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“Going Down Hill Fast” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue

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Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131   |  
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Ranked #60 of 83 Hotels in Philadelphia
Lake Placid, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Going Down Hill Fast”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2009

I have stayed here 2-3 times a year for the past three years while in town caring for ailing elderly relatives. During this period of time I have watched the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue decline from a solid 3.5 star hotel with a comfortable lobby, attentive service and quality business amenities to essentially a place designed to host meetings and wedding receptions with little concern for the comforts or needs of the guest.

The last trip was in November 2009. We booked two rooms online a day in advance. We arrived in the late morning on a Sunday and asked about early check-in. We were told flat-out no. Fine, I can accept that, check in is not until 3 pm. Still, in all my years travelling, I can't remember not being able to get into a room at least by noon on a Sunday.

The lobby which is quite large, has been pared down so the entire furniture consists of two small side chairs near the elevator. Beyond that is a large vacant area with just a piano centerpiece. There used to be a comfortable seating area there with coaches and arm chairs but they've been removed. The hotel staff says they did this to prevent non-guests from congregating. It gives the lobby all the warmth of a Greyhound bus station. It also means the only other places to gather as a group is the bar, located off the lobby. Maybe it's really a tactic to get you to spend money.

The business center had one computer out of order and the other had a 10 minute limit until it started charging for internet access. This wouldn't have been a problem if the printer on the only working computer were not also broken. Of course, the room was full everytime we tried to go in to check the internet. And, of course, connecting to the internet from the lobby on your own laptop is $10 a day -- that's if you can find a place to sit. No chairs, remember?

We finally got into our rooms late in the day and they were fine. The decor was actually a bit upscale. The carpet could have been cleaner, but honestly all we did was sleep and they were fine for that.

The halls were a bit dirty and the outside doors to our rooms looked like they had not been cleaned of fingerprints and other debris for about a year. In the morning, the elevator smelled distinctly of vomit the next day. Charming.

On my next visit, I'm going to stay at the Crowne Plaza down the street, even though it is not an all no-smoking hotel which I prefer. Their prices are lower and the Hilton is going down hill fast.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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448 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2009

My family reserved a number of rooms at a group rate at this hotel for a wedding nearby. Check in is posted at 3pm. We arrived on wedding day, Saturday, at 12pm, hoping to perhaps luck out and check in a bit early. We were advised rooms weren't yet available. There are only 2 chairs in the lobby to sit (we were told so as to avoid non-hotel stays from loitering), which is quite ridiculous. But, we opted to have our bags held and have a lunch at the hotel lounge. Slowest lunch ever, but no complaints on our meals. At 2pm, 1 of our 4 rooms were available. No change at 3pm, which is the posted check in time. At which point we started calling the front desk for an update on when our rooms would be available...the remaining 3 of our 4 rooms were not provided until 4:15pm. We had to be at wedding pictures at the venue (15 mins away) at 5pm! So we were thoroughly rushed to get cleaned up for the wedding. [Additionally, I popped down to purchase a razor, but the gift shop was out. I inquired at the front desk and was advised that one would be promptly brought up to my room gratis. I thought this was very nice, however, alas: the razor never arrived! Was forced to borrow from the wedding party after calling around].
Look, the WHOLE point in checking into this hotel was so we could get ready at a lesiurely pace and head on out for the wedding nearby. Clearly this hotel is poorly managed, and unable to appropriately staff up and handle busy weekends. So, the stay was an unhappy one, I'd never return and I'd advise others to avoid for weekend stays.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2009

If you are a business traveller I dont think you can fault this place.
Assuming you dont need a large swimming pool that is.
The bar, attended by the charasmatic Jim, serves wonderful cocktails (Jim will mix you the best).
Rooms are large (especially if you stay at the Suites next door - great value, and no hardship in that they are linked to the hotel anyway!).
The restaurant serves suberb steaks!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2009

I was afraid to bring my wedding group to this hotel after reading the reviews.....I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone we came into contact with made sure that this was enjoyable and non-stressful place before we got married. I asked for a new room and they gave me a corner room which was almost as big as a suite, but at the single room rate. That was very nice
The only complaint was housekeeping was a little slow, however if you ask nicely they were right on it.
The hotel manager also made sure that every little detail was taken care of....
No, this hotel is not located in Center City, but if you have business outside of Philly or have a car to help you get around, this is your perfect spot.
I actually stayed a extra night instead of going home to my house in Philly (too many people staying there)

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2009

Just finished 4 nights at this hotel, my client's choice &, overall, 'uneven' is about the best way I can think to describe it.

The beds are comfy, though I don't know why Hilton has moved away from using fitted bottom sheets on the beds when so many other hotels do, including Hilton Garden Inns & Hampton Inns, both members of the Hilton family. They have done away with both the 'don't steal me' hangers & hair dryers & though the bathroom is on the smallish side, it is very functional. Unlike other hotels that encourage guests to hang their towels for re-use, & then change them anyway, mine actually were left hanging to be re-used. Our room rate included breakfast each day & though it's a buffet, it's a very substantial one w/cooked to order eggs & waffles (no pancakes, though) as well as plenty of breads, fruits, cereals, etc.

Now for the not so good. My room was missing the bedside phone & desk phone was not working-both of these were brought to the attention of the housekeeping supervisor w/in an hour of arrival in the room, but nothing was ever done about it. The only plug in the vicinity of the desk was literally under it-not pleasant having to crawl under the desk twice/day to plug/unplug the laptop. Lighting in the room, overall, is very low. It took two requests, & two days, to have the missing box of tissue in the bathroom replaced (also pointed out to the housekeeping supervisor on day 1); my colleague 2 doors down had the same problem, in addition to the toilet in his bathroom stopped working the night before we left (ugh!). They no longer deliver papers to the guestroom in the morning, claiming the papers 'weren't being used', however, it was an adventure to find papers for each of us each day & we did resort to sharing twice. We had dinner in the restaurant, Delmonicos, one night (as it turns out, the night before the 'official' opening) & while the food was ok (wouldn't recommend the crab cakes, though), the service was incredibly slow.

Our first night there, we ate in the Polo Lounge as Delmonicos is closed on Sunday (sweet potato fries were very good, btw). The bartender in the lounge, when asked about other restaurants in the vicinity, recommended CHOPS Restaurant about 2 blocks away. Since one of our clients also made the same recommendation, on Wed evening, 4 of us walked the 2 blocks, downhill, to CHOPS for an early dinner, arriving at approximately 6:15. Despite there being exactly 3 people sitting in the dining room, we were told they were 'booked completely until 7:30'. Needless to say, we took our business elsewhere that night!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2009

Let me provide some context. I am a consultant for a global company so I do a lot of business travel and stay at a wide variety of hotels. I've never had this type of treatment at any other hotel. Here were my major issues with this hotel:
1) I was about to go to sleep and I found the comforter and the pillows on the bed were dirty. Literally there was dirt from the previous guest on the underside of the comforter (sheet covers) and two pillows. I could see brown streaks on the pillows and fresh stains on the comforter. Needless to say I was disgusted and immediately called guest services to request new linens. The hotel's response was " we can't help you, housekeeping does not get in until 7am tomorrow ." I couldn't believe my ears and that I was at " The Hilton." They never changed my sheets nor provided new linens and frankly they did not care.
2) That same evening I requested the hotel to make arrangements for a taxi to pick me up at 6am the next morning (I had to catch the Amtrak at a specific time for a client appointment). The hotel agreed to call the taxi for me. Next morning, I went to lobby/front desk at 5:50am and by 6pm no taxi showed up. The clerk at the front desk was not pleasant. She started to speak to me from the other room as opposed to addressing me at the desk. This was very unprofessional. I'm left with the impression that they never called the taxi the evening before. A taxi arrived at 6:30am.
3) Before the situation with the taxi, I requested a "guests feedback card" and I was told that "at this hotel we don't have that." What type of hotel does not want to improve its services?
4) Also the location of the hotel is inconvenient, it's at least 15mins from the Amtrack which is approx $20 fare one way.
Overall, the staff were very unprofessional, hotel was understaffed, dirty and inconvenient. This hotel is not a good representation of the Hilton brand, instead it's a detriment to the brand and I absolutely would not recommend it. The staff I dealt with did not care about making their guests comfortable. Who on earth wants to sleep on dirty sheets? That's not my type of hotel.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

The first and most important issue is the location of the hotel. It's about a 15-20 minute taxi ride (about $20 before tip) to and from the Amtrak 30th St. station depending on traffic, so it isn't the most convenient place to stay if you're wanting to do the city center locations. You will pay the same taxi fare to go from the hotel to city center locations like the art museum. I was there to visit the art museum, so no, it isn't most convenient. To further make my point, I was out in the Fairmount neighborhood and a taxi company refused to drive me back to the hotel-said he wasn't allowed to go that far, that I'd have to go with another company. hmm.

The front desk is very helpful and we actually did ask them for a lot of things. Front door staff is good and took our luggage up for us, got us taxis, took care of our luggage on departure. Conceirge didn't seem as knowledgeable as I expected, which is why we started going to the front desk instead.

The rooms were ok, nothing special. Don't look for the notebook in the room that tells the hotel amenities, we had 2 rooms and neither had one. We had no way of knowing if they had wireless, but they do have it and it's $9.95. As usual with almost every Hilton room I've stayed, the lighting is low, which is so annoying and there aren't enough outlets to plug in your devices we all have now. I need to plug my phone in beside the bed. Ugh! I had to plug it in on the desk. Bathrooms are small, beds are comfortable though.

They only give you two bath towels that are less than the quality most Hiltons furnish, so I had to call for extra but they didn't arrive until after the second request. The second day I left a post-it on the pillow with a generous tip politely asking for extra towels please, but they left nothing. I have done the same thing many times in other hotels and ALWAYS housekeeping has left extra towels for me. I just let it go and didn't ask for anymore towels. Housekeeping also didn't replenish some of the items we used, like the disposable coffee cups and q-tips and they should have changed out our toilet paper roll as it was almost gone, but they left it as is with one wrapped roll there for us to change I suppose.

The restaurant is Delmonico's Steakhouse and our one dinner there was excellent! The service was good too. The breakfast is buffet style with a chef to make your eggs. It's not a huge choice for a buffet, but it was enough for a standard breakfast. Chef was quick with the omelets. Breakfast service staff is sparse, you might not get your coffee refilled...even once. We had room service once and ordered pizza and drinks-have to say pizza was FANTASTIC! Pizza style is a pretty personal preference, but this was crisp, lots of sauce good!

I think this hotel is ok if you have a reason to be in that particular area or you happen to have your own car. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot around the hotel to do otherwise and you'll have to get a taxi out and they are far enough out that taxis don't sit there waiting for a fare. Hotel staff is more than happy to call for a taxi for you though and it's not more than a 15 minute wait from my experience there.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue

Address: 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 83 Hotels in Philadelphia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue 3.5*
Number of rooms: 209
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Also Known As:
Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue Hotel Philadelphia
Hilton Hotel Philadelphia
Philadelphia Hilton

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