The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Gazing from the window of our suite, we were up close and personal with Philly’s founding father William Penn, in all his bronze, statuesque glory atop City Hall. That’s how central this fabulous hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia is.
The hotel’s previous life as a bank is immediately apparent – its imposing Neoclassical rotunda and Romanesque marble columns are dead giveaways, while on the top floor the wood-panelled Club Lounge is pretty much unchanged since the days it bustled with bank executives. It’s a place where Club Level patrons can enjoy complimentary all-day treats while taking in the amazing views. It even has its own concierge, who gave us the low-down on Philly and promised to get us access to the hottest tickets in town.
But the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia isn’t keen just to trade on its history. It knows that today’s travellers are looking for a bit of joie de vivre. So back downstairs, contemporary art peppers its walls and there’s even a gold Moët vending machine for the more Kardashian of its customers. And when the surrounding offices kick out, the atrium buzzes with life, to the sound of live music or a DJ.
Our suite was everything we expected from a modern Ritz-Carlton, with Georgia-marble bathrooms and plush bathrobes that we didn’t want to get out of. In fact, one morning we ordered breakfast in bed just so we could stay in them as long as possible.
Aside from our Club concierge, service at the property could have been a tad more attentive – at times it was borderline aloof. Perhaps this is testament to its popularity as a hotel, but it was a minor point-dock to an otherwise perfect 10.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
Philadelphia is full of museums and attractions, from the imposing to the quirky. Our favourites were the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Eastern State Penitentiary, but also worth a stop are the Barnes Foundation and the somewhat gruesome Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
When you’re all cultured out, Philly’s gaybourhood – one of the oldest in the US – is just closeby to the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. Look for the rainbow crossings.