The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
What We Love
- This is the third Radisson Blu hotel in America and the third by Graven Images lead designer Jim Hamilton
- Historic limestone and brick building with period charm dates from 1926
- Superb location in the city’s hippest ’hood
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Philadelphia
What To Know
- Reopened in January 2014 after a $20 million renovation
- The historic building was designed as a hotel and offers plenty of space to spread out, but bathrooms are small
- The 2,000-square-foot fitness center is stocked with new equipment, but there’s no pool or locker room
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Long a fixture on Rittenhouse Square, the Warwick has been reborn as Radisson’s third Blu hotel in America, successfully fusing the brand’s mod, glossy style onto a 1926 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It still makes a grand first impression with its stately limestone façade, carved rosettes and corniced windows. Inside, designer Jim Hamilton neutralizes the ornate trim and moldings in the two-story marble lobby with monochrome Dutch-designed pendant lighting. The space is a showcase for European form and function, including Ro chairs by Dutchman Fritz Hansen and sofas upholstered in Missoni fabrics — a wink to the company’s long relationship with the Italian fashion house.
Bed and Bath
The Warwick was for a long time the preferred stay for businessmen and politicos alike, and it has 301 big guestrooms — with smallish bathrooms. The Blu transformation represents a good example of addition by subtraction, with minimalistic style opening the rooms up, and pops of red, burnt orange and yellow complementing new black leather lounges and walnut furnishings. The granite bathrooms are big enough for two, but they might seem cramped when you consider all the space you’re enjoying in your room; most have single vanities and shower/tub combos.
Happily, one thing that wasn’t changed in the Warwick’s $20 million makeover is most of the crackerjack staff. The hotel’s TripAdvisor reviews overflow with accolades for the staff, the leader of which is bell captain Steve Hornstein. The 32-year Warwick veteran was honored last March as Radisson employee of the year, an award he earned by going above and beyond his duties to fill a concierge role offering guests tips, tricks and picks for the best of Philly, from restaurants and bars to car services and dry cleaners. Make reservations at Tavern 17 for dinner and try dishes such as half roasted herbed chicken with sauteed wild mushrooms and potato purée. Elsewhere, there’s a 24-hour, 2,000-square-foot fitness center, and if you want some pampering, in-room spa treatments can be arranged.
In the Area
Philly lives in Rittenhouse Square, a hub with shops, restaurants and red brick row houses arranged in spokes pointing in all directions. Starting with this location it’s easy to eat like a king, whether you crave celeb chef cuisine or locavore fare. Fronting the square’s leafy lanes, Parc Brasserie pays tribute to Paris’s café culture with steak frites and a wine list. The hotel is within striking distance of several of Iron Chef Jose Garces’s best restaurants, including the all-new Volver, which puts a modern gastronomical spin on the chef’s favorite dishes in a sexy space in the Rafael Vinoly-designed Kimmel Center. If you can’t score a reservation there, look north to Tinto Wine Bar, a tapas-centric place that imports such treats as jamon iberico, truffles, octopus, olives and other products directly from Spain’s Basque region. For the flavors of local farms, head south from the Warwick to Audrey Claire for Mediterranean flavors and farm-fresh ingredients.
How to Get There
My husband and I stayed there this past very hot weekend. Wonderful location near the beautiful Rittenhouse Square. I agree the Lobby was edgy and cool with huge lacy globed shaped light fixtures and poetry written allover the very tall walls- Lobby is very impressive. We brought our dog... which was pleasant. I agree the rooms are tired and the carpets stained and staff seemed overworked and probably underpaid- but I was very grateful for the cool location, the park, that our dog could join us and we loved the restaurant Spice Finch- we had a delicious dessert and night cap there. We ubered everywhere- left the car in the garage.... so for us it was good.
Look, I understand the appeal of a hotel like this on paper. You want to visit a fantastic city like Philly but you want to stay in a boutique type hotel and want to avoid the major chains. The problem is...in this case, a major chain may be a better option.
The hotel lobby is beautiful- it's modern and stylish. It makes you think you're about to have a unique experience.
Check-in was OK. The staff was friendly and efficient but not warm. Got up tot he room- it was a pretty good size but once you take it all in, you realize things are a bit amiss. The carpet is a bit stained, the furniture is a little rundown, the walls are marred, the bathroom has a window shelf that is dirty. When I went down to the lobby to buy a coffee in the coffee shop in the morning I was treated to a woman screaming as a mouse ran into the lobby, then the coffee shop. That's a first for me, and I stay in hotels a lot.
Overall, not terrible, but the lobby writes a check the rest of the hotel doesn't seem to be able to cash.
BTW- if you want a great meal, head to PARC around the corner!
The hotel is in a very convenient in an upscale part of Philly- near Rittenhouse Square but the property is overpriced and dated. Furniture and fixtures in the room and bathroom are older with dings/scratches/rust and should be replaced and/or painted. The hotel has the appearance of class and high end decour, but when you look closer, they do not pay attention to detail nor update the furnishings. The curtains, carpet and various areas of the room are dusty. The the AC units are loud and the air quality in the room is dry with a faint mildew smell. The beds are sort of soft and it takes a minute to get comfortable in to fall a sleep.
The staff overall is friendly. Front staff, bellhop, room service and house keeping are accommodating to some degree. You should examine your billing statement carefully because they make careless mistakes in room service billing....$600plus in charges for a $100 meal to be later corrected. Further, the valet and garage staff are careless with vehicles, reversing at high speeds through the street and side alley when paid to valet your car.
My Luxury car was damaged while garaged for a few days in their care. They denied the claim, about $3000 in damages by stating that they did not see anything on the video camera. Park somewhere else if you can.
The three attached restaurants vary in cuisine and are okay. Prime Rib - more upscale and over priced. Spice Finch - more casual with Mediterranean style cuisine. Coffee grounds - very casual.
As an avid and experienced traveler who has stayed in a range of hotel accommodations, I recommend you find a better hotel deal somewhere else...unless you like the convenience of the neighborhood and want to gamble on how your stay will unfold since their service, professionalism and accommodations are very questionable....