A Sweet Weekend Getaway to The Hotel Hershey
by Christina Valhouli
Get ready for a sweet weekend. Most people who travel to Hershey, Pennsylvania, come with their families to enjoy the rides at Hersheypark, indulge in chocolate, and learn a little about the history of the town, which was founded by confectioner Milton S. Hershey. But once you’re done dangling upside down on a roller coaster, carve out some time for yourself at The Hotel Hershey’s spa.
This hotel is the most luxurious in town, and was built by Hershey in 1933. It also occupies a prime hilltop spot, with views of Hershey Gardens and the roller coasters of Hersheypark. The brick exterior is Mediterranean influenced, thanks to its green tiled roof, while the interior is traditional, with a nod to the hotel’s historic past. As you’re walking around the hotel, keep your eye out for the antique black and white photos, which show historical images of Hershey’s factory as well as the construction of the hotel.
Hershey Hotel’s spa, known as The Chocolate Spa, is huge, spreading over three floors and 40,000 feet. The decor was inspired by High Point Mansion, the home of Hershey and his wife Catherine, so the atmosphere is dark and clubby, almost like a chocolate cocoon. The relaxation lounge resembles a private library, thanks to its dark-wood paneling and fireplace.
As you’d expect, chocolate makes an appearance throughout the spa menu, as well as Cuban inspired treatments. So why the Cuba connection? Cuban mills used to supply sugar to Hershey’s chocolate factory. The Cuban treatments include an exfoliating Mojito Sugar Scrub, as well as the Noche Azul Soak, a bath treatment featuring white butterfly jasmine, hibiscus, and orange blossom.
There are 10 different chocolate treatments to choose from at the spa, such as a whipped cocoa bath, sugar scrub, and chocolate bean polish. I opted for a 60-minute chocolate fondue wrap. My treatment started with a vigorous dry brushing to exfoliate the skin and improve circulation. My therapist painted on a mixture of moor mud and chocolate, which is meant to nourish and moisturize skin. It also smelled delicious!
After the application, I was wrapped in layers of warm blankets to relax and let the chocolate work its magic, while my therapist also gave me a quick head massage. When it was done, I was rinsed off with a Vichy shower. My skin was left smooth and supple, and after inhaling cocoa smells for an hour, I was craving chocolate. Luckily the spa, like almost every establishment in Hershey, offers bowls of Hershey Kisses and other treats.
I had decided to enjoy an afternoon of chocolatey indulgence, so I followed the chocolate fondue wrap with a cocoa facial experience. My therapist used Sothys Paris products, and started off with a grapefruit extract cleanser and toner, before applying a cocoa bean peeling, exfoliating mask. As an added bonus, chocolate is believed to be an antioxidant, and cocoa butter is richly hydrating. The mask was followed by a cocoa hydrating milk, and pure cocoa butter oil was massaged into my face.
My favorite part of the facial was the application of a dark chocolate mask, by Bernard Cassiere. The mask is made from food-grade chocolate and is entirely edible, so my therapist dabbed some on my lips to let me try a sample. Like everything else in Hershey, it hit the sweet spot!