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Penn's View Hotel
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All reviewswine barold citypanorama restaurantboiled eggssmall balconypremium king roommarket streetfranklin fountaingas fireplaceexposed brickwithin walking distancehardwood floorsjacuzzi tubquaint hotelmajor highwayfresh fruitliberty bell
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Reviewed March 5, 2008

This hotel, next to the bus depot and highway, doesn't have much of a view. It is however convently located with in reasonable walking distance of the major historic sites. The staff was helpful and friendly. Upon entering the room I really felt pleased with our choice. The room was beautiful. Spacious with an exposed brick wall, unique furniture and a cozy feel. The bathroom was clean marble and the jacuzzi tub was pretty large and worked great. During peek showering times the shower had trouble maintaining temperature switching from hot to icy to scalding. This was disappointing. The "beyond continental" breakfast was well meaning but mediocre just the same. The make your own waffles were great but the wait was long. The fruit was unripe and the pastries flavorless. Our biggest issue was the bed. The bed was beyond firm...a true slab of rock. We found it very difficult to sleep through the night. Perhaps it was only our room. We an handle the water issue and avoid it but if they don't replace the mattresses we will not be repeating our stay.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pilar007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2008

I really wanted to love the Penn's View Hotel. It has a charming atmosphere and cozy environment. It is clean, well maintained, and its relatively quiet. However, there were some problems which prevent me from fully recommending this place to travelers. I'm not especially picky, I've stayed in the scariest student hostels all over Europe as well as the nicest hotels in the US. Thus, I'm comfortable in most situations, and I rarely nitpick.

The location of the hotel was much praised in the reviews. It is pretty good, but really, I question whether it is not overly hyped. It is right behind Christ Church, but that is a good walk away from the other attractions in Philly. There are other hotels that are closer to the bulk of the historical attractions. It is also on the last road (N. Front St.) before you hit the major highway. The street doesn't really give off the vibe you would expect for a nice boutique hotel. My wife was a little uneasy about the place when we first pulled up. That said, it is downtown and you can walk most places without too much bother. But you will have to cab it if you're tired or pressed for time.

The hotel rooms themselves are nice. I really liked them, though my wife thought they were a touch dark and drab. The exposed brick was a nice touch that I really enjoyed. It isn't very roomy, but not cramped either. Overall very nice and clean. (we stayed in two different rooms, but more on that later)

The biggest problem was the shower. I am happy almost anywhere and won't complain as along as I get my hot shower. (unless I'm in Africa where its common to not have hot water) Well, the shower was hot, but then it was cold, boiling, then freezing - all within about 30 sec cycles. So, I had to position myself outside of the water to lather, then hop in once it was in the "lukewarm stage" and hop out once it got to the extremes. I complained and the manager was seemingly shocked at this and immediately moved us to another room and moved our bags for us. Very well taken care of - sort of. The next room had the same exact issue with the shower. This is a big negative for me. Plumbing should not be an issue in a nicer hotel. The jacuzzi tub was nice, but it is just a tub with jets, not a large, luxurious jacuzzi. But it was most welcome after long days of walking around Philly.

Nitpick - the cable TV switches to paid advertising shows on all channels (except movie channels) during the morning until about 5pm. Thus we couldn't watch the morning news or weather.

The wine bar is every bit as fantastic as everyone else says it is. I will simply ditto their comments. My advice, stay in a newer hotel closer to downtown and make a point of visiting the Penn's View for the Wine Bar.

Overall - it is a cool, little boutique hotel that offers a clean, unique place to stay in Philly that is fairly close to the main attractions. But I came away underwhelmed and feeling that I did not get my money's worth.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Travelinglawyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2008

As many others have celebrated, the Penn's View Hotel in Old City Philadelphia is a real find. If you go in the off-season, as I found myself, you will pay some pretty reasonable rates for a very well-equipped room which includes a jacuzzi bathtub! All furnishings are colonial revival and the hotel's restaurant, Ristorante Panorama, is a very authentic and superb, high-end Italian restaurant that makes its own pasta and has over 150 wines by the glass (many of them premium). The Penn's View is in the midst of many other excellent restaurants and major historic sites. It also gratifies its guest with FREE Wi-Fi -- a nice change. There were a few cons: water went scalding hot/ice cold constantly regardless of faucet used, bed was big but a little firm and the deadbolt in door did not really work. However, for the price and the location, these were tolerable limitations. Overall, I recommend this property.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled solo
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Thank mhf_wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2008

I found this place online. After seeing many good reviews I decided to take a chance and stay there. Well, I really loved it! The staff was very friendly and for sight seeing the location couldn't be beat. The room was nicely furnished. Small, but cozy. I opted for a room with a fireplace and jaccuzi tub which added to our stay.

The room service was spectacular. The food was so good that we are already talking about going back for the food alone. The bar downstairs has an amazing selection of wine and we got two wine flights sent up to our room which was fabulous.

The location can't be beat to seeing the historic sites. The Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross's house and Independence Hall, visitors center and Constitution Center was within a short distance.

Great find!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank heatherly430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2007

We travel to Philly once or twice a year, usually for a concert or just to get away from the DC area. We were in town for the night for a concert and I decided to book a small independent hotel rather than a chain. (We're really getting tired of the same old same old you find in chain hotels. No matter where you are, everything looks and tastes bland!) Anyway, this hotel had some good reviews and looked very charming. The price is VERY GOOD for the city and the location was absolutely perfect! We walked to the subway and back for the show (1/2 block away), and also walked all over the Old City area. You can't ask for a better location for great restaurants, nite spots and historical places. Everything about the hotel (room, lobby, ambiance, etc.) was very European. Our room was spotless -- the bathroom was all white with many luxury upgrades. I've never seen anything like it, even at the nicer hotels in NYC. We had a gas fireplace in our room. The king size bed was huge and comfortable, with about 12 pillows. I really can't say enough about it. I know there are complaints about noise from rooms facing the street in front. We faced the street and weren't bothered at all. I'd actually like to keep this hotel a secret but that wouldn't be fair, would it? We have now found the hotel we will ALWAYS want to stay at in Philly.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lisa212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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