from Superior, CO
Submitted on 26-11-2016
Over a year before our Thanksgiving-week trip to Philadelphia I had done my research and determined this would be the best choice for my family; I made our reservations fifty weeks in advance (literally the day the window opened for the week we were to go). Somehow our reservation got messed up in Best Western's computer system and no one seemed to care. Except for me, that is. By the time I realized what had happened it was too late to find someplace else to stay, so I decided to put on my game...
Over a year before our Thanksgiving-week trip to Philadelphia I had done my research and determined this would be the best choice for my family; I made our reservations fifty weeks in advance (literally the day the window opened for the week we were to go). Somehow our reservation got messed up in Best Western's computer system and no one seemed to care. Except for me, that is. By the time I realized what had happened it was too late to find someplace else to stay, so I decided to put on my game face so as to not negatively influence our children. But I was ticked by the (lack of helpful) reaction from staff / management when I reached out to them to help figure this out and rectify it.
We have a medically fragile child in a wheelchair, and I had requested a quiet room for him. The room we had (ending in -01) was right next to the elevator, which was super handy for the wheelchair and luggage, but that means we also got to hear the people waiting for the elevator. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, right. The rooms ending -02 and -03 also get to hear elevator traffic. Only the rooms -01 and -02 face the street, and even though we were high up and the windows are double glazed it was painfully noisy. I believe rooms ending -03 though -07 all face an interior courtyard, so while not a pretty, interesting view they are most likely quieter. They are building the Museum of the American Revolution literally across the street, which will be a fantastic boon but in the meanwhile as they started construction before 8am it was also not welcome. FYI the Customs House is just to the east, and it is a beautiful, tall building and beacon as you are walking toward the hotel.
Additionally, evidently every single year the week of Thanksgiving this hotel plays host to a large group of fourth graders, who, as a large group of children naturally will (and should) be, VERY LOUD. VERY VERY LOUD. The kids did nothing wrong -- little children (and big, too) when in such a large mass will be loud. However, the hotel should make a point of letting the guests know beforehand and at the least during check-in: "just so you know, this Tuesday - Wednesday we'll have thirty nine year-olds here and they can be really noisy." Then lower the cost of our rooms for that night, because we already paid a premium for a holiday week! But neither of those were done .... But that would be the right thing to do, yes?
We found the ladies who work there to be as lovely as could be, especially the ladies in the breakfast room and the cleaning ladies. For our medically fragile child we travel with a lot of medical equipment, and the cleaning ladies were so careful about it, and so sweet to our little boy. Loved them! One of the front desk ladies, Lynn, was also an absolute charmer. The men we encountered were neither friendly nor helpful, and actually more than once my husband and I felt as if they deliberately gave us misinformation. Weird.
Breakfast: that is partly what makes this hotel an absolute steal (besides the fantastic location, character, and lobby amenities): it is a full breakfast, with Liberty Bell waffles (the texture was very eggy and light, more like a Dutch Baby), scrambled eggs, bacon + sausage on one day, and biscuits and sausage gravy on alternating days. Yogurt, cheese, fruit, cereal, oatmeal, coffees, teas, cocoa, juices rounds it out -- lots of food! And seriously, the ladies working in there could not have been sweeter, friendlier -- lovely faces to start the day.
In the lobby there is always coffee, hot water, tea bags, etc., and hot apple cider which smells like heaven! In the afternoons they also lay out cookies, which is a nice little pick-me-up. Wednesday afternoon there were some wines (I don't drink so didn't pay attention), and trays abundantly filled with cheeses, crackers, strawberries and grapes. What a wonderful treat!
The rooms are a good size (we had a room with two queen beds), especially considering the age of the building), and the bathroom had a huge counter (which is great for a family of four to have plenty of room to put their stuff). The hot water was instant and plentiful. The mattresses were very, very soft (we are a firm mattress family so really felt it). Another perk is a good-size mini-fridge (empty) and a microwave, so if you have leftovers (as we always did) we could bring them back and know they were safely cooled.
You cannot beat the location (three blocks from Independence Park, on the same street as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell), and there were lots of darling cafes / restaus either next door or up 3rd or 2nd Streets, including lots of vegetarian / vegan options. We appreciated that! Buses are frequent and plentiful down Chestnut (the street on which the hotel is located) and Market (a block north), plus the metro runs on Market with an Accessible stop at 2nd (there are elevators to take down). We either walked or used public transportation to get everywhere we wanted; granted, we love walking (and averaged about five miles each day), but we also totally took advantage of the bus and metro. We popped up to Chinatown and also over toward Frankford (for rock climbing).
Anyway, I would recommend with the above caveats. I know that because of the breakfast and free wifi we came out ahead cost-wise. I also know that the ladies I mentioned were just lovely and they made for a cosy, friendly experience. But it's only fair to say that when I repeatedly asked for help from management before our visit it was neither available nor forthcoming. And it's fair to say that the hotel did not inform any of us of the upcoming noisy change.