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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Park Inn Hotel (near Hershey PA)

We decided on a last minute trip to Hershey, PA this weekend with out little guys. When we are planning last minute getaways we always check out Roomsaver first. Do you use Roomsaver for your last minute getaway's? If not, you should check them out. We basically use them as our fist resource for any weekend/long weekend trips.

So we checked out Roomsaver for Hotel deals and found a room at the Park Inn for $49 per night. The room rate was using the Roomsave coupon and was only supposed to be applied to walk-in guests. On Friday night (we were staying in Hershey on Saturday) my husband called the hotel, to (i) ensure that they would be honoring that room price (ii) ask what the availability looked like for the following night, (iii) make sure that the indoor pool would be available during our stay and (iv) ensure that they offer cribs to guests traveling with babies. While he was on the phone with the hotel I was checking out online reviews for this hotel.

The man who answered the phone that evening was so wonderful and accomadating. He answered all of our questions told us a little bit about the rooms, the distance from Hershey and the pool and restaurant at the hotel.

After reading more reviews I had a couple of concerns with the hotel (i) it is motel style so there is only outdoor access to the rooms (ii) that meant the my children would be walking outside to get back to the room in the middle of April (still a bit cold for that) (iii) some people said that the place was a bit dated. However, with hundreds of reviews on TripAdvisor the hotel averaged a 3 1/2 to 4 star rating on the reviews and every one that I read said that they staff was friendly, helpful and accomadating, that the rooms were clean and overall the experience was good. So we decided to go for it. If we got there and the place was too bad we just wouldn't stay there. That is one of the benefits (in my opinion) of using Roomsaver for last minute rooms, since they are mostly "walk-in" rates you can see the hotel before giving them your credit card and being commited.

So we called back just to get a better feel for how booked they were and if we would have to "walk in" first thing in the morning or if he thought there would be availability if we got there later in the day. The man working at the hotel said that he would book us a room (even though we were using the "walk-in" coupon) so that we didn't feel like we had to rush to get down there in the morning. Then while they were discussing the outside walk from the pool he told us that he had already booked us in the closest room that he had to the pool (we ended up being about 4-5 doors away and were quickly back in our room warming up after the swim).

When we arrived we were quickly checked in and given a key to our room. I will be 100% honest this was not a fancy/upscale motel. From the outside it looked a bit dated and once again, since there is no indoor access to the rooms it does give it that motel type of feeling. As soon as we entered our room though, I knew that we made the right choice for the money. It was a decent size room (not big, but big enough for our family of four), the had already sent the crib up to the room so that was waiting for us. There was not one thing that I could find out of place or that was not clean...there are a lot of hotels that are much more upscale and expensive that you could not say the room was 100% to your satisfaction. It wasn't anything special, but was a nice and clean hotel room which is the most important thing for me anyway.

Everything was going fine until we were eating dinner and the power went out. First completely dark and then the emergency lights came on. I was shocked that my boys didn't flip out, but they were very well behaved. Though everyone was sort of scrambling to figure out what to do (they had a wedding there that night too) they were very accomadating. We finished our meal, in the dark (which believe me is a task with a 16 month old and a 5 year old and they offered us flashlights and glow sticks to bring back to our room with us. The glow sticks were exciting for the 5 year old so his mood completely changed from "I am a little scared of the dark" to "this is a fun adventure". We obviously could not pay since all of the computers were down so they took our room number and said that they would bill it to the room.

We returned to the room, in the dark, and using our trusty flashlight got the boys ready for bed. Of course shortly after they both feel asleep we quickly realized that we had left the TV and lights on in the room before going to dinner. Luckily, I was quick to shut everything off and they stayed asleep.

The following morning we ordered room service and when my husband asked how much they charge for a pot of coffee (not because he didn't want to pay for it, but because he wanted to make sure he wasn't going to be paying for a $10 pot of coffee) they said they would send one up at no charge. Just one more small added touch that makes you feel good about the place that you are staying. Finally when my husband was checking out they noted that he had a charge on his room for dinner and asked him how his meal was. He replied that it was very good and we enjoyed the romantic candlelight meal...he was completely joking and didn't mean anything by it. The individual checking him out promptly removed the dinner from our bill - we didn't ask them to and honestly didn't expect them to. It was a transformer issue down the street and the whole block lost power, it wasn't really there fault so we didn't expect them to "eat" the cost of our meal...but it was nice that they did.

We had a great visit to this hotel. Yes, it is dated and not the nicest looking place in the world (from the outside) but we would absolutely stay there again, especially if we get the $49 Roomsaver rate.

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