For a number of years in a row now, my better half and I have travelled to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving and have stayed in Center City on Wednesday and Thursday. This year's "Priceline Winner" was the Westin (originally a Ritz-Carlton and then a St. Regis). Throughout the public areas you felt like you were still in the Ritz (which was built in the '80's when they had a template of sorts), with the clubby dark wood and pretty but formal furnishings throughout (rather un-Westin-like). The rooms themselves were more like the sleeker, modern-er stylings of a Westin property.
The hotel is in a great location only two turns off the 676 expressway (in Philly that's a bonus). Philly is an eminently walkable city, but if you don't want to do that (distance, unfamiliarity), cabs are plentiful. Rittenhouse Square is nearby, and with that so are some of the higher-end restaurants. I highly recommend Steven Starr's Parc from another recent trip.
The king room was pretty large (we were on the Starwood Preferred Member floor, but I don't know if that was why). The accents and the amenities were to be expected in a Westin---plush bathrobe, extensive toiletries and minibar selections, gorgeous TV, safe, etc. But oddly, they offered only one complimentary regular coffee for two people (you could buy the second one if you wanted), and there were no coffee stirrrers the first morning. Also, no morning newspaper greeted us either day.
We did have breakfast in the Winthrop & Valentine Restaurant (even that sounds stuffy, but it's a fabulous take on the names of the two lead characters in a popular Philadelphia-based movie...Google it!). The selections were fine---eggy things, pancakes, oatmeal, etc.), but my hash browns literally tasted like nothing. Not one potato molecule was evident. I was dumbfounded as to how this was possible. My egg/turkey/chpiotle salsa wrap was otherwise good. Two breakfasts with tax & tip were over $50. Yeah. Had drinks in the same restaurant bar Thursday night. Pretty busy with a lively crowd (escaped from family!). Our bartender lady was very friendly and chatted with everyone. And the Manhattans were well made.
The staff that we did encounter was pleasant and helpful, as needed. Cheery, as opposed to prim and proper. I like cheery.
I am a Starwood member and love Westin hotels (Heavenly Beds!). This one was very nice (as they all should be), but as I mentioned, there were a few really basic things that were off. But for our purposes---a crashpad, for the most part---it got our long weekend off to a great start.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the heart of a city rich with history, The Westin Philadelphia is convenient to Liberty Place, upscale shopping, award-winning restaurants, museums and historical attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Constitution Center. Our hotel features 294 guest rooms with 19 suites, business center, fitness facility, and on-site dining at citygrange. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin Philadelphia Hotel Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Westin