Square 1682 can be a bit of a scene, so don't necessarily expect a quiet dinner for two
Valet parking is available for $48 per night (with in and out privileges)
WiFi is free but requires signing up for Kimpton's loyalty program (it's free)
Parking on site
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Eco-conscious, art-oriented boutique hotel with a popular New American restaurant just off Rittenhouse Square
Until recently, Philadelphia's hotels fell into one of three categories: quaint inn, large-scale budget or uber-upscale. Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar changed all that to deliver an eco-friendly boutique sleep, where modern art mixes it up with the city’s historic charm. Near Rittenhouse Square, blocks from City Hall, the Hotel Palomar puts you in the heart of the action. Guests are a ticket’s toss to the best theater, music and restaurants, not to mention the square itself.
Bed & Bath
Originally built in 1929 in true Deco style, the hotel has 213 rooms and 17 suites. Awash in beige and green earth tones, the decor is punctuated with flashes of colorful one-of-a-kind artwork that take historic American themes and flip them on their heads — rainbow-hued busts of Ben Franklin, for instance. Guestrooms feature spa-like elements like Etra bath products.
Downstairs, Chef Guillermo Tellez’s sleek two-story (and LEED-certified) restaurant Square 1682 showcases a shared-plate, New American menu with world flavors. Translation: a whole table can dig into the likes of ahi tostadas and gnocchi with truffles and parmesan. An impressive floor-to-ceiling wine display is backed by an exhibition kitchen that turns cooking into a kind of theater. After dinner, take a walk past the historic buildings of the neighborhood. Rittenhouse Row has the high-end shops; the grassy square is perfect for a picnic under the trees with some takeout from Square 1682. And for those who can’t go anywhere without their pets, Hotel Palomar treats them like VIPs: leashes, pet massages and pet sitting services are all on the menu.
In the Area
Head to 13th Street, off Locust, which buzzes with new restaurants that span the continents: Lolita for Mexican and upscale Sampan for Asian. Or go microbrew sampling at the city’s many pubs serving top-notch drafts. A few not to miss: Tria Cafe (for the sophisticated pours and mind-blowing cheeses), Eulogy Tavern (for anything Belgian) and the two-story Standard Tap (for a warm neighborhood feel and great people watching). The Philadelphia Art Museum, one of the country’s largest museums with a phenomenal permanent collection, is “pay what you wish” minus the huge crowds on Sundays. And, yes, this is where Rocky ran up the stairs. For a free day of sightseeing, take a stroll along the city section of the Schuylkill River past Boathouse Row, for one of the most beautiful views of the skyline and (in spring) huge bursts of cherry blossoms. And don’t miss the walk along Avenue of the Arts (or Broad Street), where the stunning capital building looms over blocks of restaurants, historic theaters (Wilma, Suzanne Roberts, Merriam) and music venues (Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts).