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The Independent Hotel
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Reviewed April 9, 2012

When we travel I try to avoid chains and look for smaller, more personalized hotels or even bed and breakfasts. The Independent is a small boutique hotel with only 24 rooms, but the prices are quite reasonable for a city and tourist destination. Located on the corner of Locust and 13th, it's easy to get to by car, and an EZ park lot on the left 1/2 block before 13th has reduced parking for hotel guests, $15/day. Each room is slightly different, but quite spacious for a boutique hotel, which is often code for European, which is sometimes code for tiny. These rooms are large, the bed is fabulously comfortable, fridge and microwave, Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen tv, shower with two shower heads, furnished very tastefully, lovely colors, natural wooden floor with wool area rug. All in all very tasteful. Entrance is on the second floor, where newspapers and coffee/tea/chocolate service are always available. Staff is professional and friendly. Good location for walking: 8 blocks to Chinatown and its plethora of Asian themed restaurants; about the same to Antique Row; a bit farther to South St; just a few blocks to Broad/Avenue of the Arts and buses, including to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, bus 32, cost $2.00. I will definitely stay here during future visits to Philly. There was a bit of noise at 2 am on Saturday, when the bars close, and folks were milling about the parking lot across the street, but in general the noise level was not at all bad, and our room faced the street. If you are tall like my husband, the shower is apparently a bit short, but this is not something I ever notice myself!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank viageira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

The Independent is a "boutique" hotel, which I understand to mean that it is not part of a chain and has the kind of special touches that you would not find in major chains. The rooms are large with wonderful old high ceilings. The furnishings are fairly luxurious and the bathrooms are well-equipped. This is definitely a comfortable place to stay. My only complaint about the rooms is that the lighting in some seems to be a bit flaky, with switches not working properly and lights going on/off when they're not supposed to.

The hotel reception is on the second floor, to which you must take and elevator from the small entrance porch. The front door is unattended and locked late at night, but your room key allows you access. Access to the floors with the majority of the rooms is also by using your room key in the elevator. The reception on the second floor seems to be attended 24 hours per day and there are some rooms on this floor.

There is no hotel restaurant or bar, although I understand that the management might be working out a deal for providing food in the restaurant that recently took up home on the ground floor. A door has been provided from the entrance porch into the restaurant specifically, it seems, for this purpose. However, breakfast is the usual "continental" variety, which means "rather small and feeble", and you have to choose what you want and put it on a card you hang from your door so it can be delivered to your door the next morning. That shouldn't be a problem as you can use this as an excuse to explore Philly's many excellent breakfast options.

Situated near the intersection of 13th and Locust, it is only a block away from Broad Street, and in close proximity to the theater district and many of Philadelphia's finest restaurants. It can sometimes be a bit noisy late at night with revellers in the street, but it's a whole lot better than it used to be when the ground floor was the venue of a loud night club.

This is an ideal place to use as a base for a weekend trip to Philadelphia. The prices are marginally higher than you might pay for some of the standard chains, but even the cheapest hotels in central Philadelphia are pretty expensive, so for a few dollars more it's worth getting the convenience, ambiance and comfort of the Independent. Highly recommended if you don't need a full-service hotel.

Room Tip: All the rooms are of a good size and equipped to the same standard (from what I can tell), so it doesn't really matter which one you choose; just base it on the type of bed/s you want. Rooms at the back of the hotel may suffer from less street noise, if that is a problem for you.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank PaulS269
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2012

My wife and I were going to Philadelphia mainly for a concert at the Wells Fargo Center. We selected this hotel because of the great reviews and the easy access to the Broad Street South Subway station (that's what we needed to get to the arena, which is at the southern end of Philly). We were more than pleased with the vibe and look of the hotel when we arrived. The staff at the front desk were very helpful and efficient in checking us in. Our room was clean, which is always a big item of note for us. To me, most standard hotel rooms all look basically alike in their layout and feel, but this room we had at the independent felt very unique and cozy. The floor was hardwood, the furniture was very nice and comfortable, and the bathroom was large. The hotel breakfast wasn't what we were looking for (my wife doesn't like yogurt, and a croissant wasn't gonna be the only thing we got), so we skipped out on breakfast. Nothing major, just not what we wanted. The pillows were long and thin, which don't usually work for me, but I doubled up and made it work. We had a very easy walk (1-2 blocks west to Broad St) to get to the subway station, which got us to our concert and back with no issues. We were also withing a 15 minute walk to the historical district, shopping on Market, and many other restaurants in between. We had a great time in Philly, and would stay here again in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: I'd stay away from room 205 (it's right next to the lobby and the elevator). People would gather in the lobby and get a little loud given the room location.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Colosseo7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IndependentHotel, General Manager at The Independent Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2012

Centrally Located & near all major attractions for sure - thanks for pointing out how amazing your stay was with us. We definitely listened to our guests about their experience and are finding other ways to enhance their breakfast experience at The Independent. I'm sorry that during your stay it wasn't as ideal but glad to hear it wasn't as deal breaker. We love our location and happy you both did too!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a visit to Philadelphia where we stayed at The Independent Hotel. I was a little concerned after reading some reviews, but believe me, I am SO GLAD I chose this hotel. Prior to arrival, I sent an email to the hotel mentioning my concerns about noise and asking for a higher floor, quiet room. Within moments, the manager returned my email and noted my request in my reservation. WELL...our room was #405. 4th Floor toward the back of the hotel. This is a small hotel...only 24 rooms. The room was huge, quiet, well appointed, CLEAN, and very comfortable. The room was furnished with a king size bed, a pull out sofa, two dressers with ample storage room, a desk, tables, an area rug, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker...the works. I LOVED the wood floors. I really get creaped out by hotel room wall to wall carpet. It doesn't feel clean. So I was thrilled with the beautiful wood floors. The bathroom was large, clean, and the shower had 2 shower heads...my favorite brand, too...Speakman...the best shower heads. I use them in my house. Plenty of hot water, as well. Breakfast is delivered at your choice of time in the morning...free of charge. A simple selection, but a really nice way to start the day. The lobby offers free coffee, tea, and hot cocoa all day long. They offer wine & cheese in the evening, but I did not get to try it due to other plans. Overall, this hotel is FABULOUS. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. I prepaid for our room at the time of reservation in order to get a better rate and I would do that again. If I head back to Philly, I know where I'm staying again.

Room Tip: Upper floor, not facing the street
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank denpqk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2012

What a perfect place to stay! it's well located in a relatively quiet neighborhood and is in walkign distance to whereever you would want to go for dining or shopping. The staff is fantastic. My room was absolutely perfect and very quiet (not facing the street). I was worried about noise after reading some other reviews but the street is not very noisy anyway....

The room was super comfortable - great, high bed, lovely bathroom with two sshowerheads). Breakfast was delivered to my room ( you cant beat that) and they give you free passes for a local gym, which was also excellent.

I did not try the rrestaurant downstairs but I heard all week while working in Philly how great it was.

I have tried a zillion hotels in Philadelphia and now I found one I can keep going back to, and look forward to it.

Very, very nice.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank bonsai35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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