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
The first room that I received the previous guest must of smoked in the room as both of the windows were open to try and air the room out. I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke, so immediately called the front desk and they provided me with a new room. However, before leaving that room, I looked down at the desk and it was severely chipped. The next room I received was better than the first (yay no cigarette smell), but the ceiling has a large crack and part of the plaster was hanging down. Additionally, the doors on the dresser did not remain closed. Every time I closed them, they just rolled back open. So I ALWAYS had to make sure I didn't run into the door coming out of the bathroom. The location of the hotel is great. Many restaurants and shopping around. But the accommodations could use A LOT of LOVE! The lobby fools you into thinking your room will be just as nice.
The bathroom we had was tiny with basically a big sink and no counter space. Tub was clean but standing in it was an accident waiting to happen so I bought a tub mat. Otherwise, the room was nice and the bed was comfortable. Room was near the elevator so it was noisy. Service overall was great.
The hotel was nice but, not a good value for the money. at over $400/night ($500 with taxes) one would expect a 5 star experience but, it was more of a 3+ star property. Staff was friendly and the hotel is in a good location. Housekeeping was lackluster.
The heating system was peculiar, alternating between hot and cold on a single temperature setting and the bathroom was very small.
Look for better prices or, if you're going to pay that kind of $, there are much better choices in the area.