As a guest at the spacious 665-room Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in central Pennsylvania this spring, I experienced a couple of the “signature” body treatments at the 235-room Hotel Hershey's elegant European-style spa. The two hotels are part of a large complex of facilities (including theme park and championship golf courses) offering an array of top-tier amenities and facilities for meetings — just a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C.
Whisked into the two-story spa, I was soon gently exfoliated from neck to toes with bits of chocolate and cocoa bean husks. After a warm rinse, I was painted with “Moor mud” infused with the essence of cocoa, then wrapped in a space blanket for 20 minutes, then scrubbed and rinsed again. Beats eating a chocolate bar any day!
The Hershey food division, a sister company of Hershey Entertain and Resorts (HERCO), was up for sale until recently. Timothy Bugas, managing director of resort sales, says HERCO is moving full-speed ahead; the company now owns 72 holes of golf in five on-site courses, and there is a new Web page for meeting planners at hersheymeetings.com. “We're targeting national associations, particularly in the D.C. area,” Bugas says. “We've got the facilities and the attractions. We're affordable and accessible.” Turns out, there's a whole lot more to Hershey than candy bars.