I have always wanted to go check out Philadelphia and given that it’s less than 2 hours away by train, I was excited when my husband agreed to a little Valentine’s Day getaway! Plus, after realizing that it was the New York Times’ #1 destination in the United States to visit in 2015, I was sold.
I am happy to report that we had the best, best, best time and I’m so glad we chose to make the trip despite the cold weather. We decided to check out a couple of Philadelphia’s Kimpton hotels while we were in town. I absolutely fell in love with The Hotel Monaco, which is a Four Star boutique gem in my opinion. Here’s my review of our stay at the perfectly luxurious Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia.
Getting to Philadelphia is easy. Especially if you’re coming from New York City! We took the Amtrak train down from New York’s Penn Station to Philly’s 30th Street Station (PHL). The train was only about an hour and twenty minutes! And voila–vacation! It was only about a 15-minute taxi ride to our hotel. Check-in at The Hotel Monaco was a breeze and the front desk staff was very warm and friendly.
The Hotel & Location
The 11-story hotel has 268 smoke-free guest rooms including 17 suites. It may sound large but it really is an intimate experience.
Hotel Monaco is located next to Independence National Historic Park (Independence Hall and hte Liberty Bell) and Philadelphia’s animated historic district, and in easy reach of the downtown Business District.
Hotel Monaco is within walking distance to incredible historic sites including the Betsy Ross House, the President’s House and Elfreth’s Alley. Other must-see attractions near the hotel include Independence Visitor Center, National Constitution Center, and the National Museum of American Jewish History.
Fitness Center? The fitness center is open to guests 24/7. It features state-of-the-art equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, bikes) with individual LCD televisions. There are also yoga mats, balance balls, water and dumbells. The hotel also provides yoga mats in each room for guests who prefer to stretch or yoga in the privacy of their own rooms.
Pet Friendly? Kimpton hotels are very pet-friendly and welcome animal companions at no additional charge. And they offer special amenities for man’s best friend–pet bowls and beds, leashes and grooming services. And rooms still seem as if they’ve never seen a pet! Trust me, I was wary of this but couldn’t find any evidence that an animal had previously shared our accommodations.
The Lobby & Grounds
The Lobby was warm and inviting–so much so that we actually took the bottle of wine that the management left us in our room down to the fireplace to enjoy the ambiance. The whimsical decor was fun and provided a funky environment to chill out in. The cool décor continues into the hotel’s elevators and guestroom hallways.
The room expertly marries Alice in Wonderland-inspired décor with contemporary furnishings in a way that really works. Antique books, massive mirrored tables, geometric patterns and quirky lamps fill the room with fun. Everything was also completely clean and luxurious.
Closet/Dresser Details? The wallpaper is covered in quotes from famous fashion icons. I loved this! Oh and the dresser/minibar (above) was so gorgeous with such interesting detail (below).
Charging Situation? Plenty of easy-to-reach plugs for all our charging needs.
Turn-Down Service: Yes, upon request. They left us little chocolate coins and a weather report for the next day. They also turned on music, which I always like.
Bottled Water? Sadly no, and the bottles in the room are $5 each.
Coffee maker? No, but there is complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby each morning.
Umbrella for borrowing? Yes! A nice one, too!
White Glove Inspection: Check! The bed linens were white and pristine. I couldn’t find a spot anywhere in the room or on the carpet.
The bathroom was very modern, white and clean.
Makeup Mirror? Yes, magnifying but not a light up.
Hairdryer? Yes, but not high-powered.
Designer Toiletries? Yes, C.O. Bigelow for Kimpton.
Towel quality? Fine.
Robes? YES!!!This is one of my favorite Kimpton Hotel features–the fun robes! There was one Cheetah print robe, but there was also a grey, Rocky-inspired sweatshirt robe with a hood! I mean, how adorable to tie in the Rocky theme of Philadelphia. I truly appreciated this little touch.
Amenities? There were also Q-tips, a Shower Cap and a Sewing Kit.
Safe? Yes, it fit a laptop.
Mini-Bar? Yes, and although it wasn’t cheap, it stocked better treats than your average run-of-the-mill snacks. Instead it was filled with gourmet and organic treats like Kind Bars and regional beers.
The Food & Drink
The hotel features two restaurants/bars and I love a good hotel bar scene. There is the Red Owl Tavern as well as a rooftop lounge, Stratus. Stratus is enclosed and open in the winter so you dont have to go far for some good dining options. Stratus overlooks Independence National Historic Park and it draws a young, trendy crowd. Red Owl Tavern serves up great comfort food and cocktails. We also ate breakfast here and it was solid and quick service.
Complimentary Morning Coffee and Tea? Yes! And quite a spread with fancy teas. They also had a hot chocolate bar in the winter when we stayed. Ooh and orange-infused water in the lobby.
The Little Things
Did I feel truly welcome by the staff? Yes.
Wi-Fi? Yes. For Kimpton loyalty program members (which is free to sign up for).
Any other quirky things? Kimpton’s loyalty program members get a $10 Raid the Bar credit.
Toiletry Offerings? I love Kimpton’s “Forgot it? We’ve Got it!” program in case you forget essential travel items. They’ll bring you anything from toothpaste and floss to a high-powered hair-dryer and curling iron. I love this!
Valet Parking? Yes, for $43 per night with in and out privileges.
Business Center? Yes. Available 24/7. It’s small, just a couple of computers but who doesn’t have a laptop or iPad with them these days.
Spa? The hotel doesn’t have a spa but you can get in-room treatments. I sadly did not have a chance to test these out–in the name of research of course!
Room for Improvement
I honestly don’t have anything to complain about. Our stay here was solid.
The Wow Factor(s):
My most memorable experience was walking into the room and seeing all the funky furnishings. I also enjoyed our time spent in the lobby, enjoying wine by the fireplace. And that cup of hot chocolate I took in the morning from the complimentary Hot Cocoa bar.
Hotel Monaco also offers complimentary bikes to explore the streets of Philadelphia and Complimentary wine hour each evening in the Hotel Monaco lobby.
The Bottom Line: Would I recommend it? Am I coming Back?
I plan to return to Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia this summer when I can enjoy the rooftop restaurant, Stratus in a different type of environment!
Basically, this is an amazing hotel for luxe-loving folk. I loved it! It’s a very special property. Travelingpanties approved!
Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia
Address: 433 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Cost: Rooms run between about $200-$500 most of the time.
*Disclaimer* As is common in the travel industry, I was provided with a complimentary room for one night for review purposes. I paid for my own travel expenses to Philadelphia. You can’t buy the love here, people. Just ask my husband!
Image Courtesy Flytographer
What to Do in Philadelphia
And while you’re here, why not check out our top picks for the Best Things to Do in Philadelphia.
Best Restaurants in Philadelphia
We also did a heck of alot of food tasting while we were in town! See what my top picks are for Best Restaurants in Philadelphia, including Philly’s Best Cheesesteak.