When the nearest Red Roof Inn or Motel 6 most likely has more comfortable bedding than Philadelphia’s so-called “premier bed and breakfast,” you know you have a problem. When the number one-ranked full-service hotel (as of May 2010) for Philadelphia on Trip Advisor is offering rooms at a better rate than Trip Advisor’s seventh best Philadelphia bed and breakfast, you know you have a problem.
Spruce Hill Manor has a compelling Web site with 13 “reviews” from former guests singing its praises. Unfortunately, the reality of this lodging belies its advertising. Rooms are indeed charming and full of interesting knick knacks, but the—to be extremely generous in diction—“oriental-style” rugs are tired and cheap looking. Bedding arrangements are as advertised, but the beds themselves feature hard, uncomfortable mattresses—not to mention mediocre pillows—evoking a college dormitory more than a fine inn. Indeed, my behind felt raw and sore after a night in one of the Inn's beds.
Further, the location is far from a net positive. Somewhat close to Drexel and Penn, but on the cusp of one of Philadelphia’s most depressed West Philadelphia neighborhoods, it would be unwise to walk the Boss’ “streets of Philadelphia” surrounding the Spruce Hill after dark.
Janet, the Spruce Hill’s innkeeper, is amiable and helpful enough, but one’s opinion of her is tarnished when one considers the pricey rates she charges for lackluster accommodations in a depressed part of the city. How she can justify charging $25 additional dollars per night when over two people occupy “suites” designed for three or four people is beyond my comprehension. Why not just raise the base rate of the suite and be honest? Am I at a bed and breakfast or flying fee-happy Spirit Airlines? This surcharge is especially troubling when one considers that the “extra” guest(s) is only partaking of a cold continental breakfast that has less variety than that available at a Holiday Inn Express. She describes it as "organic," but the orange juice is straight from a generic carton, and the pastries are suspiciously similar to frozen puff pastries available in any Wal-Mart grocery store. Are eggs and breakfast meat too much to expect when staying at—to quote the Spruce Hill’s site once again--Philadelphia’s “premier bed and breakfast”? Hardly.
The Spruce Hill Manor does not meet basic standards of comfort and quality for a bed and breakfast charging as much as it does, and should be avoided until the deficiencies discussed above are fully addressed. A “bed and breakfast” with neither comfortable beds nor delicious breakfast? Something’s wrong.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Spruce Hill Manor Bed and Breakfast is an 1879 family-owned Victorian mansion located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia in walking distance to Amtrak 30th Street Station, the Mega and Bolt Buses, CHOP, Universities of Pennsylvania and Drexel, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The bus and trolley stop across the street and provide a 5 minute ride to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Historic District. Flexible check-in, check-out and 24/7 access to the dining room. There is free on and off-street Parking. We customize every aspect of your visit ! ... more less