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
The staff was outstanding-Michael, Latifah & another young man. a
Loacation was great because I needed to be near The Convention Center.
It was about a 20 minute walk. So many terrific Pizza Places around.
Stopped by The Ritz-Carlton for a drink-Magnificent & worth the extra expense
The Continental Breakfast was excellent at The Independent. Will certainly stay there again.
Thank you Staff,
I checked in on a rainy, wintry night and was calmly and appropriately greeted by Michael Sulley - nothing over the top, professional and welcoming. He efficiently checked me in and could not have been more accommodating. There's no restaurant but two on either side for convenience. The hotel has character in its decor and vibe, and this is personified by the expert staff. Thank you for a great business night's stay -- out of the ordinary, comfortable and accommodating -- a nice respite from the larger brand hotels. Thank you, Michael! Hope to be back.
Staff is friendly and receptive to feedback. Clean bathroom and room. However window sills and corners are dirty. I brought it up to management. They were nice enough to come to the room and view concerns. Acknowledged they would address the situation as it goes against their housekeeping standards. I appreciated the time. Morning breakfast is very good. However, you hear the person delivering to every room on floor. Room was quiet other than that. Elevator access on ground level to second floor front desk. A little weary with no security from outside door. Great location and safe area.
So this story starts out very simple and grows progressively aggrevating but ill do my best to keep it clear and concise.
The day of my “supposed” arrival I call the hotel at 330 explaining that I am running late. I spoke to Latifa or Latisha (honestly was a bit hard to hear her name clearly) told me that it wouldnt be a problem and that we would see them soon. Now im excited, I love philly, LOVE the nightlife and booked what I thought was a great hotel.
Now here are where things go downhill...
TEN MINUTES before I arrive to the hotel I am called from
Booking.com that my reservation has been cancelled.
So I call the hotel to ensure it wasnt a scam.
The hotel tells me that there was a pipe that burst and that my room is now no longer available due to water damage.
Now I had booked two rooms because I was traveling with a few friends. I ask (Lets just say her name was Latifa, bc I never got the name down correctly) Latifa if both rooms were damaged. She says both rooms were damaged and that booking.com will find me suitable accommodations for the night. So now im sitting in my car in the middle of philly waiting for a call, so instead I decided to call a hotel I previously stayed at and luckily they had rooms available so I booked two rooms told booking.com to cancel my reservations due to the damage and figured I made it out even and and minor inconvenience would be erased from my memory and I would check out this hotel next time I come to town.
BUT WAIT THERES MORE.
So booking.com calls me back to tell me that the “Independent Hotel” will be charging me for my second room but that room isnt damaged and they refuse to issue me a refund.
So now im furious, the front desk at this hotel is either lying to me or to booking.com so I call back and surprise its Latifa again. Now severly aggrevated she tries to explain to me policy. But clearly she didnt grasp the concept that if one of my rooms was cancelled why the hell would I keep the second one and split my party up all over town. Anyone who travels with friends understands staying in the same hotel makes things immensely easier. So when she finally decided to stop trying to interrupt me, she places me on hold and tells me my room is now cancelled and not to worry.
But dont you worry “Independent Hotel” I will NEVER stay at your hotel. The dishonesty I dealt with and the run around by your front of house staff was enough for me to rsther stay at a red roof hotel before your establishment.
If anyone else read this whole thing, next time im in Philly beer on me for enduring my long and unforgettable (to me at least) story
I booked a room for a delegate from our corporate office here in Dubai as he was doing business in Philadelphia. Michael went above and beyond to make sure my delegate was taken care of, right from the booking stage to the check out.
Michael is a fantastic asset to the company
We will certainly return and send business thanks to Michael.