Fodor's Expert Review Alexander Inn

12th and Spruce Sts., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107, USA See on Map

Alyssa Pinsker

The well-maintained rooms at this small hotel have an Art Deco feel. The property is close to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Avenue of the Arts, and most downtown attractions. Though straight-friendly, it has a largely gay clientele and is near some of the city's gay bars. Some rooms facing northwest have good views of the bustling 12th and Spruce Street intersection. The hotel has a discounted parking arrangement with a nearby garage—a steal in this neighborhood. Management prides themselves on not raising rates during busy conventions. For the lone budget traveler, the Alexander offers rooms with twin beds for $135 a night.


All rooms face 12th Street with great views of Center City. Platform beds with Sealy firm mattresses ensure a good night's rest. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, extra pillows, and in-room safes. Art deco artwork accents chic yet cozy monochromatic rooms with wood and leather furnishings. Direct dial telephones with auto messaging also have auto wake up. All rooms have flat screen televisions with Direct TV and AM-FM clock radios. Rooms are sound-proof with double glazed windows to block city noise.

Hotel cable can vary but this one offers complimentary 24-hour movie channels plus 28 cable channels like Bravo TV (a fan favorite that can be hard to find!).


Standard rooms have baths with stand-up showers and good pressure. Sicilian red blood oranges and Italian olive oil Tarocco Bath soaps, shampoo, and bath gel are provided. Large fluffy towels and standard amenities like hairdryers, etc. are included.


The small entrance lobby with mahogany and maroon leather furniture and maroon carpet capitalizes nicely on its classic history (opened in 1900 as Hotel Flanders) with an original fireplace attached to a breakfast room/living room throughout the day. There are stained glass windows, detailed oak wood moldings, marble tile floor patterns, framed art-deco and contemporary paintings, and fresh flowers.

Afternoon tea and coffee service are provided daily as well as fresh fruit and snacks. Complimentary, unlimited, cold water with cups is also available 24/7 in the breakfast room.


A small 24-hour gym offers is mirrored and has free weights, a stretching area, and several aerobic machines.

YOU SHOULD KNOW There is only one TV in the gym and it's a bit dated (analog.) Due to small space, the gym is also combined with the business center (guest computer stations with printing capability with some chairs. Faxing is available at the front desk.) Past that is the gym.


Large hot and cold continental breakfast daily in breakfast/living room. After breakfast, the complimentary day-long snack bar offers a selection of fresh fruit, breads, and pastries for an occasional snack.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Breakfast is the only meal served.


No drinking on site, but a ton of options surround the area that is known alternately as Midtown Village, the Gayborhood or Washington Square West.


Getting Around

The 45 bus routes takes you up and downtown. It's two blocks to Walnut-Locust SEPTA subway to go from Northern Liberties to South Philly stadiums. Of course, Center City is extremely walkable and you can always take an uber/taxi to get to a place that is a 30-minute walk, like the Art Museum area.


There is a recommendation guide at the front desk, here are a few: Mixto (2-minute walk) a famous 2-story Cuban and Caribbean place with food, margaritas, outdoor dining and festive ambiance. Vallani,(2-minute walk) is a sexy Medi-Latin restaurant. Ristorante Aroma,( 2-minute walk) is "a cute BYOB Italian" place according to helpful owner John Cochie.


Knock Restaurant and Bar (2-minute walk) has upscale cocktails in a swanky venue with a piano lounge open late-night. Retro-themed Vargas' pin-up girl-themed Varga Bar (4-minute walk) has craft beer, specialty cocktails and comfort snacks. Woody's (5-minute walk) is still the most famous gay bar in Philly and two stories of fun with a coffee room, cyber bar upstairs and a packed dancefloor plus full menu.


The hotel has beautiful architecture and interior design, and a knowledgeable and friendly staff who act as 24-7 concierges and even can suggest self-guided walking tours. The location is awesome for its proximity to tourist hotspots yet it's located in sophisticated, historical and fascinating Washington Square West, with much more interesting spots nearby than the typical cheesesteaks and Rocky spots in Philly.


48 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch no
Dinner no
Bar no
Cafe no
Room Service no
Parking Lot


Phones: 215-923–3535

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