Traveling with Kids to Lancaster, PA: DoubleTree Resort at Willow Valley Review

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If you live anywhere in or near the Philly Burbs, you may have seen a major television ad blitz this summer for Lancaster County.  In particular, the DoubleTree Resort at Willow Valley.  Advertised as an extremely family-friendly place to stay, the commercials also boast its prime location – close to many popular Lancaster attractions.

Last month we had the opportunity to spend a night at this hotel and see for ourselves whether or not it was brag worthy.  We go on so many road trips – usually with hours upon hours in the car.  It’s always a nice change when you can trade the super long car ride for one that’s under two hours long… you arrive feeling fresh and ready to take in some sites.

We passed several notable Lancaster area attractions just minutes before pulling into the DoubleTree (Strasburg Railroad, Railroad Museum of PA and the Choo Choo Barn, to name a few!)  After a smooth check-in experience, we were each handed a WARM and DELICIOUS cookie to enjoy!

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Oh, deLISH!

Now, I want to make note of something that struck us as interesting… from the outside, the DoubleTree looks like your average hotel.  Its grounds are well-kept, the exterior is in nice shape – but there is nothing earth-shattering about the overall appearance.  Then you walk inside… to find a sweeping main lobby and lounge area.  There is a full service restaurant and if you walk a little farther past the front desk you can look over a railing into the most lovely space down on the ground floor.  When we arrived at the hotel, we noticed that the space below was set up for a wedding.  I wish that I had been able to snag a better picture than with my cheesy cell phone camera – this area was GORGEOUS.

reception space

We proceeded to our room up on the top floor and found a clean, spacious room all nice and ready for us.  We had two beds (seriously, don’t you just LOVE hotel rooms that have a gabillion pillows on each bed??), a sitting area, a desk and then the other usual amenities: television, bathroom, kitchenette (refrigerator, coffee maker) and plenty of plush towels.

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Our hotel looked like it was pretty full during the weekend we visited – what with the wedding downstairs, prime Lancaster tourism season, etc.  However it didn’t feel full.  Our room was nice and quiet – which is saying a lot because sometimes it seems like no matter where we stay, we get parties of people Zumba-ing above us at 3 am.  None of that this time – it was delightfully quiet.

The DoubleTree Resort in Lancaster offers a boatload of amenities including (but not limited to):

:: Restaurants (including room service)

:: Outdoor pool

:: Indoor pool and water playground

:: 24 hour fitness center

:: Complimentary 3 hour bus tour of Amish Country (look for our review of that tour in days to come!)

Our favorite amenity?  I guess I should say Lily Bean’s favorite, though we certainly had a great time watching her… the indoor water playground!  How amazing is this?

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There is one other highlight that I am kicking myself for failing to photograph – but it was late at night and I was beat.  We rarely order room service when traveling – we save it for special occasions because it can be so pricey.  When we returned to our hotel room that night, after a full day of touring and exploring, we were super tired.  We were a little hungry and in the mood for a tasty snack so we started to flip through the room service menu.


We got a plate of the most delicious, warm, sticky, sweet and succulent donut holes with a piping hot side of hot chocolate.  The donuts were and the staff was so sweet to put several extra packets of hot chocolate on our tray.  Talk about sweet dreams – it was the cherry on top for sure!  (Also worth noting – our total for that dessert including tip came to about $18.  Not bad for 3 people who didn’t have to leave their room!)

Check-out in the morning was painless.  We were on our way within minutes, full of new memories of Lancaster County.  So much to do and see – and it was such a treat to spend the night in such inviting accommodations.

Be sure to take a look a DoubleTree Resort’s website and see what they are up to on Facebook.

Coming later this week: Amish Country Bus Tour Review and Amish Village Review

We were provided with a complimentary stay at DoubleTree Resort in Lancaster, PA in exchange for an honest, candid review of our hotel experience.  All opinions are 100% our own.  No, I do not share my donuts with anyone.  MINE!

3 thoughts on “Traveling with Kids to Lancaster, PA: DoubleTree Resort at Willow Valley Review”

  1. We have always wanted to stay there! We looked at possibly moving into some townhouses behind the hotel, but settled elsewhere when we moved to Lancaster. Since we moved from Lancaster, we looked to stay there when we went back for a visit last year, as we are Hilton Honors members, but the price was so astronomically high we couldn’t justify it :( It was just my husband and myself for my birthday weekend. The kids stayed home with grandma. We still had fun and stayed at the Lancaster Host. I can say we were greatly disappointed :( We should have stayed at the Steamboat Inn again! It’s affordable and fun :)

  2. This is practically in our backyard and I didn’t know they had that indoor water play area there! We just took a looong trip and stayed in a not-so-great hotel. When our flight home was cancelled we found a last-minute room in a much nicer place. Makes all the difference. Yup, we love all the pillows too! Great review! Thank you!


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