What is it you want from a hotel when you are staying in a new city? Do you really want to stay at the Sheraton? Are you so disinterested with a town’s culture? Let me set this straight: I am not knocking hotel chains. They can be marvelous. I have stayed in them many times and will find myself in them in the future. But what I encourage you to do is what I do: always at least try to find an interesting local place to stay if you’ve got the time to hunt. It’s a sure way to get a dose of native personalities and learn the things about the town that the anti tourist would like to know. I had the time to dig around for a perfect spot before heading out to Philadelphia and now that the trip is over, I am certain that I did find the perfect spot.
Penn’s View Hotel is on the river’s edge. It’s elegant beyond anything a chain hotel could achieve. It’s classic and smart; sexy and smooth. Our room, number 315, which I highly recommend you rent out if you’re staying at this hotel, was nothing short of marvelous. The king bed had lots of room for spreading out in this giant space. The paneled ceilings gave the room a lofted feel and the couch, along with the chairs, managed to give this hotel room suite status. I sunk my way down into the jacuzzi bathtub and relaxed in the bubble bath–just one of the many complimentary items on the bathroom counter top. Unlike so many other jacuzzi bathtubs I have found myself in, the water stayed as boiling hot as I wanted it to–a perfect fix from a night out at Transit, one of Philadelphia’s must-experience 3 floor party spaces, by the way.
My praise of Penn’s View Hotel doesn’t stop here. The complimentary breakfast in the morning left nothing to be desired for me and my friend away for the weekend with me. We indulged in fresh fruit, waffles with strawberries on top, yogurt, absolutely delicious scones (there was a cherry almond one day and a banana the next day), bagels, toast, cereal, muffins, and even hard boiled eggs. The hotel does breakfast so well, I hardly wanted to eat the rest of the day after having had their breakfast. Endless juice and coffee alongside their complimentary daily newspaper are a perfect match for slipping comfortably into the morning.
The staff are unbelievably accommodating and warm. The free wireless internet actually works! The gym is cute and equipped with cardio machines, weights, and even a Bowflex. I dare you to get lost on the Bowflex machine while watching a rhinoceros program on National Geographic like I did. Triple dog dare.
And just when you probably thought I was done talking about this hotel, I’m not! The hotel’s restaurant, although I regret not trying it out myself, has got a menu to die for. The hotel’s bar, however, I did try out. Each Friday night, there is a wine tasting at the hotel’s bar. For only $25, you get to try wines from a different section of the world each Friday night and you get to pair that with first, second, and third helpings of cheeses, fruits, breads, vegetables, and I even indulged in a tomato mozzarella dish. In fact, I’d go as far as to say you could have a perfect 24 hours in Philadelphia without ever stepping foot outside of this hotel. Yeah, I just said that. And I mean it, too.
By: Elizabeth Seward