The Independent Hotel
What We Love
- Intimate: just 24 spacious rooms
- Near Philly’s best bars and restaurants
- Light breakfast, hosted wine hour and WiFi are included in the Jetsetter rate
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Philadelphia
What To Know
- Located on a bustling corner that can be loud; earplugs are provided in each room
- Parking is $20 per day
- No fitness center, though guests have access to a neighborhood gym around the corner
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
As you approach it, the Independent’s red brick Georgian Revival façade fits in perfectly with the historic row houses lining Locust Street. Inside, the structure has been stripped to the studs and completely re-engineered into a lovely 24-room inn. A second-story lobby atrium extends up to the fifth floor skylight and is dominated by a colorful three-story painting of Independence Hall by local artist Kim Senior. Off to the side there’s a small parlor space with a gas fireplace that hosts an evening wine and cheese hour.
Bed and Bath
The spacious guestrooms are charming, with wood floors, exposed brick, vaulted ceilings and plenty of natural light. King Rooms take it to the next level, adding gas fireplaces and comfy sitting areas. Dark wood desks and chairs will satisfy the business traveler, while leopard-print wool rugs add a dose of whimsy. The bathrooms are big, with a galley shower equipped with a double showerhead.
On the ground level, Little Nonna’s is the latest restaurant by Philly power couple Valerie Safran and chef Marcie Turney. This cozy Italian eatery specializes in traditional family-style faves like Sunday Gravy: a San Marzano tomato marinara served over the macaroni of the day and a platter of braised beef short rib; beef, veal and pork meatballs stuffed with fontina, fennel sausage, and pork braciole.
In the Area
Real estate agents and the official literature refer to this area as Midtown Village, but everybody else knows it as the Gayborhood, a dynamic district of renovated row houses and sceney restaurants and bars built over the last 15 years by Philly’s LGBT community. The aforementioned duo of Safran and Turney transformed South 13th Street into one of the city’s hottest dining destinations with buzzy Barbuzzo, serving such Mediterranean tapas as lima bean and preserved lemon risotto balls, caciocavallo-stuffed meatballs, and grilled branzino. Just down the street the duo have just completed a renovation of their first restaurant, a hip Mexican joint called Lolita. Stop in early, for one of the best margaritas in Philly, or late, for a satisfying selection of tacos. Chef Turney’s signature candies, Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates, are sold at the duo’s lifestyle boutique, Verde, which is also a great spot to pick up gifts for friends and family.
How to Get There
Perfect experience right in the heart of Centre City, The rooms are great and quiet, considering that you are in the heart of the neighborhood. The staff is attentive and very nice. Large ceilings give a very different feel to the rooms, and I have not had a bad room yet.
My wife and I booked a night at the Independent using the "Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package". The rate was great, plus free parking, free admission to the Museum of the American Revolution and a free ride hopper pass.
Since the Independent was in the middle of the theater district and in walking distance to Independence Hall we strolled through the historic sites and took in a play at the historic Walnut theater. Great decision since day of show tickets are half price at the box office.
We stayed on the second floor street side which probably wasn't a great idea since it was a beautiful Friday night and you can hear people outside into late in the evening.
Overall I would stay at the Independent again and the visit Philly package was a big bonus.
We stayed for two nights at The Independent. The room was large, especially for a downtown hotel. It was clean and nicely decorated. The shower was small, but the water pressure was awesome. We thought the bed was very comfortable. Yes, there is some city street noise, but it didn’t keep us awake. The breakfast delivery was right on time both mornings. It was a great way to start the day before sightseeing. I highly recommend this hotel!
Wife and I spent a week there. Marvelous staff, great but funky room. Excellent location. Nice Italian restaurant downstairs. Can't say enough good. Would stay here again in a heartbeat. Parking across street thought we didn't have a car. Walking distance to downtown. History on every block.
Unique beautiful rooms, perfect customer service. Great price value. They really went above and beyond to help our stay memorable. Would stay here every time we visit. Great location in center city too.