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“My new favorite hotel in Philly”

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Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“My new favorite hotel in Philly”
Reviewed November 29, 2010

My partner and I go to Philly every Thanksgiving for dinner at my family's house, and we always stay in Center City for the two nights. We've previously stayed in the Hyatt on Penn's Landing and the Loews, but now we have a new favorite hotel in town.

As is common for them, the Kimpton folks have taken an old / historic building and created a chic yet very comfortable hotel within. Upon our arrival, the front desk staff was instantly welcoming, yet not over-the-top and cloying. Our room was on the small side (this IS a big city property, after all), but well planned to maximize the space (think pocket door to the bathroom vs. hinged). The colors and decor were lively. The bathroom was a good size to maneuver around and had ample quality amenities. There was plenty of closet and, for a short stay, drawer space. The bed was veeerrrryyyy comfortable!

The lounge was pretty busy, and we met some friends there for a drink. Hard to tell where the lounge stopped and the restaurant began, but the hotel has a small footprint, so they did their best in providing to both types of customers in a rather limited area. We only ate breakfast in the restaurant and it was quite satisfactory (and average-pricey for a city hotel).

The Palomar is located in the heart of Center City Philly, a couple blocks from Liberty Place, Rittenhouse Square, and the theaters on Broad Street. I'm a city mouse to begin with and while I didn't find this neighborhood to be sketchy, if you aren't accustomed to walking in a downtown environment, then certain streets might seem to be a bit more hinkey than others. However, taxis abound. But again, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving isn't the best night to judge the size and scope of downtown foot traffic.

Heads up: valet parking is $37 a night (there is a municipal lot less than a block away, but like all Philly parking facilities is also expensive). Cabs are plentiful and pretty cheap. Also this hotel is pet friendly, and there were some HUGE dogs staying in these rather small rooms! The only complaint: the morning complimentary coffee only went until 9 AM.

All in all, a short but very nice stay. I'm even more of a Kimpton fan today than I was last week!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank daveb84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,487 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2010

I have stayed here three times in the past year for a week in March, a night in April, and then again for two days in November (14-16th). The location is great and the hotel is very cute. I have stayed in three different rooms and each time the layout of the room was different. All of the layouts were comfortable, clean and inviting. The front desk staff is inconsistent in terms of competency, though they are mostly acceptable. Rittenhouse square is wonderful. There is great shopping. For moms and dads traveling with kids the folks in the area are very kind. Whenever I had the stroller someone was always running ahead to grab a door to let me in. IT is also not unusual to see families eating out at nice restaurants with young children so don’t be intimidated. Definitely go to Alma de Cuba.

The drawbacks of the hotel:
Both times that I stayed at the hotel my bill was wrong. THe first time I advised the front desk that the nightly rate that i was charged was $30 more than the quote. Since we were staying there for 5 days that was 150.00. She suggested I had gone through a travel service like expedia but I had to explain (and show her the email) indicating their own site giving me the discounted rate. The woman suggested she “could do” a figure to which I advised her that I would do what they had quoted me. She acquiesced.
The second time I did use a travel site and gave my credit card only for incidentals. I left at 4 am in a hurry and didn’t get a copy of the final bill- simply let the front desk know I was leaving. They charged my credit card for both nights even though I had paid in advance. I called the hotel to get the issue addressed but there was no answer however, when I my husband challenged the bill through our credit card the matter was addressed and fixed.

The room service is always wrong and the food is not good. At each visit I have ordered room service (both in the morning and evening) and something was left off the tray. I was served waffles with peanuts, rather than pecans as the menu described. While my stepmother at another time was served the same dish with walnuts, rather than pecans(as the menu described). This doesn’t matter to me but for those of you who might have a food allergy you might want to examine anything that comes up or is served in the dinning room. The portion size is also very small for what you get and the food is more like the food you would get at the airport.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vonwiegen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spingfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2010

I have to admit, I was very impressed with the Hotel Palomar. First of all it is in one of the best areas on Philly, Center City. You are within walking distance of everything. One limitation is the distance from subway or trolley stops, but you can walk the short 5-6 blocks to most stations in the area. The doormen are pleasant and very helpful when it comes to walking directions or hailing a cab. The evening wine tasting is awesome, especially after a long working day. Since I travel to Philly for work, this is a nice diversion in the evenings. The room I had faced a building next door, but a coworker had a room with an incredible view. The room I had was also a two double bed room, which was pretty cramped, but since this hotel is very “W-like”, this is to be expected. The beds were comfortable and hallways quiet. I did have one issue with room service one evening where no one would answer the phone and it forwarded to the front desk. I was told by the front desk they would have room service call me back, but they never did…kind of annoyed me. I guess my coworker also had issues with room service not answering the phone, so just be prepared that if it is during busy hours you might have to hoof it to a local restaurant in the area, which really isn’t such a bad thing. Overall, I would come back, but probably book a king bed room to have more space, since the double beds leave little walking room. Oh, and ask for a key to the minibar. I never got one, and it would have been nice to have.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank travelcrazyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2010

Perfect location for our January visit, my daughter (18) and I stayed for a show at the Walnut Theatre. Due to the wonderful proximity to shopping and DiBruno's (wow), we were delighted to try this new hotel and found our new Philly spot! Our room, with double queen beds was lovely, fresh and trendy (trendy in a good way). We felt very safe at the hotel and well taken care of. We enjoyed the style and subtle Philly compliments, can't forget the views, special hotel. We WILL return to this property!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank traveljunkienj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Distributi0nManager, Manager at Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, responded to this review, November 24, 2010
Hi Traveljunkienj,

Glad we could provide a new Philly home for you and your daughter! Hope you took the opportunity to sign up for our free loyalty program called Kimpton InTouch. Basically it's filled with free goodies like the Raid the Mini bar promo, Free WiFi, and complimentary upgrades!

Hope to see you back soon! Thanks for posting :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2010

Really enjoyed the fun/hip decor and the staff was great. The room size was great. The only problem was the noise between rooms and from the hallway. If you had quiet neighbors, you'd never know of the problem, but we had some folks around us coming in during the middle of the night. I'd still give it another try. Great value over all.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gourmand916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendswood, TX
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2010

This is the second time I've stayed here. It's not my first choice, but the Hilton Garden Inn was booked. The staff is about the most wonderful I've ever encountered. The lobby and elevators remind you you're in Philly. They've got some kind of Ben Franklin theme going. The local flavor ends at the elevators. The rooms are fairly fashionable but generic; looking around the guest room, you might be in Dallas and not know it.

The guest rooms have another problem - they are too small for two beds. Last time I stayed in a one-bed room; it was sized perfectly. This time, with two beds, I kept bumping into the desk chair. Then, common to most hotels, is the noise. The walls are drywall, not plaster, so you can easily hear the television, radio and conversations in adjacent rooms. But two things are even more annoying - the hotel only has one ice maker and the rooms are not equipped with coffee makers. Yes, the coffee in the lobby is better than Starbucks. But having to dress to get your coffee? With a quarter of the room occupied with the mini-bar and assorted items of clothing for sale, you'd think they'd have enough room for a coffee maker. And is this the only hotel in America without an ice maker on at least every other floor?

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JimmyEv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2010

I know all the reviews on this hotel seem gushing, and it almost put me off a bit, thinking they were fake, but this really is a superb hotel - and eco friendly too!
Check-in staff and general staff were very friendly and accommodating, the room was beautiful and there really was nothing that could be complained about.
Actually, i couldn't find a way to switch off the lights from my bed! That's about the only negative thing i can think of! If it wasn't in Philadelphia, I would absolutely bring my girlfriend to this hotel

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Theyarv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

Property: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
Address: 117 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5025
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > City Center West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels in Philadelphia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia 4.5*
Number of rooms: 230
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is the first LEED Gold Certified luxury hotel in the heart of Center City is a testament to superior eco-friendly hotel design, personalized service and genuinely warm hospitality. Hotel Palomar is a unique luxury boutique hotel that features a striking lobby, the critically acclaimed Square 1682 restaurant and on-site fitness center. Throughout our boutique hotel, original artwork dynamically interacts with soft hues, luxurious custom furnishings and original architectural detailing. ... more   less 
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