When we were planning our trip to Philadelphia, we looked for a hotel with an indoor pool, free breakfast, and a suite so our family could spread out a little. The Homewood Suites offered all of that, so even though it wasn't in the Old Town area where we would spend most of our time, we booked it. We were a little worried on the drive into town since our gps took us through a slightly rough area, but once we got closer to the hotel we felt better. The hotel was very nice and modern. The valet immediately greeted us and helped with our luggage. Check in went smoothly and the room was nice. You should note, if you plan on using the bed in the sofa, when folded out it comes right up and rubs against the table legs. No extra space for walking around. The fridge door also rubbed up against the wall every time we tried to close it. Small things and not really a problem, just a bit of a bother. While on that thought, a few other things could have been improved. They give you a bag of popcorn in the room, but there's no big bowl other than the cooking pot to put it in once popped. And the bathroom light is positioned in a way that, when you are in the shower with the curtain closed, isn't able to provide much light in the shower. It's pretty dim. Again, small things, but could have easily been thought of and made better.
We weren't terribly impressed with the breakfast. Eggs and sausage, waffles, bread items, oatmeal. Not bad. But for whatever reason they had an awful time trying to keep things stocked. Every time I wanted something the first morning, I had to wait for them to replenish. Waffle batter, juice, coffee. These are basic things, they should be well prepared to keep them stocked. It wasn't busy, there were only a couple families and a couple at breakfast. The second morning was a bit better, but at one point they ran out of juice glasses and when they brought more out, they were still so hot that when one man poured ice water into his it broke right in half. Maybe they should buy some more glasses so that they have extra ready rather than bringing them right from the dishwasher. The last morning they ran out of coffee and had to make more while many of us waited. Knowing that people are going to want coffee at breakfast shouldn't be a surprise and should be planned for. I'm not sure how many people they had working the breakfast, but I really only saw one lady bringing everything out. To give her credit, she was working very hard and was very polite to people asking her to bring more of whatever. She just needed the people back in the kitchen area to get things done! I hope she had someone back there helping, at least! Either way they should consider hiring at least one more to help out and keep everything stocked.
The fitness room was the nicest I've ever seen in a hotel. 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, weights, excercise balls, a bike....and the machines each had their own screen. It was truly nice, and almost inspired me to work out! The pool area was also great. Loved that the hot tub was raised. I think it definitely kept out the kids jumping into the hot tub from the pool and back as you often see at a hotel. The pool itself could have been a little warmer, but that's a normal thing.
Really liked the feature of using the key for everything. I'm sure it saves the hotel a lot of money on electric bills and helps the planet. Plus we always knew where our key was!
If you are staying here and planning on going to the Old City and seeing the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, or anything around there, there is a subway station a few blocks from the hotel. It's the Market-Frankford line, and is a set fee of $2 per person from the 40th St Station to anywhere. There's a stop at 5th St, right at Independence Park. There are also constantly taxis passing the hotel, so it's not hard to get anywhere.
My favorite part of the stay was the shuttle driver. We wanted to get a bottle of wine one night, and they offer a shuttle for the area around the hotel, so he took us to a store. He was wonderful! So friendly and helpful. All of the employees really were nice.
All in all, we'd probably stay here again, but not as a first choice-at least not for what we had plans for.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The suites in our brand-new University City property come in studio and one-bedroom sizes, all with top amenities and modern, attractive decor. Each suite includes a full kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave and twin-burner stove, and features separate living and sleeping areas with all the comforts of home and more. ... more less
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