Posted by: pizzainmotion | February 19, 2012

Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey

We’ve stayed at this hotel roughly 10 times over the past few years.  Because we’re only a short drive to Hershey, we visit a few times a year.  We usually book multiple rooms so various parts of the family from NY can meet us here for the kids to spend time together.  There’s really not much in the area in the way of higher end properties.  This property has always been serviceable and is fairly close to the parks.

However, things here are not really improving.  The property has been a category 3 for award redemptions since as long as I can remember.  According to this post on View From the Wing, this property will drop to a category 2 effective March 1st.  Since category 2 is about 60% of the amount of points of a category 3, this seems to be an appropriate drop.

While they’ve refreshed the rooms here over the past couple of years, the physical plant is in a poor state of repair.  In many ways, this property does the bare minimum to comply with certain elements of the SPG program.  The only area that consistently meets our expectations are the pool bar staff/room service.

On this most recent visit, I booked the rooms the night before as we were coming back from upstate NY.  I called the following morning to remind them of my request for connecting rooms and a crib.  I had made two reservations, but asked when I called if a suite was available.  On par for this property, I was told suites were not available.

Upon arrival, we were checked in quickly with our request of connecting rooms honored.  I asked about our crib and was assured it was in the room.  There were literally no more than 20 cars total in both parking lots and suites for sale on the website.  One of the new SPG benefits that starts in about 2 weeks is 10 confirmed suite nights a year for those Plats staying 50 nights a year.  Read more about that here.  While it’s unlikely I would use a suite night at this property, the ability to do so this time would have saved 7,000 points.  My hope is that this new benefit makes properties adhere to this benefit of the program more closely.  It’s pretty disappointing how bad some properties are about this, especially when the suites are sitting empty.

Once we got to the room, there was no crib.  Again, not a big surprise for this property.  It’s the 3rd time in a row they forgot the crib.  This isn’t a huge deal, but later at night when you’re trying to put your kids down, having the crib ready makes a difference.

As I said earlier, the rooms have been refreshed and are in decent shape.

The cupcakes were a nice touch.  We had a couple of granola bars with some Hershey Kisses in the second room.  Even though I was a bit annoyed about the suite and crib issues, the cupcakes put a smile on my face.  Until we tried to eat them.  I really can’t make this up.  They were rock solid.  We couldn’t push a hole through them with our finger no matter how hard we pushed.  A positive turned into a quick negative.

This was followed by brown water out of the faucet in the bath (not a systemic issue, more just old pipes is my guess).  Then, my wife tried to heat up some water for tea in the coffee maker and got brown water instead that smelled of coffee.  No pod in the machine, so assumedly someone dumped coffee into it and housekeeping just never cleaned it out.

My daughter wanted some cereal for a snack, so I walked up to the club lounge to grab a spoon.  Neither of my keys would work in the lock.  It was an hour before the lounge was supposed to close, so I’ll assume the key cards just don’t work.  It’s also possible they closed the lounge because occupancy was low.  But, nothing was mentioned at check-in.  And, my recollection is that you can still use your key to get in the lounge after hours, there’s just no fresh food out.  We’ll find out in the morning if the lounge is still closed.

Anyway, SPG motivated me to move a minimum of 25 nights a year back over to keep my Platinum status and keep working towards lifetime status.  If the new suite benefit has some teeth in it that force the properties to comply, then I might be motivated to move 50 nights over.

But, I doubt it.  Assuming I don’t need a stay credit the next time we’re in the area, I’ll probably select a new property for us.  There’s a Hilton Garden Inn closer by that looks new.  There’s also Hotel Hershey which is a bit overpriced for my taste.

The pool area here is great if you have kids.  They show movies at night during the summer for the kids to watch poolside, and they usually have a grill so you can order burgers and sandwiches.

Expect a decent room product (despite the couple of bumps and bruises we had this time) and a good place to let the kids swim.  If you come in with that as your goal, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.  Anything more is unrealistic.

 

 


Responses

  1. […] is moving up from a category 2 to 3.  Hershey is a short 2-hour drive from our house so we end up at this property 3 or 4 times a year.  I thought it was correct when it dropped to a 2 last year, and don’t agree with it being a […]


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