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New Years Eve in Philly-FS $320 w/breakfast vs Rittenhouse $334 no breakfast!? Or some other city?

New Years Eve in Philly-FS $320 w/breakfast vs Rittenhouse $334 no breakfast!? Or some other city?

Old Aug 24th, 2004, 07:44 PM
  #1  
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New Years Eve in Philly-FS $320 w/breakfast vs Rittenhouse $334 no breakfast!? Or some other city?

I promised to take my wife away for New Years Eve this year instead of hosting our tradition NY Eve party for about 60 people. It would be for 1 or 2 nights. At first I thought about the Inn at Perry Cabin in St Michaels, Md. until I called them and found them to cost $615 a night including dinner and brunch breakfast for just 1 night! Ouch. Way above our budget for a 1 nighter. Then I tried the Greenbrier in Virginia and they were worse, $735 a night including the same. The Nemacolin Woods resort in Pennsylvania came to mind next but was just as bad, $1400 for a 2 night minimum. Crazy pricing for us.

Then I thought... where COULD we go? It has to be an easy drive from our home in Silver Spring, MD. (2-4 hours or less, preferably closer to 2). NYC is out of the question as she doesn't like this place! We had a bad experience there and she isn't ready to go back yet.

A light bulb went off all of a sudden. We had an excellent time at the Westin Philadelphia 3 years ago for dirt cheap ($129 a night for 2 nights) so I thought of trying a different hotel - The Four Seasons. They have an excellent reputation so I read all the reviews on Fodors and Trip Advisor and although the location isn't perfect, it would work for us. The restaurants at the FS sound so great, too, not that we could afford to go TOO lavish there. We found a rate of $260 a night w/no pking or breakfast or $320 a night WITH valet parking AND breakfast. We'd probably go w/the package as even the self park is $24 a night vs $32 for valet pking.

The competition - The Ritz Carlton is $469 for the same night(Dec 31 and they only have 5 rooms left!). Forget that place. The last bit of competition is of course The Rittenhouse and they are $310 a night + $24 for valet parking, but no breakfast, making them ALOT more expensive if we have to buy breakfast, though the location is better.

Thoughts? Am I forgetting some great city to go to for New Years? We'd probably just go for 1 or 2 nights max. She likes to shop and look around - I like museums! We both suffer each other's diversions. I thought of Baltimore, but it seems SO close - we could drive there anytime in 45 minutes, though we don't.

Grateful for your help,
Steve
Maryland
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 08:28 PM
  #2  
yk
 
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Hi Steve,

I don't think you could go wrong with either FS or Rittenhouse. I would NOT stay at R-C though, as I didn't think it was THAT nice. Also, Philly hosts the Mummers parade on NY's day, and the parade route passes through the R-C. I stayed there 2 years ago on Jan 4th or so, and they had rescheduled the Mummers parade for Jan 5 due to rain on NY's day. I remembered being woken up by loud drumming and horn blowing etc, yet it's too far to see anything clearly.

You didn't say what kind of view the rooms have in FS vs Rittenhouse; maybe that can be the deciding factor?
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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Although I generally would recommend the Rittenhouse over the FS (I think the Rit has a better location and nicer rooms), your FS deal is much better and one you shouldn't pass up. The breakfast should be lovely and you then probably wouldn't need to bother with lunch. Unless the weather is truly horrible (unlikely), you can still walk almost everywhere from the FS. With the packages you've described, I would definitely go with the FS.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:19 AM
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Thanks YK. We'd be getting the cheapest courtyard room at the FS Philly if we stayed there... When speaking with them they said they were the only hotel in Philly with a nice courtyard view. It's amazing that so many other hotels at that time period are only about $150 a night (like the Westin) but the FS and Rittenhouse are double the price.

Steve
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:22 AM
  #5  
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Btilke: Thanks for your reply as well. So the FS deal is best in your opinion? We're leaning in that direction... I didn't know the rooms at the Rittenhouse were actually nicer than the FS - that's amazing! Waiting for deals for NY eve to come... The night mgr at the Rittenhouse didn't know of any deals when I called them last night.

Steve
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:24 AM
  #6  
Dan
 
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Hotels are probably holding out for 2-3 night stays since it's only August. They're "discouraging" one nighters with high prices!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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Interesting theory, Dan. Here's a bizarre twist... I just called the regular reservation people at the Rittenhouse and she said they have no specials during that period and that the rate would be $400 a night! I told her that just last night I called and got a rate of $310 from the night mgr. She said that that was a corporate rate and they don't offer that for NY Eve, but if he offered it she would honor it. I smell a rat.

I think we'll stick with the FS -they are SO nice on the phone, unless someone can come up with a more interesting place to stay - citywise or hotel wise. I called Westin thinking they may be around $129 a night like last time... they are $209 a night, almost sold out according to the reservations people (uh yeah, right) and doesn't include parking or anything else!

Steve
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Did you try the Rittenhouse B&B? It's just off the Square, very elegant, the people are very nice. Oprah hosted a "pajama party" there once. When were were living in the neighborhood, we happened to walk by just before it opened, fell into conversation with the owner, and she gave us a full tour of the place and talked about her plans. Parking wouldn't be included (I don't think) but breakfast would be.
www.rittenhousebb.com
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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Thanks Btilke: The Rittenhouse B&B looks great, but they have a 7 day cancel policy, and we have a kid so we need that 6pm night of reservation cancel that the FS has as things change fast sometimes!

New news: We tentatively booked the Four Seasons Philadelphia as when I called back today I asked if they had a corporate rate, and I work for Comcast, so they gave me the $220 corporate rate! Great deal I think. It doesn't include parking ($32 FS valet or $24 self park in a garage across the street) OR breakfast, but even if we spend $50 a day for breakfast (which we don't usually do!) it's still less than their $320 a night rate. Should we do the valet parking spending the extra $8 a day (I know, we're cheap )? I'm assuming we'll need our car to do stuff during the day so getting in and out of the garage might be a pain and expensive as there is no in and out priveleges according to the FS reservations lady.

I checked into dining for New Years Eve thinking we'd definitely do the hotel deal being it's a holiday, but it's a whopping $235 p/p a dinner, 7 course meal w/band. That's wayyyy out of our league. Anyone know of a "reasonable" hotel dinner deal in Philly for New Years Eve? I was thinking Ruth Chris but they aren't open yet today- it's early here. That's her favorite restaurant and we've never been to that one. She's dying to know where we're going for New years eve and hates surprises, but I won't tell her till we get to Philly that day!

Anyone know of a local haunt that would be fancy but not so much money? I was thinking $125 total for dinner, max. We don't drink, so $225 p/p is way too much for us. I DID book the FS for the next night, even though the entrees are $40-60 p/p. I guess prices have gone up since I last checked into highline dining! OUCH.

Steve
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:58 AM
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yk
 
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Steve-

There should be plenty of street parking around the FS - if you don't want to pay for parking at the hotel. You'll still have to feed the meter during the day on NY's eve, but should be free in NY's day.

Restaurant wise, one place pops into mind is Morimoto (of Iron Chef fame). They have a chef's menu (omakase) for $80, $100, & $120. I've eaten there quite a few times and have enjoyed every single meal. A friend of mine had eaten there for NY's eve, and I believe they have a different chef's menu (and a bit more expensive). Here's the website:
http://www.morimotorestaurant.com/

Other great places:
Le Bec Fin (but may be out of your budget too)
http://www.lebecfin.com/index.cfm

or
Deux Cheminees
http://www.deuxcheminees.com/
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Thanks YK for the parking tip! I guess we'll do meters during the day on NY Eve and find some free parking on NY Day on the block. That'll save ALOT ($64 for the valet parking over 2 days).

As for the restaurants you suggested, they sound GREAT but we don't want to spend that much on food. We're not big eaters so it would be a waste. I finally just told her where I wanted to take her tonight as she was really bugging me to know, and she loves the idea of the FS Philly. She thought the Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore was not of interest to her, as well as the Boardwalk Hotel in Rehobeth - 2 other alternatives I had up my sleeve.

I think I'll just take her to Ruth Chris for NY Eve dinner as they have a regular priced menu and we can EASILY get out of there for around $100-125 total. We don't drink, so that makes it "cheap". It's one of her favorite restaurants here in Bethesda, so I'm sure she'll like it there too. $85 p/p for the Deux Cheminees restaurant you suggested is still too much for us.

Regards,
Steve
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:45 PM
  #12  
yk
 
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Steve-

Sorry, somehow I misread your earlier post and thought you meant $125pp, not total.

I usually don't go out on NY's eve for dinner, so I don't have any specific suggestions for you. But one place I LOVE is D'jango. It's a French Bistro BYOB, and I never had a bad meal there. The price fits your bill. The only question is whether they're open for NY's eve. You can give them a call and find out.
http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/p..._0_profile_2_1
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:33 PM
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Thanks again YK. The first review of Django on that link you just provided is this:

"Not worth the price and the wait Posted by willworkforfood on 08/18/2004
Dishes have an interesting combination of flavors but tend to be a bit bland. Stay away if you are a vegetarian as the options are very limited and unimpressive. The fish could be good, but I wouldn't know...."

Sorry! I guess we'll just stick with Ruth Chris that night. It's a "sure thing" in her book, and I want her to be happy. I'd LOVE to eat at Le Bec Fin or the FS that night, but too pricey for us.

Peace,
Steve
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