Aug 25, 2010

Hershey, PA is for Chocoholics

Every chocoholic knows that anything can be covered in chocolate. But how about a whole, entire month covered in chocolate? In fact during Chocolate Covered February you can literally immerse yourself in chocolate in the “Sweetest Place on Earth”– Hershey, PA. Actually, everyday is “chocolate covered” in Hershey but during February there are special chocolate events and menu offerings.

A few years ago, John and I celebrated a “Chocolate Covered” experience in Hershey starting with breakfast of kiss-shaped chocolate chip waffles topped with whipped chocolate butter. It was just the beginning of a luscious chocolate experience at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey. After enrobing we found a quite spot. Actually my husband headed to the silent no-talking room. I relaxed in a leather chair in a cozy mahogany paneled alcove of the Quiet Room with a view of the snow-covered lawns.

After a Whipped Chocolate Bath of foaming chocolate milk I headed for my secret spot – the Oasis, where I rested on the leather lounging sofa surrounded by filmy drapes. I felt like Cleopatra, the legendary Egyptian queen. I expected my toga-clad servants to arrive momentarily with grapes. That didn’t happen. Instead my spa hostess arrived to tell me it was time for my Chocolate Sugar Scrub.

I was surprised to learn of Milton S. Hershey’s connection with Cuba – hence the sugar additive in the scrub and the Spa’s offering, “The Cuban Experience.” While no longer part of the Hershey, PA family it was where Hershey acquired cane sugar plantations and constructed refineries so he would have a reliable source of sugar. He established a planned community for the workers, called Central Hershey, similar to the one in Pennsylvania including a school for orphaned children. By the end of World War II, the company found it no longer needed its Cuban sources, so the holdings were sold.

My morning spa experience ended with a Chocolate Fondue Wrap followed by lunch with John in the Oasis Restaurant, which is open only to spa guests. John had his own chocolate spa treatment that included Chocolate Hydrotherapy and Chocolate Bean Scrub. After lunch while my husband had a Hot Stone Massage, I had a Cocoa Massage.

Before dinner we had a The Hotel Hershey Chocolate Martini in the hotel’s Iberian Lounge where every specialty martini comes with a Hershey Kiss in the bottom of the drink. The hotel’s main restaurant, the Circular Dining Room, is fashioned in a circle because Mr. Hershey felt that guests who were poor tippers or less prominent were “stuck in the corner” so he created a dining room with no corners. We dined on Cocoa Seared Scallops. After dinner we returned to the Iberian Lounge for a Milton Hershey Chocolate Coffee Kiss.

The Hershey Factory Tour is great for all ages and they give out free samples. One tour begins in the tropical rain forest where cacao beans grow and follows the beans until they become the chocolates we all love. The Trolley Tour with singing trolley conductors dressed in period costumes entertain and inform on a ride through Chocolate Town, USA. There is no end to the chocolate experiences available anytime in Hershey but during February they go all out with special activities and offerings. The nice thing is that all of Hershey is family friendly. To celebrate chocolate covered February call 800-HERSHEY or check or