What it is
A Philly icon since 1989 with 118 luxe rooms and indulgent service.
What it isn't
Cramped. Rooms here are reportedly the largest in the city, starting at a whopping 450 square feet.
What we think
The Rittenhouse has been a legend since it opened for one main reason: it stands on a historically significant site, Beaux-Arts Rittenhouse Square, at the exact address where Pennsylvania Railroad kingpin A.J. Cassatt lived in his manse—and where, when it later became a school, John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore attended. But we’d wager that the current glamazon-worthy hotel occupying the space doesn’t need all that backstory to triumph, not with service like this; guests are treated to free Jaguar jaunts, overnight shoeshines, a 24/7 concierge and that all too rapidly vanishing amenity: turndown service. The hotel’s just redesigned guest rooms are equally winsome, with marble-lined bathrooms and other sumptuous touches (velvet upholstery galore!).
You're here because
You adore having afternoon tea on vacay, and the hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room & Garden—named for Pennsylvania-born painter—hosts one even Queen Elizabeth would recommend, with plenty of signature tea blends (order the “Marry Me Again,” with ceylon, lavender, cornflowers and violets).
You’re so zonked from a day pounding the cobblestones that you’re going to eat in tonight. You’re delighted to discover that Lacroix is no ordinary hotel restaurant—and lofted above the treetops of Rittenhouse Square, no less. Even the first course, white asparagus with osetra caviar, smoked sturgeon and chive, has you rethinking tomorrow night’s reservations. Shouldn’t you just eat here, within a five second walk of your robe and slippers? Indeed.
Restaurants & Bars
Lacroix - American , AAA four stars, American and steaks
Library Bar - Sits in Lacroix Mary Cassatt Tea Room. Featuring Rittenhouse blend
Set directly on historic Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia, within a quick five minute stroll of One Liberty Observation Deck (on the 57th floor) and The Rosenbach, where some 30,000 books are held in a 19th century red brick townhouse. Even more importantly: La Colombe Coffee Roasters is just up the street.