I stayed at the Independent for four nights and was surprised that this place is rated so highly on TripAdvisor. On the plus side, the bed was very comfortable, the room was artful and hip and had high ceilings, and the bathroom was pretty large. And, it was relatively inexpensive ($139/nt on a Travelzoo special which included a small continental room service breakfast).
The location is both positive and negative. Yes, it is convenient to everything. However, this neighborhood has a pretty busy street scene - lots of clubs and restaurants. So if your room is on the street, it can be pretty noisy. The single-pane glass windows don't do anything to keep the noise out.
There are plenty of negatives too. The air conditioning functioned only sporadically, despite a request for maintenance. Nevertheless, the unit was really loud.
A red light (maybe part of the fire alarm?) mounted high on the wall by the front door kept flashing on and off my last night there. The recessed lights over the bed would not stay lit either (despite a maintenance request, this was never fixed).
Security is lax. I came back to my room mid-afternoon to find the housekeeper there. I asked her if I could duck in to change and then I'd be leaving in 10 minutes. She let me in to my room without asking me to use my key or see ID. I complained to the front desk. Same thing happened again 2 days later. Also, the door has no peephole, so if someone knocks, you can't see who it is until you open the door.
Bottom line, this is a 2.5 - 3 star hotel. If you can get it at a good price and don't mind the lax security and the potential for street noise, you may love it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Independent Hotel is home to a building erected in 1922, registered with the National Historic Commission. The beautiful full sized, floor to ceiling, French Style Windows illuminate many of the guest rooms. The original windows are single pained glass and the charm of the building couldn't be compromised. Being in a major city and the heart of Philadelphia downtown, there will always be foot traffic and excitement of a growing artsy area that we encompass.
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Here at The Independent Hotel, we have high tech InnCom Phone systems that are the "Brains" of each guest room. While pointed out by this guest the red sensor is part of this system to indicate that the room is occupied. Our hotel is Green Friendly in the sense that if there is no detection of occupancy the HVAC system will go to a neutral setting and all hard wired lighting will be shut off to conserve energy. Upon entry back into the guest room, this motion sensor will then alert the system to bring the HVAC & Lighting back to its settings from when the guest was in the room. The phones also have many unique features such as 5 different language conversions, 14 full restaurant listings, Do Not Disturb options, and many more - all at the touch of a button.
All of our employees consider our hotel guests safety as one of our top priorities. The hotel elevator has a key card access only to get beyond the hotel lobby. If you are not a guest here at the hotel with a valid room key, you cannot access the hotel main entry beyond 10pm nor get access in the elevator beyond the lobby floor 24 hrs a day. Each of our housekeeping staff members has been employed here since June 2008 - we make it our priority to know each of our guests to ensure they have the best experience at The Independent. Our housekeeping staff member knew who this guest was and didn't question them during their stay or upon entry of their room. We are a small 24 room hotel and this makes it easy for us to know our guests by name leave encouraging notes for our guests and provide guidance around the city.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.