7 Best Hotels in Philadelphia
In 1682, William Penn named the new capital of his Pennsylvania Colony "Philadelphia"—Greek for "Brotherly Love." More than three centuries later, Philly has grown from a fledgling settlement into a city of more than 1.5 million. While Penn certainly wouldn’t recognize his hometown today, he'd surely appreciate that the concept of hospitality has remained a focal point in the city’s best hotels. Here, 7 that top our list.
You won’t see any staff walking the halls of Lokal, an 1800s former factory building turned six-suite hotel that opened in Philadelphia’s Old City last April. Instead, guests enjoy Airbnb-esque "invisible service," including automatic check-in that does away with a front desk and in-room iPads preloaded with useful apps like Caviar that give room service a local upgrade. Original factory windows allow the light to flood into the rooms, which feel more like posh city pads with full kitchens; Apple TVs; furniture and artwork sourced from vintage stores and flea markets; and the property’s now-signature blue hue, “Seaworthy,” from Sherwin Williams.
Wm. Mulherin's Sons
There are only four rooms to choose from at Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Hotel, but they pack a serious style punch. Housed inside a former whiskey blending and bottling factory, the building has relics from its past, like a pulley system used to lift bottles of whiskey, alongside modern amenities like rain showers, custom-built furniture, and Aesop bath products. The hotel also has a partnership with La Colombe coffee, which means every room has around $750 worth of coffee equipment (there’s an easy-to-follow instruction guide on how to use the Chemex). When dinnertime rolls around, head down to the namesake Italian gastropub, which landed on Bon Appétit's "50 Best New Restaurants" list after opening in 2016 and remains one of Philadelphia’s buzziest spots.
A favorite for both business and leisure travelers, The Rittenhouse, in Center City, was recently revamped to include an outpost of chef Scott Conant’s legendary Scarpetta restaurant and a redesigned, 15,000-square-foot spa, fitness club, and salon. Although guest rooms have been updated with all the usual modern perks, their best feature—angular bay windows that maximize views of the city—went untouched. For a VIP experience, book one of the club-level Park Suites, designed by Alexandra Champalimaud; accessed via a private gallery, these 1,300-square-foot urban sanctuaries feature oak-wood floors, gray millwork, silver travertine bathrooms, and Art Deco-inspired furnishings.
Rittenhouse 715, A Boutique Hotel
In a restored 1900s carriage house and adjacent buildings off Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse 1715’s 23 spacious rooms exude a pied-à-terre vibe with classically-inspired touches like marble bathrooms, triple-sheet beds, and gas fireplaces, while flatscreen TVs and iPhone docks remind guests they're in the 21st century. Complimentary extras like breakfast (served in the downstairs dining room) and a nightly wine hour add a sense of community—enhanced by Rittenhouse 1715’s friendly staff, who go to great lengths to ensure that every guest's stay, from check-in to check-out and every turndown in between, is flawless.
The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
In this city, it doesn't get more iconic than The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, whose two main buildings—a 1931 tower from McKim, Mead & White and a 1908 bank modeled after the Pantheon—are two of Center City’s defining landmarks. (Another, City Hall, is just across the street.) A $25-million refresh in 2016 brought the hotel back to its former glory. The domed lobby, in the former bank’s marble-columned rotunda, is now home to Aqimero, a swanky Latin American restaurant and cocktail bar from chef Richard Sandoval; upstairs, 301 guest rooms and suites take cues from the complex’s financial heritage with a silver color palette alongside accents of other metals like bronze and nickel.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco
Directly across from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, Old City’s Kimpton Hotel Monaco is ideal for visitors looking to be within easy walking distance of the city's best landmarks. Under the expertise of designer Todd-Avery Lenahan’s TAL Studio, the hotel lets history loosely guide its look: the colorful interiors nod to the American Revolution with Federal-nouveau artwork and period pieces but include contemporary touches like bold stripes, geometric patterns, and whimsical accents like a quirky dachshund motif and Rocky-inspired bathrobes. Like at all Kimptons, guests at Hotel Monaco have access to a nightly wine hour in the parlor-like lobby, although they may want to take their glass to the indoor/outdoor Stratus Lounge—one of only a few rooftop bars in the area.
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The Study, University City
The Study, University City, sandwiched between Drexel University and UPenn, is the second location for the college-centered brand from W Hotels alum Paul McGowan (his first is in New Haven). This is where you wish you’d stayed when you went college hunting: the 212 minimalist rooms are high on function and comfort, with sleek desks, feather-topped beds, and seersucker robes. Down in the lobby, dubbed the “living room,” guests mingle over complimentary coffee while perusing the hotel’s collection of historical artifacts, curated by three local museums.
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