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An indoor living space is shown. A yellow chair is shown in the middle of a room. There is a couch to the left. There are plants and various items of decor spread throughout the inviting space.

5 Philadelphia Hotels with History

Play Video Guild House Hotel. Photo by J. Lehman.
Date June 5, 2024

5 Philadelphia Hotels with History

An indoor living space is shown. A yellow chair is shown in the middle of a room. There is a couch to the left. There are plants and various items of decor spread throughout the inviting space.

Philadelphia’s historic hotels stand as living testaments to the city’s rich heritage and timeless elegance.

These iconic establishments blend the nostalgia of yesteryears with the modern amenities required for seamless gatherings. Come explore the enchanting world of historic hotels in Philadelphia, where each event becomes a chapter in the continued narrative of these storied establishments.

A “notable” stay

One of Philadelphia’s boutique hotels, The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection, occupies the historic City Hall Annex. Philip Johnson designed the building in 1926. Originally, residents would go to the 18-story annex to get official documents notarized. The Notary stamp signified the start of a marriage, a business, or a new journey. Today the hotel maintains the theme of a notary or “stamp of approval.” Inside, the hotel preserved many of the building’s original details. The Notary Hotel encourages visitors to leave their mark on the city, as the staff aims to create notable moments for its visitors.

A white bed is shown off to the right. There is a desk off to the left up against the wall. There are windows letting in natural light. There is a blue couch and a wooden coffee table.

Photo courtesy of The Notary Hotel.

Historic women’s empowerment

The Guild House Hotel, recognized as one of the Best New Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure in 2022, is located in a historic four-story rowhome in Washington Square West. The building was previously home to the New Century Guild, a renowned women’s empowerment organization. The hotel has 12 elegantly designed suites, drawing inspiration from influential female figures associated with the Guild’s history, such as Eliza Sproat Turner, Gabrielle De Veaux Clements, and Martha Earle. By collaborating with local woman-owned businesses like Sip & Sonder and Fork & Melon, the hotel perpetuates the Guild’s legacy of empowering women through thoughtful amenities and design choices.

A room is shown. There are yellow accents throughout the space, including two yellow chairs, yellow cabinets, yellow molding. The bed is green and white with decorative pillows. The wallpaper on the wall behind the bed is a green and yellow pattern. There is a lamp on the nightstand to the right of the bed.

The Guild House Hotel designed The Edith’ suite after former New Century Guild president, Edith Brubaker. Photo by J. Lehman.

An enlightening hotel

Taking over the 21-story Liberty Title & Trust Building, Aloft Philadelphia Downtown combines modern design with the city’s history. Originally designed in 1924 by Dennison & Hirons, the tower’s architecture seamlessly blends beaux-arts elements with emerging art deco influences. Innovative for its time, Aloft designed the building to maximize natural light and ventilation. Visitors enter into a captivating lobby adorned with three-story-high arched windows, allowing sunlight to illuminate the room. During their stay, visitors will admire Aloft’s old-time elegance blended with modern amenities and hip social spaces, including a chic rooftop bar.

An open lobby is shown. There is a colorful front desk shown to the right of a staircase. There are large paintings hung on either side of the space. There are large light fixtures hanging from the ceiling.

Lobby of Aloft Philadelphia Downtown. Photo courtesy of Aloft Philadelphia Downtown.

A modern Pantheon

Just steps from City Hall, the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia is situated in the former Girard Trust Bank and Girard Trust Company building. Architect Frank Furness designed the building in 1907, modeling it after the Pantheon in Rome. Originally built as the home of the Girard Trust Company between 1904 and 1908, the former bank building features an eight-story tower, rotunda, and neoclassical style reflective of the era. Today, the banking room now serves as the hotel’s restaurant and ballroom. Guest rooms are located in the attached trust building, a 30-story skyscraper that was built in the 1930s and has views of City Hall.

The first international skyscraper in the United States

The landmark Loews Philadelphia was one of the first modern skyscrapers in the United States. When it opened in 1932, the then-Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) building was one of the most important skyscrapers at the time. The design featured an innovative T-shaped design that allowed the maximum amount of natural light and rentable space. It was also the second building in the United States to be equipped with air conditioning. In renovating the stunning Art Deco structure, developers kept the three-story banking room and transformed it into an event space with the original bank safe, Cartier clocks, and marble finishes still intact.

There are four chairs placed around a small table with flowers on it. The wall to the left reads LOEWS PHILADELPHIA. To the right, a long hallway is shown with a carpet with a gray, blue, and red pattern.

Lobby of Loews Philadelphia Downtown. Photo by B. Buck.

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