What We Love
- Automated coded check-in
- In-room iPads with pre-loaded apps for food and grocery delivery
- One of the suites is named after local megastar, Will Smith
- Curated guidebooks, designed by an area tattoo and design company, True Hand Society
What To Know
- The hotel is the first hospitality venture for sustainable housing developers Postgreen Homes
- Each room is equipped with washer/dryers and a full kitchen
- The hotel is unstaffed
- This historic property was once a printing gallery
- Free WiFi
Tech-forward, do-it-yourself, all-suite design sleep in Philadelphia’s Historic District
If there’s a bellwether for the future of American hospitality, this hi-tech Philly game-changer comprised of atmospheric one and two-bedroom apartments within walking distance of the Liberty Bell might just be it. For starters, there’s not a receptionist, concierge, or housekeeper in sight—as part of its commitment to “invisible service,” the hotel replaces the usual front-desk formalities with inventive courtesies that anticipate your needs, like an email survey sent prior to your stay (guests are asked how they take their coffee, and why they’re visiting Philly, among other thoughtful questions), a cadre of area experts who are super accessible via phone and tablet, and techy trimmings, like Sonos music systems linked to a guests’ internet radio and Spotify accounts, in addition to Apple TVs. The loft-style interiors are equal parts Scandinavian and shabby-chic, with flea market-flavored finds and leather furniture by local craftsmen. Modern creature comforts abound, from claw-foot tubs and enormous rain showers to sumptuous bed linens by Parachute. Though the showstopper might just be the pre-loaded bar carts (curated by a Philly-based spirits company) and cocktail recipe book, which remind you that this is, indeed, your luxurious home away from home.
In the Area
If you’re going to experience Philly like both a local and a visitor, there’s no better pocket to be based in. As America’s oldest square mile, Old City, once a warren of warehouses, is now lined with edgy independent boutiques and airy outdoor cafés. Though there are plenty of touristy treats like interactive Colonial-era reenactments—in the summer months, find costumed actors strutting around Independence National Historical Park—and historic pub tours. It’s also an art lover’s mecca, with over 40 galleries, which keep their doors open late on the first Friday of every month for a set of well-attended wine-and-cheese receptions. Don’t miss brunch at Revolution House, a former 17th-century meeting house.
How to Get There
My stay at the Lokal Hotel was superb! I felt right at home. It was like I had my own apartment to relax, read, and unwind in for the night and if I chose to- entertain in as well.
So imagine an AirBnB, only you’re not renting out someone’s apartment or home. Yet, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the same offerings, including a full kitchen, in-unit laundry, and living space!
If you are looking for a place to stay with a feel that is right at home, Stay Lokal.
Lokal Hotel is a unique AirBnB style hotel in which you enter a code to get to your fully-equipped room, no check-in necessary. The room was great! It had a full kitchen and a washer and dryer, the bed was comfy, and there's an ipad to easily order food, play music, etc. on hand. Lokal managers took time to find out how I liked my coffee and had the room stocked with local brew. Even though the hotel is in a pretty busy spot in town, my room was super quiet. Highly recommend for any kind of travel.
Beautiful shower/ bathroom design.
Nice view of top of Ben Franklin Bridge at night.
Open floor plan roomy.
There was an odd pungent odor in the room when we arrived. It smells very unhealthy, like sour laundry or a wet pet. A mild allergic reaction kicked in ( and I don’t typically get allergies). Left ASAP in the morning.
I suspect this foul air issue is a known problem because there’s an “air filter” tucked behind a cart in the corner. In the middle of the night the "air filter" in the corner began beeping an alarm and the filter warning light was red. The only way to turn the alarm off to try to get some sleep was to turn off the filter.
Thin stiff mattress, more of a futon.
As advertised, this is an invisible service hotel. I sent 2 text messages but neither was replied to. To be fair perhaps I should have called but it was late and early when I sent each.
For $380 check in at the Ritz instead.
This relatively new boutique hotel has an amazing concept called invisible service- which basically means that, in many ways it feels like an upscale vacation rental and less like a traditional hotel. So, gone are the expected lobby, lobby attendants, room service etc, although those are available if you need. For someone like myself who really is no fuss, I much prefer this laid-back version of service. I can just show up to my place, key in my code and be on my way- no waiting in lobby for checking in and out and all those formalities.
I’m a sucker for detail and design- you can tell so much care and thought went into the space. I walked in and was slightly ticked off that I was only spending a night. The open layout and windows looking out to the city with the cobblestoned streets of Old City down below made it feel even that much more special.
Travel tip for those who are photo obsessed: Before I even set a bag down, I get a little picture crazy, doing my best to capture the space, frozen in perfection, before my chaotic self turns the place upside down.
Stayed in the Billy room and it was amazing. Since we are from Sweden, I rellay enjoyed the scandinavian look and feel of the room/apt. The bathroom is larger than my apartment at home! Or maybe not, but we love that you can "live as a lokal" while on vacation. Also the online services that is provided via an Ipad, Instacart for instance, is just brilliant. No need to spend time shopping in a grocery store for an hour, let somebody else do it and have it delivered to the door. The only drawback was that it was on the second floor so you will notice the street lights and the cars etc. However, since its no elevator and very narrow stairs, Im glad it wasnt on the top floor :)
Really enjoyed our two nights in Philly