Philly good: check into the best hotels in Philadelphia for 2017

Philly good: check into the best hotels in Philadelphia for 2017

Despite an increasingly hollowed out city centre, Philadelphia still has plenty of charm, not least its covetable art collections, historic architecture, buzzing dining scene, and interesting satellite neighbourhoods like Fishtown. In recent years, a spate of hotels slash serviced apartments has come on-line, alongside sensitively renovated or repurposed antique buildings. All the better to linger and explore this vastly underrated city.

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Hotel

Four rooms have been carved out of a three-storey, 19th-century whiskey factory in Philadelphia’s historic Fishtown quarter, which explains the distinct industrial feel of the spaces. Philly-based company Method Co, who collaborated with local architect Richard Stokes, have complemented the original arched windows and antique millwork with a modern, yet nostalgic, mix of customised timber furniture, Stacey Rozich wallpaper, claw-foot bathtubs and Persian rugs. At in-house restaurant Fishtown Italian, chef Christ Painter’s wood-fired menu of colatura pork ribs, hanger steaks paired with shishito, and roasted suckling pig is a particular draw, as is nearby Frankford Hall’s beer garden, and BBQ specialists Fette Sau.
 
1355 North Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122; tel: 1.215 291 1355; www.wmmulherinssons.com

Photography: Matthew Williams

AKA University City

The AKA hotel group opened its third property in Philadelphia this year, this time in the upper 18 floors of the gleaming Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed Cira Centre tower, and tapped Lissoni Associati for the interiors of grained wood, wool, linen and cotton. The 268 rooms include apartment residences, making University City an ideal perch for long stays, a particularly tempting option given the Olympic-sized pool on the 28th floor; a 3D golf simulator; the much-lauded Walnut Street Café on the ground floor; and nearby Cira Green, Philadelphia’s one-acre version of New York’s High Line.

Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; tel: 1.215 825 7000; www.stayaka.com

The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia

After a $25m refurbishment in 2016 that included the lobby, club lounge and its 301 rooms, the Ritz-Carlton, once again, claimed the high ground in Philadelphia’s luxury hotel category. Swathed in acres of marble and wood panels and blue, and hues of green, copper and nickel (‘the colour of money’, as the hotel’s website puts it unabashedly), the mood is, more than ever, of the soigné residence of a well-heeled local tycoon. Just off the146ft rotunda lobby (hello, 9,000 tonnes of Georgia marble), restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s Aqimero, in particular, pulls in the city’s A-listers with its wood-burning grill and small plates menu of surf and turf.

10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 19102; tel: 1.215 523 8000; www.ritzcarlton.com

Roost Rittenhouse

This outpost of the Roost brand is the elder sophisticate sibling to the younger, more carefree Roost Midtown. Again, Morris Adjmi Architects have taken the reins, this time refurbishing an early 20th-century, 11-storey pile into 27 residences dressed with Patricia Urquiola armchairs, oak floors, and vintage Moroccan rugs. The best rooms in the house are the pair of two-storey penthouses, which are flooded with natural light, and offer panoramic views of city and greens. A particular treat is a 17th-century park across the road that was originally conceived by William Penn, no less.

1831 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; tel: 1.267 469 0349; www.myroost.com

Photography: Matthew Williams

AKA Rittenhouse Square

The AKA group could not have picked a more historic address than Rittenhouse Square for its 78 suites and penthouses. The cool white and grey interiors, in the 12-storey, 1912 landmark by Mcllvain & Roberts, are the work of Nicolas Cardone and Edward Asfour. Natural fabrics, wire-brushed hardwood floors and Vibia lighting provide a natural, modern counterpoint to the building’s grand beaux arts façade, while, for long-stay guests, the in-room kitchens are nicely complemented by the hotel’s a.bar and a.kitchen.

135 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; tel: 1.215 825 7000; www.stayaka.com

Roost Midtown

For Roost’s 27 long-stay apartments – located in the 1920s Charles SW Packard building – Morris Adjmi Architects merged the trappings of a boutique hotel with the homey yet slick vibe of an artist’s studio. The specs start from the 517 sq ft studios, and range up to the 1,083 two-bedroom apartments, with the penthouse clocking in at 1,250 sq ft. High vaulted ceilings and factory-styled windows create a lofty set-piece for the furnishings of Sferra linens, antique Turkmen rugs, terrariums and customised artwork, while an on-site dog-walker, coffee concierge and personal trainer add value.

111 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102; tel: 1.267 737 9000; www.myroost.com

Photography: Matthew Williams