You'll feel like you're checking into the Pantheon when you enter this neoclassical hotel set in a century-old bank building. 9,000 tons of Georgia marble, much from Italy’s Carerra quarry where marble was mined for use in Michelangelo’s statue of “David” makes up the dramatic lobby. A 2016 renovation modernized both the lobby (textures reminiscent of currency, in a nod to the building's banking past) and guest rooms (work and play spaces, set in a contemporary neutral palette with metallic touches). A drink in the lobby is a treat even if you are not staying here and the entire hotel is surprisingly family friendly. Guest rooms have modern touches like flat-screen televisions, glass-enclosed showers, and lighted makeup mirrors. Every room has a rain shower and tub. In the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Aqimero lounge, bar and restaurant is Richard Sandoval's Latin-American curation that features wood-fired grilled specialties, sushi and ceviche bar, raw bar, and extensive mezcal collection.A Ritz Kids program is a self-guided tailor-made scavenger hunt where the winner gets a free order on-demand movie and popcorn delivered to the room.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While centrally located the hotel struggles to keep a fluid and streamlined design due to its age and lack of space. Elevators are from 1904 and at least one at a time is not in use.
Some of the best beds in the business, rooms have custom-designed hotel mattresses with a plush-top construction, reinforced foam-encased edges for comfortable sitting, and maximum room to spread out on with an advanced cooling design for temperature control which is an awesome extra. Ritz-Carlton 400 thread count hotel whites are crisp yet soft and made from pure extra-long staple cotton sateen. The soft down like pillows are all made from allergen-free natural materials. Quilts are made of down, feathers and Lyocell fibers.100 percent cotton robes made exclusively for Ritz Carlton are available as well as a hypoallergenic pillow in the closet.
Well designed all marble bathrooms have walk-in pressure head glass showers and a standard tub. All include a four-piece set of bath and body amenities from London's Asprey Purple Water collection is a fresh mix of citrus and spicy notes.
Ionic columns ascending the height of nine stories dwarf the main lounge, and natural light cascades along the windows on three sides of the brass balconied walls and through the oculus of the 140-foot dome ceiling reflecting into the top of the grand ballroom's chandelier in a second glass oculus. The lobby's many eras: 1904, 2000's and 2016 can produce a crowded look with the latest additions of glass walls and a makeshift business center (printer and computer) on the second-floor mezzanine. The building was made in 2000 as a recreation of Rome's Pantheon and it retains touches of the banking past along with 2016 additions like glass walls. While dramatic and inviting the decor gets crowded in the back of the room with some out of place mirrors where it squeezes a bar and a restaurant. Check-in is tucked under a mezzanine to the right next to a door labeled "the exchange." The pantheon marble and touches like a shoeshine and ancient Greek bronze statue recreations and American Colonial paintings (a nod to Philadelphia history) make the lobby a standout worth seeing.
Tiny business centers are placed in odd corners but dial 0 to get your fax and print needs met.
The Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon is a luxury spa in Philadelphia open to the public and guests offering a variety of latest in massage therapies, facials by skilled estheticians and body work by professionals. There is also a hair salon but no nail service. Highlights include warmed stone massage or Spotlight hibiscus and honey hydration wrap.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There are no nail services at the spa, it focuses more on bodywork and facials.
The hotel offers a full-service fitness center, open 24 hours a day. It is spare but has one peloton bicycle, two matrix stairmasters, four treadmills, one matrix exercise bicycle, exercise balls, free weights, and a small stretching area.
Richard Sandoval's Aqimero restaurant is Latin-inspired and features wood-burning grilled specialties like Spanish octopus, a full sushi and ceviche bar, raw bar, and extensive mezcal collection with complementing smoked cocktails.
Aqimero bar is situated in the back of the lobby and has a full champagne bar. There are comfortable tables and chairs alongside a top bar. The bar has leather chair backed stools and seats 28. The lounge has round sofas and bronze with glass top tables and seats 90. The restaurant, Aqimero has a full bar menu.
Order a smoked mezcal or any of the smoked drinks made with flavored wood for a video worthy experience as the drink is smoked in a glass lantern-like case and exits still smoky to your eager lips.
The subway is literally located on the ground level, called the concourse level separated by a door. This takes you to Philadelphia's public transportation called SEPTA which has two subway lines running east and west and north and south. Philadelphia is also rated one of America’s most walkable cities. From Center City, you can walk as far as Fishtown in the northeast direction and University City towards the west.
The upscale new American Stephen Starr venture The Love (10-minute walk) and British pub The Dandelion (9-minute walk) are nearby, and steakhouse Del Friscos (1-minute walk) is a fine dining option that offers upscale cuisine.
Popular bars nearby include the classic Rittenhouse Park sidewalk cafe with upscale burgers, Rouge (11-minute walk). It is a 5-minute walk to the hip bi-level American eatery Harp & Crown which has a downstairs bowling area! Just 5 minutes to Double Knot, a sleek nautical themed Japanese spot by night and stylish coffee shop by day owned by the same chef, Michael Schulson.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Though it was built in 2000, it has all the charm and iconic splendor of a "Grande Dame" hotel, and so it is popular for weddings and events. The lobby is worth having a drink in to see the Pantheon recreation and 9000 tons of Georgia marble.