Al Capone was under lock and key at the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, now an eerily fascinating tourist attraction. Add the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rocky Steps to your sightseeing list when you stay in these stellar hotels bookable via Culture Trip.
Rooms and suites in this repurposed neoclassical former bank feature picture windows with skyline views, in some cases directly over the iconic spire of City Hall, and soft leather headboards. In a high-ceilinged dining room flanked by towering, Romanesque columns, Mexican classics, such as shrimp quesadillas and queso fundido (melted cheese), are offered alongside burgers. Relax in the spa, where traditional beauty treatments share the menu with chakra-balancing reiki procedures and medical-grade skin therapies.
Bauhaus-inspired features and minimalist design blend with vaulted stone ceilings and stained-glass windows in this former church, once home to First American Baptists. Airy, vaulted social spaces include a kitchen stocked with ingredients for lazy breakfasts and plentiful snacks, as well as an open-plan lounge. The helpful staff provides insider tips on where to shop, sightsee, eat and drink in the surrounding Graduate Hospital neighborhood.
The perks of a stay at this five-star hotel include a specially curated art collection in rooms and communal areas, a steakhouse with locally sourced meat and vintage decor, and a rooftop bar with firepits and City Hall views. Rooms feature abstract paintings on wood-paneled walls, and many also have privileged perspectives on Sister Cities Park through picture windows. Dip into the subterranean spa for sea-salt scrubs and hot-stone massages.
A French brasserie theme prevails throughout the former Stephen Girard Building, named after the Bordeaux-born banker and philanthropist who made the city his home in the late 1700s. Featuring navy blue furnishings and shiny brass accents, the Wayward, the on-site brasserie, serves some of the best oyster platters and gin-based cocktails in Philly, alongside staple American dishes with a French touch. Rooms maintain the Gallic theme with overhanging, blue-and-brass headboards and navy blue doors.
Featuring dark wooden ceiling beams that wouldn’t be out of place in an Andalusian villa, the Sabroso+Sorbo restaurant serves classic tapas, such as patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), alongside a selection of Spanish-themed cocktails and beers. Rooms and suites pay tribute to 1920s glamour with art deco-style furnishings and vintage items – book the high-floor studio for double-aspect views of the city through picture windows. The Pressed Coffee Bar offers locally brewed La Colombe coffee and home-made pastries.
It’s all about food and views at this upscale skyscraper, with a 57th-floor spa featuring an infinity pool with airplane-style perspectives. Michelin-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten oversees the culinary performance at the 60th-floor bar and restaurant, presenting artful dishes such as parmesan-crusted chicken with artichokes and a lemon-basil sauce. Down in Vernick Fish, James Beard-winner Greg Vernick provides a modern, hyper-local take on the classic American oyster house. Snooze in oatmeal-colored rooms with lots of gadgets.
A stay at this city-center Kimpton includes free rental bikes and a complimentary wine reception every evening. Stay in the corner king or corner one-bedroom suite for a freestanding tub in a red-tiled bathroom and 180-degree views of the Independence National Historical Park. The indoor-outdoor Stratus Lounge is one of the finest rooftop joints downtown, offering sharing platters and original cocktails high above the Liberty Bell.
On the 19th floor of the Bellevue Hotel, the aptly named XIX Restaurant has a domed, whitewashed ceiling and arched windows letting in expansive views – an appropriately opulent setting for the weekend brunch of mimosas, crab cake benedict, Scottish salmon and champagne. Spread throughout an extravagant French Renaissance building – the brainchild of pioneering Prussian-American hotelier George Boldt – rooms feature a pale, uncluttered aesthetic, soaring ceilings and black-and-white photos of Philly through the ages, and most have skyline views.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.