Fodor's Expert Review Penn's View Hotel

14 N. Front St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106, USA See on Map

Alyssa Pinsker

This cosmopolitan little hotel in a refurbished 19th-century commercial building on the fringe of Old City has its own brand of urban charm. The owner is a well-regarded Italian-born restaurateur who also runs Ristorante Panorama, the downstairs eatery with perhaps the best wine cellar in the city. The wine bar is the largest wine by the glass program in the country and has the largest wine preservation machine in the world as certified by Guinness Book of World Records. Rooms are comfortable and a mixture or either Northern Italian or Early American, some with Chippendale-style furniture and floral wallpaper, others with a more Italian feel with imports from the old country; some rooms feature fireplaces and whirlpool baths. Some have views of the Delaware River.


Each room has a queen bed with 310 thread count bedding, Serta Concierge suite beds, and a private bath. Some rooms have small Juliet balconies or private courtyards. All have self-controlled temperature. There is direct TV in each room with 20 channels. Suites have a marble gas fireplace and Tuscan wallpaper. The furniture is either locally made Colonial recreations or imported from Italy.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Smoking is not allowed in the hotel at all but some guests smoke outside in the courtyards or balconies.


All Standard rooms have a walk-in large rain-shower and around a quarter have modern tubs. Premium rooms have spa baths. Gilchrist & Soames and Elements bath products are provided.


The lobby is located within the original building. The check-in desk is made of black marble, with imported red-marble floors, Italian wallpaper, and gold leaf mirrors. There is an elevator to all floors to the rear of front desk. Inside is a small sitting area with complimentary water and coffee, past the restaurant is a small desk and a computer and printer free for all guests use.


There is a small fitness room located on the 4th floor. Stand up bikes, a Bowflex, Stairmaster and free weights are available.


Breakfast is included for all hotel guests. Lunch and dinner is served in Panorama restaurant and wine bar. The restaurant is owned and operated by the hotel owner. The authentic Italian menu has delicious homemade pastas, served with imported olive oil and homemade bread with house specialties like Braciola, Gnocchi or Agnolotti. Dessert is also Italian or featuers locals like ice-cream from nearby Franklin Fountain.

Make sure to have wine, lunch or dinner at Panorama. It's in the Guinness Book of World Records for largest wine preservation machine, has an in-house sommelier and authentic homemade Italian cuisine.


The wine bar is the largest wine by the glass program in the country and an in-house sommelier helps you chose your pairings from the 120 wines on tap and over 150 wines by the glass. Panorama Wine Bar has the largest wine preservation machine in the world as certified by Guinness Book of World Records. Panorama Wine Bar is a destination in itself with distinction from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. The Penn's View Hotel also has a private dining room in the basement wine cellar with Stogiani wall murals, sconces from Naples and chandeliers alongside 2000 bottles.


Getting Around

Old City is walkable. If you need to subway along Market St stop every 3-4 blocks and taxis and uber are cheap to get to the opposite end of town. Including the Stadium area for concerts and sporting events. It's a 5-minute walk to the 42 bus that takes you from South Philly to Northern Liberties.


Revolution House (3-minute walk) is a rustic creative New American wood-fired pizza resto with a rooftop deck. Fork (5-minute walk) is a Philly classic sleek and modern serving New American and a popular brunch. Amada (6-minute walk) is Jose Garces' Spanish tapas masterpiece.


Sassafras Bar (4-minute walk) is a romantically lit global food & drinks bar. The Plough and the Stars (4-minute walk)is an upscale authentic Irish pub with a wide variety of pints in a spacious former bank also with outdoor seating.


The owner and his son the general manager keep Penn's View Hotel a welcoming and homey place with imported Italian touches to preserve the neighborhood's Italian-American Heritage. They also keep it local with Philly made furniture, and partnerships with the neighborhood for Philly Wine Week (started at the restaurant) and hosting charity events and all the official sommelier tests in the area. The Panorama wine bar and restaurant is a destination unto itself.


51 rooms, 2 suites
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service yes
Parking Lot


Phones: 215-922–7600;800-331–7634

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