Philadelphia Travel Guide
A former film distribution center for Warner Brothers may become the new Philadelphia address for AC Hotels by Marriott.
As faithful readers of HC already know, AC Hotels originated in Spain by designer Antonio Catalán as an urban contemporary hotel collection. Marriott announced its plans to import the brand back in June 2013, starting with AC Hotel New Orleans (which just opened), followed by Kansas City (December) and Miami (March 2015.) More locations have also been announced for Chicago, Asheville (North Carolina) and Irvine, Calif. And now Philadelphia.
The proposed Philly hotel, located at 13th and Florist Streets, is in the early planning and design stages, and an opening date has not been established. The Warner Brothers building is a two-story, Deco-inspired design dating back to 1947. There's really not much to work with here, so why not just build what you need on top of what you got?
The Study at University City will open in 2016. Learn up. You will be tested.
When you’re a sleepy college student, “plush accommodations” refers to “anywhere moderately soft and not covered in spilled beer or Tostitos crumbs.” As an adult, expectations are a bit higher.
Hence the Study Hotels, a concept developed by Paul McGowan of Hospitality 3, which aims to bring elevated accommodations to university markets. (No more crashing on your kid’s futon during a weekend visit, or hoping there’s “one of the nice Best Westerns” nearby.)
This week the brand announced the development of its second property – The Study at University City – after signing a long-term lease with Drexel University in Philadelphia, one of the hottest hotel markets around.
Hotel Workouts / Hotel Fitness / Kimtpon Hotels / Hotel Monaco Hotels / Kimpton InTouch / Philadelphia Hotels / → All Tags
Almost 40 years ago, Rocky put Philadelphia as the mecca for all things boxing and the fitness training that comes with it. Now, Philly's Hotel Monaco wants to continue the boxer's fight with a little help from one of their own.
The hotel's newest fitness initiative, Training Tips with T, calls upon the property's doorman to offer up some workout tips for staying healthy while on the road. Not only is 'T' a welcoming smile when you first step foot through the doors, but he's also a certified personal trainer so we know there's some accuracy behind what he telling us to do.
This six-step, full-body workout allows guests to get their sweat on in the comfort of their hotel room with no equipment required. Since T and the gang know that travelers might be tight on time and still want a tight tummy, the workout takes just 10 minutes to complete. Then you're on your way to see the Liberty Bell. (or devour a cheesesteak)
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One of Philly's Kimpton properties, the Hotel Palomar near Rittenhouse Square, kicked off a Twitter contest today that gives participants a chance to win a VIP “Romp n’ Roll” package, which includes overnight accommodations in the Palomar’s Presidential Suite, a romantic dinner for two at in-house Square 1682’s Chef’s Table, and next-day “Punch Brunch” at Square 1682. The question is: Are you and your honey hot enough to win?
To enter the contest, which is called "Sheets on the Streets," couples must submit their photo to @KimptonInPHL with the hashtags #SheetsontheStreets and #PalomarPhilly by May 1st at 12 a.m. The content of the photo and your level of attractiveness doesn't matter at this point because Kimpton will randomly select ten finalist couples to compete in a pose-off in a pop-up guestroom at the 2014 Rittenhouse Row Festival on Saturday, May 3rd.
This is where your hotness comes into play. The finalists don Kimpton’s signature animal print robes and frolic around the pop-up guestroom, and each couple will be given a half hour to convince festival goers to vote for them on Twitter. The couple that receives the most votes will win the grand prize, and from the looks of the Prez Suite bathroom, shown below, it'd be a hot night for a hot couple.
Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Hotel is known for its killer views and for honoring hometown favorite Grace Kelly with a cocktail in its new lobby bar, opened in the midst of a $10-million, 12-month refurbishment in anticipation of the hotel's upcoming 25th anniversary.
More upgrades aren't far behind, as the hotel announced that its new 15,000 square-foot spa facility, The Rittenhouse Spa & Club – Hair by Paul Labrecque, will open in late summer and contain a spa, health club, and salon.
Surprise surprise, look who's at it again.
The City of Brotherly Love confirmed this week that a third Kimpton Hotels will open in the 73-year-old Family Court Building in the Logan Square neighborhood, joining its already existing properties, the Hotel Palomar in Rittenhouse Square and the Hotel Monaco on Independence Hall.
Despite a traditional reputation as a blue-collar town, Philadelphia has proven that it knows how to pamper its visitors, especially in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, where most of the city's luxury hotels stake their claim. We've already told you about the big names that come with big views, and on our most recent jaunt through Philly, we decided to check in on one of the smaller properties in Rittenhouse, the Latham, which markets itself as a boutique hotel with 139 rooms.
The room you see in the cover photo above is the King Suite. It has a separate living room and two full bathrooms, one off the bedroom and one in the common area (both have mirrors on the ceiling!). Each room at the Latham comes with Keurig coffee makers, large writing desks, Gilcrest & Soames bath products, and fast, free wifi. The hotel guarantees the best rates via its website, and if you find a lower price, it will give you 10% off that lower price.
For those who have recently stayed at the FS Philly or who read our coverage about its killer view of Logan Circle, the word “upgrade” might come as a surprise. Currently, you can see all the way down the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum from many west-facing rooms.
But sources within Philly tell us that the property has “grown stale” after over 30 years, and needs a boost to continue to compete with the city’s booming Center City hotel market, including its luxurious competitors, the Rittenhouse Hotel and the Ritz Carlton, as well as the up and coming midmarket properties in and around Rittenhouse Square and City Hall (like the Kimpton Palomar, for example).
It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
With so much great hotel news to choose from, narrowing the entire year down to one city was by no means easy. The Big Apple is forever in the running with all its hotel activity year in and year out, and Denver made an awful lot of noise out west as this year came to a close, projecting large growth and several big projects for 2014. And we can't forget London and Paris too where there were not just new hotels opening, but plenty of renovations (several of which will be revealed next year.) Even Down Under in Sydney we saw a bit more activity than we have in past years.
But this year's shocking big winner is Philadelphia. The city's hotel scene sometimes gets lost in the mix behind busier cities like New York and Chicago, but Philly has really impressed us from all angles this year, from its line of luxury hotels (that all sport iconic views) to the way it spruced up Old City with a Kimpton property that overlooks the Liberty Bell.
While the newly-opened Rad Blu lived up to the hype, we are most pleased with how the city's plans are falling into place on a whole, and we feel it is now reaping the rewards of its good decisions the past two years.
[Photo: Visit Philly]
Yesterday, we highlighted three luxury hotels in Philly that have killer views, and one of them, the Rittenhouse Hotel in Center City, is currently in the midst of a $10-million, 12-month refurbishment in anticipation of the hotel's 25th anniversary next year.
The facelift will feature new 1,000 square-foot park-view suites (for some reason, people refer to Rittenhouse Square as "the park") and a new health club. Earlier this year, the hotel opened a lobby bar called the Library, which currently features a Grace Kelly cocktail.
Most are familiar with Grace Kelly as an actress, princess, and public figure, but Philadelphians remember her and her family for their influence on the City of Brotherly Love. Not only was Kelly grow up in Philly, but her mother was the first woman to head up the Physical Education Department at the University of Pennsylvania and her father was an Olympic rower and once ran for mayor of the city. Her brother, John Kelly Jr, was a Philly councilman and was memorialized when East River Drive was renamed Kelly Drive in the 1980s.
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When it comes to the upper echelon of hotels in Philly, there is a common denominator that goes beyond their luxe accommodations and service: Epic views of the city's top landmarks.
Three hotels in particular stand out thanks to their great locations: The Rittenhouse Hotel overlooks Rittenhouse Square (bottom); the Four Seasons Philly provides views of Logan Circle and down the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum (top); and the Ritz Carlton Philly sits right next to City Hall and the infamous perch of William Penn (center).
Looks like SLS isn't the only new hotel coming to the City of Brotherly love. Philadelphia is getting two brand new luxury hotels -- a W and an Element -- thanks to a $33 million tax break measure passed last week that will allow for construction to begin on a $280 million building in Center City. (W Hotels had hoped to open in Philadelphia way back in 2006 but the project was later scrapped in 2008.)
The measure was opposed by a group of the city's hotel owners, but Mayor Michael Nutter and the city council saw things differently. "It's a big winner for the city," Nutter said. "1,800 construction jobs over a three-year period of time, 450 permanent jobs and a signature headquarters hotel right in the heart of Center City."
The site for the project at 15th and Chestnut, which has been vacant for years, is between City Hall and Rittenhouse Square and a half-mile from the convention center. Competing hotels in the area will be Kimpton's Hotel Palomar, the new Rad Blu (which we dished on a few weeks ago), the Four Seasons on the Ben Franklin Parkway, and the Rittenhouse Hotel, among others.