With history, shopping hauls and sumptuous hotels, Philadelphia makes for a perfect romantic getaway. Stroll past Monets and Matisses at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, browse the boutiques on 3rd Street, then reflect on your day over a Philly cheesesteak – or, if you’d like, something a little more intimate. With a wealth of historic properties and cozy inns, the City of Brotherly Love easily doubles as a city for love. Here’s our pick of the best hotels for lovebirds in and around the city.
Like all Kimpton hotels, this one is unique – an architecturally fascinating early skyscraper (the 1906 Lafayette Building) across the street from the Liberty Bell Center. Kimpton has vamped this Greek Revival gal up for the 21st century, pairing the grand coffered ceilings with colorful striped wallpaper, violet armchairs and the odd burst of animal print. That’s in the public areas; the bedrooms are a bit more subdued yet still snazzy, with wildly patterned drapes, statement wallpaper, dark, clashing colors and cheeky mirroring around the headboards.
This 1926 Classical Revival-style building, the City Hall Annex, used to be where citizens went to get their documents notarized. Today, rubber-stamp your love for Philly in its modern, elegant rooms, with their jaunty, retro feel – blue and white stripes on drapes and bedding and white-tiled bathrooms. You’ll get an eyeful of the skyline – rooms overlook City Hall and Dilworth Park beyond – and you’ll sleep soundly in the Pure rooms, which guarantee an allergy-free experience. There are sultry Spanish dishes on the menu – tapas, sangria and other Latin-inspired recipes – at Sabroso + Sorbo.
Feel Philly’s sexy, modern side in one of these six swish apartments in the Old City. You’re not here for the carriage rides; as the name suggests, Lokal wants you to go local, discovering indie stores, galleries and bars on 3rd St. Back at the hotel, you’re in for loft-style living, with lounge lizard-cool furniture and rough-and-ready, hand-plastered walls, daylight blazing in through the (often) floor-to-ceiling windows. Because this is full-on hipster, expect your loft to have a name – from Betsy to Tina.
Half an hour west of the Liberty Bell, on the outskirts of the forest-filled Ridley Creek State Park, is this charming B&B, with seven lovely rooms, each different from the next. For the ultimate bucolic retreat, book the Rock Garden Cottage – a self-contained building in the garden, complete with a lofty beamed ceiling, homey furnishings and even a wall of exposed rocks in the living room. Instead of rushing into town, plan a lazy lie-in – breakfast is worth sticking around for, with blueberry pancakes, Belgian waffles and cinnamon raisin bread.
A 19th-century whiskey-bottling facility doesn’t sound like the most romantic place to stay, but this restaurant with rooms, 2mi (3km) north of the Liberty Bell, straddling Olde Kensington and Fishtown, goes heavy on the urban glam. Just four rooms hover above the restaurant – all loft-style, with uneven whitewashed brick walls, sleek mid-century-style furniture, exposed ductwork on the ceilings and, in Room Two, pretty vintage-style wallpaper. Downstairs, you’ll find wood-fired pizza and Italian food in the restaurant.
You most likely don’t choose a hotel based on its bathrobes, but the Rocky-inspired robes at the Logan are worth the room rate alone. Part of Hilton’s quirky Curio Collection and near the Rocky steps (and the Philadelphia Museum of Art) on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Logan is slick and artsy, with a touch of fun. With no fewer than four food options, you barely need to leave the premises. Urban Farmer is a superb steakhouse, but the Assembly Rooftop Lounge is where you’ll find the to-die-for views. As well as those robes, you’ll find local artworks in the bedrooms and a sprawling spa underground for those all-important couples massages.