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Thoughtfully updated architectural gem with a popular French restaurant and bar in the heart of Center City
Let’s get this out of the way up front: This sleek Philadelphia hotel is housed in a former YMCA. But understand that this wasn’t your father’s YMCA — more like your great-grandfather’s. Famed architect Trumbauer infused the building with the sophisticated neoclassical details befitting a hotel or college building, including a gorgeous library. And Le Meridien Philadelphia gracefully incorporates them all into its design with a playful juxtaposition of the old — soaring ceilings, ornamental arches, tigerwood-paneled walls — with the new.
Bed & Bath
The hotel’s heritage has bestowed it with 41 different floor plans for the 195 guestrooms, resulting in some being cozier than others, and some having striking city views while others look out at brick walls. The rooms largely eschew color, with textured gray walls and carpets and white armoires with a damask motif complemented by red velvet drapery. The bathrooms are big enough, with glass-encased showers.
Lobby-level restaurant, Amuse, serves tasty French fare in a modern brasserie-style dining room. All the usual suspects are present for breakfast (pastries, pancakes, French toast and eggs every way), while the serious dinner dishes include an expertly prepared salmon roulade and a must-try steak frites. The open-plan layout encompasses the laid-back lobby bar — a handy pitstop before a night out. For business travelers, the small gym and business center are open 24 hours a day.
1421 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
How to Get There
Flights are available to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. The property does not offer private transfers to/from PHL, about seven miles away. Taxis are available to/from PHL for approximately $28 for up to four passengers, each way.