We were coming to Bethlehem to visit the Universities in the area. We booked this hotel at the almost last minute. We then arrived during Musikfest, which was quite a shock. First off the street was jammed with people, but luckily the police pointed the way and the hotel had two staff on the street directing us into the entrance (thanks!). On entering the hotel we felt like we were on the set of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. Beautiful turn of the century lobby, complete with the 'bell hops' and the old elevators. Given the party atmosphere outside I was a bit concerned, but inside was calm, even though they had a live performer playing as well. The staff were all very pleasant and informative. Somehow despite our late booking we were given a corner suite room on the top floor which had a great view of the city and the action below. Thankfully (amazingly?), it had non of the noise. The room was very comfortable and pleasantly furnished. The bathroom was of more modern vintage. And the WiFi worked... at least in the separate suite area... bit of a stretch to the bed though. My only negative would be that the ceiling was cracked and needing a fresh coat of something...it brought down the overall feel of the room a bit, but that is really just finding fault...Keeping up with repairs in an old hotel must be a bit of a nightmare and I give full credit to the management and staff for what they have done with this grand old lady. Looking around, there were at least two function rooms off the lobby, which were quite lovely.... I can see why people have their weddings there. We had breakfast in the dining area, which was very nice... very pleasant service. I can say that I never expected to find such a property in Bethlehem. Not taking time to search, we almost stayed at a chain hotel... what a mistake that would have been. We would go back... I'd even consider a special trip if I lived relatively near-by.
On a related note, we took the opportunity to attend some of the Musikfest events and I really have to give the City full credit for their organization; crowd control; and clean-up. On the first item, there really was a lot of people and a lot of alcohol... usually this will spell disaster eventually and I saw in the newspaper that they do have some issues. That said,the crowd that I saw was friendly and just out to have a good time listening to music... either as a result, or maybe because of that, the police presence is mostly off on the side (people do not mess with mounted police), or at the end of the street, consequentially it all has a good vibe. The street in front of the hotel on that night must have attracted every teenager for a hundred miles... but kids gotta have fun too and they seemed well behaved for the most part. Amazingly, the next morning, the entire main city area was spotless... no trash, no smells, no nothing... really amazing. Well done Bethlehem! And great job Hotel Bethlehem.
- 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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