hotel, that area is definitely NOT Bethlehem in its true sense. Still, when the industrial museum is finally constructed in the area that once was home to the Bethlehem Steel mills and the houses that sheltered its laborers of multicultural backgrounds, one will be able to drive from the historically preserved old town area of Bethlehem to the industrial educational venue and learn more about the importance of steel making in "my" hometown.
Dining is a gourmet experience at this hotel, and the decor is elegance at its best. Reserving a room during the Musikfest period in August is difficult if one waits too long, and the same caveat applies to the Christmas season, when Bethlehem is at its historical high point; however, I strongly recommend staying at the Hotel Bethlehem whenever possible.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Historic Hotel Bethlehem in downtown Bethlehem PA in the heart of the Lehigh Valley, just minutes from Allentown and Easton, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, Moravian College, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem and a 10 minute drive from the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). We are conveniently located in the heart of the historic district that surrounds our hotel in Bethlehem Embrace our beautifully decorated and newly renovated historic Bethlehem hotel. Come experience world-class service, charming guest accommodations, elegantly appointed lobby and common areas, beautiful yet efficient banquet and meeting facilities, and Award winning cuisine. We proudly continue the tradition of Bethlehem hospitality that began by the Moravians who first settled here in 1741. Come experience this hospitality at our Historic Hotel Bethlehem.Restored to its original 1922 grandeur, Historic Hotel Bethlehem's floor-to-ceiling palladium windows provide dramatic views of the historic shopping district just outside our front doors. Seven large murals were painted by George Gray in 1937 to depict the history of Bethlehem. These beautiful murals currently adorn the walls of the Mural Ballroom. One of the larger murals retells the story of how Count Zinzendorf and other early settlers named the city of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1741. This event took place in a crude cabin on the site now occupied by our Award winning hotel. ... more less
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