One of Philadelphia’s newest boutique hotels, THE NOTARY HOTEL, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION, opened in the historic City Hall Annex. The hotel’s theme is notary or “stamp of approval,” which is a nod to the original purpose of the building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Philip Johnson and built in 1926, the annex was originally where residents would go to get official documents notarized. The building, designed in the Classical Revival style, has large stone archways on the first floor and columns on the exterior of the building. Inside, many of the original details of the building have been preserved.
ALOFT PHILADELPHIA DOWNTOWN combines modern design with the city’s deep-rooted history. Taking over the 21-story 1925 Liberty Title building, this hotel is adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and a block from City Hall. It perfectly preserves the old-time elegance (think impressive ceiling designs, monumental windows, detailed crown molding and marble flooring) and blends it with innovative amenities and hip social spaces (including a chic rooftop bar).
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 18-story, neoclassical-style COURTYARD PHILADELPHIA DOWNTOWN in the former City Hall Annex combines sophisticated 1920s décor like coffered plaster detail, eye-catching bronze work and elegant marble finishes with modern conveniences, including a high-end gym and high-tech amenities in guest rooms. Located directly across from City Hall, it is within walking distance to major attractions.
Just steps from City Hall, the RITZ-CARLTON, PHILADELPHIA is situated in the former Girard Trust Bank and Girard Trust Building. Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, the bank building was designed by architect Frank Furness and completed in 1907. It’s easily identified by its pillar and masonry dome, which is hemispherical on the exterior and octagonal on the interior. The four-story banking room serves at the hotel’s restaurant and ballroom. The 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 landmark LOEWS PHILADELPHIA was the first international-style skyscraper in the U.S. At 33 stories, the former Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) building commanded the skies in the early 1930s and served as a hub for the most prominent business leaders of the time. Developers of this stunning Art Deco structure even 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.
Renowned for its Georgian Revival architectural details—think ornate woodwork and striking black-and white décor—LE MÉRIDIEN offers guests an elegant and historic atmosphere. The classic space was once a YMCA as well as the district attorney’s office and now boasts some of the best views of the city skyline (including the William Penn statue perched atop City Hall). The hotel perfectly blends contemporary furniture and décor with the intricate original details of the building.
The iconic BELLEVUE HOTEL is known as The Grande Dame of Broad Street for good reason. Its French Renaissance architecture and sophisticated interior make it a favorite for locals and out-of-towners. Constructed in 1904 by owner George Boldt (also proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria) it quickly became the top luxury accommodation in the United States. The hotel received a refresh in 2016 with furnishings that put a modern spin on 18th-century styles. PSST: Be sure to check out the ornate light fixtures in the ballroom; they were designed by Thomas Edison.
Home to the Morris family for more than 120 years, the MORRIS HOUSE HOTEL now invites guests to experience its rich past in one of the 17 guest rooms—each with different designs and decor. With a colonial-style façade, charming outdoor garden and prime location (just steps from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall), you can’t help but feel immersed in the history and significance of this space.
Step straight into the 18th century with a stay at the historic THOMAS BOND HOUSE in Independence National Historical Park. The restored 1769 bed & breakfast has 12 unique guest rooms—each offering a one-of-kind stay. Built by Dr. Thomas Bond, a celebrated surgeon and a co-founder of the American Philosophical Society and Pennsylvania Hospital, the house served as a private residence until 1810. Since then it’s held a stocking factory, leather tannery, rag supplier, customs broker and retail shop until its conversion to a B&B in 1988 by the National Park Service.