The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)


Alexander Inn

Sublimely sited one block from Pine Street’s antique row, two blocks from the Avenue of the Arts, and six blocks from Independence Hall. Free Wi-Fi, fitness center, and continental breakfast; 48 rooms and staff eager to share insights on nearby attractions. 12th and Spruce Streets; tel. +1 215 923 3535.

Gables Bed & Breakfast

“A grandmotherly vibe that’s cozy.”—Lauren McCutcheon, home editor, Philadelphia magazine. Victorian chockablock with antiques, most of the ten guestrooms have private baths. High thread-count sheets ironed and starched; free parking and Wi-Fi, hot breakfast. Near the University of Pennsylvania. 4520 Chester Avenue; tel. +1 215 662 1918.


Chestnut Hill Hotel

Chic, upper-class neighborhood, nine miles (14 kilometers) north of Center City with charming, pedestrian-friendly mix of retail and restaurants; next door to Thursday-through-Saturday farmers market. Three restaurants, 36 rooms with comfy beds; free parking, free Wi-Fi, and continental breakfast. 8229 Germantown Avenue; tel. +1 215 242 5905.

Loew’s Philadelphia Hotel

“Great views from the 33rd floor. New Jersey looks lovely from there.”—Lauren McCutcheon. Art deco tower with 581 rooms, restaurants, huge fitness center; child and pet friendly; kids’ fun center offers loaner toys including PlayStation. Long walk or short cab ride from most attractions. 1200 Market Street; tel. +1 215 627 1200.

Morris House Hotel

“Ideal for people who like to walk. Sweet, old-fashioned atmosphere with a romantic courtyard.”—Ashley Albrecht, Philadelphia event planner. Built in 1787 and recently restored in Society Hill, close to the Liberty Bell. Fifteen rooms decorated in 18th-century style, most overlooking a garden; no elevator. Free breakfast and afternoon tea. 225 South Eighth Street S; tel. +1 215 922-2446.

Penn’s View Hotel

“Quaint, homey, and easy to find, right off I-95. Love the wine bar.”—Lauren McCutcheon. Old-World style, close to colonial sites; 51 rooms, some with marble baths and gas fireplaces. Front and Market streets; tel. +1 215 922 7600.

Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast

History buffs sleep here. The only lodging inside Independence National Historic Park; 12-room restored 1769 jewel box furnished with antiques, some with Delaware River views; fourth floor reached via a narrow staircase. Complimentary breakfast, nightly wine and cheese; no kids under age ten. 129 South Second Street; tel. +1 215 923 8523.


Omni Hotel at Independence Park

“People who like to visit historic sites don’t need a taxi [when staying here].”—Ken Alan, founding member, Philadelphia Concierge Association. Polished gem with attentive staff is within walking distance of major city landmarks; lush, flower-filled lobby, and adjacent piano bar; 150 elegant rooms with flat-screen TVs and park views. 401 Chestnut Street; tel. +1 215 925 0000.

Park Hyatt at the Bellevue

“Hushed and posh, the feeling of a Philadelphia society hotel.”— Ashley Albrecht. Center stage in the theater district; 172 large and luxurious rooms, some with baths outfitted with TVs. High-end retail on ground floor; dazzling restaurant XIX on top floor retains 1904 French Renaissance moldings. Broad and Walnut streets; tel. +1 215 893 1234.


“Attention to detail is elevated; Chez Colette is a beautiful brasserie with a glamorous, 1920s retro feel.”—Ken Alan. Elegant, modern, and French-flavor; steps from Rittenhouse Square with ready access to the Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and great nightlife; 306 rooms, with sumptuous, puffy beds and marble baths with French soaps. 120 South 17th Street; tel. +1 215 569 8300.

The Inn at Penn

“A cab or subway ride from most attractions; great library, very civilized, with coffee and tea.”—Lauren McCutcheon. Hilton property with art deco styling on the University of Pennsylvania campus, 238 rooms feature luxuriant bedding, plush robes, and in-room virtual office; wine bar and 24-hour fitness center. 3600 Sansom Street; tel. +1 215 222 0200.


Four Seasons

“Lush, gleaming, and close to cultural destinations, with the added glamour of Fountain, a restaurant where the staff is trained to read the patrons’ minds.”—Ken Alan. 364 recently renovated rooms in updated Federal style. Swann Lounge is a lively spot for tea or cocktails. Spa with extended hours, pool ensconced in palm trees. One Logan Square; tel. +1 215 963 1500.

The Rittenhouse

Tremendous park views and two great restaurants, Lacroix, for those who like it French and chic, and Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, very clubby.”—Ken Alan. Oasis of civility near nightlife and historic sites; 98 rooms with sitting areas in former townhouse owned by the brother of Mary Cassatt; several of her Impressionist works hang in the Cassatt tearoom. 210 West Rittenhouse Square; tel. +1 215 546 9000.

The Ritz-Carlton

“A dramatic setting for a drink and serious people-watching.”—Ashley Albrecht. Massive marble columns, a vestige of the hotel’s origins as a bank, opened in 1908. Stunning lobby lounge 140 feet (42 meters) below domed ceiling; 300 rooms, Frette linens, complimentary shoe shine. 10 Avenue of the Arts; tel. +1 215 523 8000.


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