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“Charming Old City Hotel in a Historic Building”
Review of Penn's View Hotel

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Penn's View Hotel
Ranked #12 of 87 Hotels in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 23, 2008

Our room had charming period furnishings/decor and beautiful hardwood floors. Window and small balcony door opened for fresh air. Queen bed very comfy with nice linens. Bath well equipped, but lighting was sort of week despite a make-up mirror. No hot or cold water issues as previously reviewed.

Early check-in wasn't available for our Monday morning arrival, but we did get a call a few hours earlier than normal check-in that our room was available.

Great location for traversing Old City on foot. A Market-Frankfurt Line subway stop at Market & 2nd just around the corner and buses available steps away from the front door at Market & Front. Building faces the freeway, but the noise wasn't too bad.

Only disappointment was no in-room coffee maker and no where within walking distance to get an early morning hit of caffeine. The breakfast buffet (very nice with sufficient fresh variety and no plastic or paper serveware) didn't start until 7am, but the Tuesday morning front desk gentleman set it up at 6:30am, so coffee was available earlier than expected.

Building fire alarm did go off twice in the evening for about 5 mins both times - once about 10:30pmish and again at 2:30amish w/o a fire emergency. Front desk staff seemed to think there was a touchy sensor somewhere.

  • Stayed: April 2008
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3  Thank Z1Y1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 29, 2008

We have just returned from our Spring Break holiday visiting family in Pennsylvannia and spending a few days in Philidelphia. We travelled as a family of four with a 10 month old and a 4 year old. We chose Penn's View based on many of the reviews that we fohund here at Tripadvisor, and you all did not disappoint. It was a lovely small hotel, with a polite staff. We changed our reservations at the last minute and were given a different room than initially agreed to, the replacement room had a long steep staircase to reach the room, and we were travelling with a crawling 10 month old. This was less then ideal but we worked around it and the staff was very apologetic and the room was very large, clean, and inviting. We were aware that this was not an ideal hotel for small children, yet the staff made many offers and accomodations to make us comfortable. We enjoyed our stay.

A few notes on items we were not pleased with, there appeared to be a very small staff - in two days we only saw maybe five employees including the maids and breakfast servers. Also the hotel claims to have a remarkable first rate restaurant attached, the Ristorante Panorama. We found the food wonderful, but the service horrible.

A few examples were... we were told reservations were not needed, then we're dismissed by the hostess and they 'made arrangements' for us, we expressed that we had a nut allergy at the table then they offered to bring pesto and recommended a desert that had nuts (they did not even tell us it had nuts, it was a poached pear filled with hazlenut cream) then they never apologized or offered a replacement. The one incident that really ruined the meal was that we were seated at a very small four top with a child that reaches everywhere, we were moving items so they were not thrown, we asked if a larger table was possible or assistance the waitress said, 'when you figure out what will solve your problem, let me know'. We dine out frequently with our children and they do behave in restaurants, but this experience did not fit the description of a first class wine award winning restaurant, with children or not. The food was good, but the service ruined the experience. We found the service as inattentive, rude, and unhelpful.

Overall we would recommend the hotel for couples travelling or business, but would suggest somewhere else for dinner.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mellie2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2008

This is a small, clean, well-priced inn in the heart of Penn's Landing - 2 blocks from Independence Hall/Park. Small room, lacking a view (but we weren't in our room much) Nice continental breakfast included - lots of fresh fruit.

Good neighbourhood, walking distance to American history and some great restaurants.

Parking was extra ($20/day) but in lot right beside inn - must leave keys.

One drawback - we needed to leave at 6 am - we wanted to settle our account the night before - not able to do that, needed to wait until morning. When we left at 6am there was actually no staff to be found anywhere - didn't like this too much.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank 1GreatCDN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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Additional Information about Penn's View Hotel

Address: 14 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2202
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Philadelphia
#11 Romantic Hotel in Philadelphia
#21 Business Hotel in Philadelphia
#26 Family Hotel in Philadelphia
Price Range: $185 - $276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Penn's View Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in the “Birthplace of America” at the Penn’s View Hotel in Old City, Philadelphia. Enjoy a stay in one of 49 comfortable rooms and 2 spacious suites with the convenience of Wi-Fi access and complimentary breakfast every morning. Additional amenities include: Daily newspaper, cable television, private balconies*, jetted spa bathtubs*, patios*, fireplaces*, pull-out sofas*, separate dining areas* fitness center, ATM access, and computer access. Penn’s View Hotel places you within access to all of Philadelphia’s greatest attractions. Also, enjoy an atmosphere of casual elegance at Ristorante Panorama, the authentic trattoria-style dining in the heart of Old City. At its unique wine bar, Il Bar, you can enjoy the custom-built, 120-bottle wine dispensing unit, which is the current Guinness Book of World Records holder. Penn’s View Hotel is a true Old City gem, and we look forward to welcoming you. (*Available in some rooms) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Penns View Philadelphia
Hotel Penns View
Penns View Hotel

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