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“4 Stars (NOT!)”

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The Franklin Hotel at Independence Park
Ranked #29 of 87 Hotels in Philadelphia
GreenLeadersBronze level
A TripAdvisor Member
Kingston, NY
14
Reviewed June 26, 2006

We stayed at the Omni because a "deal" was offered on Expedia. Even though we had a reservation at the Sheraton near the Philadelphia Museum, we switched to the Omni, thinking it would be nicer at the same price (with taxes, around $200). Check in was fine, and some of the staff were very friendly and courteous. We returned late, tired, and were looking forward to a restful sleep. But there was a loud motor near the room that ran for about 3 minutes every half hour or so throughout the night. This was some sort of air-conditioning equipment associated with the hotel building itself--not street noise (we were on the 10th floor). We called the desk to complain and ask for a room switch. They acted like this was the first time they'd heard of the noise problem, which I'm pretty sure is a regular feature of this particular room. Also, of course, they claimed that there were no other rooms available. So we got very little sleep. In the morning, my partner went down to the manager to try to get the rate adjusted because of our uncomfortable night. The manager said that there would be no charge at all for the room, but that we'd have to contact Expedia to clear the charge. Apparently this procedure is very complicated...we haven't been able to resolve it yet. Expedia said they tried to contact the manager...but no luck so far. It looks like lots of our time (valuable time!) will be wasted on this. Will it be resolved? Who knows. But the "4 Stars" rating for this hotel is totally bogus. Not recommended.

Stayed: June 2006
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 26, 2006

We stayed at the Omni May 21-13. The location was perfect for seeing the historic sites and for restaurants. I thought the staff was friendly, especially the concierges. The room seemed clean enough to me and had a great park view. Our only complaints were: no in-room movies and a very very slow computer system. We would have liked to use the fitness room and pool, which were closed, but the Web site warned us of the remodeling. We did not eat at the hotel; Philadelphia Fish & Co. and Buddakan were very good. I had a Philly cheese steak at Benny's--nothing special, but I didn't have others to compare it with.

I would return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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3  Thank JoyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2006

My family and I stayed at the Omni for 2 nights. The lobby is very, very attractive, perhaps a bit faded by the sun, but still quite lovely. Everything appeared clean and neat, but the rooms were just okay. After walking around for 10 minutes or so barefoot, my feet were horribly dirty. Obviously one can't expect total and utter pristine floors, but it was really gross. After this experience I chose to wear my shoes around the room. The covers on the bed, the valance, and headboard were all made of the same itchy textile that looked like it belonged in a nursing home. The decor wasn't horrible, but the over-matched look took away from the ambiance of the lovely park view the hotel has. There was a brown stain on the underside of the quilt which really turned me off, and the sheets had a tear in them. The shower was worn out on the bottom, where there were dirt stains. Other than that, the room at least appeared nice and was mostly clean. But what minimized these faults was the ideal location. The hotel is in walking distance to nearly everything you can imagine, but if you are looking for a place to eat breakfast, don't be fooled by Benny's Place. Though it is very, very close to the hotel, it is terribly kept. Paint was chipping, there was one waitress, it looked as if it had been redone in the 80s and not touched since. Cosi, another close restaurant, is nice, but not for breakfast. In truth, it's ideal for lunch with it's array of sandwiches and wraps. But we never ate there since during the day we were not usually near the hotel. The hotel is situated where the Liberty Bell, Visitor's Center, and 2nd National Bank are merely a hop, skip, and a jump away. Independence Park is slightly overrated, though. I suppose since I'm from New York, I assumed a Central Park-like area, but it was someplace you could walk around for a minute or two and get on with your day. In other words, I expected filet mingnon and got a hamburger. A nice place for a bit of an upper-class, luxurious meal is Plough in the Stars. We actually ordered from the bar menu because it contains more accessible dishes (i.e. hamburgers, chicken fingers, quesedillas) whereas the regular menu had lamb, steak, and pastas over $20 each. The ambiance was nice even though the food was so-so. But a truly fabulous place for a casual meal is Kildare's. The decor is unique and interesting, with a mix of urban Philly and traditional Irish castle-style. They put an Irish spin on nachos by using potato crisps (homemade, not out of a bag) with all the usual toppings. These were just so-so compared to everything else. Their Boxty wraps are great and have almost anything you could want in them. They also had a great Shepherd's pie, chicken sandwich, and traditional pub menu. But here, everything seemed 100x better than at your regular pub. They boast their own homemade whipped cream atop their delicious Irish coffees and have a TO-DIE-FOR apple crumble. Kildare's is close to South Street, which is a bit of a walk from the Omni, so if you plan on having small children, seniors, or someone who can't do much walking, opt for a cab. If it won't mean too much to you, you could easily avoid a trip to the other buildings around Independence Hall. The "library" Ben Franklin founded was a terrible waste of time I simply won't get back and though the Congress Hall (I believe this was the name of it, don't hold me to it. I know that John Adams was sworn in as President here, that's about it) was slightly interesting, if pressed for time, you can do without it. Everything else in this little square is meaningless. The Constitution Center Museum was nice, but horribly crowded! People were EVERYWHERE, which is why I suggest you go as early or as late as you can, the middle of the day is torturously packed. The Ben Franklin exhibit is also interesting, but again, very crowded. Though it isn't small, it isn't large, either, and small children (and oftentimes, annoying, over-grown adults) crowd (and hog) the interactive activities, so don't count on getting to see that stuff. Keep an eye on small children here, as visitors are like cattle grazing upon the artifacts and not moving at more than 1 MPH. This museum might be best to take a cab to unless you don't mind the walk. Whatever you do in Philly, take a walk down Elfreth Alley and Delancey Street. They are just lovely. Paved with cobblestones and lined with pretty, petite townhouses and apartments, it is like a scene cut from a movie. They just have such a cute feel to them that for me, they were the highlight of the trip. I almost left my beloved NYC for the calm, red brick-sea that is Philly. In Philly, the streets are smaller than New York, the buildings are better preserved and there is no grafiti or lewd paintings on the buildings. It is a bustling city, but one that you'd feel safe to let your kids walk around in by themselves. Besides the historic side to it, Philadelphia was very beautiful and quaint. Penn's Landing and its surroundings were also quite a nice sight and the hotel restaurant was very good (but expensive. All in all, I loved Philly, not so much the hotel and not so much the historical aspect of it. The architecture and ambiance of the city are so much more appealing. If I ever went back, I would probably prefer to find another hotel to stay in.

P.S. They don't mention this, but as of now, the pool is under construction. A total bummer as my children were so looking forward to the pool. I don't recomment this place.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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8  Thank babe892
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Philadelphia, PA
221
Reviewed March 26, 2006

I got married in June in Philadelphia and chose the OMNI for my guests to stay. It was a logistical nightmare to deal with their staff. First, my friends and family began calling for reservations with my wedding party, and the OMNI claimed to have no record of my wedding. Then, despite booking 50 rooms for two nights, they wanted to charge me $750 for the bridal suite (which was a room with an adjoining sitting area through a door) most hotels gave this for free to the bride and groom. Finally, my husband had booked the room under his name, and when I arrived the day before my wedding, the front desk woman told me that she could not let me check in. She explained that she had no reservation for me even as she was handing out gift bags to people with MY NAME on them. My husband had to come down and straighten it out. She never apologized.

All in all the Omni was extremely difficult to deal with. But the hotel itself is nice, and has a great Sunday brunch. The rooms are too expensive for what you get though, and there are better deals in Center City.

  • Stayed: June 2005
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Bethlehem, PA
114
Reviewed March 12, 2006

My husband & I stayed here for one night. Hotel's location is perfect. Within walking distance to historic Independence Mall & just a couple blocks from Old City and several bars & restaurants; including the Cosmopolitan and the Blue Martini. Fun,Fun,Fun. The room was spacious, clean the decor was updated. We had a king size bed that was super comfortable. I booked the room online on Omni's website for $150 - $160 which is typical for a nice hotel in Philly. It also included a delicious breakfast in the Azalea restaurant. I would recommend staying here if you like to drink and walk to your room or if you like the historic thing. It's all right here at your finger tips.
A little advice** Park in the garage 2 blocks down from the hotel. $19 day vs. $30.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2006

My fiance and I stayed at the Omni Hotel in Philadelphia on the evening of Friday, March 10th. We had a wonderful stay and would highly recommend this hotel to anyone.

We pulled up out front in our car and were immediately greeted by a valet and bell man. They loaded our luggage onto the cart, asked my name, and then the valet whisked our car away. The check in was a breeze! I'm a member of their select guest program as I travel extensively for business, and as at other Omni's that I had been to, there was a room waiting for me early (we arrived around noon) that they had already checked me into. They just handed me the key and we were on our way upstairs.

Eric the bellman accompanied us upstairs to our gorgeous room on the 8th floor and unloaded the luggage in the room. The room was very spacious, with a king bed and a full size sofa. The view across Chestnut Street to the park was also very nice. The bathroom was all marble and granite, with a nice shower with good water pressure and ample hot water. The toiletries were also very nice.

Later that evening, we returned with some friends who live in the area and a bottle of wine. We realized that we didn't have a cork screw, and with one call to the front desk we had a cork screw up in the room in under five minutes. We received our turn down service as promised and the free morning beverage (coffee and OJ) for select guest members arrived promptly.

My only complaint about this hotel is the temperature control in the room. It was a very warm day and when we entered the room it was 80 degrees. We put on the AC but the coldest you could set it to was 68 degrees. We are Bostonians and were armed with warm weather clothing so that was quite warm for us. We normally like to keep our house around 65 degrees in the winter so I wish I could have made the room colder.

We did not have any of the problems that other posters have mentioned. This hotel is truly a 4 star establishment that I would highly reommend to any traveler looking to stay at the historic district in Philadelphia. The rooms were spacious and comfortable and the staff all bent over backwards to please us. I especially would like to commend the valet and bell staff.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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10  Thank amamba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2006

We recently book four rooms for family members at the Omni. It was our third time staying there, and we loved it once again. The location is perfect for exploring the historic sites, and there are many restaurants within a short walk. I am not sure why other reviewers had trouble with the staff, but we found the staff to be very, very friendly.
It is on the expensive side, but our room was lovely, with an incredible view. Chestnut Street in Phila. can get noisy at night on a weekend, but that's city life! We asked for several things over the weekend, and we were given them immediately. The children ate breakfast free, but the one negative is that service in the restaurant is very slow (but very courteous).

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
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8  Thank Elise D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Franklin Hotel at Independence Park

Address: 401 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Philadelphia
#14 Green Hotel in Philadelphia
#14 Business Hotel in Philadelphia
#15 Romantic Hotel in Philadelphia
#16 Luxury Hotel in Philadelphia
Price Range: $165 - $395 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Franklin Hotel at Independence Park 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like the forefathers who inspired the birth of a new nation, The Franklin Hotel at Independence Park invites you to join a hotel revolution. Formerly the Omni Hotel at Independence Park, our elegant hotel in Old City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has undergone a transformation to an exciting new hotel designed to set new standard among Philadelphia hotels. Featuring a blend of sophistication and charm, our deluxe guest rooms offer a park view or they overlook Independence National Park. A fine dining restaurant overlooking Independence Park, Azalea serves delectable American regional cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Philadelphia's most popular things to see and do are only steps away from our doorstep. Our luxury downtown Philadelphia hotel offers elegance and style at its best, all within walking distance of the Liberty Bell, U.S. Mint, Independence Hall and Franklin Court, the site where Benjamin Franklin's House once stood. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Omni Hotel Philadelphia
Omni Hotel Independence Park
Omni Philadelphia

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