Bethlehem Travel Guide
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The Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is finally getting a hotel for its weary gamblers. The Sands Hotel at the Sands Casino Resort will have 300 guestrooms, 16 executive suites and not one, not two but six presidential suites.
Like its glitzy Vegas cousins (The Venetian and The Palazzo), The Sands Hotel will have an Emeril Lagasse restaurant (supposedly a new Italian concept from the chef) and guests will have access to the multiple bars and lounges in the casino.
But unlike its greedy Vegas cousins, the Sands Hotel will have free WiFi. Free. We know, it's hard to believe our good fortune this week. First, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, now The Sands Hotel in um, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
We always love a good hotel ghost story here at HotelChatter so on this cold day, kick back and get spooked.
Four ghosts have reportedly taken up residence at the historic Hotel Bethlehem but instead of conducting exorcisms or ghost evictions, the hotel has embraced these "guests" by offering up a special hotel room that's supposed to witness all the paranormal activity.
So who's haunting this place? The most well-known guest during the days of the Eagle Hotel, Hotel Bethlehem's predecessor, was May Yohe. The actress/singer was born in the hotel, which her grandpa owned, in April 1866. As a child, Yohe would sing and dance for guests in the lobby.
Even though she ended up performing in Europe in her later life and subsequently married and left Lord Francis Clinton (the owner of the Hope Diamond), Yohe was supposedly most happiest in life at The Eagle. So she may have chose to return there in the afterlife as people say they hear her singing in the lobby.
And randomly, she's been seen chilling in the exercise room. Ghosts need to work on their fitness, who knew?
Yesterday's holiday filled up more than just hotels in big cities like New York and Paris, but also guaranteed a sea of tourists to religious destinations like Bethlehem, the hub of Christmas. Since a tense peace exists in the area, Bethlehem has taken in record numbers of both pilgrims (some 1.3 million) and their cash this past week.
As a result, hotels in the town have been overflowing, forcing even those under renovation to open specifically for the holidays. While Bethlehem businesses hope that the peace holds in the name of more than just souvenir dollars, it seems like they'll be getting that wish no matter what. According to the Christian Science Monitor, hotel chains Mövenpick and Days Inn will be moving in while "in the Beit Sahour suburb of Bethlehem, hammers can be heard from hotel construction just up the road from Shepherds' Field, the hillside believed to be the site from where the biblical Star of Bethlehem was sighted."
While it's always weird to hear that your average, run-of-the-mill chain hotels are being built at exotic locations, it is an altogether different matter when you're able to Twitter about checking into the Days Inn Bethlehem. The era of sleeping in a manger is now officially over.
Travel writer Tom Brosnahan has stayed in some nasty hotels.
Collateral damage when you write guide books about bargain hotels right?
He has stayed in a caravanserai in Turkey where the mattress was filled with straw, and a Guatemalan mountain hotel where one very loud rooster kept him awake, however, the worst hotel he ever laid eyes on was the good old American Hotel Bethlehem PA in the U.S.
The clerk showed me a room. It was awful! I tried to tell myself that I'd seen worse, but I hadn't. Besides being a wreck, the room's door didn't lock, and the bed was a bare, stained mattress. The temperature outside was well below freezing, and the radiator in the room wasn't even lukewarm. When I asked for blankets, the desk clerk said "Most of the guys here bring their own," which was not helpful. I badgered him into handing me a stack of 15 clean sheets.
Thankfully for all of us, the American Hotel is long since closed, but as y'all constantly tell us, there are some nasty hotels out there.