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Philadelphia may be best known as the birthplace of American independence, but there are many other reasons to visit the City of Brotherly Love. Elegant streets lined with historic brownstones, a legendary culinary scene and the Phillies baseball team are just a few of the city’s attractions. From student-friendly hostels to luxury hotels and romantic boutiques, here are a few of our favorite Philadelphia accommodation options.
Best Overall: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
Located across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the four-star Kimpton Hotel Monaco is ideally placed for exploring the best of Center City. Expect a charming blend of old and new - especially in the guestrooms, which combine bold contemporary colors with period design accents. All rooms and suites include a gourmet minibar, 300 thread count linens and an optional in-room massage service. For special occasions, book the Majestic Suite, with stunning Independence Historic National Park views and a vintage soaking tub.
At Red Owl Tavern, you can enjoy a sophisticated take on American staples, including the legendary Philly cheesesteak. There’s a complimentary wine hour every evening, while Stratus Rooftop Lounge offers live entertainment and craft cocktails on the 11th floor. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is also an excellent option for memorable events. With its parquet floors and molded ceilings, Lafayette Ballroom is a stunning choice for weddings. Other amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, complimentary bikes and valet parking.
Best Budget: Alexander Inn
Situated a few blocks from the Kimmel Center and Verizon Hall, Alexander Inn is the ideal choice for those who want to save money, but still be in the heart of the action. Although there are cheaper budget options in Philadelphia, the authentic atmosphere of this hotel makes it unique. With stained glass windows and historic oak moldings, it’s a little different from your run-of-the-mill budget chain. All room types include a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV with movie channels and an in-room safe.
With bedding by Sealy and double-glazed windows, you’re almost guaranteed a good night’s sleep. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel, while a complimentary continental breakfast buffet helps you to save a few extra dollars each day. There’s a 24-hour fitness center on-site, as well as a computer center with complimentary boarding pass printing. You’re within easy walking distance of severable affordable bars and restaurants.
Best Boutique: Morris House Hotel
Sandwiched between Washington Square and Walnut Street Theatre (the oldest playhouse in America), Morris House Hotel is a National Historic Landmark in its own right. Built in 1787, this beautiful brownstone boutique is perfect for those wishing to immerse themselves in the city’s history. Nevertheless, all rooms include contemporary comforts ranging from flat-screen TVs to iPod docking stations and complimentary WiFi. Choose the Presidential Suite for a mezzanine master bedroom and a beautiful garden-view balcony.
A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning in the Library. The hotel’s M Restaurant serves fine contemporary American cuisine for dinner and hosts a complimentary Wine Down hour every afternoon. You can also enjoy tea and home-baked cookies by the fireplace in the Revolutionary-era lounge. Other hotel highlights include the exquisite courtyard garden (the only one of its kind in downtown Philly), as well as discounted parking at an adjacent garage.
Best for Families: Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Center City Loews Philadelphia Hotel puts family-friendly attractions such as the Reading Terminal Market and Independence Hall within easy walking distance of even the littlest legs. Children under the age of 10 get a welcome gift upon arrival, while a dedicated closet provides complimentary toys, books and childcare essentials such as strollers and baby baths.
Best of all, children under 18 stay for free, as long as they’re sharing your room. Cribs and roll-away beds can be booked in advance. All rooms and suites include free WiFi, a flat-screen TV and child-proofing kits for smaller kids. There’s a heated indoor pool, as well as a gourmet restaurant with a dedicated children’s menu. When you need a break, arrange babysitting services with the concierge and head to the spa or fitness center.
Best for Romance: Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel
Situated a few steps from historic Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse 1715 evokes the romance of a bygone era with its beautiful red-brick façade and stunning vintage-inspired interiors. Standard Rooms create an intimate sanctuary with decadent bedding and a marble bath. The Presidential Suite takes romance to the next level with a King-sized loft bed, an elaborate fireplace and a glass-walled waterfall shower.
Savor delicate pastries at the complimentary continental breakfast buffet or sip artisan brews from fine china cups during afternoon tea. In the evening, you’re invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine in the drawing room or in the fragrant garden. Upon request, the hotel can even arrange a private picnic package for two. Although there’s no restaurant on-site, some of the city’s finest eateries are a short walk away.
Best Luxury: The Rittenhouse Hotel
Philadelphia’s most prestigious hotel enjoys an exclusive location near Rittenhouse Square and the designer shops of Walnut Street. Generously proportioned rooms offer marble bathrooms and soaking tubs, an oversized TV and a private bar. For the ultimate luxury experience, however, consider the Presidential Suite. Five-star amenities include a marble foyer, a living room complete with a baby grand piano and a magnificent four-poster bed.
The Rittenhouse Hotel has an impressive choice of bars and restaurants. Experience afternoon tea in the Mary Cassat Tea Room, sample a five-course tasting menu at international restaurant Lacroix or explore the Library Bar’s collection of rare spirits. Other highlights include a health club, an indoor pool and The Rittenhouse Spa. A complimentary Jaguar driver service lets you explore the city in style.
Best for Nightlife: Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown
Located in the heart of Center City, chic Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown is the perfect base for exploring Philly’s best-rated bars. However, you don’t have to leave the hotel to have a good time. In the evening, ArtBar restaurant transforms into a trendy watering hole complete with art-inspired cocktails and stylish small plates. There’s a generous happy hour, as well as an outdoor terrace perfect for meeting new people in summer. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the hotel’s rooftop pool is another prime party destination. After a late night, wake up feeling refreshed in a guestroom complete with cable TV, free WiFi and an iHome docking station. Other amenities include popular restaurant Ruth’s Chris Steak House, a Club Lounge and an on-site gym.
Best for Business: Home2 Suites by Hilton Philadelphia - Convention Center
Home2 Suites by Hilton Philadelphia is ideally located a few steps from the Philadelphia Convention Center. Many of the city’s biggest business headquarters are also a short walk away. When you’re not working, your suite acts as a home away from home with a fully equipped kitchen and a spacious living area. Complimentary WiFi and a flat-screen TV come standard. An indoor saline swimming pool and an innovative combined laundry-and-fitness facility make it easy to fit exercise into your busy schedule. Your room rate includes a complimentary breakfast buffet, while next door Reading Terminal Market is ideal for a gourmet lunch or dinner on-the-go.
Best Hostel: Apple Hostels of Philadelphia
Apple Hostels of Philadelphia occupies an exciting spot between Penn’s Landing and Independence Hall. It offers air-conditioned mixed and single-sex dormitories, in addition to a choice of private and semi-private rooms (bathrooms are shared). Cook for yourself in the kitchen or make new friends over the foosball table in the communal lounge. The hostel also offers an incredible list of free add-ons, ranging from WiFi and linens to 24-hour tea and coffee. Its busy social calendar includes free pasta night on Wednesdays, free wine and cheese on Saturdays and a complimentary open bar hour on Thursdays.