Fodor's Expert Review Chestnut Hill Hotel

8229 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19118, USA See on Map

Alyssa Pinsker

This is the place to rest if you are looking for a mellow Philadelphia stay, or looking to stay in an eclectic 19th-century compound with modern amenities. The rooms, split between the main building and two offshoot structures (the "Post Office" and the "Carriage House"), are cozy but comfortable. Rooms and buildings vary from couple friendly Carriage House to 60s vibed Post Office and the main house. There's nothing particularly fancy about the environs, but there's nothing missing, either—every room has a refrigerator, flat-screen television, and coffeemaker. On-the-premises dining options include Chestnut Hill, the healthy eating–focused Green Soul, and the swanky Paris Bistro. Make sure to call for room rates, as they are often lower than the advertised price.

YOU SHOULD KNOW While the Chestnut Hotel has a lot to offer for respite, it is not near to Center City and Philadelphia's traditional historical and art attractions.


Standard rooms contains king or queen sized beds with firm mattresses, four pillows (2 feather and 2 polyester), Artemide light fixtures, LG flat screen televisions with 50 channel cable with Showtime, Nespresso Coffee Makers with a wide array of flavor cups and creamers, refrigerators, and desks complete with Herman Miller ergonomic desk chairs and telephones. Each closet is equipped with a white terrycloth robe, digital combination safe, and ironing board. Each room contains its own self-controlled heating and air conditioning and blackout curtains for privacy, but guests can also open windows if they wish. Some rooms have dining nook and a Bulthaup kitchenette (cooktop, toaster oven, microwave, sink) and all the basic cooking accessories. The Carriage House has large closets and remote operated fireplaces and extra large bathrooms.

The price for suites, kitchenettes, and Carriage House rooms are the same. Your best value is the kitchenettes which overlook Germantown Avenue. If you prefer a fireplace, ask for the service elevator room.


Bathrooms vary from basic to elegant. All rooms have showers with glass doors and high-pressure shower heads.The Carriage House’s lavatories are larger; one has a whirlpool tub while the other three have separate showers and claw foot bathtubs. All are stocked with L’Occitane bath products, hair dryers are also included.


With incandescent light fixture covers designed by local artist Leslie Pontz and a custom made reception desk, the welcoming area exudes a uniqueness that embodies this eclectic hotel. The outdoor entranceway sconces show a respectful sophistication with its extensive use of Sapele wood.

The adjacent Bombay Room, with its Indian bowls and sculptures, provides seating for 40. It can be used as a meeting room but its primary use is for the daily Continental breakfast. A coffee machine is available for operation 24/7 to all guests.


The hotel also provides a 10% discount to the nearby Diamond Spa, a 4-minute walk up the hill on Germantown Avenue.


A small fitness room is available on the 2nd floor of the main building. It contains a Precor treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bicycle along with a bench and dumbbells ranging from 3-30 lbs. It is open 24/7 and towels are provided.


There are three restaurants on the premises: Paris Bistro, Chestnut Grill, and Green Soul. Paris Bistro is a French brasserie serving dinner and Sunday brunch in an upscale setting. Downstairs, they offer live jazz music (30’s Hot & Latin Jazz) Wednesday-Sunday evenings for three sets each night. Green Soul, an affordable restaurant open 11-8 every day serves health-conscious Southern cuisine (no deep frying). Chestnut Grill, open every day for lunch and dinner, serves affordable but quality continental fare.

A New York style food hall called Market At The Fareway is also on the premises. Its 16 stalls range from butchery, brewery, bakery, deli to chocolatier. Ethnic vendors sell Korean tacos, Jamaican Jerk, wood-fired brick oven pizzas, and Middle Eastern specialties (hummus, falafel) are a highlight. Outdoor seating is available a well as a concrete ping pong table and fire pit. The food options are exhaustive at the Chestnut Hill Hotel.


Paris Bistro and Jazz Cafe offer a full bar with eight cocktails like the French Martini or Rosemary Old Fashioned, nine drafts on tap, five aperitifs, and 13 types of wine with an emphasis on France. If you're feeling adventurous cap your evening off with an absinthe aperitif (served with sugar cube). Chestnut Grill has a full bar consisting of eight rotating drafts (emphasis on local beers) and four specialty cocktails. The Tiramisu Martini dessert and cucumber martini (Effen Cucumber vodka, fresh dill simple syrup with a splash of seltzer) is also a favorite.


Getting Around

Driving is your best bet. SEPTA’s 23 bus is the slowest option (one hour) but it leaves you directly on the hotel’s doorstep. Faster (45 minutes) is SEPTA’s Regional Rail (Chestnut Hill East and West lines) which leave you at either Chestnut Hill West or Graver’s Lane Station. Each station is a 6-minute walk to the hotel down the hill.


El Poquito (1-minute walk) is a Mexican taqueria is down the hill on Germantown. Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor (1-minute walk) is a neighborhood stable for local families. King’s Garden (3-minute walk ) is an affordable Chinese American restaurant known for their noodle dishes.


The chain Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (3-minute minute walk) is nearby. Local institution McNally’s Tavern (8 minutes) is known for their beers but also their infamous Schmitter sandwich: roast beef and griddled salami are stacked on a kaiser roll with cheese, tomato, and onion invented here!


While lacking in certain perks, the Chestnut Hill Hotel steps up its game when it comes to overall room comfort, cleanliness, and comprehensive to say the least available dining options from upscale French jazz clubs to New York food halls. Its safe and secure location in one of Philadelphia’s toniest neighborhoods also has unique Philly tourism experiences to offer (like the Schmitter sandwich and iconic Curtis Arboretum.)


32 rooms, 4 suites
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar no
Cafe no
Room Service yes
Parking Lot


Phones: 215-242–5905

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