The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
What We Love
- Regional American fare at 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge
- Serene treatments themed on creativity at the Richel D’Ambra Spa and Salon
- The impeccable downtown location right across from the stately City Hall
What To Know
- In-room dining is available 24 hours a day
- Dogs up to 30 lbs. are allowed with a non-refundable fee of $150
- Rollaway beds are available for a fee of $35
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Philadelphia
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Marble pillars and a domed rotunda harken back to the building’s days as a turn of the century bank. But the feel inside is buzzy and modern with a swank cocktail bar backed by bold fuschia panels, graphic printed rugs and banquettes in hot pink, orange and chocolate and modern chandeliers showering crystals from the ceiling. Locals and guests alike sip seasonal cocktails while DJS spin from 10-1:30 am Thursdays and Fridays with live music from 6:30-10 pm on Wednesdays. Organic, local ingredients inspire the regional American fare on offer at the bistro. And guests unwind at the award-winning spa, which offers treatments inspired by the city’s art scene (the “curtain call” includes a hot stone massage and aromatherapy). Upstairs, rooms feel traditional Ritz with a warm palette of pumpkin, buttercup and sage, marble bathrooms with mother-of-pearl vanities, flatscreen TVs and iPod/iPhone docking stations.
In the Area
By Philly’s City Hall, the brotherly vibes have long been in effect at bars like Mcgillin’s Olde Ale House, which has been serving up house ales since the year Lincoln took office. Across the street is the modern answer the brewpub, BRU Craft & Wurst, which serves up nouveau Bavarian fare and an extensive menu of brews, including some in massive boots and others self-served from taps on the wall. The hottest table in town these days is Talula’s Garden, a pretty little aerie with a farmhouse-inspired, 10-course tasting menu that changes daily based on what’s in season. Be sure to spend some magical time exploring Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a dream world of colorful mosaics, tunnels and grottos that house a community art center.
How to Get There
Stayed here Aug 13-15 as Ambassador Elite guest. Received an email from the hotel prior to checkin in asking for what my preferences would be. Asked for extra bottles of water and room temperature to be set at 68 degrees. Pretty standard request for their top level elite guest.
Upon arrival, no recognition as Ambassador Elite by the front desk. No mention of any requests. When asked if water was placed in the room the agent shrugged her shoulders and said she doesn’t know because it’s a different floor (!!!) and she knows nothing of requests. She did say she will send some waters to the room.
In the room, no waters that have been requested and temperature not set at what asked. Hotel completely disregarded all of the requests. No water was delivered when I was in the room. Smallest room I ever stayed in at any RC with paint peeling off the ceiling. Again, this is a room for their top level elite guest.
When asking the same agent downstairs about the water she again shrugged her shoulders and indicated she didn’t have tine to call for water.
Service at the bar was dismissive at its best. No snacks offered when other patrons clearly had them. When asked for snacks was brought one small bowl of popcorn when the standard is tri plate of bar snacks. Getting a drink was challenging to even flag anyone or to get anything but perfunctory service.
This is Ritz Carlton brand. Ambassador Elite guest. Imagine what a regular guest gets.
I emailed the GM to not get any response at all. He doesn’t care. That hotel doesn’t care. Never again and suggest you steer away.
The hotel is located in a beautiful building and the door staff are extremely friendly and courteous, as were the staff at check-in. However one incident somewhat ruined our impression. As it is a such a beautiful building and not wanting to intrude on other guests privacy in the lobby bar, we went up to the second floor to take pictures of the lobby. We were approached by an unsmiling security guard who told us in what I can only describe as a less than friendly manner said 'You can't take pictures here, people are only allowed on the second floor when there is an event', and informed us that it was for security and 'we could be anyone'. I understand the need for security and would have been perfectly happy to have been told this in a polite manner, but it was the manner it was said that was so unwelcoming. The stairs to the second floor are not restricted or cordoned off in any way, at least that we could see, and there was no mention of guests not being allowed on the second floor, so how guests are supposed to know this is somewhat of a mystery.
The manner we were spoken to made us feel as though we were at a restricted area in an shopping mall, not guests in a hotel. A simple 'I'm sorry but we don't' allow guests on this floor' in a vaguely amicable manner we would have had no problem with whatsoever. I've stayed at many Ritz Carlton hotels over the years, and never had a bad experience, and certainly never been spoken to so abruptly. When I stay at a hotel I don't expected to be treated as though I'm potentially planning on committing a crime. I'm reluctant to rate the hotel so low because the other staff were very pleasant, but it really soured what otherwise would have been a very enjoyable stay.
Valet staff was lovely, rooms were nice, however most suites in our category bordered the elevator shaft so you could hear the elevator going up and down all night. It was very strange and when we complained they knew about it already, not sure why one would design a hotel that way. I would probably stay somewhere else next time we visit.