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“The Art of the Reservation” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Independent

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The Independent
Ranked #28 of 85 Hotels in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
East Windsor, New Jersey
Level Contributor
93 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“The Art of the Reservation”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2009

I will begin this review with the preface that I am a firm believer in the reviews provided by users here on Trip Advisor and have never had an issue previously. This is a very nice property and can understand why it is highly rated, but a number one ranking is very much overstated. We arrived at the hotel to learn that our room type reserved six months ago was not going to be honored. In addition, based on reviews on Trip Advisor, we requested a high floor, that was not honored either despite promises on the telephone just days prior to our arrival. We were initially given room 201 directly over the nightclub and were told if we had a problem they would switch us. After some back and forth with the sole employee on the property at the front desk, we were moved to room 304 on the south side of the building. In addition, the front desk clerk told us that a wedding party was occupying the 4th and 5th floors, and most of the 3rd floor. Also, our original room had a broken air conditioner. This was all told to us approximately an hour after check in. The could have actually told us the truth, which instead, was that when we checked in our room was already given away despite it being 3:30PM to a customer who was willing to pay more for the room.

The overall property is well maintained and the rooms are clean. As with any boutique hotel the rooms have a unique style. The rooms have satellite TV as well as what appears to be a VOIP telephone system. The bathroom was large and the shower had two showerheads. The room lacks proper lighting, but the lamps did look nice. The free breakfast menu is very limited, but the nice touch is they deliver it to your room in the morning.

The major problem with this property is the nightclub on the ground level. Upon our return to the hotel at midnight the music could be heard a block away. In our 3rd floor room the music was still audible and you could feel some of the vibrations. The people on the 2nd floor must have had a nightmare stay. Our stay was on a Saturday night, so perhaps that is why other reviewers did not notice this issue. So weekend guests beware.

The hotel made a good faith effort to rectify their shortcomings regarding the inability to honor a reservation by comping us the night. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold the reservation — and that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.”

I do not think I would stay at this property again or recommend it to any Philadelphia visitors.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Case1096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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884 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    492
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2009

The Independent is a great little hotel in the heart of Philly. I stayed there for almost a week in July and left impressed. The room and furnishings were tasteful. The bed was very comfortable, and the room itself, importantly for me, was quiet. I will definitely stay at this charming hotel again next time in town.

Note: If you like a quiet, large room, request the 4th floor room if it's available. It is the only room on that floor, sharing the floor with a computer/business room.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NWTRNR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmond, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2009

I stayed at the Independent this past weekend for a girl's night out. The hotel was located in the center of everything downtown. The staff was friendly and helpful. Ryan was very helpful when I called the hotel before booking. He answered all of my questions and I was able to meet him in person when we stayed there. He was helpful, charming, and informative. When we checked in our room was extremely hot. Ryan came to our room right away to check on it. We thought it was fixed and left to walk over to South Street for some shopping and cheesesteaks. When we came back it was still hot. As soon as I called the front desk Gida (the evening staff member) immediately found us a new room. Had a new room not been available Gida would have sent a technician to the room right away. We know that there can be issues from time to time and it is how staff members deal with those issues that make the difference. The staff was great. The room was a bit dim but not too bad. The light controls have a dimmer switch so you can actually change the brightness if you choose. The size of the rooms were larger than what I expected of a boutique hotel. The beds were extremely comfy and the rooms were very stylish overall. We would defintely stay at the Independent Hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wylisha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2009

My husband and I, our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter stayed in The Independent for two nights and were very pleased with our find. We had a great rate for our two rooms through Expedia ($135/night for king bed plus couch or two queens) that we thought couldn't be beaten elsewhere in the city. The staff were friendly and very helpful to us. At first I thought the location was a little dicey but our son (who had lived in Philly for a few years) assured it that it was nearly as good as it gets. It was very central and convenient. There is a parking lot half a block down the street with in and out privileges for hotel guests. We had a very quiet room, tucked into the back of the hotel but I could see that the rooms over the bar/restaurant on the ground floor might be noisy. I recommend that you ask for a quiet room if you need quiet. I used the business center and found it to be adequate. I would give the hotel top ratings except for a few minor quibbles: 1) The shower was very small and I didn't see any shower caps in the toiletries on the sink so it was hard to keep my hair dry. 2) The continental breakfast could/should have been better. It was all the kind of food that keeps infinitely long without refrigeration except for a few old-looking pieces of fruit.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JoyceKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2009

I stayed at the Independent for four nights and was surprised that this place is rated so highly on TripAdvisor. On the plus side, the bed was very comfortable, the room was artful and hip and had high ceilings, and the bathroom was pretty large. And, it was relatively inexpensive ($139/nt on a Travelzoo special which included a small continental room service breakfast).

The location is both positive and negative. Yes, it is convenient to everything. However, this neighborhood has a pretty busy street scene - lots of clubs and restaurants. So if your room is on the street, it can be pretty noisy. The single-pane glass windows don't do anything to keep the noise out.

There are plenty of negatives too. The air conditioning functioned only sporadically, despite a request for maintenance. Nevertheless, the unit was really loud.

A red light (maybe part of the fire alarm?) mounted high on the wall by the front door kept flashing on and off my last night there. The recessed lights over the bed would not stay lit either (despite a maintenance request, this was never fixed).

Security is lax. I came back to my room mid-afternoon to find the housekeeper there. I asked her if I could duck in to change and then I'd be leaving in 10 minutes. She let me in to my room without asking me to use my key or see ID. I complained to the front desk. Same thing happened again 2 days later. Also, the door has no peephole, so if someone knocks, you can't see who it is until you open the door.

Bottom line, this is a 2.5 - 3 star hotel. If you can get it at a good price and don't mind the lax security and the potential for street noise, you may love it.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ricky2batz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IndependentHotel, Property Manager at The Independent, responded to this review, July 21, 2009
The Independent Hotel is home to a building erected in 1922, registered with the National Historic Commission. The beautiful full sized, floor to ceiling, French Style Windows illuminate many of the guest rooms. The original windows are single pained glass and the charm of the building couldn't be compromised. Being in a major city and the heart of Philadelphia downtown, there will always be foot traffic and excitement of a growing artsy area that we encompass.

Here at The Independent Hotel, we have high tech InnCom Phone systems that are the "Brains" of each guest room. While pointed out by this guest the red sensor is part of this system to indicate that the room is occupied. Our hotel is Green Friendly in the sense that if there is no detection of occupancy the HVAC system will go to a neutral setting and all hard wired lighting will be shut off to conserve energy. Upon entry back into the guest room, this motion sensor will then alert the system to bring the HVAC & Lighting back to its settings from when the guest was in the room. The phones also have many unique features such as 5 different language conversions, 14 full restaurant listings, Do Not Disturb options, and many more - all at the touch of a button.

All of our employees consider our hotel guests safety as one of our top priorities. The hotel elevator has a key card access only to get beyond the hotel lobby. If you are not a guest here at the hotel with a valid room key, you cannot access the hotel main entry beyond 10pm nor get access in the elevator beyond the lobby floor 24 hrs a day. Each of our housekeeping staff members has been employed here since June 2008 - we make it our priority to know each of our guests to ensure they have the best experience at The Independent. Our housekeeping staff member knew who this guest was and didn't question them during their stay or upon entry of their room. We are a small 24 room hotel and this makes it easy for us to know our guests by name leave encouraging notes for our guests and provide guidance around the city.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington dc
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2009

We reserved a king deluxe with a sofa bed and upon arrival were given a king room without a sofa bed. We were quickly changed to a room with a sofa bed but it was directly off the lobby. When you opened the sofa bed you could not get out and around the king bed, that was how close together they were. There were no extra pillows for the sofa bed and they were requested as we left to walk around Philly. Upon return they were still not in the room and we had to ask a second time at which point they were delivered promptly. The hotel was well located and the room did have nice decor and all but.... In addition, when I asked for a map of Philly, they did not have one readily available. After an afternoon of walking around Philly we returned to the room only to realize that our room was over an outdoor pub that was quite noisy. At that point the hotel was at full capacity and moving rooms was not an option. If that was not enough, we could not get the tv to work easily...and frustratingly needed the hotel staff to come in to get it to work. Finally, the room was very poorly lit which was actually a complaint noted by another traveler review.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank slpccc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IndependentHotel, Property Manager at The Independent, responded to this review, July 21, 2009
Here at The Independent Hotel we do our best to honor all guest room requests, but unfortunately not always guaranteed. As noted by this guest we were fully committed and we tried to move other reservations around to accommodate this guest, which promptly resulted in placement of the new guest room, fulfilling their need for an extra pull out, not charging them for a rollaway bed. Each guest room is equipped with a full size fleece blanket & standard pillow - situated inside the closet shelf. Upon the request from this guest for a pillow and blanket for the pull out, we made mention of the one in the guest room closet. A second request was made later that evening after returning to the hotel, at which time we immediately brought a second set to the guest room.

The Independent has a complimentary Business Center for our guests, of which it includes a full brochure stand with area maps and guides spanning throughout the Philadelphia Metro area. The Front Desk also serves as a full service Concierge providing full restaurant listings, maps and tour guide information for Philadelphia. Our lobby and each guest room have Where Magazines and Philadelphia Guides that also include Maps of the area. I'm not sure how this guest wasn't able to obtain a map of the area, so I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

We offer 115 channel Direct TV - in HD for all our guest rooms 32" LCD TV's. Unfortunately sometimes the TV's do have a service issue which we do address promptly.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2009

We stayed here for two nights - in beautifully decorated spacious king size room on the top floor. I agree with the earlier reviewer's comment that its how you wish your home was decorated. Lots of nice touches - the kitchenette area, a light breakfast delivered in the mornings, free calls in the US and free wifi. We were able to extend our checkout time on our departure day. An additional reading light would have been useful but that is a minor criticism.

On first impression I wasn't sure about the neighbourhood, but it never felt unsafe. It is in easy walking distance of the main sights

Overall, a great hotel experience.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AKREdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Independent

Property: The Independent
Address: 1234 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5612 (Formerly The Inn on Locust)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > City Center East
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Philadelphia
#13 Business Hotel in Philadelphia
#14 Romantic Hotel in Philadelphia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Independent 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Independent is a 24-room boutique hotel located in a fully restored Georgian-Revival building located at 1234 Locust Street in the vibrant Midtown Village area of Center City, Philadelphia. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Independent is ideal for tourists and business travelers looking for a grand feel in a boutique, personalized hotel experience. Our guests experience luxury accommodations in the heart of Philadelphia, and are able to walk to theaters, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Rittenhouse and other Philadelphia attractions. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Independent Hotel Philadelphia
Independent Hotel Philadelphia
Independent Boutique Hotel Philadelphia

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