PA Travel Guide
Though it's only been open several months, Hotel Monaco Philly is already the hottest ticket in town, as far as rooftops are concerned. The hotel's 11th floor Stratus has become legendary for its outdoor patio, indoor bar, two private lounge areas, and outdoor fireplace*.
Most days of the week, it's possible to head up to Stratus, enjoy a few cocktails and be on your merry way. But the lines to get in on Friday and Saturday can get pretty long, and once you enter the bar, it can be difficult just finding a seat.
As a result, Monaco will soon start issuing membership cards just to access the bar. We heard from an employee that a designated number of seats will be set aside each night for card-holders. Of course, hotel guests get priority automatically, but when it comes to random people walking in off the street, Stratus members will definitely have the upper hand.
A man is dead, and one hurt after a shooter opened fire on rapper French Montana’s tour bus outside of the Holiday Inn Express on Penn's Landing late last night. We hope this isn’t the hotel HC just wrote about that recently opened. If so the property certainly isn’t off to a good start!
French, the man behind the popular club and radio banger “Pop That” had just finished a show at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia and was not hurt.
According to NBC Philadelphia News, when the artists’ tour bus arrived around midnight on Christopher Columbus Boulevard near the Holiday Inn Express where he and his group had rooms reserved, a crowd formed outside the bus. A car then pulled up and opened fire on the crowd, hitting a 27-year-old man in the abdomen and a 29-year-old man in the shoulder, according to Chief Inspector Scott Small.
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The Holiday Inn Express at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia is now officially open for business after a four-million dollar renovation converted the property over from a Comfort Inn. All 184 guest rooms were retouched while the lobby was completely remodeled. A business center and exercise room were also added.
We told you before how we were a little disappointed that the area didn't draw a sexier hotel, but that all said, it doesn't change how good the location is. In addition to the views of the Ben Franklin Bridge, guests of the Holiday Inn Express will be in good shape when it comes to visiting Independence Mall, Old City, and Penn's Landing -- all are within walking distance or a short cab ride. The area is also prime lodging during the summer when concerts are held at Festival Pier or across the river in Camden (you can take a ferry right to the venue).
Here's what the new hotel looks like now according to its website, but we'll try to swing by soon and check it out for ourselves.
UPDATE: We've just heard from the hotel that despite the website's date of November 1st the hotel will open now on October 2nd. Guests looking to stay the night can do so starting October 15th. Reservations for the 15th should open up later today on the hotel's website. Woohoo!
Aside from allowing you to share your current thoughts, stalk old lovers, post party pics, ooo and aww at photos of pets and babies and suffer through random political rantings, Facebook can actually be pretty useful when you're planning your next hotel stay--especially if you're like us and always want to stay in the newest spots.
Just last week we saw that the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia is getting closer to opening after they posted a pic of the front desk and lobby area. But while we thought the posting meant the September opening was still on track, we were a little dismayed when we headed over to the website and found that we are going to have to wait until November 1 now. We guess those pretty rooms need a little longer getting ready.
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Great, now we have a new thing to worry about that could potentially be killing us in our hotel room—or at least making things really uncomfortable.
A 26--year-old man has been arrested for setting up a makeshift "shake-and-bake" meth lab in his third-floor room at the Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City.
But to make matters worse, Homeland Security chief Joe Sullivan tells Philly.com that this new practice of contaminating your hotel room with dozens of toxic chemicals while manufacturing methamphetamine is actually becoming a "popular" thing to do.
Here is a hotel, slightly transformed, just a little break from the norm....
The hotel scene in Philadelphia is getting hotter by the moment. After we learned last week that both a Hotel Indigo and a W Hotel (redux) are slated for the City of Brotherly Love by 2015 comes an excellent sneak peek of the forthcoming Hotel Monaco Philadelphia from Kimpton Hotels.
The hotel will open on Independence Mall in September and Uwishunu.com has the detes:
The project is an adaptive reuse development of Philadelphia’s historic Lafayette Building at the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets in the heart of Historic Philadelphia. The conversion is dramatically transforming the 11-story office building located across from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall into a 268-room, four-star Hotel Monaco.
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Yep, it's that bad
After discovering late last month that The Keating Hotel in San Francisco will be one of the hotels
featured ripped apart by Gordon Ramsay on Hotel Hell, we've been dying to know which other towns across the country will be getting visits from his spiky-haired highness.
Now, we can add Milford, Pennsylvania to the list. The New Jersey Herald is reporting that Ramsay will be making over the River Rock Inn, a B&B housed in a 10-bedroom Victorian-style house built in 1876.
According to the hotel's Facebook page, producers for the show have taken over all bookings, and have so far received over 1500 reservation requests, from (we're guessing) hotel geeks trying to get front row seats of Ramsay working his magic. And judging from the pictures, this place really does need some magic. Or a sledgehammer.
[Photo of a different Hampton Inn]
Look. If you fire a round of bullets into the White House, you will be found and arrested, even if you've checked in to a hotel hundreds of miles away from Washington DC, in Pennsylvania.
This is the case of 21-year-old Oscar Ortega, who on Friday used an assault rifle to hit the side of the White House (and some bulletproof windows) from his SUV on the road. President Obama was away at the time, but the reasons for Ortega's shooting haven't quite been deciphered. They do, at least, have the man in custody after a hotel employee at the Hampton Inn in Indiana, PA recognized Ortega from news reports.
No word on how Ortega paid for his nights at the Inn when he's believed to be mentally ill and formerly camping out at Occupy DC.
[Photo: Herald Tribune]
It takes a lot for us to get excited about hotel contests, which are a dime a dozen in these heady social media days, but when the prizes include either a brand new iPhone 4s or an iPad2, we've got our game faces on and are ready to roll.
Those are the gadgets that the winner of the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia's first annual "Philly Finds" mobile scavenger hunt will receive this weekend if they can find all the items and document their findings on their mobile phone using the iPhone and Android app, "Scavenger Hunt with Friends."
The contest is open to locals and guests alike so you don't have to be staying at the hotel to play. Yet with the contest starting at 8am on Friday and lasting until noon on Sunday and with the hunt going all over Philly, it can't hurt to have a hotel room to crash in, especially since we suspect at least one item in the scavenger hunt will be in the hotel.
To participate in Philly Finds, here's what you gotta do:
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Thankfully, the latest addition to the pack is installed a little closer to home, at the Fairmont Pittsburgh.
This lovely girl is Edie. Just as the bar at Fairmont Pittsburgh is named after the city's favorite son, Andy Warhol, the newest staff member is named after Warhol's muse, Edie Sedgwick. Instead of appearing in incomprehensible art films, though, this Edie is on hand to welcome guests to the hotel, and walk them to their rooms if they so choose.
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In the era of complimentary iPads and electronic check-ins, it is the job of certain people to ensure that kids—as well as adults—benefit from all the newfangled gadgetry adorning hotels. And over in the Pocono Mountains, PA, Great Wolf Lodge has unveiled a new interactive video game called Great Wolf Story Explorers, in which the kids themselves become the main characters of the story.
Here's how it works: the little tykes are first paired off with an RFID-tagged stuffed animal. Interestingly, this was the same technology used by hotels to track stolen linens. But instead of catching criminals, the RFID wristbands here "unlock" each successive part of the interactive story. As they travel from one video screen to the next, the young "explorers" are slowly written into the story they are being told. Neat-o!
Philadelphia Business Journal reports:
Home2 Suites by Hilton, with 246 guest rooms, is planned for 12th and Arch streets, across the street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. A summer 2013 opening is planned.
Yes, that's a ways off so we'll have to be content with the smattering of Home2 Suites that are open so far (in Baltimore, Raleigh and Salt Lake City.) But if you're dying to check out a Home2 Suites on your next trip to San Antonio, there's one opening up on October 2 near the Riverwalk.
And remember, all rooms come with plenty of space including a kitchenette, free WiFi, free breakfast and an iPad docking station if you need it.
[Photo: Home2 Suites/Facebook]