Travel Review - Red Lion Inn, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Spring 2018 Convention
What a difference a few months make in accommodations. I was disappointed in my last stay because some of the amenities that I had come to expect from the hotel were not longer offered.
My room no longer had a coffee maker in it. When I asked the clerk in the lobby said he puts the free coffee out in the restaurant area around 4 am. As I explained to him, my day starts at 3 am. The next morning the same clerk told me he had put it out early because I had said I was up at that time. I thanked him but I prefer to not have to shower and dress so that I can walk the halls for a cup of coffee.
The breakfast buffet was excellent but on Sunday when we were preparing to leave I noticed that several of their pastry and muffin selections were missing from the buffet.
I'm sorry to say I can't say the same for the dinners. My pork dinner on Thursday was just adequate but the prime rib on Friday night was a disaster. I know prime rib is a fatty cut of meat but my friend next to me barely had scraps of meat on his piece. My cut had a lot more meat and I shared half of mine with him. Saturday's banquet was better even though the filet mignon was dry. The baked potatoes made up for what the filet left lacking because I love baked potatoes.
The staff as always was very friendly and accommodating as they can be with the cut backs in what we have been expecting. Just a thought, "Less is not more when you are serving the public." I hope this addition to my review brings back some of the accommodations for the Fall 2018 convention.
Fall 2017 Convention
The Fall Convention of the Pennsylvania Elks State Association is always a favorite of mine because we normally travel East which takes us through the best foliage scenery that Fall can offer.
We have been staying at a familiar hotel which was the old Holiday Inn East in Harrisburg. It is close to the airport and very convenient for travel for our national president who always makes his official visit at our Fall Conventions.
The Hotel is now a Red Lion Inn and the accommodations in my personal experience better than average because they were not only comfortable but affordable.
Red Lion Inn Review
From the moment we arrived until we left the Red Lion Inn, I felt as if the staff was there just to serve me and my needs.
The first time we stayed here my room was not ready at noon when we arrived. Check-in time is 4 PM. The staff informed my traveling partner that her room was reserved with easy access to the convention due to their disability and that it would be at least an hour before it was ready because the people had just checked out at 11 am.
I then inquired about my room having been reserved since I had also requested easy access to the convention amenities and had made my reservation over a month prior to arrival. That was my only disappointment because somehow my request had not reached the reservation desk and they did not have an accessible room reserved. Not to worry! The desk clerk went to work on the computer and found me a room that was the first room off the elevator on the fifth floor. It wasn't a problem that I too had to wait to register since I then knew I had an accessible room.
We were told to keep checking back to see if our rooms were ready. My traveling companions' room was ready when we came out of our 3:30 meeting and we got our luggage out of the car. I was then given a choice of the room I was waiting for or taking one that was about 5 doors down the hall from the elevators. That was an easy decision, I was going to wait for room #1. It was around 4:15 when my room was finally ready and I asked for bellman service since my energy was already going down fast.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amenities in my room. I not only had a king size bed, but I had what appeared to be a suite with a living room area with TV, my desk area with WIFI accessibility, a king bed and another sitting area on the other side of the bed. The bathroom was a bit small but it was equipped with handicapped equipment which I now need in my senior years.
Upon checking out I found out that my room was what you would call a Jr. King Suite. I had been upgraded due to the mistake in my reservation. Now that was very kind of them for sure and not at all a requirement for them to do.
I have been requesting this room for the past 3 conventions that I attended. Unfortunately for me, I could not go last October and someone else requested the room to which I had become accustomed. I was moved down one room to 502 but it was not a problem because it was the reverse of the room I had been used to saying in and only one extra door away from the elevator. All was well with the world of accessibility to the convention.
For personal reasons, I only stayed Thursday and Friday nights and had to travel home Saturday afternoon after the business sessions were completed. I requested late check-out and was not charged for the accommodation. Kudos to the staff at Red Lion Inn.
Food and Food Service
Our convention package included dinner and breakfast tickets. We were able to eat breakfast from the buffet in the restaurant that is situated right off the lobby area. What is great about their buffet is that you can special order your eggs if you prefer an over easy instead of the scrambled that are on the buffet at no additional cost. Again, the staff is very accommodating and service is excellent.
The dinners were both served banquet style and we were seated at round tables. Thursday evening there are two separate dinners. The delegates were served in the Capitol Ballroom and we had a choice of Baked Chicken or Prime Rib. Friday, we were served either a Pork Chop with an apple glaze or Salmon. The food was served hot but cooked with a little more herbs than I use at home. That's a personal preference and I'm sure others thought it was just perfect. The only down to the menu was the red potatoes were hard the first night but there was enough food on the plate to just leave them. The same potatoes were served the second night and they were perfect. The vegetable was a spring medley of asparagus, squash and zuchini slices. Everything was tender but not mushey.