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Homewood Suites University City
Ranked #26 of 86 Hotels in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wow!”
Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

This was a surprise! I chose a quick, inexpensive option for a one night stay in Philadelphia on a college tour with my daughter. This one was near Penn and Drexel and looked adequate for our purposes. What a treat to find a new, clean, nicely decorated hotel with many amenities. We loved the roomy suite after spending the previous night in a shoebox room in NYC. Highly recommend!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CloudGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear CloudGal,

Thank for your review of our hotel. We are glad that we exceeded your expectations. Look forward to seeing you in the future.
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645 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
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  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Stayed for two nights at the Homewood Suites University City over the President's Day Weekend. This is a new property, and as such, has a lot of positives. Unfortunately, avoidable mistakes made this a less than pleasant stay.

POSITIVES - New Beds, linens great, good toiletries, flat screens are beautiful.
Stayed in a one bedroom suite with my wife and daughter. The fold out bed was great for the little one, and the room was spacious. The full sized refrigerator was nice, and the small but functional kitchen is a nice bonus.
The rooms were clean, and the housekeeping crew seemed to do their jobs well.
Very nice exercise room, treadmills are state of the art.
Noon check out makes you not feel rushed.
Well located by U Penn, Children's Hospital, and nearby transportation.
Shuttle also provided.

NEGATIVES - Overall, it feels like everywhere you turn there is an attempt to cut corners to save a few pennies by having inadequate staffing, or poor supplies. This could be a great hotel, and a lot of the errors I would chalk up to opening jitters, but they have been open too long to play that card.

First, one issue that I cannot blame the hotel for, but the Hilton system, instead. Picking a room can be a nightmare due to packages. We wanted to go to the Please Touch Museum for one day, and they had a package for that. To get the package, though, you had to pay the package price for both nights. We wanted to spend the money for a different package for the second day. When I tried to book each night separately, Saturday is suddenly unavailable. I spent over an hour on the phone with unhelpful staff who had difficulty speaking English, then screwed up our reservation by giving us the wrong size room for only one day of our trip, and telling us she could not find a room for the other night. Ended up with the Philly Overnight Package instead. Why did we do this? Because there is no self parking, and valet is $39 a night! This package gave us the parking, and a "Philly's more fun" teddy bear. FYI - this teddy bear is pathetic, the size of a Happy Meal prize. Although this saved a few bucks on the parking, I sure felt ripped off, although not as ripped off as when I paid $16.99 plus tax for a pay per view movie at the hotel - it would have been cheaper at the theater! Back to the parking, there was on street parking - the area can be slightly sketchy nearby, so it becomes a personal decision about the need to pay for valet. There is no self parking other than the streets.

There is only one valet person, and the lot is an outdoor lot a few blocks away, so we had to wait 10 minutes for someone to show up to take our keys, and wait 10 minutes each time after calling the front desk until the car is ready. The valet is trying his best, but there should be more help.

There was only one person working the front desk.. I asked her for a high floor room with a view of downtown Philly. She ignored me, and instead, I got a lower floor room with a view of the hood, and the sounds of the local trolley and HVAC engines often vibrating enough by our room to wake us up, at least when the generators worked. The second night we stayed here, there was no heat for a good portion of the night, because the HVAC system for the hotel broke down, and our rooms plummeted in temperature. This should not happen in such a new property.

The water pressure in the shower was poor, and although the wallpaper in the bathroom was pretty new, there was some peeling due to poor ventilation. The heavy wooden doors do not provide much sound insulation, so you will hear your neighbor in the halls.

They have a beautiful new pool and Jacuzzi, but they do not have staff monitoring it. Both days, the pool was too cold (76), and the Jacuzzi too hot (104). Both days there were no towels, so I would have to wait on line to talk to the one front desk person so they could call someone to put out more towels. The person putting out the towels, following instructions, would only put out 8 or 9 towels each time, meaning the problem would probably repeat itself within an hour.

The breakfast was poor. Why? Because there was only one person responsible for the whole breakfast area - cleaning the tables, putting the food out, and taking care of dishes. this was not fair to her. Continuously, items were not replenished, and the second day we stayed, the fresh fruit disappeared, the skim milk was sour, there were no plates, then no bagels, then no cups. In general, the staff throughout the hotel seemed overworked, and generally on edge, making the atmosphere a far cry from relaxing and pleasant. I hope the management staffs this hotel properly, so it can be the out of the way gem it has the potential to be.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mistercy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Mistercy,

I appreciate your review of our hotel. I understand that you were unhappy with some of the charges and I apologize for any miscommunication. In addition, we would also like to apologize for the inconveniences you experienced while staying with us. We strive to create a wonderful and affordable guest experience and your comments will help us make the necessary corrections. Thank you again for your review.
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Iowan
Level Contributor
50 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

When we were planning our trip to Philadelphia, we looked for a hotel with an indoor pool, free breakfast, and a suite so our family could spread out a little. The Homewood Suites offered all of that, so even though it wasn't in the Old Town area where we would spend most of our time, we booked it. We were a little worried on the drive into town since our gps took us through a slightly rough area, but once we got closer to the hotel we felt better. The hotel was very nice and modern. The valet immediately greeted us and helped with our luggage. Check in went smoothly and the room was nice. You should note, if you plan on using the bed in the sofa, when folded out it comes right up and rubs against the table legs. No extra space for walking around. The fridge door also rubbed up against the wall every time we tried to close it. Small things and not really a problem, just a bit of a bother. While on that thought, a few other things could have been improved. They give you a bag of popcorn in the room, but there's no big bowl other than the cooking pot to put it in once popped. And the bathroom light is positioned in a way that, when you are in the shower with the curtain closed, isn't able to provide much light in the shower. It's pretty dim. Again, small things, but could have easily been thought of and made better.

We weren't terribly impressed with the breakfast. Eggs and sausage, waffles, bread items, oatmeal. Not bad. But for whatever reason they had an awful time trying to keep things stocked. Every time I wanted something the first morning, I had to wait for them to replenish. Waffle batter, juice, coffee. These are basic things, they should be well prepared to keep them stocked. It wasn't busy, there were only a couple families and a couple at breakfast. The second morning was a bit better, but at one point they ran out of juice glasses and when they brought more out, they were still so hot that when one man poured ice water into his it broke right in half. Maybe they should buy some more glasses so that they have extra ready rather than bringing them right from the dishwasher. The last morning they ran out of coffee and had to make more while many of us waited. Knowing that people are going to want coffee at breakfast shouldn't be a surprise and should be planned for. I'm not sure how many people they had working the breakfast, but I really only saw one lady bringing everything out. To give her credit, she was working very hard and was very polite to people asking her to bring more of whatever. She just needed the people back in the kitchen area to get things done! I hope she had someone back there helping, at least! Either way they should consider hiring at least one more to help out and keep everything stocked.

The fitness room was the nicest I've ever seen in a hotel. 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, weights, excercise balls, a bike....and the machines each had their own screen. It was truly nice, and almost inspired me to work out! The pool area was also great. Loved that the hot tub was raised. I think it definitely kept out the kids jumping into the hot tub from the pool and back as you often see at a hotel. The pool itself could have been a little warmer, but that's a normal thing.

Really liked the feature of using the key for everything. I'm sure it saves the hotel a lot of money on electric bills and helps the planet. Plus we always knew where our key was!

If you are staying here and planning on going to the Old City and seeing the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, or anything around there, there is a subway station a few blocks from the hotel. It's the Market-Frankford line, and is a set fee of $2 per person from the 40th St Station to anywhere. There's a stop at 5th St, right at Independence Park. There are also constantly taxis passing the hotel, so it's not hard to get anywhere.

My favorite part of the stay was the shuttle driver. We wanted to get a bottle of wine one night, and they offer a shuttle for the area around the hotel, so he took us to a store. He was wonderful! So friendly and helpful. All of the employees really were nice.

All in all, we'd probably stay here again, but not as a first choice-at least not for what we had plans for.

Room Tip: A room facing east will have a great view!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank iowakrb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear iowakrb,

We are sorry we were not able to provide you with a better quality of service during breakfast. This is not typical of our hotel and staff, and we are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience. Your satisfaction is very important to us and we try hard to make sure all of our guests have a great stay. Thank you for your feedback and we hope you will consider staying with us again.
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Atlanta
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I stayed here for a week, so I believe that I can make a fair assessment of the hotel and my stay. The previous reviewer said it best: "It's the little things" that make this hotel not so great. It is certainly in a great location, near the universities and has a few delivery places close by. The free breakfast and dinner are great amenities and the food was actually pretty good. The female chef did an amazing job and was really nice! Now for the not so good.... I had to change rooms twice and would have the 3rd time, but I didn't have the energy to do so. The first room had thick layers of dust everywhere; with the allergies that I have, I couldn't stay in the room for more than 2 minutes without sneezing and going into an "allergy fit". Therefore, I had to switch rooms. They immediately switched me to a "cleaner" room, which it was....until I noticed the DIRTY USED WASHCLOTH hanging on the shower rack. Immediately I was grossed out and couldn't do it. The 3rd room was clean on the surface...until the next morning when I went to take a shower and noticed hair in the shower stall. I mean eeewww the main thing hoteliers need to know is to ENSURE THE ROOMS (especially BATHROOMS AND BEDS) are immacuately clean. I complained to the manager, and he promised to comp the night, WHICH HE DID NOT. I got a full bill without any additional rewards or anything. The housekeeping staff was great; the housekeeping manager sent someone to clean my room and she did a great job. Overall it's the little things that made this not so great of a stay. I probably will not choose to stay here in the future.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NeatFreak25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear NeatFreak25,

First of all, thank you for your candid feedback of your stay with us. I apologize that we did not meet expectations and I am actively working with our housekeeping team to ensure cleanliness and comfort are our first priority. I understand the condition of our guestrooms were of concern, I am always looking for reviews to provide insight into our guest experience and I will keep your review in mind as we look towards refresh options. Again, I apologize for the inconveniences and I hope we have another opportunity to provide a great stay for you in the future.
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Columbia, MD
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013 via mobile

I rarely have the pleasure of staying at a new hotel and I'm in deep like of this place. I say like and not love because there's no restaurant. I'm a business traveler so I need food within reach.

Everything is clean, and in order. Staff is pleasant and professional. The room is technologically updated. There are two flat screens, your door opens by a mere swipe of your card, the power in your room is activated and sustained by your room key. There are outlets galore throughout the suite. AND because I'm a Hilton diamond member I had water and milano cookies. My biggest grievance is the walls are a bit thin and I have a very happy family next door. It's not overly bothersome, but is definitely noticeable.

I am very pleased and if in this area again, I would stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Greerel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Greerel,

Thank you for your review. We are very proud of the staff and our new hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2013

I currently been staying here for a week and the little issues are starting to add up. I'll start with the positives though. This hotel is clean and modern and the staff is very friendly. Very nice pool, hot tub and work out room and the hotel is completely smoke free. As for the issues, I travel frequently so there are small details that I noticed that others may not but the hotel staff should be on top of. The HVAC unit in my room was missing the filter and from the looks of the dust on the coils it looks like it was that way for a while. Also, the ceiling fan light was burned out. I reported both and it was quickly taken care of. The rooms do not have a TV channel listing card to use like most hotels have. The TV does have a menu but it takes time for it to load. I like to be able to see quickly what channel I want to change to. If you do laundry here, you may need to pay for drying twice. My load only filled half the dryer and was not fully dry after the 45 minute drying time. Finally, one of the elevators has been finicky the entire time in reading the key card so there has been a few times I ended up on the ground floor instead of my room floor. I was told that it was fixed but the issue keeps on happening not with just me and other guest, but hotel staff as well. This issues alone would be no big deal but adding them all up has brought my rating of this hotel down. Also there's the valet parking. Be prepared to pay $39 a night for this and it's not even covered or garage parking. There is a small surface lot behind the hotel where they park the cars open to the elements. There is no self parking at the hotel. The valets do an outstanding job.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Scott A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Scott A.,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay with us. We sincerely appreciate your feedback and we apologize for the condition of your guest suite. We will take your comments under consideration as we continually work to improve our guest experience. We have addressed our team in regards to your review and we will make the appropriate corrections. We hope you will consider staying with us again in the future. Thank you again for your comments.

Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
86 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We actually stayed here just following Hurricane Sandy. After 5 days with no power, heat, etc., we decided to escape NJ and go down to Philly to visit our daughter for the weekend. We needed a warm room, hot shower, a washing machine and dryer, and a gym, and this hotel offered us all of that and then some. The staff was super friendly, room was large and immaculately clean, breakfast bar was decent. The only down side was the location. Not very convenient to center city, but I didn't care, we walked anyway. We met other people who were staying because they lost their homes, or couldn't get back into their homes, etc. very humbling experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chirish61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul D, General Manager at Homewood Suites University City, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear chirish61,

Thank you for your comments about your stay. We are glad that we could help you in a difficult time. Look forward to seeing you in the future.

Paul
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Homewood Suites University City

Property: Homewood Suites University City
Address: 4109 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3510
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > University City
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 86 Hotels in Philadelphia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Homewood Suites University City 3*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The suites in our brand-new University City property come in studio and one-bedroom sizes, all with top amenities and modern, attractive decor. Each suite includes a full kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave and twin-burner stove, and features separate living and sleeping areas with all the comforts of home and more. ... more   less 
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