I know right? It should seem pretty obvious that we are NOT some computer program or impersonal website. We post pics of ourselves on social media and even on our website. Clients send rave reviews talking about our personal touch and experience. You can even hear our voices on the good ole telephone. All of that should prove we are real people. But yet a few people reach out to us and expect us to match something they found on some online site. That expectation is actually equating what we do to some computerized trip quoting site thereby negating the fact that we are real people offering real advice and travel options that are usually 100% crafted to the client's personal preferences and travel style.
So because there are still a few out there that really do not get what we do, I thought I would write a short post highlighting one personal trip that gives insight to the benefits of using our experience and knowledge when planning your next vacation.
We, here at H&K Luxury Travel, feel that we have the globe fairly covered. One or more of us have been to various places in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas, Hawaii, Bermuda, etc. So when we plan trips to places around the world, we try to pick those destinations that further expand our destination and hotel experience. Sometimes the destination is chosen based on the need to expand our knowledge of a particular travel style such as adventure or romance or family-friendly etc. Such was the case with a recent trip taken to Hershey Pennsylvania. We know the popular areas that families love down in Florida and even outside the borders of the US. But we often are looking outside the norm to see if we can find that special destination that some families may not even be thinking of or know anything about.
So we headed over to Hershey to see what we could learn. First big question we needed to answer; is The Hotel Hershey truly a luxury, family-friendly option for the segment of the market that we often cater to? So we planned our two night stay for the sole purpose of answering that one question.
After we pick the destination and the accommodations, we then go there with a very discerning eye. How was the arrival? What were our first impressions? Did the staff greet us with a smile? Valet parking available? How easy was check in? Were the perks promised to myself and our clientele delivered and explained? Did the bell staff deliver when it comes to friendliness and promptness?
So in this case, first impressions of the Hotel Hershey were great! As soon as we pulled up, we were greeted warmly and escorted inside to the front desk. Check in was quick and efficient. Perks were explained and presented. Bell staff came quickly with our bags and escorted us to our room. Questions were answered well and tidbits were offered by the extremely nice bell person.
The next step is to thoroughly check out the room. We were in a standard deluxe king. This being the entry level room at this hotel, we like to make sure it still meets luxury standards. Its more than just being clean. Motels can be clean. A luxury hotel room should be very comfortable and offer all the amenities. In this case, the room had a huge and VERY comfy king size bed with beautiful linens that fit the history of the hotel. There was a nice sized writing desk, plenty of outlets for charging devices, another nice sitting chair and reading lamp, a sitting bench, large closet with robes, a mini fridge, lots of drawers and storage and a very nice sized LCD TV with an abundance of cable channels as well as informational channels explaining the history of the hotel and Milton Hershey's vision. Being that this hotel was built in 1933, we knew the bathroom was not going to be the same size as more modern hotels, but it was still clean and comfortable and supplied with some amazing chocolate bath amenities.
Then, after check in, we tend to venture out and check out the public spaces. How many restaurants, bars, pool(s), public sitting areas and shopping? How big is the property? Will room location make a big difference for our clients?
And here was our synopsis. This property is large, but everything is centrally located in the center of the resort with the rooms spread out between two wings that extend off of the main lobby area. So location is not a huge factor. But what we also immediately noticed...this resort was absolutely gorgeous. The grounds and common areas were so well kept and preserved considering the historic nature of this hotel. There were so many areas for guests to gather both inside in lobby areas as well as outside in areas where there were fire pits, tables with umbrellas etc. We noticed several folks enjoying a cocktail while their kids were enjoying the open areas outside to play.
Then there was the pool. Families tend to rate a resort either good or bad based on the pool. This resort would get an "A" due to the fact that it has what we would call a full service pool. Lots of very nice pool chairs, tables with umbrellas, a large waterslide, cabanas for rent and full bar and food service. That is what is expected at a luxury family resort. There needs to be something for both child and parent. Kids can enjoy the water features while mom and dad enjoy some rest and a nice vacation beverage. In addition to the pool, the pool area had a very nice kids club, an additional bar and restaurant, a game room, a putting green and even an outdoor patio space with ping pong tables, corn hole games and other game tables. The area was also used each evening for family games hosted by hotel staff.
The eating venues were plentiful as well. You had a choice between the more casual dining option called Harvest out by the pool as well as an upscale Italian restaurant called Trevi 5 and a more formal dining venue called The Circular, which was also the buffet breakfast option each morning. In addition, you had the Iberian Lounge that had an amazing whiskey and bourbon menu and also a great dining menu. The setting was classic dark woods and a huge fireplace again appealing to the adults who need a break occasionally as well.
And the eating and snacking options did not end there. For the coffee drinkers, their Cocoa Beanery offered gourmet coffees and fresh baked tasty treats. And adjacent to that was an incredible cupcake shop.
You will not go hungry nor will you be searching for anything sweet. It's Hershey...there were LOTS of sweet treats.
Service in all of the venues was top notch as was the food quality. Everything met the luxury standard.
So the last aspect that really sets a luxury resort apart from just a mid-level hotel is...shopping. A lot of hotels that are 4 star or lower have some form of gift shop or area where you can buy necessities that you may have left back at home. But luxury resorts take shopping to a different level. There was the spa shop featuring unique items only found at Hershey. Then you had two different gift shops with home items, souvenirs, and very unique gifts made especially for the hotel. And in addition they had a fine jewelry shop and an upscale women's boutique.
So with the food, the entertainment, the shopping and the full service and very famous spa, you have a true luxury destination resort. And our personal experience now allows us to give this resort our full endorsement to our clientele.
And this is what we do. We visit places in person. We inspect. We eat there. We visit the shops. We grade the service. We take lots and lots of pictures so we can show our clients what they should expect. We talk to staff and get to know the staff so our clients will be very well received and taken care of. And rarely is any of this paid or comped by the hotel. We pay out of our own pocket so we can truly judge a property and remain as unbiased as possible. We are not "social media influencers" asking for freebies.
And everything we can do for our clients, a gnome or website cannot do. No matter how sophisticated and high tech our society becomes, nothing can replace that personal experience and touch. So when you reach out to us or any travel planning professional, please understand how hard we work to make sure we can always offer you the best vacation option that matches your vacation wants and desires.