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Reviewed April 2, 2008

Beautiful B & B in old South Philly. Great location, convenient to lots! Great/comfortable furniture/beds. Beautifully decorated/great colors! Dan & Barbara are the owners and they could not have been more accommodating and nice. We will definitely stay there again!!!!! From: Charlotte, North Carolina

Stayed: March 2008
1  Thank lucy1234CharlotteNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2008

Philadelphia Bella Vista occupies two lovely old row houses in the heart of a gorgeous residential area very close to South Street, the historic district, and the Italian Market.

It was such a treat to stay there I tell you! We stayed in two different rooms at two different times throughout the week. The Magnolia is lovely but rather close quarters. I would definitely recommend it for a romantic, cozy getaway. The Philadelphian is a much grander suite, much more comfortable for myself, my husband, and my daughter.

As for the narrow halls and stairways--it's true. The houses are 200 years old so not-so-handicapped-accessible. However, there are gorgeous rooms on the main level of each building. My husband utilizes a cane when walking and he managed the staircases without difficulty.

Both of our rooms were charming with beautiful antiques and efficiency kitchens--I especially appreciated the dishwasher! Both were cleaned daily throughout our stay. Both were consistently stocked with breakfast items and coffee.

Continental breakfast does consist of cold or instant hot cereal, frozen waffles/pancakes, homemade muffins, and juice. The benefit to its simplicity is that breakfast is on your schedule and it does not require much investment of your time or effort to fuel up before exploring the city--which is what we came to do. If you are looking for a little more pizazz in the morning I strongly encourage you to walk around the corner to Isgro's italian bakery for the most amazing pastries of your life or Sabrina's cafe for a full breakfast.

I felt safer walking around that delightful neighborhood than I do in my own (day AND night) and loved feeling like a native Philadelphian. There are several Italian restaurants within 2 blocks that I still have dreams about. The Italian Market area is not to be missed.

It is a bit of a distance to the historic district but certainly is within a comfortable walking distance for most people. My family of 3 (including a 5 year old daughter) walked EVERYWHERE from here and loved the view along the way.

The hosts Dan and Barbara are beautiful people--very warm and inviting. Before we knew it, we were like old friends planning play dates and pizza parties for their nieces and my daughter.

Bella Vista is an incredible value and I would definitely recommend this B&B to anyone. I definitely plan to be back. Next time we're staying in the LaGrande. Can't wait to see you again, Dan and Barbara!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank sjoneill_2k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2008

Barbara & Dan were great hosts.We weren't there an hour and we were chatting away like we were long lost cousins.Before I knew it Barbara the host myself my son and her 2 nieces were at the Philadelphia Zoo. The rooms were very comfortable and the location is great. All the sites were within 1to2 miles I can't say enough about this B&B.If you would like more info about this you can contact me at bmcgowan785@optonline.net.


****

Stayed: February 2008
Thank bmcgowan785
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2008

I arrived at the Bella Vista on a snowy night. Barbara, the owner of the B&B, gave a warm welcome in her lovely house. Extremely narrow entrance, full of antique artifacts, even narrower stairs, then, the “apartment” including a bathroom (for two guestrooms) and a kitchenette, then the room: I must say that I loved it: Very homey, very atmospheric and quite clean and comfortable. Although the bathroom was not in the room itself, it wasn’t quite disturbing, as guests have privacy within the floor. For 100USD, Bella Vista is great value especially that it’s just off South Street, an interesting area to hang out, and not far for historic interests. The only disappointments are, first, the absence of seating area outside the rooms (although Barbara may invite you to sit in her living room), and second, the breakfast, that is not as attractive as presented in the website and is composed only of cereals and frozen items (plus milk, juice…), which is quite regrettable. Despite this, I like to recommend this place for people travelling to Philadelphia.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank BaronBaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2007

We stayed at the Bella Vista for one Saturday night on 12-01-07. I picked it because we went to a concert at the TLA on South St. and this was within walking distance. The B&B is in two large old row homes on 10th st, 2 1/2 blocks south of South st. Great location to South st and public transit. We had the Philadelphian room. It was nicely decorated with a lot of big colonial furniture reproductions, original hard-wood floors in the bedroom, with large oriental-style rug. The queen-sized rice bed was very comfortable, and the room had a real fireplace (with one of those fireplace logs...it was a nice touch, I was expecting a gas fireplace). The kitchen was very well equipped...full-sized gas oven, good sized fridge, even a tiny dishwasher, coffemaker (we had a canister w/plenty of coffee) and large microwave...there were enough dishes, pots, & pans to stay a couple of weeks, with a good sized dining area and a quaint wrought iron table/chairs. A few flaws/quirks were: light switch in the bathroom wasn't working properly...I was able to get it to stay on by jamming a matchbook cover in it. I had trouble getting the stopper in the tub drain fitted to hold water in the jacuzzi tub...after I finally got it in, we had used up the hot water trying to fill it, heated some up on the stove and that did the job, it looks like parts of the room had been recently renovated, but the work was either unprofessional, or unfinished: ie. missing baseboards and light fixture covers, missing pieces of tile, etc. As stated in other reviews, there isn't really any kind of check-in or reception area, but the owner, Dan, answered right away when we checked in about 5 PM, helped us with luggage up the tall winding staircase (wouldn't be good for seniors or disabled persons) and politely showed us the room. I had forgot the bottle of wine I was going to bring, and they had a decent selection of wines priced not much higher than what you'd pay at the liquor store...that was convenient. Breakfast was just frozen waffles, pancakes, juice and muffins, but I had expected that and we brought a few other things.
Overall I'd have to decribe the place as quaint and quirky. I paid $145. (total w/ taxes) for the night, and couldn't find anything comparable in Philly for the price, especially w/ a fireplace and jacuzzi tub. Also the location was great, I was able to park on the street because it was a weekend, during the week you can only park for two hours at a time, but there's a lot at 10th and South st that charges $12. per day (you'd pay over twice that in center city). I guess I'd give it a grade of B+ and would consider staying there again. Tip: If you've never been to the Italian Market, check it out...it's at 9th & Washington...within walking distance if the weather's nice...we picked some great meats, cheeses and fruit and had a nice "antipasto" style meal in the room....also try Termini Bros pastries at 8th and Dickinson..the best!

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