I prefer boutique hotels over brand name box hotels and The Independent Hotel is a Philly boutique hotel with a little over 20 rooms that is conveniently located within walking distance to everything. There is a parking lot across the street and a parking garage down the street. The subway is close by.
My wife and stayed at The Independent during the Christmas holiday. We were met by Colin at the front desk. (Oh, and the lobby is on the second floor of the building). Colin helped us check in and recommended some restaurants that were open on Christmas Day. Since we got there early, our room wasn’t ready, but we opted to take a room on the second floor. Big mistake! There was an unbearable humming coming from inside the wall that was a motor, generator, pump or something. It would turn off then either immediately come back on or wait a few minutes and then turn back on. I believe it was room 207. When it began to annoy me, I went to the front desk, which was now manned by Eric. Eric came into the room and also heard the noise, but he thought it was the bathroom heater. He turned off the heat and the humming stopped. I was relieved. But when we came back at night after dinner, the humming was there and did not turn off when I turned off the heat. It was definitely a different noise. I could hear the sound of the heater over the humming. It made for a really bad night of sleeping. Not only that, the next morning maintenance guy came into our room without knocking or announcing himself. My wife was still sleeping. He excused himself and left.
I immediately got dressed then went out to the front desk to complain about the noise and the intrusion. Colin and the maintenance man apologized and he still tried to explain why he entered. Whether there is a guest in the room or not, a hotel employee should always announce oneself. Hospitality 101! Since we were staying for three nights, I asked to switch rooms. Colin had no problem and moved us into room 405; the only room on the fourth floor and it was quiet. We loved it.
The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast with a choice of fruit, juice, cereal, oatmeal or muffin and yogurt. Packaged goods, but was a nice surprise that we weren’t expecting. We could make coffee in the room with a Keurig machine, or make coffee, tea or hot chocolate down in the lobby.
They also offer a wine and cheese reception Monday through Thursday evening. Monday night we went down to the lobby, there was wine but no cheese. Seems that they get their cheese platter from the restaurant on the first floor but it was closed on Monday (Christmas Eve) and somebody forgot to tell them. They would also be closed Christmas day so no cheese on Tuesday. But there was a choice of two bottles of white (nobody wanted red) and when one emptied, Eric brought out another. When the other guests left for dinner, my wife and I had a friendly conversation with Eric who I thought was a very nice guy. Since he also had to work Christmas night, we brought him back a dessert from the restaurant and he was grateful.
The negatives: noisy room 207, maintenance man entering unannounced, paint splatters on hardwood floors and housecleaning needs to clean more thoroughly (found dust collecting in certain areas). Lamp on desk was coming apart. No cheese at reception.
The positives: Big rooms, great location, free breakfast, coffee and wine. Wonderful staff (Colin and Eric), hardwood floors and brick walls and chocolate kisses at front desk. I liked the original art by a local artist that was three stories high.
Overall, we had a very good experience. I would recommend The Independent Hotel , but if you are a light sleeper stay away from room 207.