The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
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What it is
A 1908 former bank with a steel and marble 30-story tower and one of the city’s best spas.
What it isn't
Soulless. It may have just been redone, but you’ll spy plenty of historic touches that date to the original structure, including an on-point recreation of Rome’s Pantheon rendered in 9,000 tons of Georgia marble.
What we think
If the founding fathers had the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia around to pamper them during certain pre-revolutionary years, we might still be in Britain (and not just because the hotel has 26,000-square-feet of meeting space). After a recent $25 million redesign, the neoclassical respite is as luxe as hotels get. High-ceilinged guest rooms are swathed in sleek silvers and neutrals; if you’re traveling with friends or family, it’s worth upgrading to the Ritz-Carlton Suite for 1900 square feet of splendor—all overlooking City Hall—and a private elevator to whirr you to the 30th Floor Club Lounge. Speaking of: the Club Lounge is aptly described as an oasis, with gratis nibbles and drinks from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., many of them only-in-Philly treats (look for Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, invented here in 1917 and later rationed in World War I).
You're here because
You have “a thing” for wood-fired cooking, and the hotel’s Aqimero restaurant, taking pride of place in the lobby and helmed by Chef Richard Sandoval, is a fount of it. Don’t miss the lamb sirloin with mint lime crema, or the fact that they maintain a mescal collection that can only be described as titanic.
Philadelphia may be thousands of miles from Bali, but you wouldn’t know it in the hotel’s Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon, where “holistic” is the theme d’jour. You booked a Tibetan massage, and couldn’t be happier with your choice—especially as singing bowls and the body butter being rubbed into your weary bod transport you not to Asia, but never-never-land. When you leave, you feel 19.
Restaurants & Bars
10 Arts Bistro - Contemporary American, regional
10 Arts Lounge
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Across from City Hall, the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, is about as “City Center” as one gets—without being that statue of William Penn. Almost every tourist sight you’d want to see is within a quick walk; you’d be a fool to miss the Barnes Foundation, newly housed in a modernist building but home to as many Picasso’s and Renoir’s as ever.