I have stayed here 2-3 times a year for the past three years while in town caring for ailing elderly relatives. During this period of time I have watched the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue decline from a solid 3.5 star hotel with a comfortable lobby, attentive service and quality business amenities to essentially a place designed to host meetings and wedding receptions with little concern for the comforts or needs of the guest.
The last trip was in November 2009. We booked two rooms online a day in advance. We arrived in the late morning on a Sunday and asked about early check-in. We were told flat-out no. Fine, I can accept that, check in is not until 3 pm. Still, in all my years travelling, I can't remember not being able to get into a room at least by noon on a Sunday.
The lobby which is quite large, has been pared down so the entire furniture consists of two small side chairs near the elevator. Beyond that is a large vacant area with just a piano centerpiece. There used to be a comfortable seating area there with coaches and arm chairs but they've been removed. The hotel staff says they did this to prevent non-guests from congregating. It gives the lobby all the warmth of a Greyhound bus station. It also means the only other places to gather as a group is the bar, located off the lobby. Maybe it's really a tactic to get you to spend money.
The business center had one computer out of order and the other had a 10 minute limit until it started charging for internet access. This wouldn't have been a problem if the printer on the only working computer were not also broken. Of course, the room was full everytime we tried to go in to check the internet. And, of course, connecting to the internet from the lobby on your own laptop is $10 a day -- that's if you can find a place to sit. No chairs, remember?
We finally got into our rooms late in the day and they were fine. The decor was actually a bit upscale. The carpet could have been cleaner, but honestly all we did was sleep and they were fine for that.
The halls were a bit dirty and the outside doors to our rooms looked like they had not been cleaned of fingerprints and other debris for about a year. In the morning, the elevator smelled distinctly of vomit the next day. Charming.
On my next visit, I'm going to stay at the Crowne Plaza down the street, even though it is not an all no-smoking hotel which I prefer. Their prices are lower and the Hilton is going down hill fast.
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue Hotel Philadelphia
- Hilton Hotel Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Hilton