Tips for Getting the Best Discounted Rates at The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge and Hershey Resorts

Tuesday, July 2, 2024
How do you get the best rates at The Hotel Hershey? Let me tell ya- The Hotel Hershey is one of my favorite places on earth. I have visited so many times, and I feel like it's my second home. Whenever someone asks me about visiting Hershey, PA or Hersheypark, it's one of the first places I recommend staying. But I know what you're thinking- it ain't cheap! No, it's not. But I do have some tips and suggestions for getting better rates at The Hotel Hershey (or any of the Hershey Resorts), as well as tips to help you plan. So read on!

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I am an alumni of the Hershey Sweetest Families Panel but all thoughts and opinions here are my own and I was not compensated for sharing this with you. 

Be sure to Pin this post for future use! I design my articles as reference points. I hope you come back to them again and again.


"Is staying at a Hershey Resort worth the money?"

I get this question a lot, and my answer is this: it depends. But usually, yes. Believe me, I know staying at The Hotel Hershey (or Hershey Lodge) is not cheap. And full disclosure, there are other places you can stay within the town of Hershey (or close to it) that have less expensive rates. BUT I really and truly love the entire Hershey resort experience, especially if you are visiting for the first time. If you want a full, immersive 'Hershey experience,' then I definitely recommend staying at one of the Hershey properties (Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hersheypark Campgrounds). But what do I mean by the 'Hershey Experience?' This:

-Shuttle service to/from Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens and Hershey's Chocolate World
-Hersheypark Sweet Start (enter an hour before park opening with your paid park tickets)
-Hersheypark Preview (up to 3 hours free park preview time with your paid Hersheypark tickets)
-Character meet and greets on resort property
-Free chocolate bars at check-in
-Hershey-themed resort activities (like chocolate bingo, s'mores nights, and 'Cocoa Clubhouse' for kids)
-Hershey gift shops on site
-Hershey signature cocktails, desserts and even Hershey-inspired meals at resort's dining options
-Hershey spa services (added fee, of course)
-Signature bath amenities from The Spa (the chocolate soaps are awesome)
-Hershey-themed/Twizzlers indoor pool area at Hershey Lodge
-You can see a full list of Hotel Hershey resort benefits here.

The Hotel Hershey has a beautiful indoor pool (and you can even book rooms that open right into the indoor pool area) and a gorgeous outdoor pool with zero entry, fountains, a huge slide, and even an additional adults-only pool). Hershey Lodge has an exclusive indoor Waterworks area themed with your favorite Hershey candies. Of course the resorts have other amenities and offerings but the pools are always the biggest draw. 

So that's basically what I mean, in a nutshell (a chocolate-covered nutshell!). It's a whole experience, and you get what you pay for. I also did some calculating for you, and here is what you're saving for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids ages 3-12). This is just an estimation as of the publication date of this blog entry.

Good to Note at Hershey Resorts:

-No fees for self-parking 

-No hidden resort fees

-Also figure in the value of your Hersheypark Sweet Start if you purchase Hersheypark tickets. This allows resort guests (and certain levels of season pass holders) to enter Hersheypark an hour before opening, as well as a Park Preview, which allows you 3 free hours of park preview time along with your paid park tickets. (*Sweet Start is only available during certain seasons- check the HP website for details)

And finally, if you don't care much about where you stay and you're more concerned about your adventures in Hersheypark, then by all means, look elsewhere, because maybe you won't be spending much time at your hotel anyway and you really don't care. But think about it, if you find another hotel that is $150-$200 cheaper than the Hershey Resorts, remember my breakdown above. 

Tips for Getting the Best Hershey Resort Rates

Okay, so first, let it be known that I'm not a travel agent and I don't work for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, so the info I'm sharing with you here has been gathered through my own experience. I'm also not a magician- I can't predict what the rates will be for you. I can't control them. Maybe not all of these tips will work for you, but hopefully something will resonate and encourage you to take a chance on this beautiful resort.  So without further ado, here are some of my tips for getting the best rates at Hotel Hershey (and other Hershey resorts, too).

First, Understand Hershey Resort Affordability

There are three official Hershey resort properties: The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge and Hersheypark Camping Resort. Hershey Lodge is a little more affordable than Hotel Hershey. You can usually save about $100 between the two, but know that Hotel Hershey has a larger and nicer outdoor pool complex, and is a bit closer to the park itself so the shuttle ride is shorter. You can also walk to Hershey Gardens from The Hotel Hershey. Some people love the upscale, older feel of The Hotel Hershey, while others prefer the more laidback 'motor lodge' style of Hershey Lodge. Both are kid-friendly. Both are fun. If you're looking to save even more, check out Hersheypark Camping Resort, where you can rent cabins or camping space. But plan accordingly because those book up quickly, especially in the summer. You can read my comparison reviews (because I've stayed in them all) here

The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Deluxe Cabin at Hersheypark Camping Resort

Stay Off-Season

I can hear your collective gripes already, but listen! Staying off-season (when Hersheypark isn't open) could save you hundreds of dollars. Keep in mind that Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story Museum, ZooAmerica and Chocolate World are open year-round, so there is still plenty to do in the area. The Hotel Hershey has a beautiful indoor pool and Hershey Lodge has indoor Hershey Waterworks, so off-season stays are still pretty amazing. Less expensive months to look into: January through March, September through early October, Mid-November.

Check for Concerts or Events

Check the Hershey events calendar. If there is a big event going on, such as a local convention/show, big-ticket concert (i.e. Lady Gaga, Guns n' Roses, etc.) then those nights are usually going to cost more. I always check the concert schedules particularly to make sure I'm not scheduling my stay during a big performance (unless I'm attending said performance, of course!). In my opinion, Hersheypark also tends to be more crowded on those days/nights that they have big events or concerts. I don't know if the Hershey Resort officials would deny this, but it has always seemed to be true in my experience.

Stay Mid-Week

Some months at Hotel Hershey and Hershey Lodge require a two (or even three) night stay. Staying midweek will DEFINITELY save you some bucks as opposed to staying on a weekend. It will save you even more if it's off-season. Staying during the week in the summer would not only be better for your wallet, but you'll avoid some of the bigger weekend crowds at Hersheypark, too. Remember that you get park preview times with your paid Hersheypark tickets, too. Resort guests can go to the park (with their paid tickets) the day before their actual park visit for up to three hours. So you can go to the park for a few hours one evening, then a full visit the next day (it's like you get two visits from one ticket, IMO). This was great when our son was very young because he couldn't handle a lengthy park visit without getting tired or cranky. It was nice to split the park visit up into two consecutive trips and only have to pay one park price. 

Here's a suggested stay if you can't do an early week visit but you still want to avoid the more expensive weekend rates:
Stay Thursday to Saturday. Thursday and Friday could be your days to visit Chocolate World, swim in the pool, shop, or make use of your Hershey Gardens and Museum tickets. Then visit Hersheypark Friday night for your Park Preview and then all day Saturday for your regular park visit, leaving for home after your Saturday visit. Even though you're checking out of the hotel on Saturday, you can still use the hotel shuttles and get your Sweet Start hours in. 

Take Advantage of Savings Packages

Some of the packages that The Hotel Hershey (and Hershey Lodge) offers are really good. Some include breakfast, some include park tickets. Get out your calculator and price out what you'll be saving. Breakfast at Hotel Hershey is expensive! I only ordered a chocolate chip muffin at their quick service cafe during my last visit and it was $6.00. It was a good muffin, though. 

Sign Up for Their Email Newsletter 

This is a no-brainer, I know, but once you sign up for the resort newsletters, be on the lookout for their 'best rates of summer' or the package deals that they run before their big seasons start (Hersheypark's seasons are Hersheypark Halloween (select days in October), Christmas (select days in November/December), Spring (select weekends in April and May) and the Summer season (end of May through beginning of September, daily). Rooms actually book up quickly when there are decent rates, so grab them when you see them. 

Don't Eat at The Hotel

Okay, this is pushing it, I know, because it's sure hard to pass up the delicious offerings at The Hotel Hershey and Hershey Lodge. But by looking for less expensive meal options, you could be saving your family a lot of money. Bring dry cereals for breakfast, eat sandwiches locally for lunch, or eat at the park (which isn't always that much cheaper, though, TBH!). Some of our favorite local Hershey, PA eateries include:
-Fenicci's of Hershey 
-The Chocolatier (although this isn't necessarily "cheaper")
-The Hershey Pantry (great for breakfast)

Split the Cost

If you're looking for a different kind of experience, check out The Hotel Hershey Woodside Cottages. These cottages are set away from the hotel (but within walking distance to all amenities). They are larger than the standard rooms in the hotel, and even have a little porch for you to sit on. Bring along other family members and you can split the cost if you share a room (a standard cottage room sleeps 4 but you do have a nice amount of space). Renting an entire cottage means you could have 4 or 6 bedrooms and sleep way more people, splitting the cost between you. You'd need to call to make this reservation and I suggest planning this well in advance because the cottages book up quickly. And NO this isn't cheap either but at least you can share the cost. You can do the same thing at Hersheypark Camping Resort. Booking a deluxe cabin is something you can split between family members for sure. 

Call Direct

If you're trying to search Kayak, Expedia, Priceline or any of the sites that normally offer hotel discounts, you're not going to find much for the Hershey Resorts. You have to call direct to talk to a Hershey reservation specialist if you want to discuss rate options. Have several dates handy of when you'd like to visit. You can book online, too, of course, but if you hoped to speak to someone about your dates, calling direct is the obvious choice. And be patient because they field a lot of calls and sometimes (especially before popular seasons like summer), you might be on hold for a while.

If you have questions about staying in Hershey, please feel free to ask me in the comments (I pre-approve comments due to spam, so it might take me a day or two to post 'em once you ask, but I'll get to them, don't worry!).  

Quick Links

Just so you can see how many years we have been visiting The Hotel Hershey. Time flies! 

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