The Philadelphia Guide
Recently, the City of Brotherly Love has become a hybrid of old and new, classic and cool—experiencing a renaissance of its own. Take, for instance, Fishtown: The neighborhood once known for commercial fishing has seen an influx of some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and art galleries, offering a destination for young professionals and creatives alike–and giving Philly a whole new, revitalized feel. But at its core, Philadelphia is a city that runs on a medley of loyalty, tradition, and so much history. There are the sports fans—diehards for their Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers—the ever-famous (rightfully so) cheesesteaks, and the deep-rooted historical context—after all, it was here where most of the American Revolution was devised and the Declaration of Independence was adopted and signed. For the teeniest tourists, the city’s landmarked buildings and cobblestone streets lend endless opportunities for exploration and surprise history lessons, not to mention, refresher courses for the adults.
Le Meridien1421 Arch St., Logan Square | 215.422.8200
Located smack in the middle of the city, this slick outpost of Le Meridien is the ideal home base from which to take in the city’s most notable sights—Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rittenhouse Square, and the Liberty Bell are all close by. The elegantly decorated rooms are fairly spacious for a city hotel and can be easily outfitted with a crib or a pack ’n play if you’ve got littles in tow; the room-service menu has a great kid’s section, perfect for a makeshift picnic when you don’t feel like going out.
Lokal Hotel139 N. 3rd St., Old City | 267.702.4345
Tucked into the Old City’s historic quarter, the six-room, apartment-style Lokal is a breath of fresh air for those who want to feel like staying in a good friend’s well decorated apartment rather than a flashy hotel. The naturally-lit rooms maintain a pared-back, minimalist vibe with a mix of mid-century modern furniture and thoughtfully selected found objects from local flea markets. There are all the requisite creature comforts, too—a Sonos sound system, Apple TV, and even linens from LA-based (and goop fave) Parachute Home. In the absence of a formal concierge, guests are encouraged to correspond with hotel staff via e-mail or text, which is a big part of Lokol's unique “Invisible Service” hospitality philosophy.
Roost1831 Chestnut St., Rittenhouse | 267.469.0349
While it’s not exactly a hotel, Roost in Rittenhouse (there’s also a Midtown location) is where you want to post up when staying in town on a weekly or monthly basis. The one- and two-bedroom apartments come beautifully furnished with all the creature comforts—tricked out kitchens, on-site laundry, (real!) houseplants, and, brilliantly, Apple TV. The Roost team can also set you up with groceries, temporary gym memberships, and a 24-hourse concierge to meet pretty much every need and fancy. Best part: pets and kids are more than welcome.
The Ritz Philadelphia10 Avenue of the Arts, Center City | 215.523.8000
The Ritz is the gold standard of hotels in Philadelphia. The lobby is housed in the rotunda building that was completed in 1908 as a model of Rome’s Pantheon, using 9,000 tons of Georgia marble—by the same architectural firm behind the first MSG and Washington Square Arch in NYC, as well as the Boston Symphony Hall. (The interior marble was largely sourced from the same Italian quarry as Michelangelo’s David.) First the company home of the Girard Trust Company president E.B. Morris, the rotunda building went on to house the Girard Trust Corn Exchange, and later two different banks, before being converted into a hotel in 2000. The Ritz rooms are in the partner tower, which was designed by the same firm in 1923, and grew from eight to thirty stories in 1931. In 2016, the Ritz underwent a major redesign but you’ll still see pieces of the past, from the tower’s original brass clock to the warping on one side of the former vault (now ballroom) stairs—an imprint of the women who once walked them, hugging the sole banister, on the way into the vault to pick up their weekend jewels.
The Study20 S. 33rd St., University City | 215.387.1400
This streamlined boutique hotel is a recent addition to University City, offering parents of Drexel and Penn students, as well as city visitors, a modern chic place to stay (a much needed amenity in the area). The interiors are minimal, architectural, and comfortable and the customer service is top notch–something its parent company, Hospitality 3, is lauded for. A functional, good option for travelers on a budget or those scoping out the university.
Wm. Mulherin’s Sons1355 N. Front St., Fishtown | 215.291.1355
Extending the aesthetic dream of the connected restaurant and bar, both of which came first, this former whiskey factory is now also a homey boutique hotel. Each of the four rooms are spacious and considered and feature custom woodworking and furniture that marries with the original detailing of the space. The attention lent to making the space feel new and creative pays off: Staying here feels like you're spending the night in a chic artists's loft.