I've been on an extended business project in Pittsburgh and staying at The Priory four nights a week for seven months. Compared to the normal options (an anonymous hotel chain or a sterile corporate apartment), The Priory has been perfect.
I initially "discovered" The Priory while doing a stroll of the neighborhood on a beautiful summer afternoon. While checking out the pre-Civil War homes I stopped to chat with a neighborhood resident. She asked me if I'd seen The Grand Hall and attached Priory hotel--they were still a couple blocks away in my exploration but I made a point of seeing them. The beautifully restored Priory building caught my eye and I stepped in just to look around a bit. I met Henry, who runs the front desk during the afternoon/evening shift most days He gave me the quick tour and then let me explore. I was most impressed with the use of fhe framed original building blueprints and neighbood maps as artwork along several corridors.
While the building itself is old, the complete restoration provides modern conveniences including private bath/shower (although small) in all but a couple of the smaller rooms and wireless Internet access. Each room is different but they all share the high ceilings, transomed doors, antique furnishings, tasteful decorations and feeling of a less hectic time when travel was more special than today.
Some people will always prefer a "modern" hotel over a classic--and there are some downsides to this classic--you won't find an elevator (but then, there are only 3 floors); you won't find premium pay-TV channels (but the incentive to get out and enjoy nearby restaurants and sites is far better!); you won't be earning Marriott or Hilton points (but the hotel's own Ambassador Club has a nice selection of gifts for frequent visitors); you won't find a hotel pool for those 25' laps (but there is an uncrowded fitness center in the cool basement).
But, what will you be getting includes a relaxed and comfortable room, a sitting room where guests actually want to sit and chat over a complementary glass of wine. You'll also get a personal welcome from the friendly staff (most of whom you will know by name within the first day or two), free parking (a big advantage compared to other downtown hotels), an interesting and diverse neighborhood currently in revival (led to a major degree by the Grand Hall and Priory); and a freshly-prepared extended continental breakfast that includes fresh fruit, meet and cheese trays, bacon and eggs, plus an assortment of the wonderful pastries from the Graf family's neighborhood bakery a few blocks away.
The business traveller will also get the opportunity to wake up and look around the room without thinking "This looks like a Hyatt--I wonder what city I'm in?"
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A former Benedictine Monastery, the Priory Hotel is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Pittsburgh's historic Deutschtown district. Built in 1888 (with a new addition which opened in January 2011), the Priory offers late 19th century historic ambiance, with all of the modern amenities, including flat screen televisions, in-room safes and coffee service, and complimentary hard wired and wireless Internet service. The Priory is within easy walking distance of many Pittsburgh attractions, including the Andy Warhol Museum, National Aviary, PNC Park and Heinz Field, and is less than a mile from downtown Pittsburgh. The Priory Hotel offers a complimentary European-style Continental breakfast every morning; parking is complimentary as well. Don't feel like leaving the property? Our Monks' Bar is open daily, and you can enjoy a cool drink in our cozy sitting room (with a wood burning fireplace), or out in our garden courtyard. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Priory Hotel Pittsburgh