As a member of Radisson's Gold Points Rewards program, I always expect more than I get. I'm also a member of Kimpton's program and although I've booked through cut-rate services instead of Kimpton (and therefore ineligible for Kimpton Rewards), Kimpton provides more than expected.
This Radisson is still relatively obscured by scaffolding on the Locust side (the Capriccio Cafe and The Prime Rib side).
The lobby is impressive with a massive chandelier, painted clouds on the ceiling, a player baby grand piano, marble floors, a fireplace and stately columns. The front desk is actually off to the left side upon entering and comprised of three low-key kiosks (it seems, almost, an afterthought).
I couldn't decide if our room on the eighth floor was halfway renovated or done. The good: all the stuff promised on Radisson Warwick's Web site...
- the Sleep Number bed (although instructions would be helpful...what may feel good awake can hurt bigtime over a full night of sleep...there's definitely a learning curve to sussing out your Sleep Number),
- the bedding (the sheets were a nice cotton, but after my partner broke out in hives, we had to call for the hypoallergenic bedding...which was oddly left on the desk chair upon our return, so the feathered bedding was stripped and left on the sofabed, where it oddly stayed...and judging from the rather large, dirty imprint one pillow sham appeared to have been stomped on by a very dirty foot...odd for hypoallergenic...),
- the 32" HDTV (LG brand...the company seems to be using hotel placements to promote its HDTVs...unfortunately, several of the 20 channels kept freezing or disappearing, as happens with digital TV),
- the bathroom (its travertine floor and tub/shower walls, the granite sink top and large, movable magnifying mirror. I'm not too fond of the Moen rain showerhead; I like a more forceful shower, and I don't understand why supposedly nice places scrimp on the tubs--this was one of those molded plastic ones that bounces a bit).
On to the not-so good:
- the room sports a popcorn ceiling,
- dated-looking wall paper (unlike the stylish gold diamond pattern shown on the Web),
- sculpted carpet that seemed less than clean,
- some peeling paint and blistered wall paper in the bath (probably due to the humidity, but it looks cheesy nonetheless),
- bath glasses appeared old/hazy and dubiously clean.
I don't understand the apparent trend for housekeeping not to vacuum the room (I actually expect it daily, but would settle for every other day). I suppose it's part of the save the Earth effort (that one sees on in-room table-tents strongly suggesting that you are a bad environmental steward if you request fresh linens and towels on a daily basis)...perhaps hotels should make a table-tent letting us know that not vacuuming will save trees or ozone or something. With a 2.5-year-old, the floor got little droppings of food bits (cereal, edamame, etc.) and I waited to see if they disappeared during our stay (they didn't).
I also experienced some interesting frustrations with getting a complete set of towels. After the first night, we were not provided with any hand towels (two the day previous), washcloths or a bath mat. After improvising, the next day we again received no hand towels or bathmats (but did get washcloths). A front desk request was immediately attended to and a fellow promptly showed up with terry cloth items. Then the front desk called to verify the delivery of a bathmat and washcloths (which I didn't request...no hand towel). The towels also varied in quality. The first day they all appeared big and thirsty. Subsequent days revealed more thin and tired-appearing towels.
At any rate, our room was quite spacious, with a king-sized bed, work station/desk (with free, plug-in high-speed Internet that worked great, once we replugged it in to the wall), a chair and ottoman, a sleeper sofa, the above-described bathroom and a huge walk-in closet.
I was disappointed that our room did not have a mini-fridge, but didn't pursue getting one either (I get tired of tipping everyone and his/her sibling for things that should be there).
The air conditioning was on Arctic blast upon check-in. It was odd in that cool air rushed out of the unit near the bed (so the person on that side froze) and there seemed to be no gentler setting. As we slept our first night, having tucked under the down comforter, we started burning up around midnight. Sleepy staggering to the thermostat to push the down arrow button seemed futile and upon awakening, with the sun streaming in at 5:45 AM (forgot to find those room darkening vinyl drapes before bed), we were all sweat balls and that Arctic AC was but a fond memory. A call to the front desk promised some HVAC attention around 10 AM. After some exploring Center City for a few hours in the sweltering sun, a noontime return to the room revealed it was hotter than when I left. Another call to the desk sent a pleasant technician to the room and he tinkered with the thermostat and the unit for a half hour while my 2.5-year-old gleefully jumped on the bed and showed the tech all his stuffed animals. The guy exhibited great patience and not so much confidence about his fix. He got the air back on but noted that he needed to track down a part for a proper fix. After an hour or so, the air quit again and the temp rose higher than ever. Before heading out that evening, the front desk told us that if it could not be fixed, we would be moved to another room. I was kind of hoping for this...and some swank upgrade...but, alas, they managed to fix the system (although it broke again the morning of our checkout). The hotel did grant us a $75 credit for our sweaty inconvenience.
On our third day we received notice that the following day there would be a water outage from noon until 3 PM, due to the renovation (still in progress). As we were out during that time, we noticed no service interruption.
If your room rate promises you anything special (say, breakfast), be sure to inquire because the desk staff made no effort to inform us of the procedure. I wasn't able to make the hotel breakfast the first three days, but then much confusion ensued and the desk provided us with breakfast "credit" cards for our last two days. I wish I'd know about them all along, but should've asked at the onset.
The 17:00 restaurant is moderately priced (and where you'll get your breakfast, if you have it coming). Some of the servers are terrific. The menu is varied and accommodates any appetite and price. Happy hour runs from 5-7 PM with reduced "sliders" (two-bite burgers, short rib sandwiches, etc.) and drink specials. My only complaint (well, the day after our AC departed, it seems to have departed several other spots in the hotel--including the 17:00 that day), is that I felt the restaurant smelled a bit vomitous. We figured that was probably, ironically, due to some cleaning product. We hope so anyway. The children's menu (which we also didn't know existed at first) was pretty great. The servings were full-sized and kids under 4 eat free (a deciding factor in at least one dinner in).
We never used it, but the hotel fitness center seemed nice, if basic.
On our fifth and final day, we requested a late check out and were given 2 PM. However, upon arriving back to our room at noon, our keycards no longer worked (which required a visit to the front desk for a replacement), then when we tried to call the front desk to request a bellboy/luggage cart, the phone had no dial tone (we were told that the call volume in the hotel was too high, and that shut the phones down).
The staff ranged from polite and attentive to slightly aloof.
The less ideal elements definitely took away from the positive ones, but the location was excellent which helped push this stay from average to slightly above average. My government rate ($138/night, plus tax, booked via the hotel's website) seemed fair for a city in which good Trip Advisor hotel reviews and good prices are hard to find. Parking in the hotel deck ran $20/day, but with in/out privileges. The convenience was hard to beat (valet service is available for $30/day, I think), although our car smelled like cat urine after garaged for the first 2.5 days.
Still, given the apparent lack of affordable and acceptable accommodations, we would probably stay again. I have faith that it's getting better!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sophisticated. Stylish. Uniquely Philadelphia. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square is where history meets innovation and culture. This hotel is high on design and style and located in Philadelphia's most prestigious address, Rittenhouse Square. This luxury center city Philadelphia hotel is in the epicenter of boutique shopping, entertainment and many of Philadelphia's award winning restaurants. The stunning illumination and architecture in the lobby, graceful fireplaces and comfy seating areas complement your stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Warwick Hotel Philadelphia
- Radisson Plaza Philadelphia
- Radisson Philadelphia
- Warwick Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Radisson