Travel Guide PA: Review of TRU by Hilton Lancaster East

This is my first actual hotel review. I usually just mention them in passing or give a paragraph breakdown, but since TRU is a new Hilton brand, and their Lancaster location is their newest addition, I thought it should have a full-fledged review.

Cleanliness

There are no rugs! Let me repeat that: no rugs! No rugs anywhere! I wanted to get down and kiss the floor and then kiss whoever designed the hotel. It’s about damn time that a hotel was built without the one thing (next to shoddy housekeeping) which contributes to odor and bacteria in a room. Nice, clean floors. It’s a novel idea. Cheaper and easier to maintain, and provided that people do not forget how to do their jobs, will keep rooms feeling clean for a long time. 

Location

Can’t beat it. Right on Route 30 across the street from an Applebee’s and Texas Roadhouse, and a stone’s throw from Dutch Wonderland. 20 minutes from the city and right in the middle of Amish country. Like I said a few days ago, I’ve been waiting for Hilton to come closer to the county (the Garden Inn and Double Tree are a little too far out of the way) so I can stay in Lancaster and continue to rack up points. Just beware: if you are a light sleeper, I imagine you will want a room on the back side. 30 is a busy trucking route, and traffic is nonstop.

Style

Quirky, odd, weird…in a fun way. There are bright colors and interesting design schemes. It’s very Ikea-like. It will throw you off-guard if you’re a longtime Hilton customer. The lobby is a large room that includes a circular check-in counter, and built into the counter is a marketplace for snacks and drinks. There is a breakfast station behind that, a couple of fooseball tables, and tables and chairs in a cafe-type arrangement. There are plenty of outlets for charging and sound-proof “work pods” so you can get some peace and quiet if need be. A beautiful Lancaster mural is painted on one of the walls, and the area by the elevator lists local attractions and events.

What They Got Right

A 55 inch HD TV will get the job done (and the best channel selection I’ve ever seen at any hotel). I wish I was there during hockey season. The room size is on the smaller side, so the TV stands out and blows you away. Spacious bathroom with walk-in shower. Some might complain about no bath tub, but who has time to take a bath on vacation? Light fixtures were all built into the ceiling with separate switches for the room and the lights over your bed. Speaking of the bed, I did not want to get up in the morning. It was super comfortable. Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep at hotels, especially the first night, but here, it was amazing. Great bed, great pillows.

Takes Getting Used To

The room is small. There is not much space to walk. I could not imagine a family of four moving around comfortably. Also, there are no dressers—just a long shelf that takes up almost the entire wall in the front of the room. Not a big deal since it was only two of us. But more than that? The shelves were also quite narrow. More for design than practicality. No desk (which I also end up using for blogging) and one small chair which they had in the corner of the room, rendering it useless. Also, there was a mini fridge but no microwave. If you needed to use one, there was a communal microwave down in the lobby. Lastly, there are no individual soaps, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, etc. Instead, they have dispensers mounted to the walls in the bathroom. One is by the sink, the other in the shower. This is the future of hotel amenities, folks. Think of the money and waste they will be saving. Like it or not, I’d be willing to bet that one by one, all the major hotels will go this route. I don’t like it or dislike it, but as this section is titled, it takes getting used to.

Recommendations

Put a microwave in the rooms. I hardly ever use one, but the option would be nice especially since this place is aimed at families. The lack of the ubiquitous coffee pot with coffee/tea is fine because of free coffee downstairs. Also, the free breakfast bar is not a bad idea, but having only carbs is. I’m not expecting meats and omelettes for free and at that price, but you need to give people more than oatmeal, bagels, and bread if you’re going to go hard promoting this feature. If TRU wants to be so different, how about scrapping the idea and giving people breakfast bags to go? Hilton Garden Inns do this by request. It would be a nice touch for families and people in a hurry. Imagine bringing a family to Dutch Wonderland and not having to sit down for breakfast. Just grab it and go. Only my two cents.

Final Verdict

For price, cleanliness, and comfort, no complaints whatsoever. Even with my criticism, I’d give TRU by Hilton Lancaster East a shining 4 out of 5 stars. This hotel is not for everyone. For what we needed it for, this was a more than competent lodging accommodation. Service was also very friendly and helpful. I’d stay again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s